المرصد السوري لحقوق الانسان
The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights

“My mother died of sadness for me” | A woman from Idlib tells details on her detention by the regime security services

In an interview with SOHR, a woman known by her initials as S.K. from Idlib told SOHR the story of her detention by Syrian security services during her university study in Aleppo city in mid 2013, and details about her experience in various regime security branches.


The young lady said that “I was arrested at a regime checkpoint at the entrance of Aleppo city, while I was on my way to the university on July 20, 2013. The members of the checkpoint stopped me and started investigation with me for several hours. The officers later took me to the Air-Force intelligence branch in Jamiyat al-Zahraa in Aleppo, where they prevented me from contacting with my family and put me in solitary confinement with no food or water for a long time before they started investigating me.


Mrs. S.K. described the investigation room “it was very scary where the investigation was under the supervision of a lieutenant colonel who started the investigation, accusing me of ‘coordinating demonstrations, supporting the Free Army faction’. When I denied these charges, he severely beaten, kicked, and dragged me on the ground, then he ordered soldiers to beat me brutally again. I stayed like this situation for about one month. I was tortured almost daily during the investigation. I later was taken to the Air-Force intelligence branch in al-Mazza in Damascus with other detainees. A whole month passed without being able to contact my family, I endured various kinds of torture. While I was in the prison, I hopped I would back one day to my life and my university and would meet my parents and my four brothers.”


“I could not believe that what was happening to me was real. I thought it was just a nightmare and I was waiting to wake up. After I arrived at the Air-Force Intelligence office in al-Mazza city, the branch’s soldiers welcomed me with a new round of severely and brutally beating and then locked me inside a room with a large number of other male and female detainees. I found a huge number of youth including some regime army defectors. The daily torture increased gradually, we even were subjected to mass torture, as a group of soldiers enter the cell carrying sewer tubes and beat all the detainees brutally. I sometimes was tortured by electricity shocks, and also endured psychological torture, including sexual harassment. Moreover, I was not allowed to go to bathroom.”


Even after all of these sufferings in the jail, S.K. kept reminding herself of her family and university, which helped her to stay holding hope, waiting for the day she could wake up from that nightmare inside the horrible basements of regime prisons.


After 15 days at al-Mazza branch, which the woman describe as a “human slaughterhouse” after a young man in his twenties form eastern Ghouta was killed under brutally torture, she was taken to a field court where she was sentenced to one year and half in prison for “supporting terror groups and belonging to revolution coordination”. ًAccordingly, the woman was transported to Adra central prison, which was full of thousands of detainees from all over Syrian governorates, but at least there was no torture there at that time.


The woman said “I finally could contact with my family but they told me that my mom died of her sadness for me and I could not see her“. The father of the woman who survived from the Syrian regime prisons said “the mother suffered from heart problems but her health condition became worse after her daughter was arrested. Before the mother’s death, she kept appealing to me and her brothers to see her daughter until she died in a hospital in Bab al-Hawa on the border with Turkey.”


When Mrs. S.K. was in Adraa prison, her brothers moved to Turkey and her father could not visit her due to the difficult journey to the prison and was satisfied only with contacting her by phone. Mrs. S.K. finished her term in prison thinking only about the day she would return home again and about resuming her studies and also about achieving her ambitions by making a PHD. These thoughts helped her to survive and defeat the hard mental and health condition she suffered from inside the jail.


About her life after being released, Mrs. S.K. said “I was released two months before the end of my term as I went out in December 2014, then I took refuge in Turkey and settled in Istanbul city. Like any other female survivor from regime prisons, I suffered from underestimation by the society for a long time. I experienced a psychological breakdown for years after my release and after I lost the chance to complete my study.


Nowadays, the survived woman tries to get rid of her arrest repercussions and try to put an end to her mental and psychiatric sufferings with the help of her brothers who understand what she has been through.


Recently a young man has proposed to her for marriage and she is getting ready to move to a new life and to come over and forget all the tragedies she suffered from in and outside the jail.

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