In another act that could be taken straight out of a horror movie, a group of ISIS soldiers overheard a group of women talking about the Iraqi Army. As “punishment,” they took wire, some of it barbed wire, and forced it through their lips until their mouths were sewn shut:
Islamic State thugs have reportedly begun stitching prisoner’s mouths shut – including women – with barbed wire for mentioning the Iraqi Army’s increasing victories.
Jihadi fighters have become increasingly brutal as they are pushed back in Syria and Iraq by a coalition of armed forces.
The so-called caliphate Islamic State has created from its occupied territories have witnessed horrifying atrocities over the past two years. (source)
This story in combination with all of the horrors that ISIS has done and is still doing reminds me in part of writer Harlan Ellison’s famous scifi-horror story I Have No Mouth And I Must Scream (full text here). In the story, the human race has been wiped out by a nuclear war caused by “AM,” a military supercomputer who has developed unnatural powers. Following the war, there are only five people left who the computer absolutely hates but keeps alive and has made immortal solely for the purpose of torturing them. The tortures consist essentially in tapping into the deepest parts of each person’s psyche and exploiting their fears, weaknesses, and insecurities through perverse challenges and activities that promise them escape but only lead them into deeper enslavement and misery.
By the end of the story, the characters realize their only escape is through death. The five plan together and the narrator of the story, Ted, takes the lead in killing off the other four but fails to kill himself in time before AM arrives. Enraged that the other four are dead, the machine exacts its revenge on Ted, turning him into an amorphous, mutilated, jelly-like thing who has no mouth and is doomed to an eternal existence of suffering an misery. As Ellison closes the novel, Ted’s final thoughts are “I have no mouth, and I must scream.”
ISIS has made itself the AM of Syria and Iraq. The people of Iraq are the five characters of the novel, who are trapped in this social prison from which there is no escape, and failure to exactly obey each of ISIS fickle commands results in the harshest punishments, many times given not just for Islamic Shariah law, but also for sadism. For many, they find escape only through death, even if it is suicide, and those who are forced to stay in the Islamic State are literally condemned to a life of Islamic horror where, as this story says, their very lips could be sewn shut with wire for saying even the slightest thing ISIS does not like.
Their mouths are sewn shut, but they must scream.
From the cover of Harlan Ellison’s story