The Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Syria forced Kurdish children as young as 14 to watch horrifying videos of beheadings and beat them up with cables during six months of captivity, Human Rights Watch said in a report on Tuesday.
The hardliner Sunni militants, who have been perpetrating baffling crimes in Iraq and Syria, abducted a group of children on 29 May, as they were returning to Syrian town of Kobane after taking school exams in the city of Aleppo. The jihadists freed the final 25 hostages on 29 October.
According to the HRW report, around 153 boys who spent six horrifying months in captivity were abused by their captors.
Also, the lengthy ordeal included being forced to observe strict Muslim practices such as the requirement to pray five times a day and listening to gruelling religious lectures, during which the atrocious snuff videos were also played.
If a child resisted watching the gruesome pictures, he would bear the wrath of jihadists who would flog him with thick cables with wire running through it, a young former prisoner revealed.
"Those who didn't conform to the program were beaten," he told HRW. "They beat us with a green hose or a thick cable with wire running through it. They also beat the soles of our feet.
"They sometimes found excuse to beat us for no reason ...They made us learn verses of the Koran and beat those who didn't manage to learn them."
According to other reports, ISIS has also seized other children and adult male and female civilians from villages near Kobane. It is apparently holding some of them hostage to make them a bargaining chip for the release of ISIS fighters held by the People's Protection Units (YPG), the Syrian-Kurdish armed group, reports a Middle Eastern publication Rudaw.