Inside an ISIS prison in Mosul

Islamic State built prison cells inside an ordinary villa in Mosul as part of the group’s tactic of boosting the safety of its jails and security centers by concealing them among regular houses.

Despite their outward appearance, the jails had the regular attributes of state-run detention centers where inmates have their documents and belongings taken away when they arrive, to be given back to them if and when they are released.

A camera hanging in one cell where men were kept was linked to the guards’ office. “This is to keep the prisoners subdued,” said the Iraqi military intelligence officer showing the villa to journalists.

He said former members of the Iraqi armed forces were kept in this cell, along with Yazidis, the religious community who suffered the most under Islamic State because the hardline group considered them devil worshippers.

“Here they kept ‘violators'” of their laws, he said. “But they are the real violators” in the eyes of Iraqi law, he added. (Reuters)

Photography by Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters
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Bed in a cell

The shadow of a member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division is seen as he opens a steel gate to a room used as a cell for men, inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Bars on windows

A member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division inspects a room used as a cell for women inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Surveillance cables

Members of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division inspect the cables of the surveillance system inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Explosive device

A member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division holds a self-made bomb found inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Bedding in a cell

The shadow of a member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division is seen in a room used as a cell for men, inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Bomb-making materials

Materials for making self-made bombs are seen on the floor inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Control room

Damaged surveillance monitors are seen in the control room in a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Prison office

Documents and envelopes are scattered inside an office, at a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Bedding in a cell

Mattresses of prisoners are seen inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Photo left behind

The photo of an unidentified girl is seen on a desk inside a compound used as prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Rotten food

Rotten food is seen on a kitchen table inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Clothing left behind

Clothing left behind by Islamic State militants is seen on the floor in a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Office search

A member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division searches through a desk inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Coffee mug

A coffee mug is seen on a table at a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Cell door

A steel gate leads to a section of a compound used as prison for men inside a building abandoned by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Inside the compound

A member of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division stands inside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militants in the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

Outside of the compund

Members of the Iraqi Army’s 9th Armoured Division stand outside a compound used as a prison by Islamic State militantsin the 17 Tamuz (July 17) district, in western Mosul, Iraq, June 6, 2017. (Alkis Konstantinidis/Reuters)

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