Assad torture prisoners

The ordeal of a 17-year-old Syrian in Assad’s detention centers

Syria Assad torture peaceful protestor to death

Unfortunately, not all of the revolutionaries who have ended up in Assad’s prisons have lived to tell their stories, but many of them have. The tales they tell of physical and psychological torture have often left scars that will take a long time to heal.

Omar was only 17 when he was arrested for his involvement in the peaceful protests in his hometown of Banyas.

On Nov. 16, 2012, Omar says he had gone to his aunt’s house in Al Bayda after Friday prayer.

Assad regime’s Air Force Security officers arrived at the house and arrested Omar and three of his cousins — Rashad, Basheer and Nour, all in their early twenties.

The four cousins were first taken to a detention center in Banyas where they were tortured and forced to make up stories to satisfy their tormentors.

Because Nour was with them, the three male cousins were treated more harshly in order to humiliate and break their spirits in front of her.

The jails in Banyas and Tartus were fairly empty when Omar and his cousins were there so the guards amused themselves with torturing their prisoners in a variety of ways.

The torture was conducted while the prisoners were blindfolded. Omar was hung by his cuffed hands and tortured with electricity until he agreed to talk.

Omar’s torturer asked him if he had been sufficiently “cooked” and when he said yes, his body was lowered and he was asked how many officers he had killed in his village.

Omar’s answer was; “Look at my face, I am 17 yrs old. Do you think I am capable of killing any officers?”

Angered by his response, the guard hung him up again and proceeded to electrocute him on different parts of his body, including his genitals.

There was also some type of fluid that was applied to his neck with a cotton ball which increased the effect of the electrical charge to an unbearable extent.

Omar said he was so delirious with pain that he would have confessed to anything — that his father was the one who killed many officers and his mother was the one who brought down their plane — just to stop the pain. But he was unable to speak.

When he was finally able to speak again, Omar began reciting the names of people he knew who were already well-known criminals.

Omar also says that those who had been tortured in Assad’s prisons were often given injections of drugs that allowed them to talk freely and must be excused for things they don’t remember saying.

Every night the cousins would whisper to each other from their cells. If one of them failed to respond, the others would fear they were dead.

They also compared stories about how each of them had been tortured. Basheer told Omar how they had opened a wound on his foot with a screwdriver.

Omar was moved 11 times; from detention centers in Banyas, to Tartus, to Homs, to Damascus and then to Al Qabun.

From Al-Qabun he was sent to the notorious Sednaya prison where he was held for one month before being referred to the military court.

The court sent him to the 291 “Death Branch” for one terrible day of indescribable torture before he was sent to 215 military prison where he was kept for the remainder of his detainment.

At 215 he was taken to the basement and examined by a doctor.

Omar said the prisoners he saw around him looked like skeletons. They huddled together and there were lots of dead and semi dead bodies on the floor with smelly wounds that oozed with infection.

After four days of wandering with no place to sit, an officer began questioning Omar about his cousin Nour and where she had supposedly gotten explosive materials for making bombs.

Omar eventually learned by word of mouth that his cousins were also being held in 215.

On March, 2013, Omar’s cousin Rashad died under torture. Rashad’s brother Basheer was so worried about how he would tell his mother that Rashad was dead when he got out.

He need not have worried for Basheer also died from pneumonia while still in prison in 2014.

Omar says that a fellow prisoner, a sheikh named Yasser Abdul Kareem, helped him and the other prisoners to maintain their sanity. He was their psychologist, their nurse, their spiritual advisor, their everything Omar said.

During his time in 215 Omar’s job was to record the numbers of the dead bodies and help dispose of them. He said the number had reached over 8,000 while he was there.

When four of their fellow prisoners were shot during an attempted jailbreak, their bodies were left where they fell for a week and then hung up as an example to the rest.

The prisoners were responsible for throwing the bodies of the dead unto the truck that came around each week to pick them up… Omar says the bodies sometimes fall apart as they tried to lift them.

Omar recalls that one of the men they were supposed to dispose of was still breathing. The guard forced them to throw him onto the pile of dead bodies anyways.

June 11, 2015, Omar was released. The prison guards had begun accepting bribes from family members of prisoners in exchange for their release.

It wasn’t until after his release that Omar learned his father had also been martyred during the Banyas massacre in 2013.

Omar is one of the fortunate refugees who managed to make his way into Europe through Turkey and Greece.

He is currently undergoing treatment for Tuberculosis in Sweden and says that no one comes out of Syria’s Branch 215 prison physically or mentally whole.

Orient Net – Yasser Ashkar Publication Date: 2016-04-20 11:00
Article from:–year-old-Syrian-in-Assads-detention-centers

Syria Mass Deaths and Torture in Detention

Boy tortured to death over song found on his phone ridiculing Assad regime

Ahmad was killed for having an ‘anti-Assad’ song on his playlist
By Eleanor Ross, Thursday 17 December 2015

torture to death by assad

Ahmad Al-Musalmani

When Ahmad Al-Musalmani was pulled off a minibus between Lebanon and Syria, he was crying.

“I’m crying because my mother has died,” he explained to the military, who demanded to know why the 14-year-old boy was in tears, travelling cross-border in the Middle East. But his answer didn’t stop them from searching his belongings, along with the five or so other passengers on board the bus.

