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Inside the ‘Guantanamo Bay for children’ in Syria

The UK Government is funding Syrian prisons holding hundreds of children of Islamic State members, the Telegraph can reveal, with some of those detained as young as two. Britain has said it will repatriate unaccompanied minors whose parents are UK citizens, but an estimated 60 remain in Syria.

“The fact that the UK Government is using taxpayer money to pay for kids to grow up behind barbed wire in overcrowded prisons is horrifying,” said Maya Foa, co-executive director of Reprieve, a legal NGO advocating for women and children detained in northeast Syria.

“The UK Government is effectively creating a Guantanamo for children in Syria.”

Conditions in the prisons holding children are reportedly “abhorrent”, according to a May report by a UN special rapporteur, which said they “met the threshold for torture, inhuman and degrading treatment under international law”.

Many are reportedly detained without access to sunlight or showers and exposed to tuberculosis, coronavirus and other communicable diseases, wrote Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, the special rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism. “No children should have to endure” such conditions, she wrote.

Read the full story in The Telegraph.