“Salim,” who told HRW that he was detained at the Political Security branch in Latakia in June 2011 “and questioned about his brother and father,” described how he was tortured with electrical shocks to his genitals while in detention:
“[T]hey took me downstairs, two sets of stairs with a turn. Each 15 steps … I couldn’t see and my hands were tied [I was naked]. We were in the interrogation room. They were beating me for the first hour with their hands. Then they used a wood baton. I didn’t confess. The interrogator said, ‘Bring me the electricity.’…The guard brought two electric prongs. He put one in my mouth, on my tooth. Then he started turning it on and off quickly. He did this seven or eight times. I felt, that’s it. I am not going to leave this branch. Then they started asking, ‘Will you confess now?’ I said I had nothing to confess to.”
“They removed the electricity from my tooth and put it on my knees. Here they used the electricity the longest. It is still marked. They would put it on for a long time and then take it off … They started torturing me here (gesturing toward his genitalia) [with the electricity]. They were also beating me and there was a guard behind me turning the electricity on. I passed out. They were beating me and shocking me. The interrogator was beating me with a cable over my whole body. I still didn’t have any clothes on … They asked me every 30 minutes if I would confess. I said no. At a point they said, ‘We will kill you,’ and I said, ‘Ok, ok, kill me. Death is better than the torture you are putting me through.’ … When he shocks you the electricity hits your whole body. I was there for hours. They had to carry me on a mattress to the cell. I couldn’t walk after that.”
Salim said he was also forced to watch other male detainees being tortured with sexualized violence:
“He [the Brigadier General] told the guard to take my blindfold off. He wanted me to see with my own eyes how the other detainees were being tortured. He showed me the detainees. Two were being tortured. The interrogator and the guards were with me. He told me we will do this to you if you don’t confess. They were putting them [the two detainees] on coke bottles. He told me their crime was going to demonstrations. They looked 24 or 25 years old. For five minutes they showed me this, their making them sit on the coke bottles. I put death in my mind. They took me to the end of the corridor to an empty room. Here they blindfolded me again. There were two guards and an interrogator with me in the room. They put me on my knees and started beating me on my back with a steel cable.”
Other cases from the HRW report can be found by searching “HRW” on our crowdmap.
The dates of the reported assaults are unknown. Because Syrian government officials currently refuse to allow access to journalists, researchers, and aid workers, Women Under Siege cannot independently verify this report of sexualized violence in Syria.
Source: Women Under Siege