Friday, April 29, 2011

Inside Syria's torture chambers: 'This regime is brutal but also stupid

'Adnan, a young Syrian professional in his thirties, tells of his experience as one of hundreds detained in President Bashar al-Assad's crackdown on dissent, Friday 29 April 2011

"Adnan was arrested last Friday in Moudamiyeh, a town near Damascus, after protests in which he did not take part.
We were trying to leave the town when someone shouted "Stop!" and ordered us to kneel down. It was troops from the Fourth Division [the elite unit commanded by President Bashar al-Assad's brother Maher, which has been involved in suppressing protests in Deraa, the south-western town that has become a focus for unrest].
We were thrown in the back of an army truck and taken to the base on the outskirts of Damascus. We were put in a room and beaten from 4pm to 4am. Can you imagine? For 12 hours without sleep. It would stop for 15 minutes and then someone else would come in and start. They accused us of working for [former Lebanese prime minister] Saad al-Hariri and the Saudi prince Bandar bin Sultan. There was no point in arguing – they would only beat us more....

The whole experience is built around humiliation [just like in Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib!]. We were blindfolded. We were shouted at. We were only allowed to the toilet once a day, for three seconds. We had to strip down to our underwear and someone would stand outside the door counting. If you didn't finish within three seconds you were beaten. I often didn't go; I was too worried. We were given water and food, but you don't want to drink when you can't go to the toilet.

We were taken out of the cell to be beaten and I was interrogated several times. One time they took us to a room with an electric chair. I said no, this is too much, not this. They didn't use it but they have one – I saw it with my own eyes. They accused me of working for foreign gangs. They were angry about videos of the protests being leaked [For that reason alone I am going to post all the good leaked videos I can get my hands on!] and they searched everyone's phones. They finally decided to let me go in the early hours of the morning, exhausted and bruised and battered. It was a horrible experience. This regime is brutal but also stupid. Everyone in there said they were angrier, not more afraid. You cannot forgive a regime that does this to you.""

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