Syria: ISIS Tortured Kobani Child Hostages
Human Rights Watch
4 November 2014
Kurdish children from the Syrian city of Kobani (or Ain al-`Arab in Arabic) were tortured and abused while detained by Islamic State (also known as ISIS), Human Rights Watch said today. Four children gave detailed accounts of the suffering they endured while held for four months with about 100 other children.
The children, aged 14 to 16, were among 153 Kurdish boys whom ISIS abducted on May 29, 2014, as they traveled home to Kobani. According to Syrian Kurdish officials and media reports, ISIS released the last 25 of the children on October 29. Interviewed one by one in Turkey, where they had fled to safety after ISIS released them in late September, the four boys described enduring repeated beatings with a hose and electric cable, as well as being forced to watch videos of ISIS beheadings and attacks.
“Since the beginning of the Syrian uprising, children have suffered the horrors of detention and torture, first by the Assad government and now by ISIS,” said Fred Abrahams, special advisor for children’s rights at Human Rights Watch. “This evidence of torture and abuse of children by ISIS underlines why no one should support their criminal enterprise.” (…)
Taking hostages is a war crime under international humanitarian law (the laws of armed conflict). The war crime of torture, under international humanitarian law, is the infliction of severe physical or mental pain or suffering for purposes such as obtaining information or a confession, punishment, intimidation, or coercion.
On August 15, the UN Security Council passed resolution 2170, calling on all member states to take national measures to stop the flow of foreign fighters, financing, and arms to ISIS, Jabhat al-Nusra, and any other individual or group associated with al-Qaida.
On September 24, the UN Security Council adopted resolution 2178, urging states to counter terrorism by establishing screening measures, effective border controls, and other steps to prevent the recruitment, organization, and movement of terrorists, including those affiliated with ISIS. The resolution also urged states to improve cooperation, pursue prosecutions, and help build the capacity of other states to fight terrorist groups.
“Governments in the Middle East and the West should swiftly implement the UN Security Council resolutions aimed at curbing support for ISIS,” said Abrahams. “To stem ISIS abuses, governments need to tackle its fundraising and recruitment.” (…)
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