Testemonies by Victims of Torture and Enforced Disappearance
Testemonies by Victims of Torture and Enforced Disappearance
1 - (A- H)
The detainee, H.A was arrested from his home in Al Denneyeh by the Syrian intelligence on 9 \ 4 \ 1991 and he was being moved between the following branches: Al Amercan, Anjar, the region, and the Military Interrogation Branch(Al Mazzeh), and was released on 14 \ 4 \ 1997.H.A was working as a construction worker before being arrested, but after long years of torture, he became unable to work due to health deteriorating.
H.A was subjected to all means of torture, he was prohibited from receiving visitors (parents and relatives) for 3 years, was beaten savagely, chained, insulted, deprived from food and water..and sometimes was obliged to have dirty food and polluted water. He also could barley get a liter of water every four days. Moreover, he was forced to be partially or fully naked and be photographed in a way to humiliate him. He also had 3 uprooted teeth, exposed to extreme cold in winter and cold water thrown inflicting burns under the eyes and ears by a cigarette.
The detainee went out of prison with serious health disorders, unable to work, at risk of onset of cancer as a result of liver infections, had muscle weakness which made him unable to maintain any work, in addition to serious disorders in the digestive system.
The detainee was born in 1962 and works as a fisherman, he was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1983 from Orwad island and moved to the military investigation branch, Tartous, and then to the caste and Adra prison.
The detainee was subjected to several sorts of torture. He was isolated in solitary jails, and he was beaten savagely by the whips and sharp ironic tools, he also had electric shocks. He was suffered psychological disorders due to the pressure he had.
The detainee was released in 1985, but he had to stay in the hospital, but till now he is still suffering from many psychological as well as physical problem
(Born in 1962, was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1987 from his home, moved between the following sections Alomrcan, Anjar, a branch of the region in Syria where he was subjected to all sorts of torture which caused him disability in his left hand, and was isolated in a tunnel is isolated full of rats and wastewater and bacteria that led to the illness (gangrene in his foot), and then went to the Military
Interrogation Branch in prison for two months and 20 days at the prison, the detainee was transferred later to the prison of Palmyra. He remained in the prison for a year and 8 months.
In 1992 he was transferred to the branch Sednaya and stayed there 9 years. After that he was released in 2001 by the amnesty.
Now, The detainee suffers from constant headaches as a result of harsh beatings with electric cables on the head. The detainee also suffers from diabetes, and now his financial situation is very bad, and he is incapable to perform any skill in work due to illnesses.
H. M. was born in 1967, was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1986 and released in 1992, was arrested from his home to a branch Alammerkan where he stayed 37 days "under torture, then went to the area (Sham) for two months and there was accused with several murdersm one of them the crime of the Syrian officer in 1967.
The detainee denied being committed to that crime, but under the influence of beatings and psychological torture admitted to be responsible of the crime. Then he went to the Military Interrogation Branch for 3 months detained in Palmyra prison for 4 years under beatings and torture and the prohibition of food, then transferred to Mezze prison, and finally to the Sednaya.
He was subjected to all types of psychological physical torture. He was also prevented from eating, drinking, and threatened to arrest one of his family members.
In addition to random or systematic beatings on his feet that lead to paralysis, and the electric shocks which caused
him a constant headaches and difficulty in concentrating and bouts of anger and severe psychological disorders which makes him lose control over himself.
All of these symptoms as a result of his detention and ill-treatment and torture while in detention.
K.B was arrested on 10/12/1985 and was released on 10/4/2007 by the Syrian intelligence undergoing all means of physical and psychological torture in prison (Adra). He stayed there for about 3 days of investigation and torture by indiscriminate beatings to be transferred later to another prison where he suffered complications due to beating with batons on his face that led to a strong internal nose bleeding.
he spent about 8 months in the prison in a room 7 by 4 meters. He was having 90 other detainee together with him in the same place that lacked any of the health conditions of living. Then he was transferred to a prison (Tadmur) in which he spent nearly 16 years, "heckled" also "to the White torture like eyes’ folding, ears’ covering and the threat of physical disability.
The, prisoner, K.B was put in a room alone and was forbidden to contact with his family or to have visitors, tossed with hot and cold water, causing burns eloquently on his body as well as putting out cigarettes off his body. he was exposed to "verbal and sexual humiliation" and beaten systematically and randomly on his head, causing "loss of memory and the sight. He suffers now from foot pain and arthritis, and diabetes complications as a result of torture, malnutrition and extreme fear during the period of his detention.
k .J was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1990 from Barbir St. to a branch of Anjar and then moved between the following branches: the local Branch, the Military Interrogation Branch down to the Sednaya, he was detained for several means of psychological and physical torture. For example, he was kept in a separate room for 3 month period, deprived of his family for two years , witnessed another prisoner being tortured in front of his eyes, suspended in different positions (Albulanju), placed on the pressure chair, and to be forced to stand for two hours. In addition to random and systematic beating on his body, threatening to arrest a member of the family, and to be insulted verbally.
The prisoner was released in 1995 suffering from mental problems. The memories of detention will depart his dreams, no matter how hard he tried to forget them, and may affect his psychology.
The detainee suffered from joint pain (disk in back), severe inflammation in the right ear, that he does not hear and it needs an operation in the drum, due to the constant organized beating on the ear. All of the detainee's suffering from pain and mental disorders are results of years of detention.
8 - (G. D)
G. D. was arrested by the Syrian intelligence from Beb el Ramel moving between the following sections: Mar Maroun - Alamrcan - Anjar - Branch Area - Military Interrogation Branch - Sednaya in 1985 and was released on 1992. He was exposed "to all means of torture, was prevented from receiving visitors or parents for 5 years, was kept in a single room, where they got him contaminated and unhealthy food.He was also threatened by abusive sexual terms that hampered him physically. "
He was subjected to constant beating and slapping on his ears, which later made him deaf. He was suspended by Albulanju, and placed in the pressure chair. In addition, during his arrest he got a malignant urinary tract infection that led to malignant sickness. When he got out of the arrest, he was a disabled and paralyzed corpse, suffering loss of hearing, and unable to carry stuff even the light ones like a cup of coffee"
Now he's suffering from the spread of malignant disease in his body ". He's constantly turbulent, tense, afraid, and can not speak well. There
is slowness in his speech as well as shaking and chilling, having back and legs pains. The means of torture adopted in detention and lack of hygiene in addition to malnutrition have developed his exacerbated current health state.
