“They are sweeping the earth with our dignity.” A former inmate tells the story of torture in Sednaya prison

Numerous and bitter stories and tales told by citizens who were released from Sednaya prison by amnesty decree issued by Bashar al-Assad This prison is considered one of the most dangerous and infamous places alongside the Palmyra prison and the Palestine branch in Siri.

Among those stories is the story of citizen Anas Ramadan, who was released from prison with schizophrenia after spending 3 years, 3 months and 16 days in it, on charges of defaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and undermining the prestige of the state.

human slaughterhouses

Sednaya Military Prison is one of the most dangerous and fortified prisons in Syria, where the most horrific types of crimes and violations against prisoners are committed. of torture, ill-treatment and mass executions, especially after the start of the Syrian crisisSo much so, that it was called the slaughterhouse of the people. It is the final destination for detainees who are missing or missing. Especially opponents of the Damascus government.

The Damascus government – led by the Ba’ath Party – built the prison in 1987 to consolidate its rule in the country, using methods of intimidation, threats and intimidation of opponents and opponents of the government.

Anti-insurgency design

Sednaya Prison is located near the historic Sednaya Monastery, about 30 km north of the Syrian capital, Damascus, is affiliated with the Syrian Ministry of Defense and is run by the Military Police.

The most remarkable thing of this prison is its design, which aimed to increase its fortification to prevent any rebellion within it, as it consists of two buildings; The first, which is the oldest and is called the “Red Prison”, which is the worst and most cruel, and most of the prisoners there are politicians and civilians accused of supporting terrorism, and consists of three floors in the form of The “Mercedes” brand, and the second was later built and renamedwhite prison MIt consists of four floors, and looks like a paper L In English, it is intended for military personnel accused of violating martial laws.

Enesi recounts some of what he saw in this prison, saying: “The interior design of the prison, according to the old prisoners, was modified after a rebellion of Islamic prisoners in 2008. Any rebellion While he confirmed that he was a witness of the existence of underground vaults adjacent to the prison, 3 deep floors, in which dangerous prisoners are placed.

TRAIN

Citizen Anas Ramadan (pseudonym) was reluctant to mention his real name, age or any information he provided because he lives after his release in areas controlled by the Damascus government, saying he does not want to repeat the nightmare he lived through. . in that prison.

He testified that he was imprisoned without being brought to justice as a result of writing a report about him, and his accusation of defamation against the Prime Minister of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad, and undermining the prestige of the state and terrorism.

Regarding the reception he was expecting and most of the prisoners in this prison, he said: “We were received by train, which is a method. Humiliation and torture, where prisoners are chained together and led through a long corridor, with whips on either side of them.

question

Anas pointed out that in this prison he is familiar with different forms and types of torture, emphasizing that what does not leave his memory are “flaws”. It is a torture method that relies on placing the prisoner in solitary confinement cells, an area of ​​1 square meter, for a period of 40 days, containing no light or air outlet, and the prisoner’s food contains only mold. bread crumbs.

And Enes added, “This method of torture was used against anyone who spoke a language other than Arabic (Kurdish, Turkmen and Syrian) and against anyone who objected in one way or another to being tortured by officers and officers. the disappearance of non-Arab identities in Syria and a kind of crime based on discrimination on the basis of race and language, committed by the government of Damascus against the peoples that make up the Syrian mosaic.

boarding 16

During his speech, Anas noted that he was a witness For the murder of a number of children in dormitory no.16, designated for juveniles in prison. Noting that most of these children They were put in jail with the onset of the Syrian crisis, like Daraa’s children who were arrested for their inscriptions.

In the details of the event, Anas said: “The sounds of torture became a normal thing, we hear them in the cell every day and continuously, as a kind of psychological war being waged against us, but that day was different! After the screams we heard the sound of bullets and then there was a frightening silence, a field execution of children and this was not the first time such operations were carried out, but it was the most horrible to the prisoners of the dormitory. 16, most of whom were children.

Methods of torture that sweep the earth with human dignity

And about the fear he experienced in prison, Enes said, “They wipe the earth with our dignity.” As for the methods of torture, Enesi said: “The methods of torture were games to entertain the guards, for example, the wind carpet is a method of torture called The hands are tied to a flat board, so that the bound person cannot be protected, his head is suspended in the air, or his limbs are stretched or pulled along. The board can be folded in half. So the feet touch the victim’s face, which leads to more pain and inability to move.

forcing Detained guards must bend their body and insert their head, neck and legs into a car tire in a torture method called dulab, so that they completely paralyze their movement and lose the ability to move and move. were protected, so beatings with sticks, whips and other means of torture begin on the back, legs and head, according to Anas.

And about the ugliest methods of torture that Anas underwent in detention, which is electric shock, he said: “The prisoner is connected to An iron chair and then hit by the current, or by squeezing electric hooks on sensitive areas of the body, including the genital area, inside the mouth and on the neck, chest, hands and feet.

From a courtyard to a cemetery

Anas testified that he and those who were with him were prevented from going out into the prison yard to breathe the air during his stay in the Sednaya prison; To hide the horrific massacres caused by the brutal tortures of prisoners who have been registered as missing.

Noting that every day a number of bodies were buried in the prison yard, either collectively or individually; To transform the prison yard from an airy place to a place that smells of death.

$ 30,000 .. an unpaid reward

During his speech, Anas said that his family tried to get him out of this prison by paying a bribe, but the amount demanded by a judge of the Court of Terrorism has far exceeded the possibilities of the family, which is a sum of 30 thousand dollars. Americans in exchange for giving. Annas release and drop charges against him.

Enesi confirmed that what he lived in Sednaya Prison throughout his detention caused him to suffer from mental and physical illness, and although the arrest ended with his release, he still suffers from its consequences and effects, which can not be described in words, so that everyone who hears is not like the one who saw.

The testimonies of the survivors, the sounds and images that have remained in their memory, remain the only evidence of the brutal methods of torture used in this prison.

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