Torture in Syria: Extreme Cruelty of Assad Regime
The worst torture has taken place in detention facilities run by the country’s four main intelligence agencies:
1) The Department of Military Intelligence
(Shu`bat al-Mukhabarat al-`Askariyya)
2) The Political Security Directorate
(Idarat al-Amn al-Siyasi)
3) The General Intelligence Directorate
(Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-`Amma)
4) The Air Force Intelligence Directorate
(Idarat al-Mukhabarat al-Jawiyya)
The Syrian Network for Human Rights was able to count 45 torture methods, which we will handle in three sections:
– Torture positions (8 positions).
– Different types of torture (22 cases).
– Psychological torture (12 cases).
First: torture positions, we documented 8- torture methods, which are more commonly and systematically used:
1. Al-Shabeh: the detainee hand is tied behind his back, and his cuffed hand is tied to the bathroom ceiling, standing on a chair, and then pulling the chair from underneath, letting the detainee to stand on his big toe.
There is another case derived from Al-Shabeh which is Al-Shabeh Tayara, where one foot of the detainee and his hand is tied up with the same rope; the warden may insert the rope in the hand wrist leading to swelling the hands, and leave the prisoner on this position for several hours, sometimes for a day or two, leading to amputation of the detainees’ hand.
2. Dulab method (care tire): where the detainee hands and legs are tied such as a car tire, and then the beating process began all over his body.
3. Basat al-reeh or “flying carpet”: in which the detainee is placed and tied on to a wooden board made up of two parts and then moving the two parts towards each other, while the detainee is lying between them, causing a terrible pain in the spine, where there is another person is beating the detainee at the same time.
4. AL-Salb or “crucifixion”: the detainee hand and leg is tied quite similar to the idea of cross, then begin beating, especially on his genitals.
5. Al- talek or “Balanco”: hanging the victim while the wrists is tied behind the back and beat the detainee with sticks and wires.
6. Al-tahtem or “Smashing”: the victims’ head is placed between the prison wall and door, then closing the door over his head.
7. AL-corsi AL- cahrbay or “electric chair”: it’s a metal chair on which the detainee is mounted, and then electrical current is connected.
8. Al- corsi AL-almani or “the German chair”: it’s a chair made of metal, with the possibility of returning its back to the backside to squeeze the neck and spine of the detainee.
Second: a different range of torture methods; we documented 23 cases which are the most commonly used in detention centers:
1. Beating with objects all over body by using different tools such as cables, and sticks, which is colloquially called Quadripartite, in addition to the falaqa, which is to beat the victim on his soles of feet with sticks or cables, , and trampling over the head and so on.
2. Pulling out fingernails fully.
3. Plucking out hair from different parts of the body.
4. Grabbing the flesh by the metal tweezers and from private parts in the body.
5. Raping the detainee, male or female.
6. Forcing the detainee on raping his detention colleague.
7. Cutting certain organs from detainee’s body, such as finger
or a piece of flesh, stabbing him in the back or stomach.
8. Use acid to burn skin, or putting of cigarettes over skin.
9. Exposing detainee to severe cold by depriving him from clothing or cover.
10. Depriving detainee from full medical care, adding to this, the lack of medical care in a large number of detention facilities.
11. Deprivation of using the toilet except one or two times a day, leading the detainee sometimes to pee on himself, and even times allowed to use the toilet, it is not exceeding a minute; also depriving him from shower, or going out to spaces for fresh air.
12. Overcrowding, by putting great number of detainees that outreaches the place capacity (a cell in the branch of Air Force Intelligence in Aleppo whose size was 15 meters with 45 detainees in it).
13. Pouring cold water on the detainee’s body after beating and injuring the body.
14. Breaking ribs.
15. Trifle amount of food and water, even not enough for quarter of the detainees.
16. Stand upright for continuum days, day and night, suspended from the hands.
17. Detention in underground cells with no ventilation.
18. Detention of women and men in the same cells.
19. Pouring boiled oil on feet, or pouring boiled water until skin is raw.
20. Cutting ear of the detainee by prune trees scissors.
21. Pressing ear and nose with a wooden press fastener.
22. Suspension in the air then put a weight hanging from the penis.
23. Electric shock, especially in breasts, knees and elbows.
Third: psychological torture: – The network documented 14 cases which are the most commonly and systematically used:
1. Forcing the detainee to watch his colleague being raped.
2. Threatening detainee of being raped.
3. Forcing the detainee to watch his colleagues being torture or dying under torture.
4. Threatening detainee to arrest his wife, mother, or sister, and raping or torturing them in front of him, after letting him see naked girls inside the prison.
5. Threatening detainee by torturing him to death or slaying him with knives.
6. Attacking the detainee’s creed and insulting, badmouthing it.
7. Forcing the detainee on nudity in front of his colleagues.
8. Putting the detainee in a cell where someone is dying.
9. Putting the detainee in a cell with a corpse body.
10. Cursing the detainee with badmouthed words at him and his family as well.
11. Forcing the detainee to confess things he did not commit under the threat of double torture.
12. Ordering the detainee to prostrate to Bashar al-Assad photo.
13. Convincing the detainee that he will be released, and open the cell door then arrested him, and returned him to torture again.
Taking the detainee to the prison doctor for treatment, who later beats him on the part he is complaining of, and then re-tortured him again, hence no one is ever asked for the doctor treatment any more.