9 - (o. E)
O. E. was arrested in 1985 by the Syrian intelligence service from the port area and driven to a Saint Maroon branch, then Anjar, down to Alamercan branch, and then Palmyra prison in 1985. He was released in 1992 where he had undergone health, physical, and psychological torturing techniques. In Anjar prison, the detainee was stroke strongly twice on his chest by an intelligence officer's shoe. The stroke knocked him down, and made him paralyzed for 40 days. Yet, due to reluctance in treatment at the camp, the prisoner had a large bone that emerged on his chest. He was provoked by a blinding, strong light that was pointed to him. Also, he was well beaten in a planned or random way on his back, with repeated electric shocks all over his body, tied on the pressure chair him and suspended from the Balblngo, as well as plucking off his nails and putting out cigarettes off his body.
The prisoner was released from prison in 1992 with the development of deteriorating health and psychological status. The prisoner was released with a grieving heart that is always worried about his brothers and family's safety resulting from the continuous threat of intelligence to kill his brothers.
So the detainee S. E. Suffers from constant headaches, causing him sometimes to fall into a coma. He also suffers from cirrhosis of the liver, and disk in the back accompanied with sharp kidney crisis, knowing that he's functioning with one kidney, diabetes and disturbances in the gut. Those reasons made him visit the hospital in Tripoli for several times. However, his various diseases in unison with
the lack of technical and medical possibilities laid him off treatment and healing. He needs to enter a specialized hospital which provides all the technical possibilities of his difficult condition.
10 - M. family.
• Kh. O.: - previously detained by the Syrian intelligence, was arrested in 1987 and released in 1987.
- Widow (a. M.) she died because of torture in 1992
- Mother (x. M.) He died of a bullet from the Syrian intelligence service during his escape from detention in 1986.
- Mother (p. M.) Arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1986 and released 1990.
• Junior (p. M.): Arrested by Syrian intelligence in 1986 for political charges, in front of his home (Tabbeneh), moving between the following branches: Mar Maroun - Alomrcan - Anjar - Regional Branch - the branch of the military investigation. They've been searching his house several times after arresting him, and in one attempt to inspect the house they knocked the door off fast. Therefore,
they hit the pregnant woman down on the ground causing her to lose her consciousness (coma) and her son, who had several nervous breakdowns. Sedatives were her cure.
P. M. was exposed to sexual verbal insults, threats to bring a family member to prison, specifically the mother and wife, banned from food, drink, usage of electrical wires on his body, cigarette in his body, suspension in different ways, severely beaten on the mouth and teeth with an officer's shoe , that smashed all of his teeth. The effects of arrest made him a disabled man that can't engage in the work life because of back pain (disc). he also suffers from constant fear, mental breakdowns, and painful memories, especially when he had to witness the execution of one of the detainees in front of his eyes in prison or the yard to set an example for the other detainees.
P. M. was arrested for nine days in Tadmur prison. He says that those nine days were equivalent to all years of captivation, because of the psychological and physical torture he suffered from at the prison
• Junior (G. M.): he's Nineteen-year-old lad, was arrested in 1986 from home, he was deadly shot when he tried to escape from the hands of Syrian intelligence. This led to his death directly in front of his mother. The Syrian intelligence kept on searching his house to arrest him repeatedly after his death.
• Mother (x. O. M.): she was born in 1940 and was arrested in 1987 from her home (Tabbeneh) to the branch of Saint Maroon for charges of leaking confidential information to Beirut. She was severely tortured several like preventing her communicating with family, verbal insults, sexual abuse, depriving her from food and drink, watch another prisoner in the ninth month of pregnancy being tortured. She was also hit by the whip continuously, put it in the wheel 3 times and the fan torture, which led to loss of consciousness (fainting ).
The detainee was liberated in 1987. She's lifeless, gloomy, sad, stoke by tragedies. She agonizes with the murdering of her young son infront
of her, which soars her heart so far, then the arrest of her eldest son. The latter suffered various kinds of torture, yet his mom tries hard to release her son arrested 4 years earlier.
the arrest and torture, left her numerous diseases in her body like diabetes, kidney pain, disc in her back, and urinary tract infections.
• The father (a. M.): Arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1990, without any political convictions. He only asked a creditor to recover his money. The second refused to pay despite of detainee's insistence (a. M.). On the last payment the creditor put (A.M) name with the Syrian intelligence's wanted list that existed in Lebanon at the time. They rushed to his arrest in 1990, and made him undergo all means of psychological and physical torture. They prohibited him from the family visits for two years, cut him off of food and drink, beaten him
with electric cables over all of his body. However, his wife was expecting his release (x. o. m.) due to her visits after the expiration of the two-year-embargo. Whenever the visiting wife, grieving for her husband arrest, her son's death, and her eldest son that's captured 4 years ago got back to her house gloomily. Yet they received the great calamity which her husband died under torture, physical (following a myocardial infarction, severe heart attack) as stated in the instrument of death, the date of death of the third in 1992 at nine in the morning.
Father died, leaving 10 children with the mother, died under torture. This caused the mother to work in house holding (washing, cooking, cleaning ...) to provide living expenses. A strike after the other, the loss
of her children one by one, to the loss of her husband, which fell to bits of death. He could not bear the torment of the body and the torment of soul. The melancholic mother had to face life with a collapsed family, orphans and diseases. She was spending sleepless nights on the balcony remembering her son once then her husband, then she'd sleeping on the porch loaded with sorrow and pain.
11 - P. M.
P. M. was arrested On 4/8/1991, when Syrian intelligence took him from Ain lboroj to Alomrcan tower, then to a branch of Saint Maron and Anjar, to the Palestine Branch and finally to the Military Interrogation Branch on 04/08/1991where he spent the toughest times. During investigation, he was blindfolded, handcuffed, and physically
tortured. In the morning of the 2nd day of arrest, at three a.m, he was held in a separate room for 15 days. "
He was deprived of communication with the external world in his detention for 3 years, deprived of receiving visitors, and also was prevented from food and drink, thus was forced to buy expensive food prices from his captors.
the prisoner was verbally abused and sexually insulted, he was threatened by executing or murdering of one of his relatives. They also took his signature on false accusations and false confessions, was subject to constant beatings on his left ear and electric shocks, causing eloquent burns on his body, especially on the neck with lack of hygiene, compulsory standing and suspending from Alblang'o.
