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Halabi 'was not brutal when led Raqqa State Security': Intelligence officer

Special Reports | 2018-12-29 15:20:00
Halabi 'was not brutal when led Raqqa State Security': Intelligence officer
(Zaman Al Wasl)- As an Austrian court began a lawsuit against the Brigadier-General Khalid Halabi, former head of the State Security in Raqqa, Zaman al-Wasl has obtained a testimony from defected intelligence asserting that Halabi did his best to lessen the security noose on detainees and pressed to evade detainees’ torture. 

Due to numerous criminalization evidence collected by the Human Rights Organization and the International Justice and Accountability Committee (CIJA), an Austrian court began in October lawsuit against Halabi who took refuge in Austria in June 2015, over his involvement in torture and abuses against his detainees in eastern raqqa province.
 
The witness officer, who accompanied Halabi for six months in 2012, said we (me and Halabi) were part of the crisis cell in Raqqa. We used to hold meetings with other officers from different security branches in the province every Thursday in order to set plans to confront the demonstrations.
 
Halabi suggested to transfer all opposition detainees out of the security branches to the municipal stadium and to stand before the court to be released later. 

The dissident officer said that Halabi was aimed at the proposal to evade the consequences of the arrest of the demonstrators, and to ensure that they are deported to a place where no torture may take place.

 Halabi was determined to remove the detainees from his prison. He was repeating the same question in the security meeting with top Syrian officials: What do we do with them? As if he wanted these officers to help him with a solution that would absolve him of responsibility. This responsibility is raised by the rapid transfer of detainees to the Public Defender to be released, according to the witness.

Halabi was not involved in the torture of the detainees, but he was not able to halt such brutal acts due to the mentality of the sectarian regime that prevents intelligence officers of expressing any passion or sympathy. 



 
October Trial

  

Halabi tried during his trial in October to prove that he was not involved in any abuses against the Syrian people, saying he defected in March 2013. Then, he fled to Austria,  after an escape journey through Turkey and France.

When he settled in the Traiskirchen refugee camp in an attempt to seek asylum there, a number of his refugee victims in the same camp were able to acknowledge him.

Doctor Obada Al-Hamada and his brother Engineer Alaa, former detainees in the State security of Raqqa and in other security sections told Zaman al-Wasl about some aspects of their detention and how the Brigadier General Al-Halabi treated them, tortured and humiliated them till the comedy of his dissidence few days before the fall of Raqqa between the hands of the Syrian opposition.

On February 2012, Obada was informed that the security is observing his house.  

He was obliged to go out in order to finish a personal matter and while coming back in downtown he was surprised by a red and white Jeep car stopping next to him and five persons stepping out of it and surrounding him pointing out their machine guns towards him. 

They threatened to shoot at him and kill him if he makes any movement. 

Then they took him away to the car after having blindfolded him and tied his hinds behind him. They started to beat and humiliate him and when he arrived to the section they pulled him at the ground, as he said, in a very humiliating way. 




 Doctor Obada was pushed into the investigation room in the State Security Section and since he was blindfolded, he could not distinguish the persons who tortured him. He was humiliated, then was beaten again in the investigation room, as he said. He explained that he visited that room before and remembered it after he took off the blindfold. Our interlocutor was not sure about the names and identities of those who had beaten, arrested and humiliated him, but he remembered that the person who investigated with him was an officer holding the rank of captain because one of the soldiers entered into the room and called him Captain.

Our interlocutor added that the aforementioned captain obliged him, after he stopped torturing him, to put his print on a white sheet of paper, and wrote a store he does not know what is it about. Then they dragged him to Halabi's office to interrogate him again. He remained till the morning of the next day where they took him to the Criminal Security Section in which he stayed nearly one week. There he underwent torture and humiliation again, because they showed him his confessions which he did not make.

Al-Hamada discovered that the committee located in the Criminal Security is a joint committee including officers and elements from the State Security and air and political security among them the Captain himself.

Our interlocutor revealed also that his torturers requested him to denounce one of his uncles who used to go out in demonstrations in return of freeing him from the jail, but he refused and remained in the Criminal Security Division during six days. He was obliged to put his fingerprint again on a white paper and was transferred to the court before freeing him. 

He said that he is ready to make a testimony against Halabi before the courts of Austria. He added that he has no fear especially that the courts of the regime pronounced against him sentences reaching death sentence because of his work during two years in the local hospitals of Raqqa.

Alaa Al-Hamada is an engineer who was arrested by the military security of Raqqa in June 2011, when the state security sent to him and his brother, doctor Abada, a summoning to the address of their father in Tel Abiadh Avenue. He was then a student at the faculty of architecture at Aletihad University. When they went there, they put them in a small room. An investigator interrogated them while he was continually insulting and humiliating them. Then they were transferred to Halabi's division who insulted, beat and threatened them again.

He told them, as our interlocutor reported: If you don’t want to sign an engagement of non participating in the demonstrations, I will tell Abou Jaafar to treat you in his specific way.

He pointed to a huge person with a bald head who was sitting at his left. So they were obliged to sign, so they transferred them to the court which decided to deposit them at the central prison where they remained for a period before they freed them.

 Al-Hamada denied that Halabi, who was born in Al-Mazraa village in the Druze sect stronghold of Sweida province in 1962, became a dissident to the regime. He told, according to one of his friends, that a relative of him requested him to host a person in his house during two hours. When the hosted person entered, the friend noticed that he bears in his hand a security sign and has a gun in his left side. 

He asked him about his job and the other one replied that he is the Brigadier General Alhalabi from the state security section, then – as Al-Hamada said- someone considered close to the revolution came with a group of Free Army elements whose loyalty is suspicious and they drag Halabi into a car and allowed him to evade from Raqqa without know what deal was made to make him evade. 

Syria's war has killed more than 560,000 people since it erupted in 2011 with the brutal repression of anti-regime protests.


Zaman Al Wasl
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