ISIS Fighters Using 700 Boys as Human Shields In Prison Break in Syria: Report

The United Nations said that the Islamic State (ISIS) fighters who attacked Al-Sina’a/Ghuwayran prison in northeast Syria are using 700 detained boys in the facility as human shields.

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the Special UN Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights expressed serious concerns for the welfare of close to 700 children and called on other nations to urgently repatriate all their children detained in the country.  

“Boys as young as 12 are living in fear for their lives amid the chaos and carnage in the jail,” said Ní Aoláin while countering terrorism.

Ni Aoláin furthered that the boys were being neglected by their own countries through no fault of their own except they were born to individuals allegedly linked or associated with designated terrorist groups.

Reportedly 300 people, mostly the detainees loyal to ISIS, were killed Thursday after ISIS fighters attacked the Al-Sina’a/Ghuwayran jail with two car bombings in an attempt to release their 5,000 associates. 

“The abject refusal of States to repatriate their children is a contributory factor in the security and human rights morass that has ignited in Al-Hasakeh in recent days,” said Ni Aoláin.

Ni Aoláin explained participated in any legal process that would justify depriving them of their liberty, and in conditions that constitute torture, cruel and degrading treatment under international law. 

“Treating boys as a distinct class, refusing to recognize in practice their rights as children is a form of gender discrimination that has had horrific consequences for these children now caught up in the violent confrontation at Al-Hasakeh prison,” she added.

Ni Aoláin called on all countries and other actors engaged in northeast Syria to ensure the protection of civilians, and for those involved in regaining control of the prison to ensure the protection of children held there and to prevent further harm occurring to them.

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