The methods of torture made him suffer from several diseases like coagulation in the left ear and deafness. He had short breath, strong cough accompanied by phlegm, and bronchitis of the respiratory system. he suffered from asthma as well as a result of the high humidity in the place of detention in the absence of any health care provided. these symptoms caused by poor conditions and wet rooms, malnutrition, lack of hygiene in the camp.
he was released on the 8/3/1998, very sick. His healing process made him use chronic medicines, especially "sprays that are indispensable for his treatment. His poverty and the expensive life to secure his family life, his wife and children, caused him to ignore his health and
divert to practicing his old paint and furniture profession that's hazardous to his health.
(P. M) lives the most adverse conditions, poor health and had been obliged to work for two shifts per day, where he works during the day in the profession mentioned above and in the afternoon as a fisherman.
But on the evening of Monday, 19/5/2008 when he was working in a paint factory, he was indifferent to the severe cough, and acute shortness of breath, he died due to a heart attack. This incident led to the abortion of his wife who was 3 months pregnant and a nervous breakdown to his eldest daughter. Then the mother had to work in order to secure her family's expenses.
12 - (l. M)
She was Born in 1965, and was arrested by the Syrian intelligence services in the port and flown to a branch of Saint Maron and then branch Alomrcan then Anjar, the Palestine Branch, a branch of the military interrogation in 1989 and was released on the same year. Yet, in spite of the short period of prison for 5 months, she was subjected to different and methods of torture psychological and health. Probably She was also raped despite the difficulty of admitting so, because of the psychological effect of this act.
The prisoner was humiliated, insulted, and threatened with sexual rape also by collective rape," they insulted her verbally with dirty, immoral, and humiliating talk. They took off to harass her sexually harassment
and to insult her religion values. She was beaten with electrical cables and with a stick on her joints thus getting some of her joints to crash. They also stroke her ears, skin and back by electrical wires.
the repeated beating on her eye caused her to lose vision. She was also put 3 times in the wheel. After her release, the prisoner suffered of nightmares, bad dreams, and acute neurological conditions, especially after her divorce and separation from her children due to repercussions of the three arrests.
The detainee now needs to be treated psychologically (ptsd) she cries constantly and always depressed. She blames herself for her mother's chronic physical illness. She's now suffering from arthritis pain and disk and blindness.
13 - (m - n)
M. N. Born in 1969 was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1986 from Tabeneh to Alammerkan and then moved to the branch region, then to the investigation of the military and then to Tadmur and finally, "Mazza Prison.
he witnessed all methods of the psychological and physical torture and the organized battering by the whip all over his body, was suspended in various forms, subjected to electric shocks, banned him for food and drink. They isolated him in a room where he was verbally insulted, in addition to severe beating on his back in Alammerkan that caused him to be partially paralyzed.
He was released in 1991 to face life with chronic illnesses that are almost incurable which made him paralyzed waiting for his aging mother to provide him with food for living. He wanders inside his home on crutches awaiting death with multiple diseases. he needs an operation in his feet and the other in the eye (the process of water blue)yet he lost vision in the other eye, due to the repeated beating on .The other repercussions of the arrest were he's suffering from tuberculosis and diabetes as well. "
Poverty worsen the situation."he can't secure all his medicines and chronic crisis in addition to treatment ". The detainee lost his identity card when they burned the files in Halba in 1976, and getting a new identity costs a lot.
The prisoner lives currently detained on a chair, as a sad patient remembers his past life and his youth and then years of detention and its implications make him feel traumatized, nervous, and tensed.
14 - (m. H)
He was born in 1957, was arrested m. H. by the Syrian intelligence from the sea port to the detachment of Tartus and then to the detachment of Homs in 2003 and was released in 2004. Without any guilt committed, he was arrested and was tortured by various kinds of psychological physical torture together like blaspheming insults to religions and was kept alone in a separate room and not allowed to sleep normally. He was flogged in his sleep.
In the camp, they put the prisoner in a small room and was tortured by a strong alarm with the voice of water droplets falling on metal cans to make irritating noises. Also he was suspended on Albulanju, got electric shocks, beaten on the eye by boots continuously.
Now he's suffering from frequent continuous nightmares linked with torture, which leads him to permanent disturbances during sleep, accompanied with neurological spasms are reflected on the rest of his family members, as well as shortcomings in the eye and the hearing of the effects of repetitive beating during the investigation.
15 - M. O. Pp.
M. O. Pp. was captured by the Syrian intelligence in 1986 from his home at the port to the Alomrcan, then to Anjar region and finally in the Palestine Branch to be released in 1989.
While he was arrested, he suffered because of means of psychological and physical torture like hanging down from Albulanju, tied to the pressure chair, put in the deadly wheel, and was electro-shocked in every organ of the body.
When he was arrested, he was exposed to verbal sexual insults and put in a separate room for 15 days. He was prohibited totally from communication with the family during prison period. The prisoner suffers from multiple health problems after his release, like blood pressure, cardiac pains, disk, as well as severe neurological breakdowns and tension may use many drugs to be relieved of the pain
and to calm the nerves. Sometimes he screams loudly from the pain and due difficult economic situation. The prisoner is not able to resume his work continuously (maritime crane driver) because of poor health that was the repercussions of detention.
16 - (M. K)
M. K. was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in 1985 and released in 1990 was arrested on the Lebanese-Syrian border (Tartous) and taken to the military branch of the investigation into a prison and finally Tadmur the Sednaya without knowing the reason for, which caused the father to have Alzheimer and heart attacks for the mother.
he was arrested during the first five years of detention for all kinds of physical and psychological torture, where he remained in a separate room for a long time, and prevented him from food and drink , but whenever it was offered it would be contaminated and unhealthy.
They prohibited him from receiving visitors and relatives, the Syrian intelligence didn’t declare his arrest till after 3 years from the date it actually happened.
M. K. was put many times in pressure chair and was subjected to electric shocks on all over his body, and suspended down from Albulanju . Also was stroke strongly by the shoe of an executioner, or his gun on the bottom of the head at the neck leading to a big pimple and because of carelessness towards the wound caused him disability in kidneys and a disease that affects mental development.
