When Ahmad, 15, called one of his friends recently and accidentally mentioned the Free Syrian Army, he had no idea Syrian security was listening in on the conversation.
Ahmad didn't know that his young age did not prohibit security forces from the People's Committees militia checkpoint, in a village in the countryside of Lattakia, from detaining him. He was arrested and delivered to the military security branch in the city.
Ahmad, who is now a refugee in Lebanon, told ash-Sharq al-Awsat about his suffering after detention.
"The members of People's Committees severely beat me with sticks before moving me to the military security branch", Ahmad recalled.
Ahmad is one of hundreds of children detained on the basis that they or their relatives have participated in opposition activities.
According to the Syrian Human Rights Violations Center, the number of detained children in Syrian regime prisons has reached about 1,200, including 48 girls.
Ahmad spent six months in regime prisons and detailed torture methods.
"The first five days were the hardest, as they wanted me to confess that I had transported weapons to the opposition. They beat me with electric cables and shocked me with electric cables."
Ahmad confirmed he was moved to the military security branch No. 215 at the Kafr Souseh region in Damascus. there, he said, he saw "many children detained under inhumane conditions. Among them were two brothers, 11 and 8 years old."
"Those two had been detained on the basis of their elder brother's activity in the Free Syrian Army, and were subjected to violent torture. The smaller one was silent all the time because of the torture he was exposed to," Ahmad said.
According to a Human Rights Watch report: "the Syrian regime detains children in the same places and conditions as adults, exposing them to all the same kinds of physical and psychological maltreatment that adults suffer from."
The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has accused the Syrian authorities of practicing systematic torture on children. Pillay said that "the Syrian president can easily stop killing the civilians and detaining the children by issuing a presidential decree prohibiting these actions."
She described the treatment of Syrian children during the crisis as "horrible".
During Geneva II negotiations, the Syrian National Coalition has revealed a list of the names of children and women detainees in regime prisons, but a member of the Syrian government's delegation, deputy foreign minister Faisal al-Mekdad denied there are any child in regime's prisons.
UNICEF says that more than 400 children have been killed, and hundred others were injured, since the outbreak of the Syrian revolution.
Translated and edited by The Syrian Observer