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Aida reveals more torture memos

Aida al-Haj Yousif

(Zaman Al Wasl)- The former detainee Aida al-Haj Yousif, nicknamed: Zina, recounts to ‘Zaman al-Wasl ' a new story which she decides to document for the world; the story of Diana, her cellmate. Diana was arrested while pregnant because her husband was ‘Wanted’ at that time. Under torture, she bled until she delivered her baby in hospital 101. Her baby lives with her in prison under the orders of the executioner. 

Blindness is the inability to see things around you, the inability to distinguish their forms and colors. This was my idea of blindness up until I met that young woman and her baby. Her name was Diana, a woman who was still a child, and probably not even over eighteen. 

When the revolutionary movement in the Eastern Gauta began, Diana was not a pacifist, she didn’t scream for peace, nor was she part of the repressive regime; she was none of the above.  Instead, she is a girl from the town of  Tal Minin north of the capital, brought by fate to the East Ghouta at the beginning of our revolution against the tyrant of Sham and his assistants, where she married “Rami”, a noble man whose manhood did not allow him to stand neutral in the face of the current events. At time he would go out with a group of friends to demonstrate in the streets of Ghouta Tara, and other times he would help the emigrants from Homs and Daraa, resorting later to that region.

Diana was not a strong enough of a woman to support her husband, she was merely obedient. She feared the sound of bullets and the sound of the wounded. Her pregnancy was, however, the biggest of her problems.  As she had to leave Ghouta and her husband, who’s been the center of her life for over three years, and go to her parents' home in Tel Minin to put her child there. 

The conditions of medical care in Ghouta were disastrous because of the impact of the bombing of the Russian and Barbaric air force of Assad of Eastern Ghouta. She couldn’t possibly have the baby in such conditions as the doctor at the medical point told her, and so she had to leave.

At a regular army checkpoint on the road, her husband was identified due to a family book, which she carried with her as a necessary document to register the child to be born. Like many of the women in my country, Diana disappeared, swallowed in the frontier carrying in her womb the fruit of her marriage to "Rami". Her husband and parents couldn’t know where fate has led her so they lost all hope in finding her or at least in knowing that she and her baby are still alive. In the cellars of the regime, under the beatings of the unjust executioner, Diana began to heavily bleed, and the inspector had to stop torturing her and then transfer her to the military hospital in Damascus where she delivered her baby Ahmad in the worst imaginable situations ever seen by a human eye. 

When I met Diana and her child, he was 3 years and 8 months old. Ahmed who was born in prison was treated as a prisoner of war, as someone devoid of all human rights, and as if it was him that had sparked the revolution in Syria. "Ahmed" did not see the light, does not know the meaning of words like swing... Ball ... TV ... Notebook ... Colors, but what is more heart wrenching and pitiable is that all men to him are seen as prisoners, guards; he wasn’t exposed to the normal social and familial environment and to terms   like ‘father’, ‘grandfather’ or uncle. All men are prisoners in his eyes. Like everyone else, he had to sleep on the floor and to eat wheat, and like a twenty year old man, he had to drink polluted water, to close his eyes when the jailor decides and to wake up by that monster’s orders. 

What am I rambling about? What rights can possibly exist for children in the hell of Assad? Even if one wanted to provoke the child in him and tell him a story, one wouldn’t find words he would understand. As he doesn’t know the meaning of sea, Trees, Birds. His identity remained mutant, and he remained hidden from life like his mother until a barbaric campaign of arrests affecting the people of East Ghouta was launched.

 An old woman was taken to 'Adra' prison for women by coincidence, and there was the surprise, that woman, from "dominican" origins, looked carefully at the boy and said: “It’s amazing how much this child looks like Rami” that’s when Diana Cried loudly: “You know my husband Rami?” Nothing can erase the magnitude of the memory of that day. Following that, Ramy learned that his wife was still alive and that she gave him a beautiful boy that was held in prison like the rest of criminals. A few days later, a lawyer was put in charge of Diana’s case and made sure her child left prison to live with his grandmother until the liberation of his mother, if of course she were lucky enough to escape that pit of hell.  

This type of deprivation can only be found in Syria, where the husband is deprived of his wife and his son, the child of his mother and of his right to a normal life, and where the Syrian citizen is devoid of his basic humanity. 

Zaman Al Wasl
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