He was released from prison in order not to die in prison, released him, like a lifeless corpse and suffering leumi-hardened body, a general weakness in the flesh, and the lack of immunity and sight, loss of self-control and paralysis. He can't walk and stays sleeping on the sofa, and suffering from constant headaches.
The prisoner was checked by a doctor who described his medication for treatment.
Thus he was forced to stop because it can not secure that cost and pay for his rental, which is like a basement under the stairs of a building, leaks water, Alatnp addition to the awful odors because of this location. He was released in the darkness of nightmares of prison's diseases that led to his eventual death on 12 \ 2 \ 2010 leaving his wife and young children in the house in which lacks all conditions of proper living.
17 -N. O.:
He was born in 1950 works as a guard working in a laboratory, was arrested in 1986 and released in 1997, was arrested from the Syrian border to a branch of Tartus, the Investigation Branch, moved from the military to the Palestine Branch and finally in Mezze prison.
He was investigated for 60 times in the Military Interrogation Branch, and at the Palestine Branch for 40 times. The investigation was accompanied by physical torture continuously, which caused him to fall unconscious for a minimum of 5 hours and sometimes for a longer
period. The prisoner was tortured psychologically and physically. He was beaten on the joints and organs of the body, forced to stand, and both hands raised up for 5 hours. They uprooted 3 of his back teeth and 5 front ones. He was forbidden to contact with family and family visits for 3 years. They burned his skin with irons, subjected to electrical shocks, verbal sexual insults that are obscene, signed false confessions (killing an officer or do certain massacre), and placed him in a separate room for 3 months.
He left prison in 1997, in pitiful health, suffering from the pain of hemorrhoids and bleeding, difficulty in breathing due to the humidity, which suffered during the arrest. He got inflammation of the middle ear, that he's unable to hear at all, cramps in the feet and back pain
as a result of organized beating on the joints. He's unable to focus and follow up on any topic, suffers from continuous anger crisis. He hates social relations in addition to the fat in the face.
This prisoner works as a guard. he is married and has 4 children, lives in the house that is close to a hut, which lacks health conditions. The ceiling is made from cardboard and nylon, the walls from wood which leaks water.
The economic situation is very bad, the house, located near a large refrigerator for vegetables and fruits. The mother goes to fridge dump to pick up some unwanted vegetables, thrown by the traders, and brings them home to feed the family.
18 - M. D.
M. D. was Born in 1966 married and has 4 children, was arrested by Syrian intelligence in 1985 from the port area, moving between the following sections: Mar Maroun - Alomrcan - Anjar - Regional Branch - the branch of the military investigation and finally to the Adra central prison.
He witnessed all methods of torture, placed on a chair pressure, in the wheel, subjected to electric shocks, suspended in various forms, and placed in dark solitary confinement situated underground for 7 months that made him need an artificial respirator. They forced him to listen to torturing cassette tapes and screaming sounds that are disturbing and frightening.
He was released from prison in 1988 in ill health, pains of the joints and bones (needs to collar neck) to spinal pains, fear, horror and mental breakdowns, and frightening psychological fantasies PTSD.
19 - (C - O)
C . Q. was arrested in 1986 on the hands of Syrian intelligence, which entered the Tabbeneh area and arrested several youths from there, whose fate was obscure so far just like the other missing persons'.
His son confirmed that his dad was arrested accompanied by one of his comrades. But his lucky companion, managed to escape. according to the sayings of some detainees who were released , that the prisoner was arrested and immediately transferred to the prison of Palmyra where he was psychologically and physically tortured. The repercussions of this suffering made him lose his life.
And this is another example of the repercussions of arrests up to the death under torture, which leaves the family in a sustained loss of ratification of the idea of death or to keep on the search for hope, especially after the failure of all attempts to reach any thread or hope. This prompts the wife to get engaged in the field of employment to secure living for her children, where her grieving heart keeps on soaring.
20 - (P- M)
P . M. was kidnapped in 1984 in mysterious circumstances. He went then to bring medicine to his mother from a pharmacy in the area of Badawi.
His mother died as a result of grief, and his the brothers endeavored to know more about his fate. There were information that told by liberated detainees from Syrian prisons, that the missing p. M. Is detained in a Syrian prison.
And most recently they were told that he had been killed and was buried under the ground in the area of the port. The family dug the mentioned place, but came out with no result.
So the brothers live with the subject and their memories with him, searching for a light of hope that would reunion them ties with him if he is still alive.
The Syrian intelligence forces detained the victim from his home (Denneye / Kafarbebneen – Tripoli/North Lebanon) on 09/04/1991, and he was accused of working against them, he got driven from his home to their region branch where he stayed there for a single day and then he was taken to Anjar, kept there for 4 days and later on he was transferred to the region branch where he stayed for 40 days and later on he was transferred to the investigation branch –underground- where he stayed for 6 months, and finally he was sent to Mazze Prison in Syria in which they imprisoned him for 6 years and he got released on 14/02/1997
They placed him in an isolated cell for 40 days, he was beaten continuously on his feet, his arms and wrists, and he suffered the torture method known as balanco (hanging by the wrists which are tied behind the back). Isolated and denied contact with the world, not allowed seeing any member of his family (this situation continued for 3 years), forced to get naked and they intentionally photographed him while he was nude, threatened that they will destroy his house and hurt his brother, placed him on an electrical chair, forced him to stand up without moving for 2 hours, pulling out 3 teethes, subjected his arms and feet to electrical shocks, poured cold water on him during the winter season, induction of burns and scares by cigarettes under his eyes, in the neck and ears, in addition to lack of hygiene.
The torture had extreme impact on the victim’s health, psychologically and physically, he suffers from severe pain in his back and he has paresis (partially paralyzed from the legs), which makes him unemployed. He is an introvert person, unable to socialize or attend occasions due to his situation that has affected the victim’s psychological situation negatively, and is elevating day after day. The victim also suffers articulation disorder, he murmurs and his words are not understandable, he suffers from Parkinson not to mention the hysterical and conniption trauma he passes through.
