Iraqi soldiers tear down a sign pointing towards an Islamic State security office where locals were punished with whippings and other beatings, taken on Jan. 19, 2017 in Mosul, Iraq. (H.Murdock/VOA)

Staying Online in Dangerous Times

During Islamic State’s two-and-a-half-year rule of eastern Mosul, many forms of communication were banned, with rule breakers facing imprisonment or death. Despite the danger, the Internet was still available in some of the city. From his home in Mosul, Bilal Ahmed, 27, tells VOA the story of how he kept his neighborhood online through beatings and threats for nearly two years. He spoke in Arabic and his story is edited for clarity.

Under the Islamic State