“They wiped the earth with our dignity.” A former prisoner tells the story of the torture in Sednaya prison

Numerous and bitter stories and tales told by civilians released from Sednaya prison by amnesty order issued by Bashar al-Assad. This prison is considered one of the most dangerous and infamous places next to the Palmyra prison and the Palestinian branch in Syria.

Among those stories is the story of citizen Anas Ramadan, who was released from prison with schizophrenia after spending 3 years, 3 months and 16 days in it, on charges of defaming Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the undermining of the prestige of the state.

human slaughterhouse

Sednaya Military Prison is one of the most dangerous and fortified prisons in Syria, where the most heinous types of crimes and offenses are committed against prisoners. of torture, ill-treatment and mass executions, especially after the onset of the Syrian crisisSo much so that it was called the human slaughterhouse. It is the last destination for detainees who are missing or not accountable. Especially opponents of the Damascus government.

The Damascus government – led by the Ba’ath party – built this prison in 1987 to consolidate its rule in the country, using methods of fear, threats and intimidation of opponents and opponents of the government.

Anti-insurgency design

Sednaya Prison is located near the historic Sednaya Monastery, about 30 km north of the Syrian capital, Damascus. It is affiliated with the Syrian Ministry of Defense and is managed by the Military Police.

The most remarkable of these prisons is its design, which was intended to enlarge its fortress to prevent any rebellion in it, as it consists of two buildings; The first, which is the oldest and is called “The Red Prison”, which is the worst and cruelest, and most of the detainees there are politicians and civilians who are accused of supporting terrorism, and it consists of three floors in the form of the “Mercedes” brand, and the second was later built and was namedwhite prison MIt consists of four floors, and looks like a letter L In English, it is intended for military personnel who are accused of violating military laws.

Anas describes what he saw in this prison, saying: “The interior design of the prison, according to the old prisoners, was changed after a rebellion of Islamic prisoners took place in 2008. Any rebellion While confirming that he witnessed the existence of underground vaults at the prison, 3 floors deep, in which dangerous prisoners are placed.

the train

Citizen Anas Ramadan (a pseudonym) was reluctant to name his real name, age or any information indicating him, because after his release he lives in areas controlled by the Damascus government, saying he did not have the nightmare that he did not want to repeat life in that prison.

He indicated that he had been taken prisoner without being brought to justice for writing a report about him, accusing him of slandering the Prime Minister of Damascus, Bashar al-Assad. of the state and terrorism.

As for the reception he was waiting for and most of the prisoners in this prison, he said: “I get scared as soon as I remember. They received us by ‘train’, which is a method. Humiliation and torture, where prisoners are bound with chains and led by a long corridor, with whips on either side of them.


Anas noted that in this prison he was acquainted with various forms and types of torture, emphasizing that what does not leave his memory is the “mistakes”. It is a torture method that relies on placing the prisoner in solitary confinement cells, an area of ​​1 square meter, for a period of 40 days. They do not contain light or an air outlet, and the prisoner’s food contains only stale breadcrumbs.

And Anas added, “This method of torture has been used with anyone who has spoken a language other than Arabic (Kurdish, Turkmen and Syriac) and with anyone who has in any way objected to being tortured by the officers and officers It is one of the methods of torture aimed at eradicating non-Arab identities in Syria, and a kind of The crimes based on racial and language discrimination, committed by the Damascus government against the people who Syrian mosaic. “

dormitory 16

During his speech, Anas noted that he was a witness About the murder of a number of children in dormitory no. 16, designated for juveniles in prison. Note that most of these children They were jailed at the start of the Syrian crisis, like the children of Daraa who were arrested for their graffiti.

In detail of the incident, Anas said: “The sounds of torture have become a normal thing, we hear it daily in our cells, as a kind of psychological war being waged against us, but that day was different! After the screams we heard the sound of bullets, and then there was a frightening silence A field execution of children, and it was not the first time that such operations were carried out, but it was the most horrible against the prisoners of the residence. 16, of whom most were children.

Methods of torture that wiped the earth with human dignity

And about the fear he experienced in prison, Anas said, “They wiped the land with our dignity.” As for the torture methods, Anas said: “The torture methods were games to entertain the guards, for example, the carpet of the wind is a torture method that the The hands are tied to a flat board so that the tied person cannot protect himself, his head hangs in the air, or the limbs are stretched or contracted. The board can also be folded in half. So that the feet touch the victim’s face, leading to more pain and the inability to move.

while forcing Detained guards must bend their bodies and place their heads, necks and legs in a car tire in a torture method called the dulab, so that they completely paralyze their movement and lose the ability to move and protect themselves, so that beatings with clubs , whips and other torture tools start on the back, legs and head, according to Anas.

And about the ugliest methods of torture, to which Anas was subjected to detention, which is electrocution, he said: “The prisoner is bound to the An iron chair and then electrocuted, or by clamping electrical hooks in sensitive areas of the body, including the genital area, inside the mouth, and on the neck, chest, hands and legs.

From a courtyard to a cemetery

Anas indicated that he and those with him were prevented from going out to the prison yard to breathe the air during his stay in Sednaya Prison; To disguise the horrific massacres caused by the cruel torture of prisoners registered as missing.

Note that a number of bodies are buried in the prison yard daily, either collectively or individually; To transform the prison yard from a place of breathing to a place that smells of death.

$ 30,000 .. an unpaid ransom

Anas said during his speech that his family tried to get him out of this prison by paying bribes, but the amount requested by a judge of the Terrorism Court far exceeded the family’s ability, which is an amount of 30 000 US dollars are in exchange for granting Anas freedom and drop the charges against him.

Anas confirmed that what he lived during his detention in Sednaya Prison led to him suffering from mental and physical illnesses, and although the arrest ended with his release, he still suffers the consequences and consequences thereof, which can not be described in words, so whoever is heard is not like one who has seen.

The testimonies of the survivors, and the sounds and images stuck in their memory, remain the only evidence of the cruel methods of torture used in this prison.



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