The Testimony of the Child Mo’az AbdulRahman on the Intelligence and Military Police Jails
The Syrian regime and its various security bodies have not lingered in arresting children and put them in jails and expose them to all sorts of harsh ill-treatments.
VDC has documented 997 cases of boys arrest and 38 others of girls. Cases of children’s executions and torture to death inside the regime’s jails and detentions have also been documented (73 boys and two girls).
Here we present an interview with one of the children whom, despite his little age and innocence, had been brutally tortured, abused and stood before the Terrorist Court, which had been established on 26/7/2012 in accordance with decree no.22.
My name is Mo’az AbdulRahman, from Hama, I was born in 1997. I am a tenth grade student.
On Tuesday 2-4-2013, I was in the downtown market (specifically at Dabbagha alley) with a friend of mine when a car- full of security agents- suddenly passed by me, going from the checkpoint of General Headquarter to the checkpoint of the old party headquarter. I got nervous and changed my way up to the opposite direction. The agents noticed that, and it was only seconds till one of them caught me and my friend and they started beating us, then they put us in their car and led us to the barrier of the old party.
When we arrived at the checkpoint, they took our IDs. Then, I discovered that I had been wanted, as well as my father. Accordingly, they released my friend after beating him severely, and they took me to the Military Security Branch in Hama.
*Military Security Branch in Hama
I Arrived at the branch, and when I was handing in my belongings they stole 4500 SP from me, For when I handed the 4530 SP I had the Safety officer told me later that I had handed 30 SP only.
I was taken then to a 2*1m solitary confinement in which there were four detainees; I was the fifth. We had to shut down the toilet slot inside the cell to sleep over it because of the severe lack of space.
Upon the first day to my arrival to the branch, I was called in the evening to the first interrogation session. I was tortured in a « car tire » and hit with thick wooden stick all over my body. The interrogator charged me with « possessing weapons » and I was hit for nearly three hours to confess, yet I did not admit, as I had never carried a weapon.
Two jailers hit me alternately while the interrogator asked me questions. The first jailor was called « the blond », the second was called « the long » and the interrogator was known as (AbulNar/ the Father of Fire), who was one of the most brutal interrogators in the branch.
The next day I was summoned for another interrogation session. They tied my hands behind my back with a metal chain, tied it to the ceiling and hanged me so my toes hardly touched the floor. They took off my clothes except for the underwear and beat me with a 5 cm diameter wooden stick for three hours, and poured cold water on me although it was cold.
I was asked in the second interrogation session to admit that I was armed and to give the name of the battalion commander with whom I worked. Of course I did not confess any of those charges; I just admitted my participation in two peaceful demonstrations against the regime.
After the second interrogation, I was left in the same cell for 14 days without calling me again. During those days I had severe dermatitis and my body reddened; especially the areas of underarm and knees, and carbuncles began to appear on my skin due to dirt and the severe beating I was exposed to.
I asked the warden to give me medicine for allergyy, but he refused and hit me with his hand on my face and mocked me saying (Where do you think you are? In a hotel?!)
I was called to interrogation for a third time on 04/16/2013 when officers of the branch had raided my house and brought my PC that I was working on. Here, a series of confessions began….
They displayed the videos I had filmed during the demonstrations and during the passage of military vehicles in the streets, some of the leaflets I had been distributing and the pictures and slogans I had sprayed on the walls. So I confessed contacting some « tendentious » TV channels such as Al-Jazeera, Al-Arabiya, Syria Al-Shaab and Syria Al-Ghad.
I also confessed videotaping the army, spraying the walls, shooting demonstrations and distributing leaflets.
During the third interrogation, I was beaten with a 4cm diameter cable- thick cords twisted together- whose sides was cutting parts of my flesh.
I was beaten heavily that the chair I was sitting on broke as a result of the severe beating, not to mention the countless insults to my holy beliefs and honor.
After that, I was called to interrogation 13 times; I was interrogated only in one of them, the other times were for their entertaining as they had never asked me any questions, they only tortured me.
One of the penalties the jailers exposed us to, was taking us out- blindfolded and handcuffed-and making us stand for 5 hours in the yard of the branch wearing only our underwear while they poured cold water on us and hit us. I remember that one time my joints swelled greatly due to the severe beatings I was exposed to.
After a month and four days in the Military Security Branch, I was transferred to the Military Police in Hama in a neighborhood south of the stadium. Later, I knew that the Military Security Branch in Damascus (Branch 215) had requested me transferred to it.
I was harshly beaten during the transfer from the Military Security Branch to the headquarter of the Military Police in Hama, and I stayed there for four days during which I was not beaten.
I was taken on the fourth day to Homs by a vehicle- used for agricultural purposes- that has high sides, because the security members have been using civilian cars for fear of being attacked by members of the Free Army.
I arrived at AlBalona Branch (the Military Police) in Homs, a deposit lockup in which detainees were put before delivering them to the branches. I stayed for 4 hours, yet I felt it was 4 months because of the severe beatings I was exposed to there. I was hit more than thirty times with an electric cable that my back was wounded and bleeding. Most of the agents in this Branch were from AlJazeera district, north of Syria.
I was transferred to Damascus later by an Ice-cream car, which was just funny because they could not use the army or the security vehicles to transfer us.
*AlBalona Branch (the Military Police) in Homs
Military Security, Branch 215(Raid Brigade)
*Military Intelligence, Branch 215(Raid Brigade)
I arrived at Branch 215. When I got in, I was surprised by all the dirt and bad smell in there, in addition to the widespread diseases among the detainees. I was put in a 2.5*2.5m2 cell in which there were between 60 to 70 people. I had only one slab on which I had to eat and sleep (sitting). I remained there for 20 days, on the seventh of which I was called for interrogation. The interrogator tried to force me to confess that I was a member of « Al Nusra Front », yet I stuck to my previous confessions I made in Military Security Branch in Hama although I was beaten with a wooden stick more than 10 times.
Hard-Laborers(jailors and prisoners)
The officers of Branch 215 have- because of the great number of detainees, and the widespread diseases and bad smells- assigned the tasks of the cells to the old detainees, or as they were called « hard-laborers ». Those record the deaths that take place inside the branch, move the bodies of the detainees who are killed under torture or due to illness or (detachment), a condition that occurs among the detainees who are subjected to severe torture leading them to a state of hallucination and lack of memory and concentration; they remain like that for a few days until they die. Between 15 to 30 bodies are taken out of branch 215 every day.
The force-laborer often beat detainees and harmed them significantly, as they had an agreement with the prison administration that granted them more privileges inside the prison. On one hand they got relatively wider sleeping space; on the other hand they got better food. They stood at the door of the dormitory where the cells are, to distribute food and organize going to the bathroom. They lined up in two rows, and while we went to the bathroom they hit and beat us severely twice or three times every day. The officers, on the other hand, roamed the dormitories every day, yet the actual responsibility of the cells was shouldered by the hard-laborers.
The victim becomes a criminal
In a case I witnessed in Branch 215, one of the former detainees (a hard-laborer) recognized one of the new detainees from Homs, the home town of the former, whose name is (Muhannad). There was enmity between the two, thus the hard-laborer headed towards the other detainee carrying a baton with which he hit him violently casing him « a detachment ». Muhannad remained like that for four days before he passed away.
We went out to the bathroom twice a day, and if any of us happened to be using the bathroom out of the set time, he would be asked to pee in his clothes.
While going out to the bathroom, we were passing between two rows of the hard-laborers who beat us severely (with scourges) on our backs 4 times a day. They did that for the sake of getting better food and enough sleeping space!
The Food in Division215
We had three meals a day, the first was at 7:00 am and it was one spoon of yoghurt with an old loaf of bread, the second was one mouthful of boiled rice without salt with an old loaf of bread, and the third was one quarter of a boiled potato with an old loaf of bread. There was plenty of water to drink.
Military Police in Qaboun Neighborhood
*Military Police Branch in Qaboun, Damascus
After 20 days in Branch 215, I was transformed to the Public Prosecution in Damascus then to the Court of Terrorism before I was transferred to the Military Police in Qaboun as a commitment station before I was transferred to Adra Prison where I would wait for my trial before the Court of Terrorism. Indeed, I spent two days in the Military Police then transferred to Adra Prison. Upon my arrival to the prison, the Prison’s administrators refused to receive me because I was not eighteen yet, thus I was transferred to the Public Prosecution and then to the Palace of Justice in Damascus which sent me back again to the Military Police in Qaboun to wait for my trial.
In the midst of those various transfers, my profile was lost in the Court of Terrorism so I had to wait for another two and a half months in the Military Police in Qaboun until they found it.
During the days I spent in the Military Police prison in Qaboun, I was beaten severely on a daily basis, and I was moved to many different dormitories. Skin diseases were widely spread among the detainees, yet we were not given any medications to treat the rash and carbuncles we had.
While I was in the Military Police in Qaboun, I witnessed a murder committed by a Sergeant. They were calling the names of some detainees to transfer them to the trials, and when one of those detainees was going out from the cell, his shoulder accidently bumped into the shoulder of the sergeant. The detainee was a soldier serving in Riot Combatting Department in Aleppo, and he spent eight months in prison on charges of « considering to dissent »
After his shoulder bumped into the sergeant’s whose name is (Ahmad) from Skantoori neighborhood in Lattekia, the later brought a thick stick and hit the detainee on the back of his neck causing him an immediate and complete paralysis so he fell on the ground. The sergeant continued beating him till he died.
On 08/06/2013 my profile was found in the Court of Terrorism after it was lost, then I was transferred to the court and stood before the Eighth Magistrate who ordered my release for lack of evidence of any offense against me.
When released from the Palace of Justice in Damascus, I was surprised by the number of people coming to me to ask about their detained relatives. They showed me pictures of their sons and asked me whether I had seen or heard about them in the prison.
One kind person offered me his mobile phone so I called my relatives in Damascus who came and picked me up.
The Interviewer: Amir Kazkaz
* Some images showing traces of torture, skin allergies and carbuncles that the child Mo’az Abdul Rahman had in various detention centers
لأية ملاحظات أو أسئلة يمكن التواصل معنا عبر بريدنا الالكتروني
للاطلاع على تقاريرنا السابقة باللغة العربية
للاطلاع على تقاريرنا السابقة باللغة الإنكليزية
date : 10/2013