Three officers in the prison of Homs unclothe women with the allegation of “inspection”
Printed Edition ‖ No.: 218
Enab Baladi – Homs
The women of the city of Homs, which is invaded by Assad military forces, never experienced the feeling of security except on the regime’s TV channels or on the regime-supportive social networks. Their only fear was not only explosive devices implanted every now and then in crowded streets, it rather exceeded to include incidents of kidnapping and detention which they are subject to almost on a daily basis, not to mention murder crimes which have recently increased, and which are described by activists as becoming totally “unbearable”.
This is what is happening under the care of the regime
The “strict” security grip in the neighborhoods of Homs under the control of the regime has not prevented the spread of the moral rottenness in the area or even limit the crimes committed against the civilians there; including robbery and thefts, in addition to murder crimes which have clearly increased in recent times, according to Mohammad AlHomsi, a member of Homs media center. Mohammad tells Enab Baladi that murder crimes and security violations have increased in the areas under the regime’s control, despite the authorities’ attempts to silence them and keep them confidential, “this is not new, as we have recently witnessed clear rumblings of discontent by the civilians, who have chosen the regime’s authority/rule and took refuge under his umbrella believing that the regime is capable of protecting them, to soon find out that they were wrong.”
This is what is happening under the care of the regime
The “strict” security grip in the neighborhoods of Homs under the control of the regime has not prevented the spread of the moral rottenness in the area or even limit the crimes committed against the civilians there; including robbery and thefts, in addition to murder crimes which have clearly increased in recent times, according to Mohammad AlHomsi, a member of Homs media center. Mohammad tells Enab Baladi that murder crimes and security violations have increased in the areas under the regime’s control, despite the authorities’ attempts of secrecies and keep them confidential, “this is not new, as we have recently witnessed clear complaints of discontent civilians, who have chosen the regime’s rule and taken refuge under his umbrella, believing that the regime is capable of protecting them, to soon find out that they were wrong.”
The crimes committed against residents of the region were not limited to men only, but women were mainly and repeatedly targeted due to the proliferation of weapons in the hands of young non-military men, the absence of scrutiny and accountability and the lack of men and young men in the region. According to Al-Homsi; “we noticed that most of the committed crimes are directly targeting women since they are considered the only weak point for the opposition, not to mention that most of the young men carrying weapons in the city are actually mercenaries empowered by the government in light of the absence of People’s committees with more than 75% of them on fronts.”
The absence of scrutiny, the frequent bribes and the rampant insecurity empowered these young men to follow their whims and thus get what they want, which led to a “catastrophic” situation in these neighborhoods, as described by Al-Homsi, adding; “the rampant insecurity in these areas allowed these mercenaries to fulfil their desires in any kind of way, as long as the weapons are available and the security systems are turning a blind eye since they are busy shelling the rebelled neighborhoods”. Tashbeehi (intimidating by force and violence in support and service of the Syrian regime) acts exceeded the neighborhoods to get to university campuses; the university student, Marwa AlAtassi was kidnapped and murdered in a tunnel at the university a few days ago. Al-Homsi says; “the incident had no significance whatsoever, as it was not even mentioned in the media, as if those areas under the rule of the government are more like a jungle and the security committee blesses that.”
Insults inside “the Central”
The central prison of Homs has hundreds of female prisoners detained against the backdrop of the incidents that took place in a special wing under the supervision of a number of female jailors, according to “A. M.”, one of the detainees in the central prison, who tells Enab Baladi that “the prison has hundreds of female detainees who were arrested in their homes or at regime’s forces checkpoints, due to their connection to whom the regime describes as terrorists, which asserts the fact that the regime does not exclude anyone of his tyranny and does not differentiate among a man, a woman or a child to classify as a terrorist, yet it is enough to be from Homs in order to get the price of freedom which all Syrians called for.”
“A. M.” explains that the female detainees in the central prison experience a lot of harassment, which the regime proceeds in order to provoke anger of the male detainees and subdue them, adding “the detainees experience daily humiliation and lots of insults which echo into our private wing, not to mention the bad and poor quality of the food served to them. Most of the male detainees has a sister or a female relative in prison whom they cannot see or talk to, and they are also not allowed to send them money or help them in any kind of way.”
Unclothing women before visiting
The detainees inside the central prison launched pleas and cries demanding the necessity of the UN intervention in order to see the humiliation that goes on inside the prison and stop an imminent disaster from happening. “A. M.” continues saying; “we cannot tolerate the treatment of the prison’s administration towards our women who come to visit us, as the prison’s officers, such as; General Abdo Karam, Major William Kanaan and Captain Hassan tend to unclothe women with the allegation of inspection. They also insult and humiliate them. Therefore, we call upon the UN to send a delegation to examine the situation at prison, meet the detainees and listen to their demands, as well as stop the provocative acts of the regime before a massacre takes place.”
Threats with the force of “Tashbeeh”
“S. L.” a student who has been subjected to direct threats by one of the weapon holders in the city. She shares her story with Enab Baladi saying; “I have experienced threats and blackmail that started when a young man in the university campus forced one of my friends to give him my phone number, then he started texting me with threats to take me to security departments with an accusation of opposition.”
“S. L.” story was not the only one that made her quickly leave the country out of fear of threats, but there were dozens of stories that the student told; “every day we hear a new story of humiliation and fear that we endure every minute we live within the confines of the regime. My friend was subjected to a torrent of insults by a Shabeeh, (those who intimidate by force and violence in support and service of the Syrian regime) after he forcibly took her to the area of Al Rayyes (President) roundabout, where he insulted, beaten and directly threatened to kill her with no interference of the police or any other governmental force despite the fact that there were a lot of them in that area.”
The opposition forces have lost Bab AlSiba’ area in March 2012 after the famous Karem Az-Zaitoun massacre, while the fighters of Old Homs left heading north in April 2014, at the time where Al-Waer neighborhood and the northern countryside remained under the control of the Syrian opposition till this moment.
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