A Syrian human-rights activist and former detainee on Tuesday presented the US Holocaust Memorial Museum with names of fellow prisoners to be put on display in order to convey to the world the atrocities being committed by the Assad regime forces against detainees.
A report by the New York Times on Wednesday detailed how Mansour Omari presented the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum’s research and preservation center on Tuesday with scraps of cloth that he and fellow detainees had written their names on while being incarcerated in a brutal facility in Damascus under the supervision of the 4th Division, one of the Assad regime’s elite army unites. Omari spent nearly a year in captivity before he was released in February 2013.
Omari said that he and other five detainees scribbled the names of their inmates on a shirt of one of them using blood and flakes of rust. He told the newspaper how he managed to smuggle the scraps of cloth out of the prison in the folds and collar of his shirt. Omari was the first among the group to be released.
Conservationists at the museum are preparing to study the fabric and are researching how best to preserve it. The chief conservator, Jane E. Klinger, said her team was looking to construct containers to hold the documents — perhaps from plexiglass fitted with ultraviolet lights.
Omari said he hoped museum officials would preserve the 82 names as evidence and, through displaying the items, raise awareness among visitors to the Washington museum about the war the Assad regime has waged against the Syrian people since 2011.
Omari also worked as a journalist and a translator and was a member of the Syrian Journalists Association. He was working with the Syrian Center for Media and Freedom of Expression to document cases of people who have disappeared under the regime of Bashar Al-Assad when members of the Air Force Intelligence raided his office in 2012.
After his release from prison, Omar continued to document violations in Syria. He later joined the Reporters Without Borders organization. (Source: Syrian Coalition’s Media + Agencies)