Established by Fathi Ibrahim Bayoud 2005 - Homs

Hanadi tells bitter memos of Intelligence chambers

DETAINEES | 2017-03-21 03:46:37
Hanadi tells bitter memos of Intelligence chambers
By Faris Rifai

(Zaman Al Wasl)- A former detainee held in the regime intelligence branches recounted stories of her detention in various branches which lasted for 24 months. Hanadi al-Hussein was distributing aid in a besieged area on 05 October 2012, and when she left the area, she was stopped at the regime checkpoint. The soldiers said she was ‘wanted’ and she was violently beaten by the security officers before being dragged into a car blindfolded and her hands tied behind her back. She was taken to Branch 227, and she only became aware of where she was when she was inside the branch.

Speaking to Zaman al-Wasl, Hanadi said she was treated savagely and violently during the investigation with her to extract certain confessions from her. They mainly wanted information about wanted persons, fighters and who funds them, and how weapons enter the besieged area according to Hanadi. Experiencing excruciating torture and repeated abuse, Hanadi said she was forced to confess to more than one accusation, the most important related to funding.

Two months after her presence in Branch 227, Hanadi thought she would be released as the branch personnel asked her to prepare her things. She was then surprised when they blindfolded her. She was taken to the 291 Branch for her suffering to begin again. Hanadi recalls, “My luck was good in some way, as this branch has no solitary cells for women.” She received the same brutal and violent treatment in this branch in an attempt to extract yet more confessions from her.
Hanadi said she and the other detainees were systematically tortured and experienced unimaginable brutality and violence.

The branch personnel rely on psychological torture during investigations. Detainees are continuously afraid and apprehensive of when they will be taken for investigation again which happens repeatedly. She added that she sometimes wonders how could a Syrian like her torture her to take confessions, whatever those confessions may be, from her.

Hanadi said, “I was not sure what was happening around me. Other than the psychological torture practiced against us was the clear sounds of torture taking place in other cells and the unforgettable smell of death that increases our torture and hardship in the detention.”

She was not held long in Branch 291 and was moved to Branch 215 in Kafr Sousi. In Kafr Sousi, for the first time, she faced charges of terrorism, and she was sentenced by a judge based on the charges levied against her in Branch 291.
Speaking about the judge, Hanadi said he was completely inhumane, and she felt she was still in an intelligence branch as the judge deprived her of hiring a lawyer to defend her or defending herself.

Hanadi explained that she experienced an abnormal sense of terror in detention and it caused her to lose her memory temporarily. She says she is no longer the same person she was before she was detained and she still suffers from the effects of her detention despite over two years passing since she left detention.

In detention, she suffered from conjunctivitis from being blindfolded, and it remained untreated. She explained that only paracetamol was available in the detention and the nurse dispensing it resembled a jailor more than a nurse. The nurse would walk through the detention with a stick in one hand and the medicine in the other. No other medical care was offered even to the ill, the injured or those disfigured from the torture.

Hanadi continued speaking while playing with her daughter. She said that she was pursued for two weeks after she was released from detention, and she found out she was wanted by the Palestine intelligence branch. She tried to settle in Damascus as she had not thought of seeking asylum, but with the looming threat of another possible detention, she was forced to leave Syria at dawn one morning for Turkey.

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