(Human Rights Watch) – The Kurdistan Regional Government authorities have detained more than 150 boys on suspicion of joining the Islamic State (also known as ISIS) in areas far outside of the KRG’s territorial control. These boys are being held for weeks and months on end, with their time in detention marked by delays, mistreatment, and a lack of clarity about the charges against them, what laws they will be prosecuted under and in what jurisdiction. All of that makes it nearly impossible for them to prepare a defense. In mid-December, we interviewed 19 of the boys, ages 11 to 17. Some said they had been held as long as five months, without ever seeing a judge. Seventeen said they had been tortured or otherwise abused to force them to confess. Only four had been allowed to communicate with their families, and none had a lawyer as far as they knew. One KRG official told us that it was their fault for not requesting one.