ISIS Prisoners Complain Their Human Rights Aren’t Being Respected

While America has released some prisoners over fears of coronavirus spreading in the prison population, that hasn’t been much of a concern for those running Syria’s largest ISIS prison, which houses at least 5,000 former fighters.

We know that the virus is at least on ISIS’ radar, as the terrorist group issued a travel warning to their fighters last month, cautioning them against pursuing targets in Europe over fears of the virus. No guidance was given as to whether or not there were exceptions for suicide bombers.

While it has yet to be confirmed, fears about the virus may have been at least a contributing factor in a recent prison riot there.

According to Haaertz reporter Wilson Fache, there was a riot at the prison on March 29th, where some inmates managed to remove their cell doors and overwhelm Kurdish guards, overtaking part of the facility. U.S.-led coalition forces aided in surveilling the prison to capture any detainees that managed to escape.

That terrorists would attempt to escape from prison is hardly surprising, but their justification for doing so couldn’t have possibly been any more ironic.

In security camera footage broadcast by a local TV station, men in orange jumpsuits can be seen holding a banner to the camera demanding that their human rights be respected. It is not clear whether the mutiny was explicitly linked to fears over COVID-19. But given the facility’s extreme overcrowding and lack of access to health care, an outbreak there could be devastating.

“We asked Kurdish forces weeks ago if they had a contingency plan in regard to the coronavirus and ISIS prisoners. They said it was not on their agenda,” one European security official told Haaretz on Monday.

Members of the group that used to amputate the hands of thieves aren’t too happy about the quality of health care in the prison either.

This Haaretz correspondent’s first encounter with the detainees was inside the prison “hospital,” witnessing about 300 of them crawling around barefoot. “Allah, Allah,” one prisoner said to no one in particular. There were a few coughs and the thumping echo of clutches on the floor. Yet for such an overpopulated room, it was surprisingly silent. A mix of languages could be heard: French, English, Arabic, Russian. Someone whispered: “We die like flies.”

While ISIS lives on, their days as a pseudo-state (or as they put it, “Caliphate”) are long gone. All they’re left with, as Fache puts it, is a “Caliphate in a cage.”

There is despair and fear, regret over what happened and what did not happen. There is hatred, too. Not so long ago, these men probably felt invincible as they conquered territories and peoples, launched terror attacks worldwide and inspired fear in billions. Now, their frail bodies tell a different story. Merciless men are begging for mercy.

As someone who often complains about people overusing the word “literally” – there is literally no one who deserves this more than ISIS.

And let’s not forget who presided over their decimation:

The Decimation of ISIS Under Trump and Obama
September 2014- January 20, 2017 January 21, 2017 – December 21, 2017
Number of U.S. Killed 8 5
Number of People Liberated from ISIS 2.4 million 5.3 million
Estimated Number of ISIS Fighters 35,000 1,000
Square Miles Held by ISIS 17,500 1,930
Square Miles Liberated from ISIS 13,200 15,570
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