He was detained on 10/12/1985, while he was on the way to visit his mother, first he was lead to “Saint Maroun” investigation section and was kept their for two hours, after that they transferred him to “The American investigation section” in Al-Qibbe (Tripoli) and stayed there for 3 days. After that he was taken to Anjar where he stayed also there for 3 days, then he was sent to the investigation section in the area and stayed there for 22 days, after that he was transferred to “The investigation section” and was kept there for 8 months, after that he was transferred to a “closed asylum”, where the space of the rooms was 7*4 meters and contains 90 persons in each room. Then he was lead to “Palmyra prison” which he stayed there for 16 years and a half. After “Palmyra prison” he was transferred to “Saidnaya prison” in which he stayed there for 3.5 years until he was released on 10/04/2007.
He was severely tortured in all the detention places mentioned above, he was beaten by batons, by a metal cable on his head that lead to a loss in his memory and sight for six months long, and during this period he wasn’t examined by any doctor (despite his repeated call to be examined by a doctor). Random and systematic beats, on feet, forbidding him from movement, removing some of his teeth, poring hot and cold water on him, burning his body, vertical hanging, obliging him to stand, lack of hygiene, lack of healthy food and water, obliging him to get totally naked and sometimes partially naked, mocking from death in front of him, threatening of harming him and causing for him a disability, insulting him with sexual verbal and immoral words, forcing him to sign on false confessions, isolating him in an isolated cell, and depriving him from seeing members of his family and his friends.
He suffers from Diabetes, rheumatism, hypertension, anger, tension, and anxiety. He complains from not owning a private home (he lives with his brother after he divorced his wife while he was in detention upon her request), and he’s unemployed due to his illness because work needs strength. He is also in grief because he hasn’t seen his daughter for 20 years (she is with his ex-wife). The victim needs a medical follow up due to his chronic disease besides that his psychological situation is not stable, sometimes he is calm and sometimes he is agitated. He likes isolation and to sit a long time alone.
The families of the detainees have been always subjected to harassment and repression in the presence of the Syrian troops in Lebanon, and they were prevented from organizing protest sit-ins, and they were also subjected to arrests. Intimidation and harassment exercised against them, prevented many families from the announcement of the detention of their sons in Syria and from the participation in the legislative committees movements supporting them. What confirms this is the increase of the number of the detainees declared about. The open sit-in in front of ESCWA since April 2005 has attracted many of the new families who dared to reveal the suffering of their sons, bringing the number of detainees declared about to more than 750 detainees. The tent also formed the opportunity for a meeting between the families and some Lebanese detainees released from Syrian prisons who reported information about meeting a number of detainees after identifying them from the images attached to the wall.
But the sit-in didn't lack from some aspects of the past, the families have clashed with security forces on April 27, 2005 in Riad Al-Solh Square, and protested in front of the parliament during the course of the meeting, but the protest ended with a confrontation with the Lebanese army, which led to casualties among the protesters.
But the results of the sit-in remain subject to the turnover in the political circumstances, for that it did not yield to any concrete step from the two countries towards a solution despite the formation of the bilateral committee in June 2005 after local pressure and after information launched by the National Council for Truth, Justice and Reconciliation in Syria a month before. The information is based on 4 documents that confirm that missing Lebanese were indeed in Syrian prisons. But after two years and three months on the sit-in, the suffering of the mothers continues under extremely complex political and security conditions.
1. The mother of the detainee Bechara Roumiyyeh; Marenda Karam:
Bechara (born in 1962) was arrested by the Syrian intelligence in Riyaq in March 1978. And it was not the first suffering of Marenda (born 1939), which began with the death of her husband and increased after the death of her son in a heart attack, grieving for his brother and the preoccupation of the rest of her sons in their own lives. After his arrest in a while, she was able to visit his detention center at Anjar several times and he was swollen from beatings and torture, until his traces disappeared and she was told that he was moved to Syria. Then she knew that he moved between the years 1986, 1993 and 1998 between Mezze prison, Adra and Tadmor where he carried number 12 in Mezze prison until the year 1998, and later on number 14 in room number 1.
Some released detainees from the Syrian prisons knew him and told his family about that, including Sami Khoury, Sami Abu Dia (known as Sami Hamza), Tawfiq Yammeen and Hussein Mohamed Abd Allah.
For 29 years, Marenda is still struggling to know the fate of her son. She tried to inquire about him in prison centers, but she never received an answer. She even sold her jewelry and everything that she owned to pay some people the price of any information about Bechara, but then she found out that they were exploiting her. But she did not lose hope, she continued to claim to know his destiny in spite of all the harassment and threats that she had been exposed to during the domination of the Syrian intelligence in Lebanon, and intensified in the Bekaa region, what drove her to move from time to time to Beirut to participate in the movements of the families of the detainees in Syrian prisons. But "the trip to Beirut," as she says, cost her a lot while she was sustaining herself from growing some crops. Till the open sit-in started in April 2005, Marenda committed herself with it where it even became her permanent residence. In the tent, she spends her day and sleeps at night, especially that her only son, residing in Beirut, Elie, lives in a small house and his financial situation is very modest and cannot afford spending on her. But Bechara's mother acutely refuses to be absent from the tent even for one day, despite the passing of two years on the sit-in without any result about the fate of her son, despite her illness that increases day after day, for that she suffers from severe pain in the neck, back and the joints, from general weakness and weakening in the eyes, and she needs rest and protection. And because she does not have housing in Beirut, one of the protesting mothers invited her to live with temporarily in her apartment. About how she afford her living…? Marenda says "God arranges it; everything becomes easy for the sake of Bechara."
2. The mother of the detainee Mitri Saadeh; Lamya Saadeh:
One year after the disappearance of Metri in the events of October 13, 1990 in Dahr al-Wahsh area, Lamya Saadeh (born in 1947) received a corpse that the Lebanese army said it was her to son Metri, but Lamya stresses that it was not him, and because she doesn't have the ability to
prove what she says through DNA testing , she has not lost hope that he might be among the Lebanese detainees in Syrian prisons, therefore she didn't stop for many years demanding to know the fate of her son and participating in the movements of the families of the missing in Syria.
