NEW DELHI: The Islamic State has published a penal code listing a range of crimes that are punishable by amputation, stoning and crucifixion. It has declared that it will vigilantly enforce this code in areas under its control -- a vow that has to be taken seriously given the appearance of a spate of images showing Islamic State militants throwing men accused of being gay off towers, stoning a woman accused of adultery and crucifying at least 17 young men in a 48-hour period.

The document is entitled "Clarification [regarding] the hudud ( a set of fixed punishments).” It states that Muslims need to adhere to Sharia codes of conduct, and lists “homosexuality” and “spying for the unbelievers” among the crimes deemed punishable by death.

The Middle East Media Research Institute (Memri) has translated the document. The crime and the corresponding punishment are as follows.

  • Blasphemy against Allah: Death
  • Blasphemy against the Prophet Mohamed: Death – even if the accuser repents
  • Blasphemy against Islam: Death
  • Adultery: Stoning until death in case the adulterer was married and 100 lashes and exile if he or she were unmarried.
  • Sodomy (homosexuality): Death for the person committing the act, as well as for the one receiving it.
  • Theft: Cutting off the hand
  • Drinking alcohol: 80 lashes
  • Slandering: 80 lashes
  • Spying for the unbelievers: Death
  • Apostasy: Death
  • Banditry:

1: Murder and stealing: Death and crucifixion

2: Murder only: Death

3: Stealing (as part of banditry): Cutting off the right hand and the left leg

4: Terrorizing people: Exile

The document has surfaced whilst the Islamic State becomes increasingly associated with acts of barbarity. The militants have recently released a video showing captured Jordanian pilot pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh being burnt alive in a cage. This video is perhaps the groups most brutal yet -- a tough act to achieve given the brutal murders of hostages of Japanese hostages Goto and Yukawa, American aid worker Peter Kassig, US journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff, and British aid workers David Haines and Alan Henning.

It also coincides with a report by the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child that concluded that Islamic State militants have aISLislabducted and sold children as slaves, dispatched them as suicide bombers, and deployed them as human shields at sites vulnerable to US-led airstrikes.

“We have had reports of children, especially children who are mentally challenged, who have been used as suicide bombers, most probably without them even understanding,” said Renate Winter of the UN agency.

The militants are also known to capture women as slaves, and have previously released a pamphlet justifying the act of doing so (Read on The Citizen: