Palmyra Jail, Syria, 30 Ways of torturing detainees

Testimonies of many people liberated from Tadmur's jail in Palmyra, Syria, allow us today to list the methods of torture and ill treatment employed in that prison:

Upon arrival at the jail:
1-When detainees first arrive at the prison, they are pushed down long flights of stairs while blindfolded and with their hands bound behind their backs.
2-Stuped forward, the detainees are forced to walk in a single file and they are constantly beaten while moving throughout the prison.

Survival conditions of the detainees:
3- In some cells, more than 34 prisonners are put together in a ten square meter space.
4- The detainees are frequently put in an isolation cell measuring one square meter in which it is impossible to stand upright.
5-The detainees are not given any reasons why they are being held there and for how long.

Methods of torture and ill treatment occuring during interrogation and detention
6- The "Dullaab" or the wheel is a way of torture used during interrogation. The victim is attached to a suspending wheel and beaten.
7- The beatings are performed by repeatedly hitting the same body parts over and over causing severe and painful muscular injuries.
8-Beatings occur with an iron baton.
9-Sometimes the guards take a detainee and slash his body with a knife then the guards themselves sew up his injuries.
10-The detainee is forced to drink a large amount of water. A rubber tournequet is then attached to his penis preventing him from urinating. This leads to serious urinary infections. Blood in the detainee's urine is seen for several weeks afterwards.
11-During the interrogation, the detainee may not be allowed to drink unless he signs certain documents that he is forbidden to read beforehand.
12- At certain times, the detainees are put into cells having two windows . The guards sit on the window sills and kick the detainees.
13-The guards regularly appoint a "security agent " among the inmates. He is given the task of violently beating the other detainees, especially those in his party.
14- If the "security agent" refuses to beat his co-detainees, the guards beat him with a pipe until he bleeds. Then they rub salt in his wounds.
15- At anytime, the guards can enter the cells and beat the detainees, kicking them in their faces.
16-The detainees are forced to keep a still position for several hours either on their knees or laying on their chests with their legs above them.
17-The detainees are forced to clean the courtyard with gallons of water. The detainees must walk 400m while constantly spilling water onto the ground. If upon arrival, the bucket is completely empty, they receive 500 belt lashes.
18-The detainees are forced to eat unshelled eggs, live rats, and sometimes large quantities of non identified medicines.
19-Some detainees are forced to see the corpses of other detainees who have been executed. Execution is mainly by hanging.
20-The detainees are not allowed to go to the bathroom at night and, if they do so , they are punished by receiving 500 to 1000 belt hits. They are also prevented from moving while asleep. If they do move, they are severely beaten. Guards working 2 hour shifts make sure of this .

Other humiliations
21-If a detainee receives a visit from his family which is a very rare case, he is obliged to tell them that everything is okay and that he doesn't need anything.
22-In most cases, the detainee is unable to inform his family of where he is being detained or even whether or not he is still alive.
23-If a detainee looses consciousness in his cell as a result of the ill treatment he had undergone, another detainee must call the guard and tell him that his co-detainee is not feeling well because "he slipped in the bathroom".

Going out
24- The detainee is taken out only few minutes a day. Meanwhile, he's obliged to sit on the floor with his hands on his head and looking solely at the floor .
25-While outside, should the guard ask the detainee how long he has been out, if it has been 3 minutes, for example, he is to reply 30 minutes otherwise he is punished. The guard subsequently hits him with big rocks causing him serious injuries that can lead to death.

Hygiene and care
26-If a detainee gets a tooth ache, the tooth is taken out without anaesthetic with pliers.
27-During showering, the detainees are attached to each other with sheets and constantly beaten. The guards also insult their families.
28-When a detainee shows any signs of depression, he is severely beaten.

29-The detainees are not allowed to fast during Ramadan if they want to. When they refuse to eat during the day, they are forced to go to bed before supper.
30-The detainees are not allowed to pray under the penalty of death.