The Assad regime’s security forces continue to use the worst methods of torture and mistreatment against detainees, most notably sexual violence against female prisoners in order to extract confessions, a rights group said.
In a report on sexual violence in Syria, the Syrian Center for Justice and Accountability brought to light several cases of female ex-detainees who were subjected to sexual violence in the prisons of the Assad regime.
The report is titled “Do you Know what is Happening Here?” which is a quotation from an interview conducted by the Center with a female ex-detainee. She said that while she was being interrogated at one of the Assad regime’s detention centers, a guard led her to a room where another female detainee was being sexually abused by a prison guard.
The Center’s documentation team interviewed survivors and victims of sexual violence, including 16 survivors who said they were subjected to various forms of forced nudity while in detention.
Interviews conducted by the Center highlighted sexual and gender-based violence in some 30 detention centers and checkpoints belonging to the Assad regime in the period from 2012 to the date of publication of the report.
The Center reported that in 16 other interviews, former detainees said they were repeatedly forced to strip naked as part of routine searches conducted by the prison guards. The Assad regime also subjected them to lengthy periods of forced nudity with the aim of increasing their suffering and humiliation.
The report indicated that rape, the threat of rape and sexual abuse were a routine part of the interrogators’ attempts to extract confessions from detainees, amid lack of access to reproductive care in detention centers.
The report put forward ways that survivors can seek to ensure justice as well as conclusions and recommendations for future steps.
Various rights groups have confirmed that women, children and men have been subjected to sexual violence in the prisons of the Assad regime since the beginning of the Syrian revolution. They said it was difficult to provide an accurate estimate of the real number of the victims.
The Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria has already said it has evidence confirming major crimes are taking place in Syria amounting to “crimes against humanity.” The Commission has so far issued 17 reports, with its mandate extended for another year in March. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media Department)