Witness Reports  ::   The Horrors of Almantiqa (district) - Security Department/ Branch 227 Department - Military Security


A Report About the Horrors of Almantiqa (district)
Security Department/ Branch 227 Department - Military Security
Violations Documentation Centre
June 2013


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Department 227 or Almantiqa (district) Security Department as known to Syrians is a branch of the military security establishment "Military Intelligence Department ", headed by Maj. Gen. Rustom Ghazaleh who was degraded to Vice-President.

Department 227 is located in Mezze ,Damascus in the "Street of political guidance - Carlton" in front of the Ministry of Higher Education in Damascus, where this street has many branches of other security departments, including (Department 291 and Department 293 of Military Intelligence as well, and Department 248 with its four divisions 1, 2, 3 and 4).

This branch is responsible for thousands of cases of arbitrary detention, enforced disappearances, in addition to the mass murder of dozens of detainees under torture since the beginning of the Syrian Revolution, which is the same branch that was targeted in conjunction with the targeting of the State Security Department in Kafarsouseh by two simultaneous explosions -some sources reported that suicide bombers blew themselves up while other sources suggested that bombing is the result of two cars or trucks bombs on 23-12-2011, when many of the regime forces were killed in addition to some civilians who were there.

The list of civilian martyrs:

http://goo.gl/neMMj

A picture shows the scale of destruction that hit the branch as a result of the bombing:



Photographs taken by satellites, showing the geographical location of the branch:





This branch was directly responsible at the beginning of the Syrian revolution for investigating and dealing with cases of private security with soldiers and officers who are serving in the Syrian army and the branches of security forces of the Ministry of Defense and the branches of security forces of the Ministry of the Interior, but with the start of protests in Syria it turned, like other branches of other major tool to suppress the protests and a place to detain and arrest of thousands of demonstrators, addition to its responsibility for many cases of extrajudicial killings, but however the number of prisoners of soldiers and military is larger than the civilians number, according to testimony of a detainee there.

VDC noted during the past few months, a great surge in cases of torture to death in the branches of the various security departments, especially cases in which they are telling the families of the victims of their death without handing over the bodies, and Almantiqa Branch was one of the branches that have recent cases of death under torture.

and here are some cases that have been documented and including cases of mass murder or death under torture in Almantiqa Branch:

The first case:
On 24 - 3 - 2013 Members of the leadership of the military police in Kaboun handed over a list containing the names of fourteen martyrs of the sons of the city of Qatana - Damascus, died under torture in the Branch – 227 of military security, and in the details obtained by the VDC through a member of the media office of the local council of the city of Qatana ( Uncle Abu Ahmed ) says:

"The arrest of dozens of people of the city of Qatana and randomly by the troops of the regular army took place at frequent intervals before this case, where they were taken to the detachment of military security in Qatana to be transferred later to the Branch 227, from which news comes frequently for many cases of mass death that occurs in the branch due to the severity of torture and the spread of diseases - especially Dermatology,

On 03/24/2013 we were surprised by - and it is not the habit of the regime - a letter headed to the Municipal Council of Qatana and from the leadership of the military police in Kaboun - Damascus, and from there to the Mokhtar "Omar Almoktrn - Abu Fahad," where the letter contained the names of fourteen martyrs and asking the families to go to the military police to receive the martyrs stuff (Identity cards - phones - money ....). When the families went to Kaboun they inquired about the cause of death, but the members of the military police responded that the causes of death were different,

including heart attack, angina, and denied that any of them had died under torture, and when families asked about the whereabouts of the bodies to receive and bury, members said and literally "they are in Tishren Military Hospital, go search for them there"

As a result of the bad security situation surrounding the hospital none of the families of the victims there.

A list of the victims:

http://goo.gl/5hdJ2



The second case :
On 31 - 5 - 2013 also reported news of the death of 19 persons from Qatana under torture in the same branch, says (Khal Abu Ahmed), adding to the above:

“Two days or three before the second list of names , news leaked among the families that there is a new list contains many of names of martyrs who have died under torture, and the detachment of military security in the Katana is the source of this leakage, but the families did not take it seriously, where they thought they only broadcast terror in the hearts of activists - but at 31 - 5 - 2013 and a new list reached also to the Municipal Council of Qatana containing the names of 19 martyrs and asked them to also go to the leadership of the military police in Kaboun to receive their stuff, and among the names of the victims there were many persons from Golan south of Syria, who fled to the city. Families went the detachment of military security in the city asking about the reason for the death of their sons, the answer of detachment members was as follows:

"You know the terrorist armed groups kidnaped them and killed them."

