Islamic State Auctions Property of Christians Who Fled Mosul
Sun, January 17, 2016
Mosul (Photo: © Sgt. Michael Bracken / Wiki Commons)
ISIS sold all of the real estate of Christians in Mosul in an auction on Saturday 16.
ISIS carried out the auction in a square in the west of Mosul after the organization's police force announced the sale by driving through the streets with megaphones, according to residents of the city who spoke to the media.
“Al-Hisbah [police] of ISIS announced the opening of the Christian property auction, considering the assets property of the organization using Islamic State property deeds and not the original deeds of the owners,” police Brigadier-General in Nineveh Province Zanoun el-Sabawi said. “More than 400 houses were shown at auction. The most prominent items were 19 residential buildings as well as 167 stores and storage units formerly owned by Christians.”
ISIS has been suffering financially over the last three months as opponents have put in place measures to combat ISIS' smuggling of oil, weapons and antiquities. Last week an American airstrike destroyed a stockpile of currency held by the Islamic State in Mosul reportedly worth “millions.”
ISIS opened the auction with very low prices to get money they desperately need, according to Mosul resident Manam Abdallah el-Jabouri. Most of the people who bought property in the auction were Syrians who had come to Mosul after the border between Syria and Iraq was opened.
Umm Alaa said while crying, she came to the auction to buy her neighbor’s house because she promised her that she would buy it from ISIS and return it on her neighbor's arrival back in Mosul. “I know how much my neighbor Umm Wa’el suffered because she has four children,” she said.
In July 2014 the Islamic State gave Christians the option of converting to Islam, paying jizya or leaving. Most Christians ran, leaving behind their property, which ISIS seized.
The Iraqi Ministry of Justice published a decision declaring all such transactions null and void, so that Christians in Mosul are still the legal owners of their houses in the eyes of the Iraqi state.
For more information on the Islamic State see Clarion Project's Special Report: The Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL)