A former female inmate who was held in the Assad regime prisons recounted the brutal torture and abuse she and her cellmates suffered while in detention. She said that war crimes are taking place inside in these prisons as did many human rights groups.
Speaking to local newspaper Inab Baladi on Wednesday, Raniya Abdulhakim described her ordeal as “horrific.” During the six years she spent in custody, she said that she saw and heard the cries and screams of over 1,000 women being tortured, the majority of whom died in detention.
The 30-year-old woman from Homs province said she was detained at a regime checkpoint back in 2011. “I was on my way to Damascus when a regime checkpoint stopped me and told me they needed me for two hours only. But I was held for six years during which I endured unimaginable torment. I have never expected that a human being can do this.”
“I was accused of communicating with rebel fighters and helping army officers defect. They even accused me of involvement in a bombing in Jisr al-Shughour. I was detained along with my three children: Mohammed, 6, Elaf 4, and Maryam, 9 months,” Raniya said.
“At first we were held in a detention center near the town of Deir Shimayel in western Hama province for six months. We saw detainees being subjected to various methods of torture. My kids also saw me being tortured and mistreated, which was for me harder than death.”
Raniya was then taken to Damascus, where she was held in the various security branches belonging to the Military Security Branch and the Air Force Intelligence Directorate. While there, she said she saw detainees being subjected to indescribable torture, such as rape, burning, and removal of the skin and nails.
She went on to say that her cellmates were brutalized to the extent that they all wanted to die to be spared the torture and abuse they were subjected to day and night.
Raniya added that when she returned to Homs to search for her family, the neighbors told her that all her family members had died already. “Some were slaughtered in the Hula Massacre while others died as a result of the shelling. The rest fled to the Damascus suburb of eastern Ghouta where they died in the sarin attack that hit the region back in the summer of 2013.”
“In 2017, I was taken out of the prison and dumped in a street in Damascus. It took my children many months to recognize me. When I was detained I was 24 years-old and they were too little to remember me.”
Raniya concluded by addressing all those who revolted against the regime to remind them that “thousands of Syrian women are still held in the Assad regime’s prisons screaming day and night and subjected to unimaginable torture. Getting those women out is the responsibility of every free revolutionary. They have been detained for nothing but the revolution.” (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)