Lamya lives in Kfarchima area which is tens of kilometers away from Beirut downtown, she lives with her ill husband who suffers from diabetes and her son who is supporting his parents with his modest physical conditions. Nevertheless, Lamya does not miss any activity for the families of the detainees particularly the open sit-in in front of ESCWA, where she kept on attending in the tent during the first year, but later she was forced to reduce her presence in the tent after she had neglected a little the care of her husband and after the deterioration of her health for that she is suffering from diabetes since the disappearance of her son Metri. In addition to all that, Lamya hardly affords the expenditure incurred daily to move to the sit-in place needing an hour to reach it. According to Lamya, her only hopes and wishes in life is to reassure her heart on the fate of her son and to get the help of anyone to make the DNA testing to know "that the remains lying in the Family Cemetery 16 years ago are to Metri and not to a stranger," as her heart tells her.
3. The mother of the detainee Cezar Eid; Janet Eid:
The tragedy of Janet (born in 1929) was completed in the abduction of her son, Cesar (electrical engineer, born in 1964) from Al-Shiyah area in 1984 while he was on his way to finish his travel papers to work in Germany and take responsibility of the family. Her son disappeared years after the death of her husband and starting her way to support her four children; Jumana, Leila and Cesar are 3 of them. She was serving in Sidon schools to support them. After his abduction, her concerns became three: continue the support of her 2 daughters, moving in all directions to find her son and the treatment of the diseases that bubbled on her body (pressure, diabetes, cholesterol and pain in her feet). She asked him in the centers of the political parties and the militias without any result until she knew that he was transferred to Syria.
Now, her two daughters are married and each is busy with her own life and family, as for Janet, she remained alone awaiting the return of her son unharmed. But Janet isolated herself years ago and stopped her social life and boycotted happy events and funerals and turned to the practice of religious rites and rituals to get the needed strength and patience. Janet confined its activity to participate in the movements of
the families of the detainees being present always in the tent. Janet says that she got bored from her life and she is tired from sadness, but she does not want to die before reassuring on the fate of Cesar.
4. The mother of the detainee Imad Yassin; Hayat Yassin:
Hayat does not know Imad (born in 1959) and she has never seen him in her life, because he was kidnapped before her marriage with his father Ismail after the death of his mother. But she carried his case as if she was his true mother and toured on all the officials concerned and kept on participating in the movement of the families and was present all the time in the protest tent. Imad was abducted on 27/11/1985 in the way of his return from Jordan to Lebanon through Syria and his parents were able to visit him in Tadmor prison and they saw him from behind the iron bars. And before his mother died, she asked from his father to follow his case, but soon his father was deteriorated was unable to move, and this. Hayat carried Imad's case and worked to support her husband and her other children. Hayat struggles in her divided life between managing her small business of which they live from, taking care of her ill husband and attending constantly in the tent.
Hayat wishes that Imad would be released before the death of his father, who dreams of a glance at him then to die, and that her children would know their elder brother and compensate his suffer caused from 22 years in Syrian prisons.
5. The mother of the detainees Richard and Christine Salem; Odette Salem:
Life was not over for Odette (born in 1932) upon the death of her husband in 1982, because of the presence of her kids Richard (born in 1964) and Christine (born in 1963). She struggled hard to work and spend on them to complete their education until they worked in a company in Hamra area. In 1985, they were kidnapped on their way back to Sakiyat Al-Janzeer area where they live with their mother. Her two kids disappeared and she no longer has anyone in the world. Her parents live in Aleppo, and she has no relatives in Lebanon. The lonliness of Odette in her home worsened her psychological condition and increased her grief, tense and illnesses. She doesn't love life anymore because it was cruel on her, but she fears in the same time to die and leave life before she sees her kids. Odette never leaves the tent even for one moment and she awaits for any information about them. Odette used to think that they were among the missing in Lebanon, but one of the released from the Syrian prisons told her that he had seen them in the Syrian prisons after he saw their photos on the tent.
6. The mother of the detainee Ahmad Sharkawi; Amena Hosary:
Amena (born in 1933) knows who kidnapped her son Ahmed (born in 1964) before her eyes at Ramlet Bayda area in 1986, she also knows the place of his detention in Syria, but she forgives them and she does not want anything but to make sure that he is safe. None of the available information was of a use, she couldn't see him for even a minute after several contacts that she made to support her at Yarmouk camp where she moved to live with her only daughter after his arrest and after she knew that he was transferred to inside the Syrian prisons. But after she heard about the open sit-in that the families initiated in front of ESCWA two years ago, she decided to return to live in Lebanon specifically to participate in the sit-in despite the fact that her daughter and her family does not reside here. She used to spend all the time in the tent rather than coming and going daily from Shatila camp, where she lives in a small room, to avoid paying the taxi charge due to the worsening of her financial condition and her poor health condition, but the deterioration of her health day after day is preventing her from the daily attendance in the tent. She suffers from weakness in the heart, stomach ulcer, acute bent in the back and pain in the knees and joints that caused paralysis for her several times. Amena says that death is no longer far away and she doesn't care for it, on the contrary, she wishes it because life was ultimately tiring for her and wasn't fair since the death of her husband in 1976 killed in the Lebanese civil war, which returned back after ten years to steal hope from her with the abduction of her only son, in addition to the tiresome that she suffered from for securing food for her young kids.
7. The mother of the detainee Adel Tabbaa'; Mounira Tabbaa' (died on 11/06/2007, a week after writing this report):
Mounira's appearance alone is sufficient to indicate the impact left by the abduction of her son Adel (born in 1969) in the region of Jall El-Deeb in 1985. Strong wrinkles appear on her face where sadness has been digging in it the traces of pain, and her skinny body is no longer helping much to continue the struggle that started it 22 years ago to know the fate of her son. Since then, Mounira didn't spare any official responsible asking about her son but she only knew that he was moved to within Syria. She had spent a lot of money to people who fooled her by making her believe they could lead her to him, but they lied and she lost confidence in most of the people, and she isolated herself far in her grief, tense and nervousness, admitting that she neglected her home, her husband and her only son Fayez (born in 1983), after Adel, who has now become her only supporter with her husband of which disease had won over him. Mounira says that "as soon as the open sit-in started, she forgot the whole world and no longer recognized anyone but the tent and the movements of the families to know the fate of their sons." She prefers to spend the money available with her, not to cure her different diseases (tumors in the chest and uterus and headache in the head), but for the taxi cost to move to the center of Beirut, where the protest is held, one hour far from Nakkash area where she lives, adding to that, the cost of the candles that she lights daily to pray for the safe return of her son.
