ISIS-Run Government Institutions in Raqqa

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DISCLAIMER: This video was shot with the approval of the Islamic State. The appearance of this video on the Transterra Media website does not in any way constitute an endorsement by Transterra Media of any claims or statements made in this video.

At the personal status office in Raqqa, ISIS' biggest stronghold in Syria, Syrian citizens can be seen handing over their IDs issued by the Syrian government and receiving ones given to them by ISIS authorities. Ibrahim is applying for a birth certificate for his one-year-old son Sufian who, according to his father, was born when the Free Syrian Army was still in control of the city. At the time, government offices were closed and he was not able to obtain the proper documentation. Today he says that he is grateful that the “Islamic State” is reactivating government services.
ISIS functionaries claim to have introduced both Islamic courts and a functioning department of water management in Raqqa. In this video, several people can be seen at an ISIS-run Islamic sharia court. Interviewed plaintiffs say they are pleased with legal services provided under ISIS - which they consider fair and considerably better than what they experienced under the Syrian regime.
Footage also includes an interview with a functionary at the local department of water management. The official claims that his staff are purifying water and conducting studies to develop better provision of water.


Various of streets
Various of fighter carrying a rifle and a baby at the market
Wide of mosque
Various of children, women and men in park
Wide of market
Various of street food stands
Wide of perfume shop
Wide of two men eating
Wide of schoolgirls walking
Wide of women and children in al-Rashid Park
Wide of vegetable shop
Wide of street food cart
Wide of military equipment store
Wide of jewelry store
Wide of fighter looking at fabrics
Wide of women in front shops
Wide of children and man washing before prayer
Various of women buying candy for children in park
Wide of armed man with children in park
Various of al-Dillah roundabout (coffee pot fountain)
Wide of men praying in the street
Wide of men’s entrance to Islamic court
Wide of women’s entrance to Islamic court
Various of men’s entrance to Islamic court
Various of people walking into court
Various of people sitting inside the court
Various of ISIS legal workers receiving files from plaintiffs
Various of court waiting room
Various of ISIS legal worker handling files
Various of court waiting room
Various/ close-ups of legal documents

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Humam al-Ansari, legal worker at Islamic court run by ISIS

03:29 – 04:02

“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate, and God’s prayers be upon Prophet Mohamad and his family and companions. Thanks be to Good who enabled us to conquer these lands. Thanks be to God who enable us to establish these courts of law in Wilayat al-Raqqa [Name ISIS uses for Raqqa province]. Thanks be to God, we are fulfilling our work to grant all people their rights and correct any injustice that has befallen our Muslim brothers. Today, judges and everyone else are fulfilling their work to apply God’s sharia law. We treat people as our brethren.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Mohamad al-Rashed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS
04:03 – 04:30
“Peace be upon you. We are before the Islamic court in the city of Raqqa. Thanks be to God, the treatment is very good. Under the regime, if someone wanted to come to the court he would have had to pay bribes. People with legitimate rights suffered injustice. This was always the case. Thanks be to God, at the present time, treatment cannot be any better. One’s rights have been reinstated, God willing. Your right will not be lost, even if you were entitled to something as small as a particle.”

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Munir Ahmed, plaintiff at Islamic court run by ISIS

04:31 – 05:11

“Thanks be to God almighty, I presented a case at the Islamic court in Wilayat Raqqa. Thanks be to God, there is cooperation on behalf of the judges and the other brothers. They understand people’s needs. Thanks be to God. I have a lawsuit that involves myself and another person. We resorted to God’s sharia law and the verdict has not been issued yet. Thanks be to God for everything. Thanks be to God that we got rid of that infidel and debauched regime. Previously, if you were entitled to a right, you would be treated as a wrongdoer. One had to bribe judges and officials."

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Abu Ahmed, Water department official and ISIS member

05:12 – 05:55

"In the name of God and prayers be upon Prophet Mohammad. We, at the water department in Wilayat Raqqa [Raqqa Province], the Islamic State, are providing water for the common people. We are conducting repairs and mechanical works in all projects in Wilayat Raqqa. Water is being purified using chlorine gas and liquid hypochlorite then pumped in the grid. The water department follows up on complaints and technical failures, as well as applies necessary repairs in various workshops in Wilayat Raqqa. Finally, the Studies Department performs studies necessary for new projects to cover people’s current and future needs for water. Thanks be to God almighty. Peace be upon you.”

Wide of Clock Tower square
Wide of Raqqa and large ISIS flag
Wide of propaganda billboards that read: “Arab tyrants, your hands are tarnished with Muslims’ blood.” “The crusade against Islam.”
Wide of roundabout and ISIS flags
Wide of billboard calling people to pay Zakat (Islamic alms)
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “Now… now… the fighting has come.”
Wide of street
Various of loudspeaker in ISIS preaching office broadcasting Quran
Wide of propaganda billboard “The traitors of Islam”
Wide of roundabout
Wide of propaganda billboards “God’s sharia should be the arbiter.” “The crusader against Islam.”
Wide of propaganda billboard that reads: “There is no God but Allah and Mohammad is his messenger.”
Various of ISIS police (al-Hisba) vehicles broadcasting calls for prayer
Various of vehicle broadcasting ISIS anthem
Various of ISIS traffic police
Wide of ISIS-run Personal Status Office (PSO)
Various of people entering PSO to apply for IDs
Various of people applying for IDs
Various of ISIS employees entering data related to new IDs using computers
Close-ups of IDs issued by the Syrian government
Various of ISIS employees preparing new IDs
Close-up of personal status data displayed on computer
Various of people being given their new IDs
Various of Raqqa resident Ibrahim and his baby Sufian inside taxi on their way to PSO
Various of Ibrahim and his baby Sufian entering PSO
Various of ISIS employee filling in information for birth certificate
Various of Ibrahim applying for birth certificate
Various of witness singing application
Wide of baby Sufian
Wide of Ibrahim signing application

SOUNDBITE (Arabic, Man) Ibrahim, the father of baby Sufian whose birth certificate is being issued

10:32 – 11:08
“In the name of God the Merciful, the Compassionate. I had a newborn about a year ago. You can see him. He is about one year old. At that time, the Free Syrian Army was present and there were no government offices. Thanks be to God, now that the Islamic State is present, government offices are being gradually activated. One of these departments is the Personal Status Office, where they [ISIS members] are registering newly born babies.”

Various of Khaled receiving birth certificate and leaving building
Various of street food stands