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Ex-Prisoner: ‘We Are Nothing But a News Story, Humanitarian Organizations Ignore Us’

Former detainee describes exploitation from NGOs and media organizations after release from prison
Ex-Prisoner: ‘We Are Nothing But a News Story, Humanitarian Organizations Ignore Us’

A former detainee has told Zaman al-Wasl of her disappointment at the neglect she faced from humanitarian organizations after being released from prison.

The woman, who wished to remain anonymous, explained that memories of her experience in Branch 291, and her interrogation in Branch 251, and abuse by the military security still haunt her today.

She explained that she was tried and charged in a terrorism court, then transferred to Adra Prison where she remained for a year and a half.

The former detainee explained her feelings of fear and despair for weeks after being freed, adding that she remains surprised at how she managed to arrive in Turkey.

“When I first arrived to Turkey, I felt myself a heroine coming from Damascus, but later I felt that freedom inside the prison was more than outside,” she said.

The ex-prisoner said that when she was in prison she was full of hope and determination to be freed, but upon her release all she felt was pain and disappointment, as her story was exploited by news reporters.

She added that she knew more than 200 humanitarian organizations who receive work and attention because they are vocal in promoting issues for detainees in Syria, but in reality, she said she received nothing from them in return for her photos and public speeches.

She added that she knew of hundreds of intelligent female detainees with brilliant ideas and initiatives, but who were ignored and neglected by most of the people who claim to represent the Syrian revolution.

The former detainee explained that hundreds of these women still remain in prison as many of them were sentenced for up to six years, including fines of millions of Syrian pounds. She also called on humanitarian organizations to work to reveal the fate of the many women who have been reported missing in Syria.

She mentioned that the situation for detainees is now better than when she was arrested, as there is now greater international attention, but admitted the “Save the Rest” campaign is not enough.

The woman forwarded a message to her friends in prison, saying: “Take care of yourselves my dearest friends, I wish you will get freed soon and be sure that [the] prison’s door will not stay closed, and unfairness will go away one day.”

This article was edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.

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