syria civil war

More than 20 different methods of torture used against detainees by Assad regime

SYRIAN REVOLUTION During Arab Spring on 27th Feb 2011, a group of school children in Daraa city in SW Syria innocently wrote on the walls: “Down with the regime”, “Go away Assad”.  The children were detained and tortured. Parents and locals protested. Assad security forces opened fire and arrested protesters. More protests followed and more killings by Assad regime.
It has not stopped…
Human Rights Watch documented more than 20 different methods of torture used against detainees.
Syrian children and boys are subject to Assad regime ill-treatment and cruelty!
— Prolonged and severe beatings with batons or wires
— Lashings with electric cables
— Painful stress positions
— Electrocution
— Burning with car battery acid
— Sexual assault
— Pulling out fingernails or teeth
— Gouging eyes
— Mock execution
— Sexual violence
— Use as human shields
Many were held in disgusting and cruelly overcrowded conditions; many who needed medical assistance were denied it, and some consequently died.
More than 20,000 children have been killed in the Syrian civil war, the United Nations says.

The Boy who started the Syrian War

We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.

10 Feb 2017 12:29 GMTWar & Conflict, Syria’s Civil War

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed for ever.

The Boy who started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

FILMMAKER’S VIEW

by Emmy Award-winning producer, Jamie Doran

I was in Moscow recently, chatting to people you might have thought would have known better. Educated folk, among them an experienced journalist. I had asked them a simple question: how did the Syrian war begin?

They uniformly launched into the answer that has been peddled so often in recent times, that it has now become fact in certain circles: “It was the terrorists who started it all.”

The fact that ISIL in its current form didn’t even exist in Syria at the time, or that al-Nusra wouldn’t arrive until many months afterwards, appear to have been conveniently forgotten – not just in Moscow but in most media coverage around the world.

The surprise, even shock on their faces when I pulled out my laptop and showed them the trailer for our latest film for Al Jazeera, The Boy Who Started the Syrian War, was a wonder to behold. They simply had no idea.

They claimed they hadn’t been aware of how, for decades, dissenters towards government authority had faced the daily dread of a visit from the secret police, of torture, disappearance and extrajudicial execution.

They had apparently never heard about how fathers were frightened to allow their daughters to be alone on the streets for fear of abduction, rape and murder at the hands of the Shabiha, Assad-family militias that operated with virtual impunity.

And they were totally unaware that it was a mischievous prank by adolescent schoolchildren that lit the fuse that set a country ablaze.

Early in 2016, I was sitting in Books@Cafe, a hangout for liberally minded Jordanians on Al-Khattab Street, Amman, with cameraman and filmmaker Abo Bakr Al Haj Ali. He was busily puffing away on his narghile (hookah), as we discussed how Deraa, the city which had given birth to the revolution, had been virtually ignored by the media in recent years.

One of the reasons it had been overlooked was that the Jordanians wouldn’t let any Western journalists cross from their side. Almost the only other option was an official tour of government-controlled areas via Damascus that didn’t appeal to me at all, even if they had let me in, which was rather unlikely.

I’d spent the previous week sitting on the border, just an hour’s drive from Deraa, having established an agreement with the Jordanian military which would have made me the first Westerner allowed to cross over in three years.

READ MORE: Syria’s Civil War Explained

There I was, in the border compound about to leave Jordanian soil, when a call came to the post. Moments later, I was very politely placed in a saloon car … and driven back to Amman. I later found out that the representative of the British intelligence agency, MI6, in Amman had advised the Jordanian government that it would be a bad idea to let me cross … even though I was travelling on an Irish passport!

So, back at Books@Cafe, Bakr and I sat chatting about how we could make a film about Deraa without my physical presence. It’s his home town. His territory.

“So, who do you know, who was there at the very beginning?” I asked.

“I know the commander, Marouf Abood, who set up the very first people’s militia, after government troops attacked his village,” he responded.

“Interesting. And who else?”

He went on to reel off half a dozen names; commander this, commander that.

“Come on, Bakr. You must know someone else, someone different. Someone fresh,” I said.

Continuing to drag deeply on the narghile, deep in thought, he told me that there was no one else that was really very interesting.

And then he added: “Well, I suppose there’s the boy who scrawled the anti-Assad graffiti on his school wall that started the war.”

It was one of those moments where you could have knocked my 90 kilos over with a feather.

The boy who started the Syrian war! Think about it. It wasn’t ISIL, nor al-Nusra, nor any other terrorist group. It was an act of defiance, a moment of youthful rebelliousness, if you like, that led to an uprising which has seen more than half a million people killed and a country torn to shreds.

It wasn’t, of course, the fault of this 14-year-old boy and his three friends who joined him in this moment of adolescent disobedience – a prank which would have enormous consequences beyond their understanding. But when they were arrested by the police and tortured in a most horrendous way, a line was crossed from which there would be no turning back.