Soldiers from Air Force Intelligence searched wallets, pockets, and phones; it was the latter that seems likely to have led to Ahmad’s death.

According to a fellow passenger who tracked down Ahmad’s family after the arrest, soldiers at the al-Kiswa bridge checkpoint demanded that the boy hand over his phone. On it was, allegedly, an anti-Assad song, and it was this, that caused Al-Musalmani to be pulled into detention.

“You animal,” the soldiers shouted at Ahmad, swearing as they dragged him into an interrogation room. The minibus didn’t wait for him to re-board, and it drove off, leaving him with the guards at the checkpoint.

Published on Dec 16, 2015

“If the Dead Could Speak” reveals some of the human stories behind the more than 28,000 photos of deaths in government custody that were smuggled out of Syria and first came to public attention in January 2014.

The report lays out new evidence regarding the authenticity of what are known as the Caesar photographs, identifies a number of the victims, and highlights some of the key causes of death. Human Rights Watch located and interviewed 33 relatives and friends of 27 victims whose cases researchers verified; 37 former detainees who saw people die in detention; and four defectors who worked in Syrian government detention centers or the military hospitals where most of the photographs were taken. Using satellite imagery and geolocation techniques, Human Rights Watch confirmed that some of the photographs of the dead were taken in the courtyard of the 601 Military Hospital in Mezze.

Two years later, a child’s corpse was found showing evidence of blunt force trauma to the head. It was Ahmad.

His case is one of those contained within a report that details the so-called Caeser photographs to a wider audience back in March 2015. A defector from Syria, codenamed Caeser, told Human Rights Watch that hundreds of photographs of those who died in detention were taken and documented. He admitted that he had personally photographed and archived thousands of photographs of the dead which have been used as evidence that Assad has ordered the deaths of thousands.

According to Human Rights Watch, ‘Caesar’ indicated that he “often wondered” about why he was taking pictures, but thought that “the regime documents everything so that it will forget nothing. Therefore, it documents these deaths…If one day the judges have to reopen cases, they’ll need them.”

And it is this remarkable series of documents that has helped prove what really happened to Ahmad – as well as confirming the deaths of more than 7,000 people in Syria.

Ahmad had been sent to live in Lebanon in 2011 by his family, who, panicked by the civil war, decided that the neighbouring country would be safer for their children to grow up after Shadi, his brother, had been shot and killed in 2011 during a protest in Daraa. When Ahmad’s mother died of natural causes in 2012, the teenager travelled back to Syria to attend her funeral – a journey that was to be his last.

Ahmad’s family tried to hunt him down. His uncle, Dahi Al-Musalmani, had served as a judge in Syria for 20 years and tried to find him. Five months later, and still with no news on what had happened to the boy, his uncle paid somebody with strong government links to help him.

According to Dahi, he was told the following: “’Ahmad is alive’,” the man told me. ‘He is detained in the Air Force Intelligence branch in Zablatani.’ I told him, ‘I want Ahmad to be released.’ He answered, ‘You wanted to know his whereabouts, now you know. If you want more you will have to pay two million Syrian pounds’.

“I responded, ‘I do not have this kind of money, I would have to be a thief or very rich’.”

After raising money by selling land, he was told that his nephew would be released 10days later, but he never arrived.

Dahi explained how he looked for Ahmad for the next three months – 950 days in total. However, after feeling threatened, Dahi moved to Jordan with his sons, but he continued his hunt from there, putting requests out in the media to try to secure his return.

When the Caesar photographs were released, Dahi told Human Rights Watch that he went straight to the Air Force Folder. Five photographs of Ahmad appeared in a folder dated from August 2012, the month of his arrest – physicians from Physicians for Human Rights decided that they depicted a boy in his teenage years, with several ‘marks of blunt force trauma.’

Dahi Al-Musalmani, described his shock to Human Rights Watch. “There I found him. [he breaks down while talking] It was a shock. Oh, it was the shock of my life to see him here. I looked for him, 950 days I looked for him. I counted each day. When his mother was dying, she told me: ‘I leave him under your protection.’ What protection could I give?”

Article from:

Syria President Bashar al-Assad Regime Atrocities

The evidence is conclusive that the Syria Bashar al-Assad regime is committing intentional crimes against humanity. Among the crimes the al-Assad regime is committing are: indiscriminant aerial bombardment, widespread attacks on civilians, arbitrary detention of thousands in the political opposition, genocidal massacres of whole villages of Sunni Muslims, rape of detainees, widespread torture- including torture and murder of children- and denial of food, water, medicines and other essential resources to civilians.

The Alawite government of Bashar al-Assad believes it is about to lose all power in a zero-sum, winner take all revolution. Its massacres have become genocidal. Early warning signs and stages of genocide in Syria are:

1) Prior unpunished genocidal massacres, such as those perpetrated by Assad’s father in Hama in the 1980’s;
2) Rule by a minority sect – the Alawite sect that supports Bashar al-Assad – with an exclusionary ideology
3) Systematic human rights atrocities;
4) Fear by the ruling elite that any compromise will mean total loss of their power;
5) Deliberate targeting of particular groups — Sunni Muslims civilian and Syrian army defectors;
6) Denial by the Syrian government that it is committing crimes against humanity, blaming “foreign – inspired terrorist gangs” for the armed conflict.

Article: Genocide and Mass Atrocities Alert: Syria

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