UN experts have warned that two months after the attack on al-Sinaa prison in the Hassakeh governorate, the fate of 100 minors remains unknown.
The attack was carried out by ISIS from both inside and outside the prison, in a strike described as the largest recorded in terms of its coordination and targeting of such a facility.
After several days of clashes that killed hundreds, the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), with U.S. support, were able to take control of the prison. SDF later announced that they had moved the prisoners to an unidentified area, which remained secret for “security” reasons.
UN human rights experts have previously warned that “forcibly detained” children, including some as young as 10 and 12, remain in prison under difficult circumstances.
“We are deeply concerned that, since the attack in January 2022, the fate and whereabouts of at least 100 of these boys remain unknown. This raises serious concerns about their human rights,” the experts said in a statement, released on Saturday.
“Some of these cases may be enforced disappearances. When it comes to children, states and de facto authorities must take targeted action to protect them,” the experts added.
The experts also stressed that the states from which these children “caught up in violence have clear responsibilities” to protect the children. These states “cannot avoid these obligations by simply ignoring the fate of their citizens.”
Several international organizations, including Save the Children and Human Rights Watch, estimated that more than 700 children were held in the Sinaa prison before the attack.
UN experts also expressed concern about the lack of information on the number of minors being held in prison prior to the attack, noting that “many of these children were seriously injured during the attempt to flee and are not receiving the necessary medical treatment.”
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.