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ISIS Uses Children and People with Disabilities as Human Shields

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Activists told IOHR: "ISIS detained 17 children on March 29 in Sihha area and told their families that their children are the soldiers of the caliphate and they are obliged to work with the fighters to help them in carrying arms and equipment".

 

 

 

 

 

31march 2017

 

 

 

The Iraqi Observatory for Human Rights (IOHR) has documented the detainment of dozens of families in the right coast of Mosul by ISIS, who has been using them as human shields. In addition, 300 children are detained in Sihha area, Hay Al Tanak, and Rifaee neighborhoods under the pretext that they constitute a threat to members of ISIS.

 

 

Activists who are still in Mosul’s Sihha district have related to the IOHR through social networking sites that "Groups made up of five to seven ISIS fighters roam between residential neighborhoods to search for children who had got previously received religious education with ISIS earlier".

 

 

Activists told IOHR: "ISIS detained 17 children on March 29 in Sihha area and told their families that their children are the soldiers of the caliphate and they are obliged to work with the fighters to help them in carrying arms and equipment".

 

 

Activists estimated the ages of the 17 children held by ISIS, between 11 and 17 years old, and stated: "10 children with disabilities were placed within areas close to the line of contact to be shot or most likely to be booby-trapped".

 

 

The IOHR said: "ISIS is still working to use the families in Mosul’s right coast as the fuel of its war to destroy cities and civilians. Despite this, liberation forces have to be more careful and calculated in dealing with these actions so as not to incur any new human casualties".

 

 

Medical and food suppliers who have contacts with residents of the right coast, said: "The number of children who have been held by ISIS since the beginning of the battle to liberate the right coast from February 19 and until March 30, has reached 300 children, and their families do not know anything about their whereabouts and they cannot risk asking ISIS to return them".

 

 

IOHR conucted telephone interviews with three local residents in the Tinak neighbourhood in the right coast of Mosul, who said: “ISIS holds dozens of families inside small homes, and uses the same methods it had used in the New Mosul and other areas".

 

 

IOHR also spoke to two local residents in Al Refaee neighbourhood on March 28, who said: “ISIS has informed us not to try to run away from the neighbourhood, otherwise, we would all be subject to death".

 

 

The IOHR has issued previous warnings in the report published on February 21, 2017, regarding ISIS’s use of civilians as human shields in the territories it controls.

 

 

IOHR has also issued a warning on February 15, 2017, about the death of dozens of children in the right coast of Mosul, due to the intensification of fighting and the dire humanitarian circumstances faced by the residents in the right coast of Mosul.

 

 

The IOHR affirms that the use of civilians as human shield constitutes a war crime, according to international humanitarian law, and is a serious violation of the right to life and liberty as per the 1929 and 1949 Geneva Conventions, the 1977 Additional Protocol (Protocol I), and 1998 Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which states that the use of human shields during conflict as a crime of war.

 

 

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