Monday, 14 September 2015

Syrian refugees tell their harrowing stories in their own words

Children look through the fence of the migrant holding camp at the Hungarian border with Serbia.

 'They would randomly call out people and tie them up with their arms and legs spread out on the wall, and beat them. There was so much blood. When they came to interrogate me, they took my shoes and all my clothes and kept me blindfolded. They beat me while they questioned me about why I’m against the regime. I stayed there for about one week.
 Before I was released, a lieutenant told me: “You’re a doctor and you want democracy but we taught you — and then you fight us? We will let you live, but go back home and tell the people that we let you live. We were merciful to you and if we want we can take you back at any time.”
If I could go back to Syria safely, I would. But I can’t. Not with the Assad regime. It hurts us so much that people around the world are looking at us, and letting him kill us.'
'One of doctors at the hospital where I volunteer, a man who is related to Bashar Assad, supervises the nurses. Several times he told me, “you should not help the wounded, never, because they are terrorists” — even though most of the patients were children and women.
 I thought I would be safer than others because the medical profession is the cleanest profession in the world, and should be there to help everyone no matter what his community, race or religion. But a few months later, the doctor had me arrested. For six days I was tortured.
 Then my father paid a large amount to the Syrian army and they released me.'

 'I was studying with my cousin when the soldiers came and arrested about a thousand men randomly.
 Of course I was punched and I was tortured. In the bus, they were humiliating and insulting us and hitting us as though we were animals.
 They told me that I was a terrorist, that I took money from Israel and United States and Qatar and Saudi Arabia. I remember that when I reached the prison I was full of blood and black and blue in my face.
 I live in Jordan now as a refugee, but my family is not with me. I don’t have a job. I never was able to finish my school, so I can do nothing.'

 'My name is Basil Mohammed Alriabi. I’m 10 years old.
 My father died by a barrel bomb dropped from the sky. Then I was separated from my mother and my brother when I was hurt by a land mine while we were trying to leave Syria.'

 'When we were living in Daraa, the Shabiha men broke down our door and came to our home. They accused my husband of being part of the opposition. He wasn’t.
 The men tied our hands and feet and they started to beat my husband. They made us watch while they each raped him. Then, they used their sticks on him. When they were tired of beating him, they forced us all to the window of our home and made us watch as they threw my husband out of it. He died.
 They kept us tied up and pushed us to the ground. One of the men brought a big pot of boiling water from the kitchen and threw it on my boys.'

 'My name is Dr. Rida Harah and I’m a refugee in Jordan. If I go back, I’m dead. I want to go home, but I don’t want to die. What do I do?'

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