Former ISIS Fighters Claim They Were Tortured And Forced To Confess
The children who were forced to join ISIS have spoken out about how they were brutally beaten by officers, in order to force their confession.
According to reports, thousands of children have joined the organisation since it took control over large swathes of Iraq in 2014 - being used to carry out suicide attacks, as well as acting as troops and spies.
Some of the teens claim they were motivated by money or fear, while others say they were coerced.
In a harrowing video, Human Rights Watch says thousands of these children have been arrested for acts of terror, with some now speaking out about how they were violently interrogated by government officials.
"They covered my eyes and cuffed my hands and tortured me using plastic pipes," says one former member in a video with their face covered.
"They said 'confess you were with ISIS'. I told them I wasn't.
"They forced me to confess."
Another child, named Mahmood, said he joined the violent group when he was 15 after his cousin was killed during an airstrike.
Following a month of training, he says he was sent to a Christian town near Mosul to fight the Kurdish military.
He said: "Everyone took a gun and we were sent to the front line. I was shooting randomly towards the Peshmerga.
"I was afraid, I thought, 'This is death.' The fight lasted about six hours, but then there was an airstrike on us, so the (ISIS) fighters started running away."
In the video another ex soldier tells the organisation how he joined the terror group for money.
"I didn't have any money, so I decided to join for the sake of the money," he said.
"They offered 60,000 dinar [around £40] a month.
"I did nothing, just standing under a bridge and carrying a weapon. That was it."
According to reports, it's believed the Iraqi government has a list of around 100,000 suspected ISIS members - many of them having been arrested and tortured for information.
One of them is Tahir, who claims he was tied up and beaten.
He said: "My hands were bound and there were six or seven officers in the room. They were all hitting me.
"They hit my legs and upper arms. Each day they gave me five electric shocks in a row, on my arms, chest and upper legs.
"On the third day, I confessed to [being with ISIS for] four days. They said, 'You need to say more.' I didn't say more, I refused to."
Human Rights Watch is now demanding children like Tahir be released.
Children's rights advocacy director Jo Becker said: "Iraq and the KRG's harsh treatment of children looks more like blind vengeance than justice for ISIS crimes.
"Children involved in armed conflicts are entitled to rehabilitation and reintegration, not torture and prison."
Featured Image Credit: PA