There.. Where They Quietly Die

Enab Baladi Issue # 84 – Sun, Sep. 29, 2013

معتقلات الأسدLama Aldirani

There in a room 4 meters by 3 meters, 70 souls between four walls live under pain. Some sleep standing, some sleep top to tails. In an environment where no windows or air outlets are available, prisoners’ breaths are almost suffocated. There, where oxygen decreases gradually, the exhausted, tortured, starving bodies eventually fall one by one like dominoes.

A wound caused by a whip hit may get worse and become septicemic. Temperature of that wounded body increases and here where a statement of delirium starts. In a cell, where detainees’ breaths are more than sufficient to make a crazy noise, moan of that patient detainee gets painfully louder which drives other detainees crazy deaf. Whereas, jailers listen to the patient’s pain indifferently. Each detainee witnesses others’ last throes waiting for his turn and expecting to be next.

Food bowls served contain the worst spoilt food ever. Yet, they were not adequate. Even though, detainees snap up to stop their feeling of starvation. Life inside cells is like the jungle life where only the strongest survives. Nothing is more painful than the struggle to stay alive in a place where the spirit of death hangs overhead every moment. Since food is the only way to survive, detainees would strive and compete with each other over the last summit of food.

The cell’s atmosphere is tiny, dirty, stuffy, and full of moisture and lack air and sun which can lead to skin infectious diseases. There is no chance to shower nor is there a place to pee but the cell itself. As a result, skin diseases in all its forms and types are so common among the detainees. Detainees’ flesh usually gets bit by the jailers’ whips, and what is left sound, gets bit by poisonous and killing insects. Thereafter, skin starts bleeding, wounds get wider, bones consequently appear and flesh becomes septicemic. While the detainee witnesses the death of each part of his body separately, jailers and detainees observe that noiselessly.

At the investigation rooms, detainees are subjected to all forms of psychological and physical torture. There are cords hung at room ceiling, a detainee gets hanged from those cords and hit by whips. The more he cries of pain, the more and the harder he gets tortured. Moreover, many are exposed to electric shocks at their ankles. Internal burns are caused due to the large energy and then the feet tissues become septicemic and damaged, therefore, cut after a few days.

There at cellars of Alassad security branches, many souls are lost every minute. Nobody hears about their death. Yet, death feels to be more merciful than being alive in such an environment. Very few survive this kind of life and get out of the cells to tell their horrible stories. Their stories are always ended by that scary saying; ‘to experience something is different from being told about it!’ Apart from those who experienced pain, no body can feel it or even imagine it.

For those who are languishing at Alassad security branches, unifying rebels’ decisions is obligatory, continuing the march of the revolution is a must, and praying for them is the least we could do.

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