A Syrian man who was detained by regime forces for two-and-a-half months due to mistaken identity wants to tell his chilling story in a book.
Samer Barakat, 40, was arrested in Aleppo in 2012 and held in regime prisons, where he was subjected to torture for 76 days.
Barakat told Anadolu Agency that due to the coincidence of his sharing the last name of a man wanted by the Syrian regime, he was arrested by intelligence officers on suspicion of kidnapping a general and stealing a tank.
“In 2012, I went to visit some relatives who lived about 40 kilometers from Aleppo. When I was going home by bus, our vehicle was stopped for an ID check at a checkpoint set up by regime forces,” Barakat recalled.
“The intelligence officers checking the identity cards took me off the bus and took everything from me.”
When he asked why they detained him, they told him they would ask him a few questions at a police station.
Then they took him to a building 10 km away, leading him to a dungeon-like incarceration area three floors below ground level.
“They started to beat me and tortured me without asking me anything,” Barakat said.
Barakat said he was blindfolded, tied to a wall, and given electric shocks. They would torture him for hours, beating him with a bat and the butt of a Kalashnikov rifle.
“After days of torture in the dungeon, they took me to the room of a commander in the same building,” he said.
There they accused him of kidnapping a general and stealing a tank.
“Where are they?” the commander asked him repeatedly.
He added that his family was also held responsible for a clash between the opposition and regime forces in Aleppo.
When he asked if the accusations were a joke, someone behind him hit Barakat’s head with a gun.
“I told them that I knew nothing about it, but they didn’t believe me. That same day they took me to another jail,” he added.
He said he was kept in a small room housing 76 people with just a single toilet.
“Nobody could sit down so we had to keep standing. The intelligence officers would pour water on us and keep us from sleeping,” he said.
“The situation went on for days. I could hear the screams of torture victims.”
Barakat was released after 76 days in detention, when they confirmed his innocence of the allegations.
For the first time since his detention, he saw sunlight.
“I want to compile all my memories of my imprisonment in a book,” he said.
After his release, Barakat and his wife moved to Hatay, a southern Turkish province bordering Syria.
Source: Yeni Safak.