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An investigative report reveals ISIS crimes in “Mansoura Prison” in Raqqa

An aerial photo of the Mansoura Dam prison buildings dating back to 2015 (Source: Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability)

An investigative report revealed that the “Islamic State” (ISIS) organization has a close connection to a mass grave discovered near the most important prisons, ISIS used it in Raqqa (northeastern Syria), and it may contain the remains of some of the victims who were detained inside the prison.
The report published by “Syrian Justice and Accountability Center (SJAC)” on Thursday, February 22, and titled “The former ISIS-affiliated Mansoura Dam Prison: Investigation into the fate of detainees,” examined the organization’s internal documents and forensic evidence extracted from the cemetery and available exclusively to the center, including The report includes testimonies provided in interviews conducted with more than 24 families of a missing person who was allegedly detained in the Mansoura Dam prison.
The center published an interactive map showing the locations of more than 200 mass graves and former detention centers belonging to the organization. The map and report are based on open source and field documentation, completed by the center, the “Missing Persons Affairs Team,” and “Missing Persons and Forensic Team (SMFT)” over a period of 18 months.
The report documents the links between the “Mansoura Dam” prison and the “Al-Salhabiyah Al-Gharbiyya” cemetery, west of the city of Raqqa, in the period between 2013 and 2016. It also traces the lives of specific people linked to the two sites, including people who are missing to this day.
The Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability, in close cooperation with the Forensic Anthropological Foundation in Guatemala, seeks that these investigations lead to the possibility of identifying ISIS victims in Syria, whose number reaches about 600 people.
The executive director of the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability, Muhammad al-Abdullah, said that the report’s findings not only shed light on the nature of detention and forced disappearance during the period of ISIS control, but also provide concrete leads that can be traced through DNA testing and help families in their search. About their missing loved ones.
Mystery still surrounds the fate and whereabouts of thousands of Syrians who went missing in areas that were under the control of the “Islamic State” organization, such as Raqqa, Al-Hasakah, and Deir ez-Zor, as these governorates were the center of the organization’s control in Syria before 2017, when “Syrian forces” took control. Democracy” (SDF) with the support of the international coalition took control of the east of the Euphrates, while the regime, with the support of Russia, took control of the west.
There are also thousands of unidentified bodies after they were recovered from mass graves and from under the rubble of buildings destroyed by the bombing.
Tens of thousands of families are still unable to turn the page on the pain of losing loved ones because they do not know their fate, and whether they are alive or not, according to the report.

Mansoura Dam

The Mansoura Dam, located on the Euphrates River, is about 20 kilometers from the city of Raqqa. In February 2013, armed opposition groups, including the Al-Nusra Front, seized the dam and extended their control over the towns and villages near it shortly before taking the city of Raqqa from the Syrian regime.
After ISIS split from the Al-Nusra Front and was defeated outside the city of Raqqa, the organization extended its control over the dam, turning it into a facility to detain civilians and members of other armed groups, and expanded its use of the dam as a place to detain people.
The nature of the use of the buildings of the “Mansoura Dam” complex and the locations of the detention facilities in it changed between the years 2013 and 2016, and the dam remained operational throughout that period and was not decommissioned. Civilian employees took over the management of work in the main building, Building “A”, and sometimes worked in some of the buildings. Other complex.
In 2013, Building “B” (as the center called it) was used to detain people, and torture was routinely practiced, including flogging of detainees. Building “B” also previously housed technical equipment and workshops for its repair.

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