A list of the names of the victims:

http://goo.gl/xpnXS



Third case:
in Jdaidet Artuz , Damascus suburbs, many similar cases were recorded in Branch 227, including a number of Christians and Palestinians, Activist "Abu Asi" a member of a Jdaidat Artouz coordination said in his testimony to VDC:

"Usually the military police patrol from Kaboun brings a letter to the municipality of the town and then to the mayor in addition to some personal belongings of the martyr

who died in prison of such as (wallet - lighter - pen - Mobile phones - keys ....) and identity cards in a few cases, and Abu Assi adds that in the last time on 06/20/2013 municipality delivered some of the names to mayor "Ibrahim Adarir", and Abu Assi also stated that the documentwhich was delivered to the mayor included in addition to the names of the victims, a number of the body, and also the cause of death of alleged to be some diseases in Branch 227 - Damascus.

Abu Assi believes that most of those who died under torture, died after a short period of detention and not on delivery of the names of the municipality as one of the documents confirms, however, that in many cases of death under torture are leaked, and then we are surprised by the presence of the victim's name in the lists of the military police.

For more details about the martyrs in Jdaidat – area , Damascus Suburbs, goto:

http://goo.gl/z0v8D

The following photograph is a copy of the letter that is usually delivered by the municipality to the family of the martyr killed under torture. It says:

Syrian Arab Republic
General Command of Army and Armed Forces
Military Police
Military Police Department in Damascus
Investigation Department
No: hidden due the safety of the victim family
Date: 6th 6 2013
Addressed to: Department of Medical Services
The letter text:

“No objection to handing the dead body of the arrested (name is hidden) who died on 20th 11 2012(we notice here the difference between the date of the death and that of the reveling of the letter to the families which as on 6th 6 2013) with body No.(hidden) by the intelligence department /Branch 227, due to the letter from the aforementioned Branch and in case of burial, to give his family a legal letter of death”

Staff Colonel Ra’eif Abdulsalam: Head of Investigation Department
Letter Organizer: Ali Nawras

A copy of the letter:





Individual Cases:
  1. Ahmed Aldacher, from Artouz: Jdaidat Alfadel, aka Abu Yazan, was tortured to death in a branch 227 on 6 - 6 – 2013.
    http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/82817



  2. Fadi Yousef Lutfi, 32 years old, carpenter , living in Jdaidat Artuz , a Christian died under torture in branch 227 in Damascus.
    http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/80361

  3. Hussen Mifleh Arashed, Palestinian living in Jdaidat Artuz, he died as a result of previous torture in branch 227 in Damascus.
    http://www.vdc-sy.info/index.php/en/details/martyrs/78228



VDC documented a testimony by one of the detainees from the Jdaidat Artouz who was detained in branch 227, when he saw the deaths under torture in this branch, colleague Bassam alAhmad, has documented this testimony:
Name: Abdul Rauf, Age: 26 years old, Marital status: single, Occupation: worker : living in Jdaidat Artouz, Damascus suburbs. With reservation on the detention and release dates and full name for security reasons, Abdel Raouf says:

“ A military patrol several months before were arresting people randomly in Jdaidat Artouz, when I was going to buy medicine from the pharmacy near my house, where they arrested me with many of the citizens, then they led us to Masakin square and put us in a car and took us to the detachment of the investigation in the Kiswa, Damascus suburbs , which is a detachment belonging to the military security, the process of beating us started since we were put in the car and took us to Kiswa , and when we arrived we were surprised by many of the members who started beating us with hands and legs, and electric shocks, and was among the worst torture in the detachment is burning stomachs of detainees by " warmers "Electric heaters were used to heat the water for Mate, and my stomach were burnt as well.

I stayed there for one night tasted the most severe beatings and torture, and the next morning they transferred us to another place, I could not figure out where it is located; However, after fifteen days, where I knew that I am in branch 227 of military security, so I was blindfolded and could not determine where the place was, and when we got to the new location many members began to beat us and I was able to see the face of one of them and was named " Warrant officer Nemer" he was young and tall of about 195 cm, thin, with black hair and vivid light, speaks coastal dialect, where he remained beating me with many of the detainees for half an hour continuously, while there were two members were laughing during the beating, then they took me to a place underground "vault". We stayed for about two floors underground, then they put me in a place called "Jamaiya" in the language of detention; and it was a small room with an area of 3 * 3 meters or 9 square meters, and contained about 80 detainees, everyone was standing on his feet, and we slept while standing.