8. The mother of the detainees Ghassan and Fadi Abdo; Fatima Zayyat:
The same road, which extends for several kilometers leads Fatima (born in 1941), coming and going on her feet from her home in Watwat area to downtown Beirut where the open sit-in is held, despite the severe pain in her knees, without missing a day not being in the tent. Fatima wonders, "How can I sit in my house, and near me mothers just like me whom their sons were stolen from them? Why don't we share our grief and relief each other? ". The tent became her home after she hated her original home because it witnessed the abduction of her two sons, Ghassan (born in 1964) and Fadi (born in 1965), one after the other in front of her eyes, when one of the persons came asking to talk to Ghassan before taking him to an unknown destination and she didn't prevent him in good intention, and after two days, the same person returned back again asking to accompany his brother Fadi to where he is, the mother refused, but yielded after the conditional promise for
their quick and told her about their place. But long time passed and she began her journey between the officials hoping that she will return them back, but all the promises have been in vain. And for that, the sense of responsibility does not leave her because she had delivered her sons to the kidnappers.
What adds up on her pain after their abduction is the travel of her elder daughter to live with her husband in Canada and spending her daughter Lena and her husband throughout the day at work leaving her an empty home narrowing on her seeing the photos attached to the walls in all the rooms so as not to be far from her eyes. Fatima says that "since the abduction of her sons from the house, they never left it", but living with her every minute, talking to them, fixing their clothes and telling them about the family news. But she abstained herself from doing anything they love, their favorite meals, their favorite desserts and the places they loved to visit. Fatima feels guilt towards her daughter Lena, which was eight years old when her brothers were abducted, because she has early forgotten joy for her mother never shared with her moments of happiness in her early age, the small kid lived with the pain and grief of her mother and her wondering from an official to another to save her children. Even Lena (born in 1977) now refuses to marry and be happy before the return of her brothers, particularly since she carries the responsibility of her parents after their health deteriorated since the abduction of their children.
9. The mother of the detainees Ali Al-Hajj; Adal Ghosh:
Adal (born in 1937) divides her time between taking care of her ill husband, managing her home and her daily attendance in the tent, although she greatly suffers to reach the tent from her home located in Barja area, 40 kilometers away, in addition to the taxi fee, which she often borrows it. And she, in the most difficult conditions, insists on her presence in the tent, even if she is forced to neglect her home and social duties, which are no longer important to her after the deterioration of her psychological condition due to Ali's abduction. But she says that the tent slightly reduces her concerns when she shares her grief with mothers like her awaiting a visit of any released detainee from the Syrian prisons to show him her son's photo hoping that he might recognize him. She also feels that in every morning on which she heads for the tent, it is as if going to meet her son and bring him home. Her son Ali (born in 1967) was arrested from his home with his aunt's son who was subsequently released after spending 10 years in Tadmor and Saydenaya prisons, before Ali was transferred to an unknown destination.
10. The mother of the detainees Fadi Habbal; Nazeera Ammar:
Nazeera does not know from how to hope that her son Fadi (born in 1964), would be released safe from the Israeli prisons where she thought he was for more than 19 years or from the Syrian prisons as the latest information confirming the presence of her son in a secret prison related to the intelligence forces of Syrian identity. Fadi, who was arrested on Barbara checkpoint by the Lebanese Forces was subsequently released in an exchange of prisoners between Lebanese Islamic Dar-Al Ifta'a and the Lebanese Forces in 1986, but he didn't return with the released but arrested by the Syrian intelligence forces this time with other people, in Museum area claiming that he is Syrian Muslim and was moved to Roumieh Lebanese prison and then to Mazze, Tadmor and Khan Abu Shamat secret prisons. The new information amounted to the family in February of 2005 from one of the released, prompting his sister Zena to visit later on the open sit-in in the tent where she carried her brother's photo hoping that one of the released might recognize him. And indeed, several people had recognized Fadi and gave him a precise description. The mother says that the nineteen years of his abduction believing that he is in Israel are on one side and the past two years are on another side! Her health had deteriorated more, and his father was paralyzed and died grieving on his son. Since then, and his sister Zena tracks the released from the Syrian prisons moving in different regions that she doesn't know, just for any information about her brother. Nazeera always cries in grief on Fadi who has suffered torture from several parties in his country and
outside, who was kidnapped and was still a student. His three brothers and their families are concerned always about Fadi, looking on the websites related to the Lebanese detainees in Syria and communicating with those concerned to resolve his case, but now their fear increased after they learned about his location; fear that his mother is afraid that it will grow day after day making the chance for her to see her son again something impossible.
11. The mother of the detainees Joseph Aoun; Josephine Aoun:
Josephine needs nothing from this life but to see her only son Joseph (born in 1965), the soldier in the Lebanese army who was kidnapped in western Bekaa area in September 1982 and
handed over to the Syrian forces, which transferred him to its prisons claiming he is a political prisoner. At that time, his parents David and Josephine went all over the Lebanese regions in search of their only son and sold their properties and lands which they inherited to pay for any information that someone might tell about their son, until they were told by senior Syrian officers that his release is impossible since he is a political prisoner. The grief on their only son grew with the two old people and made them carry different diseases (cardiovascular, diabetes and tension).
The parents do not get tired from the distance of hundreds of kilometers from their village, Saghbin where they live in the western Bekaa, to participate in the open sit-in. The mother says that the tent calm her down a little when sitting with the people carrying the same anxieties, and she escapes from the loneliness that increases her craziness in the house where everything reminds her of Joseph and nothing occupies her from thinking about him.
12. The mother of the detainees Jihad Eid; Sonia Eid:
The most beautiful day in Sonia's life (born in 1937) is on the birthday of her son Jihad (born in April 29, 1970) when her children gather around her to celebrate their brother's birthday, the corporal in the Lebanese army who is kidnapped since October 13, 1990 from Hadath area. After begging a number of officials in Lebanon and Syria, she was able to visit him in the year 1991, in Palestine Prison (Syria) for few minutes. The hardest thing that had ever happened with her in her life was seeing her lean son from behind the iron bars without being allowed to speak to him. Sonia says that these moments prevented her from sleeping many nights, and knowing later on from the released that he was nicknamed by Jihad the Gimp, was enough to cause her pressure and diabetes. Her three children Ziad, Imad and Natalie try to compensate for the bitterness that she suffered from, but they can not make her forget her youngster, "perhaps he is now underground, eating
nothing but rotten bread unable to see the sun, so how come I laugh and enjoy my life?". Sonia says that her leadership of the movement of the mothers since the first day of the abduction of her son 17 years ago, and two years ago since the protest in the open sit-in that she daily attends crossing a distance of more than an hour, alleviates a lot especially when she contributes in lifting this case high out loud for many people inside Lebanon and abroad.
