Mazen, 21, described his experience. He witnessed many atrocities, especially in what he described as the "slaughterhouse hospital," the military hospital in the Mazzeh distrct of Damascus.
"A few minutes after the doctor had left the tea table at a cafe in the Sarujah district in central Damascus, a few security members arrived and asked us to show our identities," he recalled.
"After checking them, they asked me and two of my nephews to go with them. We were taken to an unknown location in a civilian Hyundai car. They covered our heads with the clothes we were wearing. We only learned later that they had taken us to the Air Force Intelligence branch of the Mazze military airport in Damascus."
"When we arrived, we were met with extremely severe beatings using green plastic tubing on the head and back directly."
Describing the interrogation methods, he said: "They handcuffed my hands and put a blindfold over my eyes, and then they took me to the courtyard. You could hear the sounds of the detainees being subjected to torture."
"When I got to the investigation room, a man asked me about my political views and accused me of working with Islamic organizations. I denied them," he continued.
"The investigator asked me to admit killing regime soldiers and attacking military checkpoints and possessing arms. He said he was going to smoke a cigarette and that on return, he wanted the confessions. After about five minutes, he returned to the room, and asked me:
Will you sign these confessions, or should I make you?"
"I told him I had no kind of weapons, and that I never carry arms. I told him I did not kill any soldier and did not attack the military checkpoints. He immediately called security members to beat me."
"They beat me on the hands and legs using a thick cable and hose, but they didn’t get enough and they put me on the ground and began to run over me, breaking four of my ribs. for two months I had difficulty breathing."
"They then hanged me from my hands – I was more than 10 cm from the floor. I could not bear the intense pain and was screaming, so one of them put his military shoe in my mouth and warned me of the consequences of yelling again. At that point I admitted possessing weapons and protecting demonstrations, but I refused to say I had killed any soldiers, so they took me back to the investigation room and then they told me to take off all my clothes."
"They brought an iron machine consisting of an iron ring, and they put my penis within the ring, its hand was moving, whenever they pulled it, it was pressing on my penis, causing terrible pain. They threatened to cut off my penis if I didn’t confess everything, so I admitted everything they asked me to, especially after they brought an iron shaft with a sharp top that they placed in anus of detainees to extract confessions."
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer