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Ar-Raqqa: Fourty nine people released from prison following torture

KURDWATCH, April 21, 2011—On April 6, 2011, the second military investigating judge in Aleppo ruled that 48 people would be released from prison in ar-Raqqa. Those released were arrested between April 9 and 30, 2010 in connection with the Kurdish New Year’s festival organized by the Democratic Union Party (PYD) and held on March 21 of the same year in the city of ar-Raqqa. The day before their release, the prisoners had threatened to strike in solidarity with the demonstrators currently organizing dissident protests in various Syrian cities. The prison administration subsequently offered to release them within 24 hours if they abandoned the strike.
Those released from prison are: Hajji Hosho Ahmad, Muhammad ʿAli Dawud, Hamid Bozan Bozan, Muhammad Hosh Shaykh ʿAli, Muhyiddin Muslim Bozan, Salih Muhammad ʿUthman, Khalil Khashman Shaykh Muhammad, Jarrah Dawud Shaykhu, Qawwas ʿAli Muslim, ʿAdil Khalil Bozan, Hasan Ahmad Habash, Ayyub Khalil Khalil, Riyad Ibrahim Khalil Sijar, ʿAbdulqadir ʿAli Shaʿban, Hasan ʿAbdi Muhammad, Mustafa Ibrahim Ibo, Maʿsum Mustafa ʿIsa, Muhammad ʿAli Ahmad Husayn, Mazlum Muhammad ʿUthman, Iskandar Muhammad ʿIsa, Mustafa Ahmad Husayn, Jamʿan Muhammad ʿIsa, Ahmad Misho ʿAli, Mustafa Muhammad Yasin, Sabri Muhammad Nabi, Ibrahim Qawwas Muslim, Ibrahim ʿAbid Husayn, Ramadan Muhammad Amin, ʿAdnan Ramadan Amin, Mustafa ʿAli Naʿsan, ʿAbdulqadir Mahmud Shaykh ʿUthman, Muhammad ʿAttallah ʿIsa, ʿAli Nabo Mustafa, Saʿdi Ibrahim Ibo, Luqman Mustafa Naʿsan, Muhammad Hammud Muslim, Ibrahim Mamt Mahmud, Ahmad Shaykhu ʿAto Miho, Nazmi Muhammad Muhammad, Ramadan Bozan Bozan, ʿAbdulkarim ʿAliz Mustafa, Abu Zir Abu Zir Muslim, Badrkhan ʿAli Deriki, Muhammad Hajji Ahmad, Taha Hasan Muslim, Khalil ʿUthman Shaykhu, ʿIzzuddin al-ʿAbbud, and ʿAbdulfatah Ahmad Tamir. Another prisoner, Mustafa Yasin, had already been released from prison ten days earlier for health reasons. Charges had been raised against those named above pursuant to Articles 339 and 307 of the Criminal Code, among other articles. Currently it is unclear whether the charges will be dropped or whether the cases are still pending before the court. The Political Security Directorate, the State Security Service, and the Air Force Intelligence Service were involved in the arrests in April 2010. Following interrogations by the Air Force Intelligence Service in ar-Raqqa, Dair az-Zaur and Aleppo the individuals in question were held at the Air Force Intelligence Service’s prison at the Mazza airport for 26 days. Three days of interrogations at the Political Security Directorate followed before the prisoners were transferred to the ʿAdra prison near Damascus. For the first three months they were interrogated by one member each of the Political Security Directorate, the State Security Service, the Air Force Intelligence Service and the Military Intelligence Service. Each time the prisoners were transported to the Political Security Directorate's al-Faihaʾ remand prison for the interrogations. After roughly six months, they were transferred from Damascus to Aleppo and from there on to ar-Raqqa.
One of the people in question reported to KurdWatch that all of the prisoners were tortured. The methods applied included the Dulab method, in which the person concerned is forced into a tire and beaten, and the Falaqa method (Bastinado), in which the soles of the feet are beaten. In addition, the detainees received kicks and punches to all parts of their bodies. [Further information on the case]

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