Kurdish authorities reject Amnesty torture accusations

Kurdish authorities governing Syrian prisons holding former ISIS fighters and their families rejected accusations of torture made by Amnesty International on May 2nd.

Five years after ISIS’ defeat, over 56,000 ISIS-affiliated prisoners are reported to be under Kurdish control, according to Arab News and agencies on May 3rd.

Amnesty International’s secretary-general, Agnes Callamard, accused Kurdish authorities of committing “the war crimes of torture and cruel treatment, and probably committed the war crime of murder.”

North-eastern Syria is governed by a semi-autonomous Kurdish authority.

That authority rebuffed Amnesty’s claims, stating they “respects its obligations to prevent the violation of its laws, which prohibit such illegal acts, and adheres to international law.”

READ: Iraq repatriates citizens from ISIS-linked Syrian camp

The Kurdish authorities also refuted claims of systemic issues within the prisons, labelling such crimes as “individual acts” and requesting further evidence from Amnesty.

“We are open to cooperating with Amnesty International regarding its proposed recommendations, which require concerted regional and international efforts,” it said.

Meanwhile spouses and children of ISIS members are detained in cramped and unsanitary conditions, in the two main camps of Al-Hol and Roj.

READ: Syria: Children pay price in refugee camps

Al-Hol is the largest camp in north-eastern Syria, holding over 43,000 individuals from 47 countries.

Women and children make up over 93 per cent of the camp, with children under 12 years old constituting half of the camp’s population.

Governments have proven reluctant to repatriate their citizens, citing security fears.

But, as both militants and their families have been left to languish in squalor, camp authorities have warned of a building security threat.

Over 10,000 ISIS fighters are currently being held across 20 detention centres across north-eastern Syria – in conditions ripe for further radicalisation.

Kurdish authorities also said they have consistently appealed to the international community for assistance in overseeing the camps, which they said demanded “huge financial resources.”


Arab News / Agencies





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