URGENT REPORT FROM SOLIDA
Palmyra Jail, Syria, 30 Ways of torturing detainees
Testimonies of many people liberated from Tadmur's jail in Palmyra, Syria,
allow us today to list the methods of torture and ill treatment employed in that
Upon arrival at the jail:
- When detainees first arrive at the prison, they are pushed down long
flights of stairs while blindfolded and with their hands bound behind their
- Stuped forward, the detainees are forced to walk in a single file and they
are constantly beaten while moving throughout the prison.
Survival conditions of the detainees:
- In some cells, more than 34 prisonners are put together in a ten square
- The detainees are frequently put in an isolation cell
measuring one square meter in which it is impossible to stand upright.
detainees are not given any reasons why they are being held there and for
Methods of torture and ill treatment occuring during interrogation and
- The "Dullaab" or the wheel is a way of torture used
during interrogation. The victim is attached to a suspending wheel and beaten.
- The beatings are performed by repeatedly hitting the same body parts over and
over causing severe and painful muscular injuries.
- Beatings occur with an iron
- Sometimes the guards take a detainee and slash his body with a knife
then the guards themselves sew up his injuries.
- The detainee is forced to
drink a large amount of water. A rubber tournequet is then attached to his penis
preventing him from urinating. This leads to serious urinary infections. Blood
in the detainee's urine is seen for several weeks afterwards.
- During the
interrogation, the detainee may not be allowed to drink unless he signs certain
documents that he is forbidden to read beforehand.
- At certain times, the
detainees are put into cells having two windows . The guards sit on the window
sills and kick the detainees.
- The guards regularly appoint a "security
agent " among the inmates. He is given the task of violently beating the
other detainees, especially those in his party.
- If the "security
agent" refuses to beat his co-detainees, the guards beat him with a pipe
until he bleeds. Then they rub salt in his wounds.
- At anytime, the guards
can enter the cells and beat the detainees, kicking them in their faces.
detainees are forced to keep a still position for several hours either on their
knees or laying on their chests with their legs above them.
- The detainees are
forced to clean the courtyard with gallons of water. The detainees must walk
400m while constantly spilling water onto the ground. If upon arrival, the
bucket is completely empty, they receive 500 belt lashes.
- The detainees are
forced to eat unshelled eggs, live rats, and sometimes large quantities of non
- Some detainees are forced to see the corpses of other
detainees who have been executed. Execution is mainly by hanging.
detainees are not allowed to go to the bathroom at night and, if they do so ,
they are punished by receiving 500 to 1000 belt hits. They are also prevented
from moving while asleep. If they do move, they are severely beaten. Guards
working 2 hour shifts make sure of this .
- If a detainee receives a visit from his family which is
a very rare case, he is obliged to tell them that everything is okay and that he
doesn't need anything.
- In most cases, the detainee is unable to inform his
family of where he is being detained or even whether or not he is still alive.
- If a detainee looses consciousness in his cell as a result of the ill
treatment he had undergone, another detainee must call the guard and tell him
that his co-detainee is not feeling well because "he slipped in the
- The detainee is taken out only few minutes a day. Meanwhile,
he's obliged to sit on the floor with his hands on his head and looking solely
at the floor.
- While outside, should the guard ask the detainee how long he
has been out, if it has been 3 minutes, for example, he is to reply 30 minutes
otherwise he is punished. The guard subsequently hits him with big rocks causing
him serious injuries that can lead to death.
Hygiene and care
- If a detainee gets a tooth ache, the tooth is taken out
without anaesthetic with pliers.
- During showering, the detainees are attached
to each other with sheets and constantly beaten. The guards also insult their
- When a detainee shows any signs of depression, he is severely
- The detainees are not allowed to fast during Ramadan if they want
to. When they refuse to eat during the day, they are forced to go to bed before
- The detainees are not allowed to pray under the penalty of death.