Suspect IS child-fighters in Chechnya

For the first time, severe repressive measures were applied  to minors attending Islamic schools (‘medrese’), which in the Chechen Republic in recent years became numerous, – reports ‘Novaya Gazeta’, Russia. The human rights activists inform about 200 jailed, suspected in sympathies to the Islamic state, including children, detained for direct and indirect participation in attacks on police (National Guards) in December last year.

The early and comprehensive  Islamic education, ahead of the secular one, might be a reason for young  Chechens stimulating interest in the religious aspect of armed conflicts. The Internet gives a lot of opportunities to satisfy this interest, especially since the propaganda of the Islamic State is designed primarily for users of social networks. Religious factor can explain the social “diversity” of the detainees, sympathising to IS, including many children of policemen and officials: in the other words from well-off Chechen families, claims ‘Novaya’.

The most vivid illustration for this phenomenon if raising sympathies to IS  in Chechnya is scandalous graffiti, appearing in February 2015 on a concrete wall surrounding a native village of the leader of Chechnya – Ramzan Kadyrov, – a wealthy compound of  Khosi -Yurt: the black flag of the Islamic state and the inscription “Hosi-Yurt in support of ISIS”.

The United Nations and human rights groups have been warning  about ISIS using @childsoldiers (Photo: illustration) in its battle to establish a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. The number of young recruits — lured or taken from already vulnerable situations, manipulated and forced into conflict — could be an even greater cause for international concern in years to come.

“They’ve deliberately been talking about a generational war and preparing the next generation,” Dr. Shelly Whitman, the executive director of the  Roméo Dallaire Child Soldiers Initiative based at Halifax’s Dalhousie University.

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