In a Syrian prison, one man ‘hopes for death’


November 26, 2014

Presoners

HARD TIME: “The detainees in regime prisons need your prayers. Get out of prison and return to us,” reads a graffiti image posted in southern Damascus circulating widely on social media websites Wednesday.

Reliable statistics on the number of prisoners in regime jails are hard to come by. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights documented 1,900 prisoners killed while in detention from the beginning of this year to October 31, compared with 2,400 last year.

One former prisoner from Douma spoke to Syria Direct Wednesday about the circumstances surrounding his arrest and six-month long detention from November 2012 to May 2013. He asked that his real name not be used, and so for the purposes of this article he will be called Ahmed.

On the “blackest day of his life,” Ahmed passed by a peaceful protest at in an unnamed town when he was grabbed by security forces and accused of protesting. He was taken to an air force intelligence branch.

“The thing that makes me laugh and cry at the same time—I was charged with funding terrorism, but I can’t even support my family,” he says.

After he was found guilty, Ahmed began his “story of never-ending hell.”

“I was subjected to…beatings, stripped naked in front of the prisoners, forced to retain urine, to say nothing of the psychological torture that we saw with our own eyes—every day we heard gunshots of the field executions of other prisoners.”

When asked how he spent his days in prison, Ahmed characterized life as one of ongoing “desperation, torture and starvation.”

A Syrian prison is one way to come to terms with dying, Ahmed says.

The prisoner “hopes for death, because death is easier than prison under the Syrian regime.”

-November 26, 2014

-Photo courtesy of @lensdimashqi.

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