imprisoned

I have their blood with me

‘I have their blood with me’: new documentary charts plight of Syria’s many missing men, women and children

By James Macintyre 14 March 2017

Mansour Al-Omari, one of many detainees in Syria under President Bashar Assad, who wrote the names of fellow prisoners in blood on pieces of cloth. Monsieur features in a Channel 4 documentary next week

President Bashar Assad has dismissed their stories as ‘fake news’, but a hard-hitting documentary broadcast next week will lay out the damning case of Syria’s missing: tens of thousands of men, women and children who have been disappeared into secret detention centres.

Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad tells this horrendous story through the powerful personal testimonies of three survivors alongside damning evidence smuggled out of Syria. The film follows victims, family members and international war crimes investigators as they campaign with increasing desperation for the release of the disappeared and fight to bring the perpetrators to justice.

The background to the documentary is the Arab Spring, which swept through Syria in 2011. Since then, tens of thousands have disappeared into Assad’s secret detention centres, with vast numbers having been tortured and thousands dying inside.

The programme focuses in on three cases.

Mazen Alhummada is from a left-wing family who had long opposed the Assad regime. He protested in his home city of Deir Ezzor, videoing the demonstrations. Mazen fled to Damascus after twice being arrested. He describes his third arrest in a cafe: ‘We were drinking tea and joking with each other, he tells the Radio Times. ‘Suddenly we were raided by the security forces. They put our shirts over our heads and put me in the trunk of the car.’

Held at a detention centre run by Airforce Intelligence, Mazen recalls being subject to appalling torture before being forced into a false confession.

Taken to a military hospital on account of his injuries, Mazen made a terrible discovery. ‘You go into the bathroom and you find three dead bodies on the floor. Stacked on top of one another. You close the door and open the other bathroom and find another two bodies. Hospital 601 [where he was taken] is really a slaughterhouse.’

Mariam Hallaq, a head teacher from Damascus, was a member of the ruling Baath Party and supported Assad. But her youngest son Ayham, a dentistry student, joined the protests and eventually she was converted to his cause thanks to his enthusiasm for change and for free elections.

Ayham began working with another key figure in the film, Mansour Al-Omari. The pair documented the disappearances for a Syrian human rights organisation, but their offices were raided by the security forces and they were detained and tortured. Ayham was released after three months.

But Mansour remained imprisoned, denied all contact with the world outside.

It was then that he and four of his cellmates came up with their extraordinary plan: to record the names and details of their fellow prisoners so that if one of them were released, they could inform their families where their loved ones were being held. They tore off pieces of their shirts, found a fragment of chicken bone to write with, and used rust and their own blood as ink.

Mansour explains: ‘We were worried that somebody could leak this news to the jailers. You could be hanged for it if they knew about it. One of us was a tailor and he said I can put it inside the hem of the shirt and collars – nobody will suspect it.’

Mansour was eventually chosen for release and he wore the shirt out and then contacted the families. Of his group of five detainees, only one other survived. ‘When I look at those shirt pieces, written with blood, blood of people who are still there, some of them I knew, I got news they are dead – I have their blood with me,’ he says. ‘These pieces of shirt are filled with their souls.’

The film also features Stephen Rapp, the former US Ambassador for Global Criminal Justice. Rapp has prosecuted some of the worst mass atrocity crimes in recent history, and he says the evidence against the Syrian regime is the strongest he has ever seen. That evidence includes over 600,000 pages of regime documentation smuggled out of Syria and into Europe, by the Commission for International Justice and Accountability.

Yet extraordinarily, action through the International Criminal Court has been blocked at the UN. Now, Rapp is working to open criminal cases against the Syrian regime in European national courts. The film shows the first case filed in Spain.

Article from: https://www.christiantoday.com/article/i.have.their.blood.with.me.new.documentary.charts.plight.of.syrias.many.missing.men.women.and.children/105653.htm

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Systematic Torture and Rape in Assad Regime Prisons

05-03-2015: ‘A former female detainee of a brutal security branch in Syria has told Zaman al-Wasl of her experience of torture and the systematic rape of activists inside the prison.

Photos below shown is not Om Ahmed. The Assad regime security forces cut off a woman’s hair for fun to humiliate and degrade her. Unfortunately, these kind of atrocities happen everyday in Syria.

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Om Ahmed’s husband was killed in the battles of Southern Damascus, where she stayed to support the fighters who looked after her and treated her as a sister.

