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Testimony of three detainees in Assad prisons

DETAINEES | 2019-08-04 03:05:00
Testimony of three detainees in Assad prisons
(Zaman Al Wasl)- Mohammed Eyad, former Syrian detainee, has unveiled with a heavy heart the details of his suffering in the Air Force Intelligence prison in the capital, where he had been held for four years between 2012-2016.

“They were very painful years,” says Mohammed, who preferred to use a pseudonym as his current circumstances do not allow him to reveal his real name. In one of our meetings with him in Muadamiyat al-Sham, the western suburbs of Damascus, Mohammed was not the only one to speak, joined by Marwan and Massoud, two other detainees who were united by the scenes of "unbearable cruelty" in the regime's jails.

Massoud was arrested at Al-Arbaeen checkpoint on the eve of the outbreak of the major battle the regime launched against Darayya and Muadamiyat al-Sham in November 2012 and was released at the end of the fifth year of the revolution, too. Marwan, despite the short time he spent in prison (not more than two months), lived a bitter experience that made him think he spent more months in imprisonment. 

“In that prison, I got to experience the horrible method the jailers forced us into. It was painful and frightening at the same time,” says Muhammad Iyad, “In which the jailer orders two of the prisoners to torture one another by beating his face. Once a young man from the city of Darayya was the victim, one of his friends was forced to beat him in this way for hours until he died. "

Syrian opposition sources said that more than 500,000 prisoners remain inside the prisons of the Syrian regime.

A report issued by the rights group on 30 April stated that 14,009 prisoners had been killed due to severe torture inside regime prisons since the start of the Syrian civil war in 2011.

This talk of death led Massoud to recall another method that parallels it in brutality. "On holidays, the jailer would come in and mockingly wishes us happy holidays. ‘I will choose a number of you to get Eidiyah (gift as part of the celebration of Eid) he would say... choosing about 15 people… We were surprised by this apparent change in treatment. But, after only a quarter of an hour things started to get clearer. The poor young men were tortured, hit with a nylon hose on their feet until they all died. "

Marwan, who was imprisoned after the truce between the regime and the rebels of the Muadamiya early 2014, says his arrest was surprising. He passed through the Damascus barriers easily, but at the al-Jadida checkpoint near the capital he was arrested without any reason.

“I stayed for 8 days in a solitary cell. Then they led me to a hall that was not more than 50 meters long, filled with dozens of prisoners. The surprise was not in the narrowness of the room, but in the prisoners. There were six bodies of detainees who died as a result of torture, malnutrition and disease.”

"In fact, many of the internees were about to die as a result of medical negligence. For the rest of the time I stayed in the hall, other people died, the bodies living with us for several days, and when the number increases, the jailers come to take them away. It's been a terrible time, I can not imagine how I lived without going mad,” he continues.

The three witnesses preferred not to publicize their real names because of their security conditions. Mohammad and Massoud recounted their experiences in the Air Force Intelligence prison adjacent to the cities of Darayya and Muadamiyat al-Sham. Marwan was detained in the 215th branch, one of the worst branches of the regime’s security, if not its worst.

Syria's war has killed more than 560,000 people and displaced millions since it started in 2011 with a brutal crackdown on anti-regime protests.

Reporting by Mohamed Kassah


Zaman Al Wasl
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