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Al-Qamishli: Activist tortured by Air Force Intelligence Service

KURDWATCH, May 10, 2012—On April 27, 2012, the Air Force Intelligence Service released Muhammad Jan Muhammad Saʿid (b. 1991), an activist for the Movement of Young Kurds (Tevgera Ciwanên Kurd), from the custody. Two days earlier he had been arrested near the bus station in al‑Hasakah. He was on his way to a preparatory meeting for the »Day of the Kurdish Journalist«. Saʿid was initially brought to the Air Force Intelligence Service in al‑Hasakah with his hands and feet shackled and his eyes bound. There he was made to undress and was beaten with a whip on his back and legs until one of the torturers told his accomplices not to use the whip any longer because it would leave marks. Saʿid was questioned about his participation in dissident demonstrations as well as about articles that he had published online. Security forces further reproached him, claiming that the Kurds had always been against the regime, that they wanted to destroy Syria, were controlled from abroad, and received weapons and money from Europeans, Americans, and Turks. Threats were also made that the detainee would »never see the sun again«. In the early evening, Saʿid was brought to the Air Force Intelligence Service's quarters in al‑Qamishli, where he was also interrogated, beaten, and insulted. On the second day of his detention, the torture was less, but Saʿid's hands and feet were still shackled and his eyes remained bound through his entire time in custody. He was not given any food and only received a glass of water after protesting loudly. On the morning of April 27, Saʿid was left near the al‑Qamishli airport with his eyes still bound. Prior to this he was forced to sign a statement that he would no longer take part in dissident demonstrations. His money—a total of 3 500 Syrian liras—was gone and his cell phone was destroyed. The detainee was freed after his friends protested for his release on the evening of April 26, 2012 in ʿAmudah and ad‑Darbasiyah. A delegation of doctors and lawyers had threatened the district manager of ad‑Darbasiyah that demonstrators would set his office on fire if Saʿid was not freed by the following day. Thereupon the district manager agreed that Saʿid would be released by 11 o'clock the following morning. According to Saʿid, activists are repeatedly being arrested and released a few days later, following comparable protests.

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