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Rights monitor uncovers 7 prisons used by ISIS in Syria

On Thursday, a Syrian human rights center revealed the existence of 7 sites used by the Islamic State group to hold Syrian and Western detainees.

The Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability said that "the information it collected during the criminal legal cases filed against the (Beetles) ISIS band, and subsequent interviews conducted with the group's member (Alexanda Kote) led to new information confirming the existence of these 7 prisons used to arrest Syrians and Westerners." .

The report, titled “Missed Opportunities: Reconciling the Prosecution of ISIS with the Search for Missing Persons in Syria,” stressed the importance of sharing evidence collected in the ongoing trials of ISIS members.

"The vast amount of evidence held by the legal authorities can enhance the search for missing and disappeared persons and ultimately bring an end to the grief of thousands of families who simply want to know the fate of their loved ones," said Mohammad Al-Abdallah, Director of Syria Justice and Accountability Center.

For his part, the author of the report and the investigator for missing persons at the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability, Gabriel Young, confirmed that "the discovery of these prisons allows the Syrian Center to track how ISIS victims were transferred between the various detention facilities after they were kidnapped by the group."

Al-Abdallah said, "These discoveries were only possible thanks to the legal authorities concerned in the lawsuits filed against the (Beatles) cell, sharing evidence with the Syrian Center and providing access to witnesses and defendants."

The report linked the hostages to each of the notorious ISIS detention facilities such as Sheikh Najjar Security Prison in Aleppo province as well as previously unknown locations such as Al-Mansoura Prison on the riverbank in Raqqa province.

In January 2014, in the midst of the transfer of ISIS operatives and detainees of the group out of Aleppo, foreign hostages were taken at the Mansoura site, and they reported seeing at least one cemetery during their stay there.

However, Hannah Greig, who oversees the center's missing persons program, said: "The Syrian Center team inside Syria will now investigate these newly identified sites and find local witnesses who may be able to shed more light on how the management of these newly identified sites has been carried out. Those prisons and the detainees in them.

Greig added: "These investigations can eventually help us to know the fate of the hostages who are still missing, including, for those who have died, and the whereabouts of their remains. In the future, the remains of the victims should be exhumed and handed over to the families, but our focus is Now he is protecting these tombs so that investigations can be completed, as they are a crime scene and contain important evidence."

The "Beatles" cell, which included four members, held Western hostages in Syria between 2012 and 2015. Its members are accused of overseeing the detention of at least 27 journalists and humanitarian workers from several countries, as well as of killing Foley, Sotloff and others.

The center confirmed that it plans to use this information to support the ongoing investigations with the aim of revealing the fate of missing and disappeared persons in the lands that were previously under the control of the ISIS.

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