Exclusive photos obtained by Zman al-Wals for Hamza al-Khatib, was 13-year-old, and Thamer al-Sharei, was 15-year-old, the two boys who tortured to death by Syrian security in the beginning of Syrian revolution 2011 in the southern city of Daraa.
In the end of May 2011, Syrian regime security forces handed al-Khatib’s family his body which showed that he was killed under torture. Hamza’s death was a turning point in the Syria revolution, where protesters started demanding to overthrow the regime, instead of just calling for justice and dignity.
Despite the previous photos of Hamza’s body were sort of acceptable compared to the ones revealed later by the regime’s professional photographers, they provoked Syrian people’s feeling and anger at the time.
Among Caesar’s photos of “the Crime of the century”, which included 55 thousand photos of 11 thousand prisoners died under torture, 18 photos of them were for Hamza and Thamer.
In regard to the first photographers, who took first photos of Hamza’s body in the beginning of Syrian revolution, risking their lives in time when regime intelligence were imposing hard censorship and control on each movement, they were revolutionists from Msifra village next to Hamza’s village “Aljiza”.
They came to attend Hamza’s funeral, when they were shocked to discover that tomb was in its way to the graveyard, then they begged Hamza’s family to open the tomb to document the wounds and marks on his body, which were shocking evidence of his death under torture.
On the other hand, the 18 pictures those were taken by regime’s cameras, showed unprecedented cruelty against two boys who did nothing more than gathering with others in a demonstration calling for food to people in Dara’a.
Legally, the importance of the 18 photos was that they were taken by regime’s cameras and documented by their photographers. They supported the credibility of previous photos which were subject to suspicion and denying by regime and its supporters.
Moreover, those photos were certified as genuine by a recognized committee of experts.
The photos showed that Hamza’s penis was indeed cut off, the fact that activists’ images tried not to show respecting his dignity, and that resulted in denying even the fact that Hamza was arrested or killed under torture by regime’s supporters. Moreover, many bullets marks were found in his chest and arms, and a hit on his head caused heavy bleeding.
In regard to Thamer’s body, the regime photos showed that his teeth were broken with a deep wound in his cheek and a deep wound in his hip most likely to be resulted from a shot.
However, the most important aspect of the photos taken by regime was that the two boys’ bodies were numbered, which indicate that regime from the beginning of the Syrian revolution, intended to go for a long operation of arresting and torturing and possible death under torture.
The Syrian Network for Human Rights, in report issued last September, said at least 215,000 people were arrested by Syrian security since the revolution erupted in March 2011. (4,500 of them are women and 9,000 are less than 18).
The report said 2630 detainees were tortured to death, and 70,000 cases documented as enforced disappearance.
Caesar’s photos illustrate apparent actions of serious international crimes committed in the chambers of security services against 11,000 detainees, according to human rights advocates.
More than 220,000 people have been killed in Syria since the revolt against Bashar al-Assad began in March 2011, the United Nations says.
Torture Photos of Hamza Here
Torture Photos of Thamer Here