When their parents and families arrived at the police station to plead for their freedom, they were told: “Forget these children. Go home to your wives and make some more. If you can’t manage, send us your wives and we’ll do it for you.”

Anger rose. The fuse had been lit and, when police started randomly killing marchers in the demonstrations that followed, armed resistance became an inevitability.

READ MORE: The Syrian conflict does not end here

For me personally, this film has taken on an importance beyond many that I have made in the past. To be able to remind (and, in some cases, inform) a massive global audience of the true origins of the Syrian civil war, is an enormous privilege for a filmmaker.

For those directly involved in those origins, however, our film has provided an opportunity for reflection. So many have suffered greatly and sacrificed so much for a revolution which, by any calculation, is and will remain incomplete, no matter what the outcome of negotiations.

Mouawiya Syasneh, The boy who started the Syrian War, is now a young man who, like so many other young men in Deraa, carries a Kalashnikov rather than a satchel these days. As viewers will discover, his own family has paid a dreadful price for the events that followed his actions back in February 2011.

His own reflections are now a matter of record for the first time.

Article from: http://www.aljazeera.com/programmes/specialseries/2017/02/boy-started-syrian-war-170208093451538.html

Video from Al Jazeera English:

Published on Feb 10, 2017

SPECIAL SERIESSYRIA’S CIVIL WAR
The Boy Who Started the Syrian War
We tell the story of Mouawiya Syasneh, the boy whose anti-Assad graffiti lit the spark that engulfed Syria.
09 Feb 2017 10:22 GMT Syria’s Civil War, War & Conflict

Mouawiya Syasneh was just 14 when he sprayed anti-government slogans on his school wall in Deraa, Syria. It was February 2011, and he could never have imagined that such a minor act would spark a full-blown civil war.

More than half a million people have been killed in Syria since the start of the war. Mouawiya’s home city has been ravaged by street fighting, shelling and barrel bombing. The war has left scars that may never heal.

Now a young man, fighting on the frontline for the Free Syrian Army, Mouawiya admits that had he known what the consequences of his actions would be, he would never have taunted the country’s president, Bashar al-Assad.

His life has been transformed by that adolescent prank. He has lost friends and relatives, including his father. And Syria has been changed forever.

The Boy Who Started the Syrian Civil War offers a glimpse into life in Deraa since the start of the conflict.

We meet Syrians trying to lead normal lives amid the chaos as well as those who have taken up arms against Assad’s forces.

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Syria Torture Machine

Syria’s Torture Machine

Published on Jan 21, 2015
ch4 Syria Torture bashar assad Mukhabarat secret service

SAC Hails House Vote Calling for Assad War Crimes Tribunal


Published on Mar 14, 2016

March 2011, in the south of Syria, four coffins for four Syrians protesting peacefully against their government – the first to die in a conflict that has taken as many 400,000 lives.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

SAC_logo

The Syrian American Council, the largest and oldest grassroots Syrian-American organization in the United States, hailed the decision by the U.S. House of Representatives tonight to approve H. Con Res. 121 which condemned the Assad regime’s war crimes in Syria and called for President Obama to direct his Ambassador to the United Nations to promote the establishment of a War Crimes Tribunal for Syria. The resolution passed on the eve of the fifth anniversary of the Syrian revolution which began on March 15th 2011.

SAC thanks Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) for sponsoring this resolution, as well as Rep. Ed Royce (R-CA), Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY), Rep. Joseph Pitts (R-PA), and Rep. Erik Paulsen (R-MN) for co-sponsoring. The resolution passed resoundingly with a vote of 392 to 3. SAC urges the Senate to follow suit and move quickly to pass the measure.

The text of the resolution can be found here, and a summary can be found here. SAC would like to thank the Syrian American community and other fellow Americans for their mobilization in support of the measure.

SAC expresses its extreme disappointment with Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI), Rep. Justin Amash (R-MI), and Rep. Thomas Massie (R-KY) for their shameful vote against holding the Assad regime accountable for war crimes that have created the greatest humanitarian crisis since the Second World War. Although these three representatives have consistently voted against American support of the Syrian revolution, today’s vote represents a new low.

Syrian American Council
http://www.sacouncil.com/

Syrian Refugee crisis: Every shoe has a story

470,000 dead,
1,500,000 injured,
11,000,000 displaced
Welcome to Syria after 5yrs of Assad’s genocide!

syrian_refugees_shoes

Assad drop 19974 barrel bomb in syria

ISIS-Finding Ground Zero


Published on Jan 6, 2016

The video is a dispatch report by ANA Press crew from Aleppo, it consists of a documented trip from central Aleppo to the northern outskirts to where Syrian rebel groups are stationed in opposition to ISIS.

This video is hereby translated under full responsibility of ANA PRESS

For more information please feel free to send your inquiries to: info@anapress.net

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: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/ahmad-al-musalman-boy-tortured-to-death-over-song-found-on-his-phone-ridiculing-assad-regime-a6776401.html