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SJAC identifies 66 new ISIS prisons and 35 grave sites

SJAC identifies 66 new ISIS prisons and 35 grave sites

Today, SJAC launched a new interactive map of northern Syria which includes 246 ISIS prisons and 63 grave sites. Of these, 66 prisons and 35 graves were made public for the first time. These locations were discovered through extensive efforts by SJAC’s own team as well as the Raqqa-based Syrian Missing Persons and Forensic Team (SMFT), which relied on interviews with survivors of ISIS prisons, former ISIS affiliates, and other witnesses, as well as internal ISIS administrative documents.

ISIS disappeared thousands of individuals in Syria into a network of prisons and mass graves stretching from Idlib to the Iraqi border. Even after ISIS’s nominal defeat, many families still have not been able to locate or uncover the fates of their loved ones. SJAC’s Missing Persons Program works to document missing persons in Syria and identify ISIS’s network of mass graves and former prisons, with the hope of using this information to uncover the fate of the missing.

SJAC’s map includes not only formal ISIS prisons, but also training camps, sites of temporary detention, and private homes where Yazidi women were enslaved. Also included are graves where ISIS buried its victims, bodies of ISIS affiliates, and victims of coalition bombings. By mapping these sites together, investigators can visualize potential patterns and relationships. As SJAC’s recent investigation into the ISIS prison at Mansura Dam shows, geographic proximity is a key factor in connecting prisons to the graves where former detainees were buried. This work forms the cornerstone of SJAC’s contextual investigations into ISIS crimes, which is laying the groundwork for future identification.


For more information or to provide feedback, please contact SJAC at [email protected] and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Subscribe to SJAC’s newsletter for updates on our work