by Chana Ya’ar (www.israelnationalnews.com)
Protesters is Syria are being beaten and tortured when caught by government forces, a young demonstrator has told CNN in an interview conducted clandestinely over the Internet. Twitter is being monitored by the government. Facebook isn’t safe either. The best bet for communications, he told the news network, is Google chat, within strict limits. Even then, he used a pseudonym.
The description of torture techniques used on “Ahmed” matches those in past stories from the Soviet gulag and interrogations in Latin America. Electrocution was included. Amnesty International has accused Syria of crimes against humanity.
The human rights watchdog organization has demanded that the United Nations ask the International Criminal Court at The Hague to investigate the allegations of murder and torture of civilian protesters by government forces.
In Ahmed’s case, his interrogators wanted to know whether he was involved in a particular political party. They had other questions as well. “How much money do you get from Israel? Who are your outside connections? Why did you protest, you animal?”
Forced to sign a confession, he was repeatedly whipped for three days that seemed to last years and then was “re-educated” on patriotism, loyalty to President Bashar al-Assad (who personally faces international sanctions for the brutality), conspiracy in Syria and fighting Israel, CNN reported.
Did it stop him from returning to the demonstrations?
No. Only now, he lies to his mother in order not to worry her when he goes out to protest with friends and family.
For himself, he does not worry. Ahmed knows there is a chance he may be arrested again, face the interrogators and the electric prod again. The prospect of arrest is used by the government to frighten people, he said. “But they don’t understand that will only make people angrier – and that is what will bring their end.”