Beatings was on a daily basis, especially beating on legs "Falaka", the room was with a small bathroom - toilet - intended for bathing and with one water tap and used for everything stench filled the place, the smell of rotten human flesh because of sores and prevalent diseases and the temperature was very high.

Where the sweat of the detainees, was like water, there was no means of hygiene such as soap or the like, all the detainees were suffering from swollen legs and chronic skin diseases, , and any small wound soon transforms into a source of severe pain and soon that becomes inflamed and filled with blood and pus, prisoners were injected with vaccines one knows what it was and the jailors took from each prisoner 100 SP as a price, and who was arrested without carrying any amount of money, he was deprived from the " unknown medicine", and the quality of the food is very poor and few, and it was full of stones small "gravel".

Where the sweat of the detainees, was like water, there was no means of hygiene such as soap or the like, all the detainees were suffering from swollen legs and chronic skin diseases, , and any small wound soon transforms into a source of severe pain and soon that becomes inflamed and filled with blood and pus, prisoners were injected with vaccines one knows what it was and the jailors took from each prisoner 100 SP as a price, and who was arrested without carrying any amount of money, he was deprived from the " unknown medicine", and the quality of the food is very poor and few, and it was full of stones small "gravel".

I saw two cases of death during the period of my presence at the "Jamaiya", which was fifteen days:

The first accident: a man who was from a Jdaidat Artouz, and had suffered some kind of delirium, as a result of severe beatings and torture he suffered. The last time he was taken to be tortured he legs and neck were shackled just like an animal, they beat him strongly, especially on the head, which was covered in blood as he returned, he had been suspended from his hands "Shabih" for a very long time ...... the man did not hold long so in the morning and when we were trying to wake him we found that he had died, he is married and has children.

Second accident: was one of the detainees who had been tortured severely till his skin was disintegrated, then they put him in the garbage barrel for many hours, and then they throw in the bathrooms corridor "toilet" and his skin was so much rotten with a bad smell out of his wounds , and soon he was dead.

After 15 in Aljamiya cell they decides to take me to another place and was alittle higher a and was called the "Shabak" net which It is a room covered with iron net as well as sheets of iron "Tutea" It was an area of about 15 * 4 meters and contained about one thousand detainees. Most of the detainees were soldiers and officers, who were charged with "defecting", and their number is more of the civilians, but civilians were mostly charged with demonstrating and vandalism, and possession of arms in fewer cases.

The torture and severe beatings in this place were carried out during the investigation process, from beatings with electricity cables on all parts of the body to electroshocking and beatings with hands and legs, and perhaps more severe types of torture were the "German chair" where the detainee is placed on the edge of the back of a chair with the

upper part of his body is lift down (it seems that this is a new way for the German chair where it differs from the traditional method known).

After one month and three days I spent in the "Shabak" where I got tortured, beaten, and admitted all the false charges against me to, I was transformed to the Court of Zablatani where I was before a civilian judge who decided to release me after I denied all the charges

When the detainee was asked the following question: what do you think the main reason for the big number of deaths in the branch of the region is?

His answer was as follows: the spread of diseases among all the detainees, especially skin puss, high temperature are the main causes of death, and I think that the number of those who die as a result of the disease is equal to or slightly higher than the number of those who are dying under of torture . End of statement

The Fourth Case
On 9th 6 2013, a military security patrol delivered the mayor a list of 24 martyrs were killed under torture in Branch 227, locals recognized only 19 names with the help of a relative of Mayor later this man escaped after the story was told in media according to Omar Abo Yaroub member of the media office in the local council of Kadam city who said:

On 9th 6 2013 we heared that Mayor has a list of 24 martyrs were killed under torture in Branch 227 from the same man who revealed the 19 names, and the list was from Branch 227 when Mayor was told to get the bodies from Almojtahed hospital of Damascus but they are rotten and contagious because of the disease spread among the detainees so the families were afraid to go there because of that disease and the fair of getting detained , the bodies are still there and we don’t know what happened to them.

Omar Abo Yaroub added that he was detained at the same Branch for one day but he suffered most horrible torture and electroshocks and flagellation, hanging from his one hand and at the German Chair and I could identify two officers:

Brigadier Khalil, Christian

Colonel Ali Zaki Mohammed who is according to the detainees responsible for most of the raids in the south area and Kadam and Asali, he spoke coastal language, 180 cm long, white skin short blonde hair, big body , blue eyes and he tortured detainees especially during investigation

Abo Yaroub estimate the number of Kadam detainess of one thousand, majority of them were arrested arbitrarily and at checkpoints.

A list of the names revealed from Mayor

http://goo.gl/slkAc



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