UN Concerns Over Disappearance of 100 Children From Syria Jail

United Nations Experts on Friday expressed concern over the disappearance of over 100 children from Syrian jail more than two months after IS militants attacked the facility to release their comrades.

International rights groups, including Save the Children and Human Rights Watch, have previously said 700 boys had been held in the Kurdish-run jail in northeastern Hassakeh province before it was attacked by the IS fighters.

“We are extremely concerned that since the January 2022 attack, the fate and whereabouts of at least 100 of those boys remain unaccounted for, which raises serious concerns,” the UN human rights experts said in a statement. “Some of these cases might amount to enforced disappearance,” they added.

The experts also expressed profound concerns for the physical, mental, educational, and overall medical welfare of children arbitrarily held in detention centers in northeast Syria, as well as those children who appear to be missing and unaccounted for.

“Under international law, it is nonetheless incumbent on them to carry out a prompt, transparent, impartial, and independent investigation relating to the circumstances in which these boys have disappeared, 

Boys as young as 10 or 12 have been arbitrarily detained at the jail in conditions that undermined their health, welfare, and long-term best interests as children, as victims of terrorism, and as vulnerable young persons, the statement warned.

Aged 12-18, the detainees included many who had adult relatives inside Ghwayran prison and were transferred from nearby displacement camps housing thousands of children of jihadist fighters, according to the statement.

The IS prison break from Ghwayran triggered a week of clashes inside and around the Kurdish-run facility, leaving hundreds dead, before Kurdish-led forces recaptured the jail.

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