‘No One Hears Us’: Torture of Women in Syria’s Dungeons
The Syrian regime has methodically resorted to the horrific torture of women in Syria’s dungeons as part of a deliberate strategy. The TRT World Research Centre issued the report ‘No one hears us’ to expose and document these crimes against humanity. The publication reveals the plights of hundreds of thousands of prisoners throughout the Syrian territory as part of a widespread design to further state control.
‘No one hears us’ yields evidence that the Syrian regime is using sexual violence, rape, beatings, and extrajudicial killings as a stratagem of war across a network of prisons in Syria. Through a series of primary research methods and in-depth interviews, the report details the systemic use of psychological and physical torture, perpetrated by prison guards, interrogators and the Syrian National Army, against female detainees, including forcing them to listen to the torture of family members and prolonged solitary confinement, deprivation of food, water, and medicine. These documented abuses stand in violation of both International Human Rights and the International Humanitarian Law.
The report finds that women have been the primary targets in the onslaught against Syria’s population: sexual harassment, stripping, and unlawful touching with sexual intent, systematic rape, beatings and extrajudicial killings. Psychological torture tactics have been used against female detainees, including forcing women to listen to torture of family members; routinely forced to walk over blood, and solitary confinement. The torture and abuse are used as a tool to weaken women, place fear in their hearts and extract confessions for colluding with opposition groups and anti-government protests all under duress.
“We were raped first and then beaten until we fainted, at every interrogation” – Hajra, 28, detained in 2011 [i]
“No matter how hard we resisted and tried to protect ourselves, they never stopped torturing, beating, insulting and, worst of all, raping us”- Bushra, 32, from Aleppo & detained in 2012. [ii]
“The prison guard would come to us sometimes and ask us ‘who is ready? Today I feel like it [sex]’, those of us who were unmarried or virgins would hide behind the married women because we would be terrified of being picked out.”- Saya, 32, from Aleppo & detained in 2014.[iii]
Download and read the report here:
In light of these terrible abuses, the TRT World Research Centre calls for an impartial investigation into the incessant sexual violence and horrific torture methods.
The TRT World Research Centre is dedicated to the academic study of regional and international affairs through research and scholarships. Founded in February 2017, TRT World Research Centre is a non-profit research and policy institute based in Istanbul, Turkey. For more information on TRT World Research Centre, please visit; researchcentre.trtworld.com
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