book “Sednaya Prison During The Syrian Revolution:Testimony of Mohammad

My face was to the wall, the barber/jailer called me. Cut one side of my hair and left the other, half of my moustaches and left the other. He was playing. Of course, my eyes were closed, if one opens them, he would be beaten by the machine on them.

August 21, 2020

book “Sednaya Prison During The Syrian Revolution:Testimony of Mohammad

Source: The Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison

When I was writing my memories about my detention, I stopped to recall the details of this story. It happened four or may be five months before I was set free. They called my name for a visit… “Cover your head with your sweater.” I did.  Walk son of so and so, son of a bitch…You want to take the bless from the C…t of your mother? Your wife is here to visit you? Just yesterday she was sleeping with your brother who remained outside.”

These humiliating curses continued accompanied by beating and kicking until we arrive into the barber saloon where we take the position of squatting against the wall, sweaters still covering our heads. Then the jailers get in; “squatting- slanted” while treading on our bodies, kicking us and beating us with a green PVC tube dubbed “Lakhdar Brahimi” * While the barber was enjoying himself by beating our faces with his machine.

My sweater was slightly porous allowing weak visibility. When I entered the barber saloon, I noticed a person lying down on the floor in the middle of the room. He was extremely thin, a skeleton, He was my little pampered brother in the family, Ahmad. I knew his body well but his thinness raised my doubts. I prayed God to be not him. Man, always has hopes although on the edge of collapse. When he moaned, I realized that he was my brother!

My face was to the wall, the barber/jailer called me. Cut one side of my hair and left the other, half of my moustaches and left the other. He was playing. Of course, my eyes were closed, if one opens them, he would be beaten by the machine on them.

After he finished, he kicked me to return to my place. He asked his colleagues: “The animal who is laying down in the center, why did you bring him? Take him away and throw him in the trash box.” Visitors arrived in the hall, jailers started calling our names to move to the hall. One of them came in and mentioned the name of my brother, no body answered. Another jailer told him: “May be he is the son of a bitch in the middle of the room?!” They forgot about him. After a while they called my name and realized the similarity of the family name and the father’s name. The jailer asked me: “Is this son of a pro…te your brother? Come you ass hole, carry him.” I ran eager to hug him, to hold him tight, to protect him with my body, whatever…. I held him on my back. Although I was very thin, I could carry him because he was very light. “Brother…I am tired” he told me. I didn’t know what to say to encourage him in such a condition. I said “Take it easy…God will help us” they allowed me carry him to the door of the hall laughing at me and beating both of us. When I arrived, one of them told me: “throw him here.” I put him down and that was the last time I touched him.

They entered him into the hall. Here I’ll continue the story as my mother and two sisters who were present told me. Two jailers raised him up, drew him to the mesh. One of them supported him by his hand from behind. My sister saw him, and told my mother: “Look, Look, at this young man …how his family would see him in this state?” My mother looked at him and said: “Really, pity him…” how his mother would bear to see him? The jailers called the name and told my mother: “Here is your son.”

At the beginning she said: “Impossible” she talked to him. He failed to reply, they took him out and put him on the floor. They looked at me and said; “Your turn.” I entered trying to hold up. What can I say? One jailer was on my right, another one on my left, and a third was standing behind me, between the two meshes there was another one and two of the jailers with my family. The dialogue can’t be more than “How are you? How is everybody? Bring me clothes.”

When the visit was over and I got out of the room, one of the jailers surprised me: “You son of a … come here.” I approached him ‘What is this, he ordered me to kneel down, another one came like a gangster with about ten jailers. One of them asked about my brother who was laid on the floor. “What is this?” another one said: “This one pretended to be sick in front of his family.” The other said: “Alright… we will try him artificial respiration with him.”

 They stretched my brother on his back and the last one started jumping on his neck. It is impossible for me to forget the sound of his whoops between the kicks on his neck while the jailer is continuing jumping over him and asking: “Are you breathing? My brother says no. Then we should break his chest bones…probably there is a problem in the lungs.” All of them continued kicking him. He could only whoop and sigh and started bleeding. One of them said “Look …the son of a … filled me with blood.”

I was still kneeling down with one of them putting his foot on my head. He pressed hard on my head and said: “prepare yourself … it is your turn.”  What a man can do in this situation?  I told myself silently: “My God …this is your judgement and I accept it.”

A few minutes later, another one came. He seemed to be of a higher rank, He asked about my brother “what is this?” one of them said: “this one …fatas (died).” “Take him away” he said. They whispered a little about me and said “This one too…take him back to his dormitory.” And they did.

* Lakhdar Brahimi is a former Algerian foreign minister. He was appointed UN envoy to Syria during the war. His first name means the green. Jailers use green PVC tubes to beat the prisoners, jokingly dubbing them “Lakhdar Brahimi.”


Prelude the book

Part 1   Part 2    Part 3  Part 4  Part 5 Part 6   Part 7  Part 8   Part 9