Hosting civilian detainees, militiamen and commanders | SOHR reveals exclusive details on “secret” prisons of Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR) has obtained top information on prisons run by Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor province, mostly are classified as “secret” prisons, where atrocities and brutal torture are practiced against civilians who are imprisoned there over fabricated accusations. Some of those prisons host militiamen and commanders of Iranian-backed militias, who are imprisoned for “spying for foreign bodies.”
In this report, SOHR highlights exclusive details on six prisons of Iranian-backed militias, which are located in the cities of Al-Mayadeen, Al-Bokamal and Deir Ezzor and the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor.
Al-Mashfa prison (the Hospital Prison): The prison is located near Al-Shefaa hospital in Al-Arba’een street, near the highway, in Al-Maydeen city in the eastern countryside of Deir Ezzor. The prison is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), and it is in the basement of a two-story building with the first floor being headquarters of the IRGC, while the second floor is completely empty. The prison hosts civilian detainees who had been arrested for different fabricated accusations, including “spying for Israel, the International Coalition and other foreign bodies.”
Reliable SOHR sources reported that civilian held in this prison are subjected to brutal torture, where they are given electric shocks, beaten with metal and wooden objects and prevented from food for days. Every prisoner losing consciousness or sustaining sever injuries are taken to the Iranian-run Al-Shefaa hospital where they receive medical treatment, so that the prison guards can resume interrogating and torturing those injured prisoners.
The prison is administrated by an Iranian commander known as “Haj Hassan.” The prison is under heavy security and all guards inside the prison are of Iranian, Lebanese and Iraqi nationalities, while Syrian guards from Hatlah town are deployed only at the prison’s outposts. There are two entrances of the building with the front entrance being for militiamen and the back entrance for commanders.
Al-Wehdah 313 prison (the 313th Unit Prison): The prison is run by the Lebanese Hezbollah and administrated by a Lebanese commander known as “Haj Rabi’e.” The three-story prison is located near Al-Bel’oum roundabout in Al-Mayadeen. The first floor contains rooms for interrogation, while the basement contains a prison for the members and commanders of Hezbollah, who are accused of “treason and spying for foreign bodies” and those who are accused of “disobeying orders of their commanders.”
The prison is under heavy security and all of its guards are Lebanese working for Hezbollah and their number is estimated to be over 20, according to SOHR sources. SOHR activists have also confirmed that no civilians are allowed to get close to that area, although the area hosts civilian houses which had been seized by Hezbollah and turned the area into a security zone known as the “313th Unit.” No civilians are allowed to cross the soil barrier which appears in the attached picture.
Al-Haydariyah prison: The prison is run by the Afghan “Liwaa Fatemiyoun,” under supervision by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, and administrated by a commander of “Liwaa Fatemiyoun” known as “Rashid.” This prison is one of the most prominent prisons in Deir Ezzor province, as it hosts senior commanders and militiamen whose involvement in communication with foreign bodies has been proved and who have disobeyed orders issued by the supreme command. The prisoners held in this prison have been subjected to brutal torture by Iranian and Afghan guards, while some of the prisoners were taken to Iran by air.
The two-story and high-fortified prison is guarded with over 40 Afghan and Iranian militiamen, and no one is allowed to get close to the prison before obtaining a permission. Even Iranian-backed commanders are prevented from accessing to the prison without prior permissions, where the guards are ordered to open fire on every vehicle approaching the site of the prison, in the case that they are not informed of the arrival of specific characters earlier.
Al-Bokamal prison: The prison is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and administrated by a commander known as “Haj Abu Al-Abbas.” The prison is located in the basement of a two-story building in the security zone in Al-Bokamal city, where the prison hosts civilian detainees who had been arrested for “opposing the presence of Iranian-backed militias in the region,” while other civilians are held in the prison over fabricated accusations, including “being agents working for foreign bodies.” The prison also hosts detainees accused of “belonging to ISIS” and local militiamen accused of committing violations, such as missing meetings and guard shifts.
The prison is under heavy security and the prisoners are subjected to brutal torture by Iranian and Afghan guards.
Sources have informed SOHR activists that some prisoners died under torture, while others died of hunger, as prisoners are deprived from food for days. However, SOHR was unable to verify this information.
Deir Ezzor city and northern countryside
Al-Matar prison (the Airport Prison): The prison is run by the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) under direct supervision by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and administrated by an Iraqi commander in the PMF called “Abu Sejad.” The prison is located near Deir Ezzor military airbase, near Harabish area on the outskirts of Deir Ezzor city. The prison is in the basement of a one-story building, where the floor contains rooms for militiamen and guards. The prison hosts civilians who had been arrested on different charges, mainly “opposing the presence of Iranian-backed militias in the city and dealing with foreign bodies.” According to SOHR sources, the prisoners are tortured by Iraqi and Syrian guards working for IRGC.
Huwayjat Saqr prison: The prison is in the basement of a one-story building located in an area to the north of Deir Ezzor city, where this floor contains military headquarters and rooms used for interrogation. The prison is run by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps and administrated by a commander called “Haj Abu Al-Hassan.” The prison hosts civilians from the northern countryside of Deir Ezzor, who had been arrested for “filming and taking pictures of headquarters and positions of Iranian-backed militias and dealing with military bodies, as well as people arrested over fabricated and malicious reports, such as “opposing militiamen’s behaviour and practices.” Civilians held in this prison endure brutal torture, including cruel beating and electrocution.
SOHR confirms that Deir Ezzor province hosts other prisons belonging to Iranian-backed militias, including the Lebanese Hezbollah, Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, the Iraqi Popular Mobilization Forces, the Afghan “Liwaa Fatemiyoun” and the Pakistani “Liwaa Zainebiyoun.” However, the prisons mentioned in this report are the most secret, and they under heavy security, where no one can take pictures of those prisons without being detected, but SOHR activists managed to take pictures of the buildings of three of those prisons.
We, at the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights (SOHR), call upon all civilians, who were detained in prisons of Iranian-backed militias in Deir Ezzor and wanted to tell of the circumstances of torture and atrocities they endured inside those prisons, to communicate with SOHR via the messenger of the SOHR Facebook page, SOHR email and mobile-phone numbers left in the description on the Facebook page.