IDLIB, Syria

Syria’s Bashar al-Assad regime have detained and reportedly tortured thousands of people in prisons and interrogation centers, with most of them in unknown locations, since the beginning of civil war in the country in 2011.

Muhammed Rahimo, 56, is one of these people, and was jailed in regime’s various prisons for over five years, although he was not guilty of any crime, he said.

“They broke my ribs while arrested and put in the car. They trampled me under their feet. I was covered in blood,” Rahimo told Anadolu Agency, as part of the UN International Day in Support of Victims of Torture observed on June 26.

The regime forces raided his house and arrested him in 2013 for allegedly finding bullets at his home, Rahimo said, adding: “When we entered a center of an intelligence unit in Hama, they beat me until I fainted.

“I had never been in front of a commander in my life. I had never been in prison and never been so humiliated. They did not even respect my age. I had bruises on my body due to the torture.”

He said he was tortured by a plastic water pipe, noting: ”We [detainees] were beaten day and night until we confessed to a crime we did not commit.”

The detainees were continuously threatened with death during the torture period, he stressed.

According to the Syrian Network for Human Rights, more than 14,000 people died by June 2019 due to torture under Syrian regime’s detention.

Also, opposition sources said at least 500,000 people are currently detained in the regime’s prisons and interrogation centers.

Syria has been ravaged by a civil war since early 2011 when the Assad regime cracked down on pro-democracy protesters.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN estimates.

* Writing by Seda Sevencan in Ankara

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