(CNN)Photographs from an Iraqi jail that were leaked to Human Rights Watch have revealed extreme overcrowding in cells holding juveniles, female terrorism suspects and their children.
Photos from Iraqi jail show dire conditions of young and female prisoners
One of the pictures taken at the Tal Kayf detention facility in Iraq's Nineveh province and published by the international rights group on Thursday show young men curled on the floor in a cell so cramped they are unable to fully lie down. The prisoners' limbs are intermingled; some rest their heads on the laps of other inmates. At least one man is seen sleeping with the legs of others sprawled over his torso.
In another photo from a female prisoners' cell in the same facility, women sit on the ground, their clothes and belongings hanging off the walls. Children are also seen in the cell, with barely any space to move.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) said the photographs were shared with the group confidentially by an unnamed senior Iraqi penitentiary expert. CNN has been unable to verify if the photos are genuine.
An Iraqi rights group has corroborated the findings. "Unfortunately it is true," Ali Akram al-Bayati, a member of the Independent High Commission for Human Rights of Iraq told CNN. "(It is) because of the large number of detainees and imprisoned persons, poor Iraqi infrastructure ... corruption at the level of administration or staff in such places."
The unnamed Iraqi penitentiary expert cited by HRW said Niniveh's three pretrial detention facilities -- Tal Kayf, Faisaliya, and Tasfirat -- had a combined maximum capacity of 2,500 people.
But one senior security official, who