Detained ISIS Family Members Complain of Ill Treatment in Iraq

Civilians Forced Into Open-Air Prison Camp Indefinitely

A growing number of civilians, detained as suspected relatives of ISIS fighters, are being herded into the Shahama Camp, north of Tikrit. With limited food and water and no health care, the site is being decried as an “open-air prison,” and one with particularly bad conditions.

It’s mostly women and children, along with the elderly, getting thrown into this camp. There are growing complaints among the families here about their ill-treatment, and the growing number of children suffering sickness and rashes from the dirty water they’ve been provided.

None of them are accused of any crimes, and at most are suspected of being related to someone who did. Still, the only way out of Shahama Camp is in an ambulance, and the detainees say even then they’re treated as pariahs, with Tikrit hospitals regularly refusing to accept them as patients when they find out where they came from.

This is the visible face of the purge that followed the “victory” in Mosul, attacks on local civilians whose loyalty is in doubt after being under ISIS rule for years. As this camp grows, other detainees are being summarily executed and tossed in the Tigris River.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of