On her way home from a visit to her brother in Kiswa, she was arrested by regime security forces and moved to al-Khatib Detention Center, a facility of the Interior Security Department.

Imprisoned for three months, Om Ahmed underwent haunting traumas. “They regularly burned women’s bodies with hot poles while hanging them from their hands for hours,” Om Ahmed said.

The former detainee was subjected to torture, as security members wanted information about the rebels’ details and locations. “They used to drop cold water on my head and body, then hit me. I was hanged from my hands many times on the “Ghost”, where they tried to humiliate me. However the torture I received was not comparable to what other women faced”.

“An officer broke my finger by closing the door on it. All I can remember is that they called him Ali, but I cannot remember his face – as we were not allowed to look at officers’ faces”, she painfully detailed. Om Ahmed mentioned that security members tended to rape virgins, while other girls were often raped by groups of men.

Om Ahmed reported that a 19-year-old girl from Southern Damascus suffered from heavy bleeding because of the frequent rape she was subjected to. “Doctors visited the prison in cases of bleeding after rape. I met doctors, one was a good man as he transferred girls to hospitals, while another was tough and cruel, swearing at girls and women”, Om Ahmed recalled.

The former prisoner reported that one woman fell pregnant inside the prison, only to be taken away following the discovery. Her fate is still unknown. Om Ahmed confirmed that girls as young as 10 were in the prison, also subjected to similar torture. The woman claimed that security members used to cooperate with shabeeha, providing them imprisoned girls for money.

Om Ahmed was later transferred to Sasaa’s prison where she stayed for 20 days, tortured and humiliated. “Security members described us as ‘traitors’, where their military boots had more honor than us,” she said.’

Surviving Assad’s Female Torture Prisons
http://www.syrianobserver.com/EN/News/28755/Surviving_Assad_Female_Torture_Prisons

No Happy Father’s Day in Syria

Many many Syrian families have lost parents, relatives, children, siblings to the 4 years old civil war… No more laughter in Syria… Children are deprived from food, water and school…

 

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al-Bayda and Baniyas Massacres 2 Years Anniversay -3

May 2, 2015 mark al-Bayda and Baniyas Massacres 2 Years Anniversay

In May 2, 2013, the Syrian army entered a small town called al-Bayda (a village in the mountains outside the coastal city of Baniyas, Syria) and massacred at least 169 men, women and children.

al-Bayda and Baniyas Massacres 2 Years Anniversay

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War in Syria

Must see! Warning: It will make you cry!

Watch it on Face Book: https://www.facebook.com/video.php?v=1598972957011976&fref=nf

From Syria Happy Valentine’s Day

Published on Feb 14, 2015

From the heart of misery, Syrian children send messages to the internationally well-known figures who sensed their pain, and stood in solidarity with them against Assad’s massacres. These children send their messages as a sign of gratitude.

“من سوريا “happy valentine”…….
أطفال سوريون. من وسط مأساتهم، يرسلون أماني المحبة لشخصيات عالمية تحسست ألمهم وتضامنت مع مرارة ما يواجهونه بسبب جرائم نظام الأسد.
إنها رسالة عرفان بالجميل.

SAVE THE CHILDREN OF SYRIA

Published on Apr 13, 2012

The children of Syria have become victims of violence, torture, and killings by the Assad regime. With thousands of children killed, wounded, detained, or left without family, THE WORLD MUST KNOW about this atrocity for medical aid and humanitarian assistance to reach them.

IT STARTS WITH YOU!

PLEASE SHARE THIS VIDEO, SHARE THIS CAUSE, & SHARE YOUR KNOWLEDGE with your friends, family, co-workers, public figures, and elected officials.

TOGETHER WE CAN SAVE SYRIA’S CHILDREN & #RISE4HUMANITY!

To learn more about how you can Rise4Humanity, visit our website at http://www.rise4humanity.org.

While you’re at it, like us on Facebook, http://www.facebook.com/rise4humanity and follow us on Twitter, http://www.twitter.com/rise4humanity, to get connected.

MUSIC:

“Safe and Sound”
Performed by Taylor Swift featuring The Civil Wars

“Mad World”
Performed by Gary Jules

“Save the World”
Performed by Swedish House Mafia featuring John Martin

Music
“Save the World (Radio Mix)” by Swedish House Mafia (Google Play • iTunes • AmazonMP3)
Artist
Taylor Swift
Category
Nonprofits & Activism
License
Standard YouTube License