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Syrian regime demands bribe to release prisoners

Demonstrators in Idlib, Syria, demanding justice for the thousand Syrian prisoners, tortured and killed in Assad's prisons [Twitter]
Demonstrators in Syria demand justice for the many Syrian prisoners, tortured and killed in Assad's prisons [Twitter]

Besides facing torture, many prisoners in Syrian jails are subjected to pay huge bribes in exchange of their freedom, say ex-prisoners, Anadolu reports.

“My family paid a bribe of 500,000 Syrian liras (about $10,000) to one of the members of the Assad family for my release,” Um Hisam, 50, told Anadolu Agency in an interview.

Recalling inhumane torture and cruelties he witnessed, during his imprisonment at various detention centers in Aleppo, Damascus, Homs and Idlib, Hisam said he had suffered heart attack, as he could not bear the severe torture. He was accused of supporting Syrian military opposition.

“There were cockroaches in the bread, which they gave to prisoners. I lost 17 pounds in four months,” he said.

Detained at border

Um Hisam was forced to take refuge in Turkey with his wife and children in September 2011, due to the civil war in Syria, which had broken out a few months earlier.

Study: 2,460 arbitrary detention cases in 6 months in Syria 

When he returned to Syria to fetch documents necessary to enroll his children in Turkish schools, he was detained by the regime forces at the border gate in Idlib.

A year after his release, he returned to Turkey to live with his family.

Humanitarian crisis in Syria

Syria has been locked in a devastating conflict since early 2011, when the Assad regime cracked down on demonstrators with an unexpected severity.

Since then, hundreds of thousands of people have been killed and more than 10 million displaced, according to UN figures, while women and children continue to bear the full brunt of the conflict.

According to the International Conscience Movement, an NGO, more than 13,500 women have been jailed since the Syrian conflict began, while more than 7,000 women remain in detention, where they are subjected to torture, rape and sexual violence.

The movement is an alliance of individuals, rights groups and organizations aiming to secure urgent action for the release of women and children in the prisons of the Syrian regime.

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