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Memos of notorious Mezzeh airport prison

(Zaman Al Wasl)- Ahmed Hassan, pseudonym, has recently left the jails of the Syrian regime after seven years of arbitrary detention due to his participation in the peaceful demonstrations intended to overthrow Bashar Assad in March 2011.

Hassan told Zaman al-Wasl a part of what he saw and watched during the period of his detention by the notorious Air Intelligence Force in the Mezzeh Military Airport in Damascus during his detention there which lasted nearly seven months. However he still remembers the details of each day and hour spent by him in that dark place in which thousands of Syrians lost their lives because of torture made by the officers of the aforementioned section.

In the Investigation Branch in the Mezzeh Airport, Hassan saw detainees from all categories and ages, including children, in addition to women that we used to hear their cries when they were tortured during the investigation sessions. “I witnessed the death of thousands of detainee because of torture,” Hassan added.

In describing the place of his detention in the Investigation Section in Mezzeh Airport, the detainee said that section contains three stories underground.  In each story there are two long passages separating tens of small cells in which there were between 10 and 15 detainees, and sometimes. At the end of the passages there is a space for torture in which the jailers practice their torture on the detainees without any consideration for their age or nationality. The most important for them is to collect their confession and enjoy torturing them to satisfy their sadism and their criminal instincts, as he said.

Among the savage methods of torture which were practiced by the torturers of the section according to Hassan is to put the detainee in a kind of fishing-net and hang him in the air during days, so that the threads of the net enter into his body which looks as it has been wounded by a scalpel.

According to Hassan, the investigation officers were helped in the investigation sessions with detainees by a doctor, whose task was to ensure that the tortured detainee is still able to bear more in order to take confessions from him, and that his death is not coming yet , in spite of the fact that most of the detainees died when they bring them back by dragging them out to the cells. 

After an individual cell in which Hassan spent almost 60 days they moved him to a collective detention room, in which he saw hundreds of detainees especially from the regions of Damascus countryside and Hama. The people of those regions in that time had the biggest part of military campaigns and persecution made by the forces of the regime. Most often the jailers used to summon the people of a specific region, i.e. Damascus suburbs, and put them in torture parties as a revenge for the death of some of their colleagues during those campaigns. 

Zaman Al Wasl
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