The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria has killed 49 people since February 2015 in Libya's Sirte, according to a Human Rights Watch report. Captive soldiers, political opponents and those accused of apostasy, espionage and witchcraft have been either shot or decapitated, the report published on Wednesday said.
The terrorist group is also accused of conducting human rights violations by diverting food, cash, medicine and fuel. They have also captured houses of residents who fled Sirte, a Mediterranean port city. The houses have been assigned to almost 1,800 fighters, police and other functionaries of the group in the biggest stronghold apart from Syria and Iraq.
"Life in Sirte is unbearable. Everyone is living in fear. They are killing innocent people. There are no groceries, the hospital has no doctors or nurses, there is no medicine," a resident told Human Rights Watch.
The Islamist group has created a code of conduct, including rules about clothing, which include "length of men's trousers, the breadth and color of women's gowns, and the instruction students receive in state schools."
Residents have been threatened, fined or flogged by Hisba (the morality police) for smoking, listening to music or "failing to ensure their wives and sisters were covered head to toe in loose black abayas." Males, young and old, have been forced to attend mosques for mandatory Islamic education and prayers. People in the city live under constant fear as they believe that spies are everywhere.
The report was compiled after conducting interviews with 45 residents of Sirte who had either fled the city or were visiting the city of Misrata, the report added. The interviewees described horrific public crucifications and beheadings in Sirte.
"There are spies on every street. Most people have left but we are trapped. We don't have enough money to leave," the same resident added.
At least 80,000 people have escaped from the ISIS-controlled area. However, those who have fled Sirte have found no sanctuary in Libya as the country has not received any emergency assistance.
The Head of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), General Rodriguez, was quoted as saying by Voice of America on Tuesday that the U.S. military was ready for train-and-equip missions if the Libyan government was ready for it. The AFRICOM commander added that friendly militia that's fighting alongside the Libyan Government of National Accord (GNA) would be the key to fighting ISIS in Libya, but they have not been identified yet.