Our cell was 5m x 13m, and occupied by 100 men. One inmate whispered, ‘Welcome to hell’

It was 1am on 1 August this year when my best friend Rae and I were caught trying to cross into Syria from Iraq. Crouching in the dark, waiting for the signal from our Kurdish fixers to run, we could see the border no more than 100 yards away. Then a shout rang out. Suddenly we were surrounded by an Iraqi Peshmerga border patrol, yelling at us to hit the ground.

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