Teenage Inmates in Syria Lack Meals and Medication, Support Group Says

QAMISHLI, Syria – Kids held at a jail in northeastern Syria attacked by ISIS two weeks in the past are wounded, hungry and thirsty, based on the primary worldwide support employee to see them since being attacked. encompass.

“They will solely say a couple of phrases: that they’re hungry, they want water, they want medical care,” stated official Bo Viktor Nylund, UNICEF Syria consultant. who visited Sinaa prison on Saturday. Jail authorities allowed him to have a look at the youngsters by means of the small, barricaded window of the metal cell door however didn’t communicate to them.

The non permanent jail, in Hasaka metropolis, that’s attack on January 20 by suicide bombers and IS fighters has detained about 4,000 suspected ISIS fighters and about 700 youngsters. Fears for the protection of the youngsters grew after the US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, that are in control of the breakaway area of Syria, stated IS fighters had used a few of them. A few of them act as human shields through the assault.

A whole lot of prisoners have been killed in 10 days as a result of Syrian Democratic Forces and US ground forces fought to regain management of the jail from the terrorist group.

The SDF stated it had misplaced 40 fighters and 77 guards and different jail employees. Nevertheless it didn’t reveal particulars of the youngsters’ destiny and banned journalists’ entry – and till Saturday, reduction organizations, comparable to UNICEF and the Worldwide Committee of the Pink Cross, have been typically first group to go to detainees.

A photograph supplied by UNICEF to The New York Occasions exhibits the youngsters, their identities shielded, sitting barefoot on damaged and soiled concrete with skinny cushions lined from begin to end. Daylight filtered by means of the tall home windows illuminating what seemed like blackened partitions. Some boys have blankets wrapped round their shoulders.

Credit score…UNICEF

Mr Nylund instructed The Occasions on Sunday: “We noticed a whole lot of boys. “Fairly skinny and in want of quite a lot of providers, together with medical help.”

He stated SDF officers instructed him on Saturday that there have been 700 minors in custody – the identical quantity they put earlier than the jail siege – and that he was proven “six or seven” cells, every holding about 30 kids. Mr Nylund estimated that the youngest prisoner he noticed was about 15 years outdated.

He stated the scent of smoke was nonetheless within the air and the jail’s partitions have been scorched, however “they’ve managed to get the fundamentals in place,” he stated, referring to blankets and cushions.

“Nevertheless it’s a struggle zone,” Nylund added.

The youngsters have been held in makeshift prisons since they have been subsequently separated from girls and kids ISIS failed in 2019and has not been earlier than a choose since being detained.

The SDF says the boys’ relationship with Islamic State makes them harmful and that among the older adults have been skilled to struggle, whereas human rights teams see them as victims, kids was despatched to the Islamic State with no selection of his personal.

Up to now three years, only a few support organizations have been given a glimpse of the youth, because the SDF has restricted entry to them.

Mr Nylund stated of Sinaa jail: “We labored to get entry for the final yr. “We have not talked to any of them but.”

Last week, The Times saw two bodies It gave the impression to be from youngsters amongst different our bodies discovered within the neighborhood of the jail, the place residents reported seeing ISIS attackers through the siege. Prisoner garments have been additionally among the many stays. Some 200 IS fighters stormed the jail to attempt to destroy their captive comrades, and it’s not clear whether or not the boys escaped with the grownup prisoners or have been held hostage by them.

Mazlum Kobani, commander of the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces, instructed The Occasions that “a really small quantity” of youngsters have been killed within the operation to retake the jail and seize IS fighters.

Human Rights Watch said that two detainees instructed them that they had seen kids killed within the struggle for the jail, and that one other detainee described how a toddler bled to loss of life in his arms his.

Final week, an SDF official instructed The Occasions that the boys had been moved from Sinaa jail to security in a more recent facility, however Mr Nylund, the UNICEF official, stated he had seen them. in the identical place that was being held earlier than the assault.

“Now we have no info,” SDF spokesman Ferhad Shami stated Sunday when requested in regards to the discrepancy.

Mr. Nylund stated UNICEF hopes to first assist the youngest prisoners and people who are sick or injured. After that, he stated, the UN group would attempt to set up a case file for the youngsters, with the purpose of repatriating the foreigners to 3rd nations. Most nations have refused to repatriate prisoners or their households in detention camps from this a part of Syria.

“We are going to do it supplied we have now ongoing entry as a result of except we do, we’re being taken benefit of,” Mr Nylund stated in an unusually frank remark in regards to the lack of entry. accessed by officers wanting to indicate that they’re working with worldwide organisations. , however much less prepared to allow them to in.

“Let’s have a look at that there is a actual willingness to take this to the subsequent degree as a result of, thus far, we have not seen that this has really occurred,” he stated.

UNICEF said in a statement announcing the visit that the youngsters have to be transferred to the care of kid safety businesses and the international nationals have to be repatriated.

It stated: “Kids affiliated with and recruited by armed teams ought to at all times be thought-about victims of battle.

https://www.nytimes.com/2022/02/06/world/middleeast/syria-prison-teenage-detainees.html Teenage Inmates in Syria Lack Meals and Medication, Support Group Says

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