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Victim of mass rape in Air Force Intelligence tells her memo

DETAINEES | 2018-11-28 14:12:25
Victim of mass rape in Air Force Intelligence tells her memo
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Aida al-Haj Yousif, the former detainee by the Syrian regime, tells new torture memo.
Behind the bars of the criminal Prisons of Bashar Assad, time stops, the minutes pass slowly and heavily and the days are all alike. The faces may differ, but the accumulated suffering remains the same. Those who made it out, recount the same stories which have the same gist but with slightly different details. 

Some of the painful events that have befell me and my fellow female prisoners are firmly and perpetually entrenched in my memory. The most difficult event was the evening hour, when new female detainees came from the security branches to the terrorism department in Adra prison.

The older prisoners encircle the new ones until the place becomes similar to cells of bees. They try to comfort them and to ease their pain, they divide themselves, some women would heat up the shower water, others would arrange the place, others would collect the rest of the food, and others would look everywhere for pieces of used clothings to no avail. 

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After a dark and gloomy trip in the security branches, Some girls managed to easily leave the terrorism department in Adra prison, even during the first session of the Aleppo trial. Others, unfortunately, are still awaiting either their release or their execution. 

After one month had passed inside the cells of that terrible department, on one evening, the security branches brought to Adra prison a batch of female detainees, most of whom came  from the Air Force Intelligence, including a dark skinned and tall girl, wearing a black coat, a black veil covering her head and white shoes. She would burst in bitter tears and then inexplicably calm down. Fatigue and exhaustion were visible on her, as she had dark blue spots covering her whole body, and traces of burning that suggest she was tortured with electric power. She also had other spots of pink color close to healing showing further her subjugation to cruel torture. Nothing was special about this girl other than her unlimited goodness and simplicity. 

In an attempt to console her, I told the 23-year-old girl that I was detained for four months. She was arrested by the security forces near the eastern countryside of Damascus. She was wearing the burqa before it was confiscated by the security. She did not receive further than primary education. She asked me if her bleeding “ down there” can affect her health, and I was shocked to learn that her only concern was her potential pregnancy since she had lost her virginity in the branch of the “air security” after being raped by a security guard. As he was raping her, the security officer was repeating: “ This is what you wanted, you brought this upon yourselves, traitors.”

With a face filled with shame, she confirmed to me: “actually,  it was not done by only one security officer. There were many of them and they took turns in raping me, every now and then.” She went on saying: “The dogs! They did not even care to give me a pregnancy contraceptive. And now, it’s been four months since I last had my period, ” she asked me if she should inform her family about all the raping that had happened to her, a question that I tried to evade. My pressure went up, which is a normal response considering how many women has suffered the same fate as this wretched girl, only most of them kept the secret to themselves. 

She needed to speak about her horrifying experience, she she told me about her torture. Security officers tortured her with the help of “gunmen” in order to extract a confession. She also told me that she would be taken on a daily basis to their secret headquarters near the capital Damascus in order to be tortured for a confession she had no idea about. 

A week later, she was asked to appear before the court responsible for terrorism cases. The judge stopped her on charges of helping and financing the militants. She was returned to Adra prison, with a nervous break down screaming from the bottom of her lungs: “ what have I done to deserve this, somebody tell me, somebody, explain!” Nobody, my little one, can tell you that. All the women arrested here don’t know the reason of their imprisonment. The majority of the chargers are of course fake: smuggling bread to free cities, medical assistance of revolutionaries, providing medicine, this my dear is the lowest humanity can reach; a trivial charge can immediately send you to the death rows, or simply kill you slowly.”

This poor girl’s wretched state was far from that of “Miryana” whom we previously mentioned, “the golden chicken of the prison manager” During her time in the terrorist wing of Adra prison, she worked with the aid of wealthy detained women in order to collect a small amount of money to secure her needs of cleaning materials and telephone calls with their parents.

Two and a half months after her arrest in Adra prison, she was surprised by the decision of her release, which came in these exact words: "arrested for similarity in shoes." In an attempt to justify their position, they told her parents that a girl working with the “armed revolutionaries” was under security surveillance and was wearing a shoe similar to that of the victim.

In our last goodbye, she said to me in her innocent voice and her simple terms: “ for a similarity in shoes, I lost my virginity and they took turns in raping me. God damn them; and God damn their shoes.” 

Assad’s criminal security agents could not extract any confessions from that poor girl during the time they held her underground and tortured her, but they were able, nonetheless, to mercilessly take away the most valuable thing for an oriental woman, her honor. 

Zaman Al Wasl
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