13. The mother of the detainees Johnny Nassif; Violette Nassif:
Violette believes that the right needs to a demander; therefore, she got more stubborn and insisted for the victory of the fair cause of her son not leaving any mean to ask about her son. She chased the Lebanese and Syrian officials and requested the assistance of European officials and members of The American House of Representatives to save Johnny (born in 1974), the soldier in the Lebanese army, who was kidnapped in October 13, 1990, until she managed after one year to visit him at the military branch of investigation in 1991 and 1994 before she was deprived from the visit and his news. Thus, she was most of who collapsed when the official Committee investigating the fate of missing announced in 2000 the death of all the missing. How can she consider him among the deceased and she had visited him twice, in addition to accurate information that she had received about his presence with one hundred and seventy-six Lebanese detainees in Tadmor prison?
Violette can not remember the two visits without drowning in tears for long hours. Each time she was able to see him for moments only, not able to utter a single word from her intense agitation. So far, she did not tell anyone the true feeling she had during and after seeing Johnny, who was very lean with wondering non-concentrating eyes, he was as "a kind of living organism. God forgive the perpetrators."
14. The mother of the detainees George Ghawi; Mary Ghawi:
The loneliness had lead Mary (born in 1943) to receiving treatment for her deteriorated nerves. Her husband died in 1975, so she worked to sustain her kids whom one of them was arrested; George, in 1983 in Al-Shiyah area. I asked about him a lot until she was lost by the much information that she received from people without much result only that her son was transferred to Tadmor prison in Syria. After recovering from the tragedy that struck her and after absorbing that she probably won't see George again, her journey began with the disease; she spent 15 years in hospitals semi-permanently, until she ended up in several diseases haunting her life perhaps the most difficult is not forgetting the tragedy of her son for a moment. But Mary that assembled her force again and worked to sustain herself after the marriage of her daughter, created different hobbies that might slightly reassure her. Mary is famous in planting and roses; she says that nothing makes her happy since the abduction of her only George but looking after the garden that it preoccupies her from her deadly loneliness at home. Therefore, you see her interested in visits and social relations hoping that she might let her out from the spiral of endless thinking and sufferings. Mary says that what most concern her is that she might die "before determining the fate of George, who will carry his grief and tragedy after her?".
15. The mother of the detainees Stavro Andrioti; Maggi Andrioti:
Maggi has one question only, "What do I have to feel l when I hear that my only son Stavro (born in 1962) refuses to get out of prison because he suffers severe burns and scars and he more prefers to stay where he is since he suffers from severe neurological bouts and deficiency in the heart?. However, I can not but sit in the protest tent and join in all moves to ask all the people to help my son." Stavro was kidnapped in Al-Fanar area in July 1978 with a Milki Shamit, Antoine Tawil and Joseph Sabaa. And many officials had promised her to work for the release of Stavro, but all such attempts have been unsuccessful.
16. The mother of the detainees George Shamoun; Kamal Shamoun:
Fifty years is the age of George, the soldier in the Lebanese army, who had spent more than half of his age detained in the Syrian prisons. Seventy years is the age of his mother Kamal and she is still living the tragedy of her kidnapped son since 1979 in Shtoura in the Bekaa region before being transferred to Syria. The family didn't only loose her only supporter, but they lost the basic sustainer of the family and the peace of mind. Kamal says "every night I think about George, how and on what he sleeps what he eats... In winter, I blame myself for that he is without any doubt feeling cold and deprived of the warmth. I think of him while I am doing everything that he is denied from doing, how deprived he is of the most basic rights. "
17. The mother of the detainees Rashid Leddawi; Khadija Leddawi:
In the midst of the chaos of the civil war, Khadija (born in 1939) was moving between the Lebanese regions and penetrating the barriers of the Lebanese militias to search for her son Rashid (born in 1961) who's kidnapped since the 10th of April of 1976 in Tripoli. Khadija never hesitated to leave her home in Tripoli for a few days and headed for the centers and
offices of the officials of the Lebanese parties to ask about her son after learning that a Palestinian man took him to several places in Lebanon and then transferred him to Mazze prison in Syria. "Good people" as she describes them, told her that her son was in Tyr then in
Sidon then in Bekaa and then in the North and they lied, but she hadn't any choice other than believing them and going to the end of the world to find her son. Her husband was sick when his son was kidnapped, and was unable to work, so she depended on her brother to help her cover the expenses of moving between Lebanese strange regions where she didn't know anyone. She tolerated cold and hunger and slept in the streets and was subjected to insults, beatings and maltreatment on the militias' barriers without being deterred from continuing the search in Lebanon until she learned that he is in Syria, so she went to all the prisons'' centers but non of the officials admitted the existence of Rashid.
Khadija's grief is very deep, for that she says that so far, fate was too early with her tragedy which she is carrying since 32 years; "So how is the situation would be with my son who spent these years in hell!". She often sees him in her dream in pain alone suffering, but she is not able to provide anything to him. The family tolerated part of the grief resulted from the disappearance of their brother. The father and the younger son died after a few years and two daughters got married, whereas her elder son Nazih worked to support the family and there she stayed alone.
Khadija is trying since the start of the open sit-in to overcome her pain (she suffers from headaches, pressure and ulcers), and crossing tens of kilometers from Tripoli to Beirut to participate and show photos of her son so that someone might recognize him and reassure her about his place. After returning to her home, she relaxes a little before resuming the trip of search for the released from the Syrian prisons to question them about her son Rashid.
18. The sister of the detainees Ali Abdalla; Fatima Abdalla:
If the family was reassured after one year upon the release of her son Abbas from Khiam prison in 1990, but the fate of her other son Ali (born in 1959) still haunts them since his abduction in Cola area in July 1981 by members of the Syrian intelligence. His sister Fatima took up his case and the sought for him where some of the released later on informed her that Ali was with them in the Mezze prison, the State Security Branch. Fatima says, "The hardest feeling is that a family is torn apart between two prisons in different places,