Middle East

Survivor of Syrian regime prison recounts abuses

Former inmate recalls mistreatment and torture while incarcerated at notorious detention facility

Survivor of Syrian regime prison recounts abuses Rana, a Syrian refugee from the city of Homs

By Burak Karacaoglu and Esref Musa

IDLIB, Syria

A former inmate in a Syrian regime prison on Wednesday recounted the abuses she and her cellmates suffered while in detention.

Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Rana, a Syrian refugee from the city of Homs, said she was detained in 2015 for allegedly “supporting terrorism and illegally crossing the border”.

“My husband and son both died in prison,” she said. “I was beaten because I refused to confess to supporting the Syrian [anti-regime] opposition.”

After being told -- falsely -- that she would soon be released, Rana was transferred at one point to the notorious “Palestine Unit” in Damascus.

“The building was terrifying,” she remembered. “We could smell the burning bodies.”

“Inmates at the facility were raped, beaten and tortured for hours at a time,” she said.

At one point, Rana said, a woman and her daughter -- both of whom were being held at the facility -- were burnt alive by prison wardens.

“What crimes have these people committed?” Rana asked. “They must be released; please save them.”

According to opposition sources, Syria’s Assad regime has thrown at least 500,000 people behind bars since the conflict began in 2011.

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