Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Documenting Death Inside Syria's Secret Prisons

 “I saw his color, and was like, ‘Thank God he wasn’t starved to death.’ He didn’t have his ears taken off or his nose. So, I thought he made them furious enough to kill him right away rather than being tortured on a daily basis. It’s always better to know, is he alive or is he dead.”

 “It was systematic, the regime was using it as a way to quell the revolution.

 There’s a lot of missing Syrian people and a lot of people don’t know the fate of their family members. They hear about it through rumors. They pay money to try and find information and really there’s nothing concrete. And unfortunately there’s nothing more concrete than pictures of dead bodies. So the idea was to open up to help people identify their own family members.

 For an American audience, I think it was shocking. But the sheer … mass production of this, I think, is what overwhelms. They’ve documented it in such detail.

 Syrians inside Syria that had any experience with intelligence [services] automatically knew why the documentation had to happen.

 When there’s an order from above, they need evidence that those orders are being carried out. In a highly corrupt government, where you can pay people to release people, they need the evidence. They needed to keep the evidence to show that you told us this is what we need to do, and therefore, this is what we are doing.”

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