WHEN DEATH BECOME A WISH … TESTIMONIES FROM SEDNAYA PRISON DURING REVOLUTION
Gaziantep, July 28, 2020
The Association of Detainees and The Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) has recently published a book titled: ‘Sednaya Prison During The Syrian Revolution: Testimonies’. The book brings together the living testimonies of former detainees who suffered while in detention in the Sednaya Prison during the years of the Syrian revolution. More notably, the book includes a testimony of the sister of a Martyr detainee who was killed under torture in the Sednaya Prison. It also documents the last moments in the life of some Martyr detainees, and the means of humiliation deliberately used by the prison guards to intimidate those who were still alive and who were nothing but living corpses. The book also presents testimony about the atrocities committed in the Tishreen Military Hospital according to which the guards forced the detainees to kill their weaker mates in exchange for their lives and food.
‘Sednaya Prison During The Syrian Revolution: Testimonies’ is the first-ever book to give a deep and detailed insight into the lives of detainees in the Sednaya Prison during the early years of the revolution. The book was developed based on the painful stories of torture and death told by brave survivors who resisted in the “human slaughterhouse”.
This book shed light on the horrific abuses perpetrated against detainees in the Sednaya Prison. Hence, the high level of complexity of the environment in the Sednaya Prison and the emotional distress related to the stories of detainees make it impossible to identify in legal and static terms the violations perpetrated.
The book seeks to take the reader’s imagination, in a simple but shocking manner, to a different world and makes him/her live for one hour of the horror, terror and cruelty of the Sednaya Prison.
Mr. Diab Sariye, a former prisoner in Sednaya prison and a co-founder of the ADMSP, says: “Through this book, the survivors of the Sednaya prison take us to a very far and remote place, they make us realize what it means to wish death. No word can describe one single moment of fear and torment in this prison. Survivors’ testimonies make us understand that the Syrian regime has turned the Sednaya prison after 2011 into a scene of a bloody massacre against the Syrian Revolution. In the Sednaya prison, the Syrian regime committed the most horrific crimes of killing and torture against anyone who participated in or sympathized with the Syrian Revolution. This punishment took a form of unprecedented savagery and brutality that we have never heard of or read about until now.”
The testimonies of the book describe the brutal systematic torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment such as starvation and lack of medical care. The testimonies stand as a proof that no human being can imagine that these violations are still happening in the twenty-first century. Despite the traumatic experiences and the heavy emotional tone of the testimonies, they do also reflect the strength of hope and dream that helped the detainees to resist and survive.
Association of Detainees & the Missing in Sednaya Prison (ADMSP) is a non-governmental organization that works to reveal the truth and achieve justice for the political prisoners and the detainees of conscience. ADMSP works to reveal the fate of missing and forcibly disappeared persons in Syria in general, and in Sednaya prison in particular. ADMSP also cooperates with international committees and bodies investigating war crimes and crimes against humanity that took place in Syria, with the aim of conducting investigations and collecting evidence about torture, genocide and crimes against humanity that occurred in Sednaya prison.
some of the following testimonies may be graphic to some readers, as they contain violent torture details.