Syrian man recalls incarceration horror in regime prisons
On eve of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture, Syrian survivor speaks of torture, abuse in prisons run by Assad regime
With pain and fear writ large on his face, a former inmate of Syrian prisons run by the Bashar al-Assad regime recounted the torture and abuse he faced during incarceration.
In an interview with Anadolu Agency on the occasion of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture observed on June 26, Muhammed Salih Assaf, who was released on June 9, recalled the inhumane torture and cruelties he witnessed during his imprisonment.
In 2017, Assaf was detained by PKK/YPG terrorists during a family visit in Afrin at the age of 17 and was handed over to the regime's security units.
Assaf spent about five years in regime prisons.
After footage of the "Tadamon Massacre" carried out by the Assad regime forces surfaced in April, the regime passed a "repentance law."
Syria's military intelligence service conducted the massacre in the Tadamon neighborhood of Damascus in April 2013, with Palestinians among the 41 victims, according to a report by the British daily The Guardian. Members of military intelligence Branch 227 made civilians run toward a mass grave while shooting at them.
According to the latest figures released by the Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR), the Assad regime released only 539 people under the amnesty law. The organization said that at least 151,462 people are still held in regime prisons.
'They enjoyed torture inflicted on us'
Assaf said he was handed over to regime forces by PKK/YPG terrorists during Operation Olive Branch launched by Türkiye in the northwestern district of Afrin in early 2018.
"They (regime forces) interrogated us and some of us were tortured to death. They wanted us to admit that we participated in armed actions, but we did not."
He said that on the first day, he was tortured to the extent that he suffered memory loss due to a blow to the head.
"They were inflicting all kinds of torture. They tortured (inmates) with plastic water pipes and sticks. I had wounds all over my body. They enjoyed the torture they inflicted on us."
The regime forces tortured older prisoners even more, Assaf said, adding: "Those who enter the prison either become disabled or die before they can see their families."
Underlining that he was randomly selected under the so-called amnesty law, Assaf said fellow prisoners asked him to inform their families of their whereabouts. "All I want is for everyone to be released and their torture to end," he said.
*Writing by Seda SevencanAnadolu Agency website contains only a portion of the news stories offered to subscribers in the AA News Broadcasting System (HAS), and in summarized form. Please contact us for subscription options.