By James Towney
Rukmini Callimachi covers ISIS and Al Queda for The New York Times. She recently spoke with NPR’s Terry Gross on the program Fresh Air about the widespread suffering of civilians in Iraq. Callimachi describes for Gross an interview she did with a woman who was punished by the Hesba — religious police — for showing too much skin. And by too much skin I mean lifting the cloth that covers her eyes less than one-inch to see a plate of food. Callimachi explains that when ISIS took over Mosul, it started to police the wardrobe of the women very seriously to the point where no flesh could be visible. It got so unbearable for the women that they just stopped going out and pawning off daily duties to husbands, brothers or sons. This woman in particular that Callimachi was describing to Gross was arrested by Hesba in the middle of a picnic with her family, taken to an ISIS police station and flogged with metallic cords. When they were done tearing up her back they called her husband so he could pick her up and take her to the hospital where she would spend a couple of days on her stomach because her back so tore up. You can listen to more compelling stories of Callimachi’s experiences covering the terrorist groups on Fresh Air.