Beirut // ISIL has banned private internet access in its Syrian bastion Raqqa, forcing residents and even its own fighters to use internet cafes where they can be monitored.
Internet providers have four days from Sunday to cut private Wi-Fi connections, according to a leaflet distributed in the city.
The activist group Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, which documents ISIL abuses in the city, posted a copy of the leaflet posted online.
“The following is obligatory on all internet providers: the removal of wifi connections distributed outside of internet cafes and private connections, including for [ISIL] soldiers,” the leaflets says.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said this was an attempt to impose a news blackout on what is going on inside Raqqa.
“It has been conducting patrols and raids on internet cafes, searching them for people who are transmitting news.”
ISIL is also “trying to cut communications between its non-Syrian fighters and their families for fear of them trying to return home,” the Britain-based monitoring group said.
Raqqa is the de facto Syrian capital of the ISIL group where it rules with an iron fist.
The internet has been a rare lifeline for activists in the city, and a way for them to document life under the extremists’ rule.
* Agence France-Presse