Iran Election Guide

Donate to EAWV

Or, click to learn more



Syria Special: Torture, Intimidation Used to Deter Protests

Syrian soldiers appear to be beating prisoners in a bus. We haven't received a full translation yet, but it appears that the soldiers are forcing these people to chant pro-Assad slogans:

UPDATE: 2011-08-19, 1900 GMT: Al Jazeera posts this translation with additional details:

Activists say the prisoners on the bus were arrested in Hama on July 29, just two days before the military assault on the city.

Men believed to be shabiha thugs dressed in military uniforms beat the prisoners, slamming their heads down and pulling their hair while screaming, "God, Syria, Bashar only!" and "With our blood and souls we sacrifice to you Bashar!" The men’s beards suggest they are not regular soldiers, as beards are banned in Syria’s military.

See Also, Today's Liveblog: Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Pressure Outside, More Pressure Within

Syria, Libya (and Beyond) Liveblog: The Crackdown has Stopped?

Syria Special: Diane Rehm - Escalating Violence in Syria

NPR Reports that the tactics of the Syrian regime have become even more extreme. According to the report, Assad's forces are now torturing some detainees to death (audio of the full report):

Activists say the latest, most grisly trend is to detain protesters, torture them to death, then release their bodies for all to see. Activists say of the 70 deaths in detention they've documented so far, nearly 40 have been in the central city of Homs.

In one case, about two weeks ago, two men in Homs had just finished praying at the mosque. One stopped his car and offered another a ride. Witnesses told activists that security forces surrounded the car, ordered the men out and beat them on the head with the butts of rifles. The men were then taken to the local intelligence headquarters.

The body of the first man was returned to his family 10 days later, with cuts and bruises and signs of a beating. The death sparked a massive protest that was caught on video by residents in Homs.

Four days later, the second body was returned to the victim's family. Images of the body show what look like bullet holes and massive bruising. The feet are nearly swollen beyond recognition.

These reports mean that, despite the 2000+ people who have been killed thus far, the fate of the thousands, or tens of thousands, of people who have gone missing or have been arrested must also be called into question.

In perhaps the most famous example yet, back in May, 13-year old Hamza Ali Al-Khateeb was killed while in detention, and his mutilated body was returned to his family, complete with burn marks, 3 gunshot wounds, bruises, and mutilated genitals.

Is there other evidence that Assad is using unusually cruel tactics, including the torture of prisoners? We offer two new videos (below the gray line, EXTREMELY GRAPHIC) that have been posted in recent days.

The first video apparently shows bodies recovered out the Orentes River near Hama on August 8th. On August 2nd, EA discovered video that claimed to show bodies being dumped into the same river system in Hama. The video claimed that the bodies were protesters being dumped into the rive by Shabiha ("ghosts" –-- pro-Assad militia), a claim that we analyzed in a separate feature.

The second EXTREMELY GRAPHIC video claims to show the body of a man, Loay al Amir, who was tortured to death by the Syrian regime.

These reports are flooding in, but the videos and reports of large protests are as well. The Syrian people do not seem to be scared by Assad's tactics, but the supporters he does have may not appreciate being associated with this level of violence.

Below this gray line there are two EXTREMELY GRAPHIC VIDEOS. Viewer discretion is advised

PrintView Printer Friendly Version

EmailEmail Article to Friend

« Israel-Gaza Latest: Airstrikes Kill 6+ Palestinians, 2 Egypt Soldiers after Border Attack Slays 8 Israelis (Al Jazeera English) | Main | The Latest from Iran (18 August): The Watermelons of Sedition »

Reader Comments

There are no comments for this journal entry. To create a new comment, use the form below.

PostPost a New Comment

Enter your information below to add a new comment.

My response is on my own website »
Author Email (optional):
Author URL (optional):
Some HTML allowed: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <code> <em> <i> <strike> <strong>