There was a boy, just 14 years old. Every morning, the man in charge of the basement jail cell would send him up to the torturers. One morning, the boy asked for mercy. “Otherwise I will die,” he said. The man answered: “You will go, or I will fuck your mother.”
The next morning, the man asked the boy: “Are you ready?” The boy begged and cried. “Do you want me to … your mother ?” the man asked. So, once again, he took the boy to be tortured.
This is how Shadi Hadri, a former Syrian prisoner whose name has been changed to protect his identity, tells it. He says he will never forget those scenes. Nor will he forget what he claims the interrogator of the Syrian General Intelligence Directorate’s Branch 251 did to him. He forced him into a tire, then beat him. He hit him on the soles of his feet with cables, tied him with his hands behind his back and then hung him up by them.
Hadri told DER SPIEGEL in a phone interview that he spent five-and-a-half months in Branch 251’s dungeons. He said he was arrested in 2012, after helping protesters and giving water to people in opposition strongholds near Damascus. He said he fled to Europe after his release.