Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs
(Reporting by Faris Al Rifai; Translation by Yusra Ahmed)
A defected nurse worked in Hospital 601 that was the crime scene of the atrocious photos of mass torture published 2014, reported to Zaman al-Wasl horrible facts about torturing detainees in the hospital, including children.
“Abo Sakhr” the nickname of the witness who worked as military nurse in Hospital 601 that based in Mezzah neighborhood of Damascus reported to Zaman al-Wasl that “Shabiha” used to bring detainees to hospital in miserable condition.
“For a year, detainees used to be put in the new hospital, as two rooms in each level were designated for detainees, later, detainees were sent to the Trauma department in the old hospital”, Abou Sakhr said.
The defected nurse mentioned that nurses and cleaners used to participate in torturing detainees in hospital, even compassionate nurses were prevented from giving detainees any medication or food. Nurses worked on transferring bodies of dead detainees to the mortuary as well.
Abo Sakhr mentioned that almost 90 detainees died a day, as they used to transfer around 30 bodies to mortuary during his 8-hours duty period.
In regard to cause of death among detainees who came to hospital, Abo Sakhr revealed that renal failure was the main cause which might have resulted from severe trauma and beating, or lack of food and fluid, which caused them severe lose of weight as well.
Other causes of death for detainees were infections they had because of contamination their wounds got from their urine and faeces, as they were tied to their beds and prevented from leaving them, so they had to urine and defecate in bed then their wounds became infected.
“When detainees died, Shabiha prevented nurses from wrapping their bodies with clean sheets, moreover, they used to step on them and messed them up, in the end bodies were sent to the mortuary, but in the uncooled part, as they were described as ‘dogs’ and did not worth putting with the soldiers”, Abo Sakhr detailed.
The defected nurse reported a story of a 13-year-old child who was arrested in Hajar Aswad under accusation of helping the rebels and transporting arms, he had a bullet in his foot, but as a result of neglect and lack of medication and clean dressing, his foot got infected and gangrened, then he needed amputation to above the ankle, but the wound got infected once again and he had to go through amputation reached to below the knee, to have the same result after a while then his wound infected again and his whole leg was amputated.
Our witness said that many nurses felt pity for the patients of detainees, but they were not able to do anything, as any worker in hospital got questioned if he was noticed of looking after a detainee. “I met a young man I knew before, I tried to help him as much as I could with letting anyone to notice, even his condition became better, unfortunately when he went back to the security branch, he died and his funeral was marched in his village” he detailed.
Abo Sakhr reported that majority of workers who tortured detainees in the hospital were from Alawite section, they were either medical staff or cleaners in the hospital, or security members who accompany detainees, even sometime patients’ companions participated in humiliating and torturing detainees.
In the end, Abo Sakhr mentioned that all torturing and human rights’ breaches took place in hospital 601 were done under Colonel Hussein Mallouk, the hospital director’s agreement and coverage.
Our witness named many doctors, medical staff and nurses who participated in torturing, killing or humiliating detainees in hospital.
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