On Wednesday, Syrian activists mourned Layla al-Shouikani, who died under torture in the Assad regime’s prisons, amid conflicting information about the physicist, Dr. Faten Rajab Fawaz, who is thought to have suffered the same fate.
Activists on social media said that Dr. Fawaz had died under torture in the Syrian intelligence agency’s dungeons, while no official confirmation of this has been issued.
Dr. Fawaz was from the city of Douma in the Damascus countryside. She obtained a doctorate in physics and atomic science. She was arrested by the Air Force Intelligence on Dec. 26, 2011, because of her peaceful activities and her support for the Syrian revolution, according to circulated information. Ana Press was not able to clarify the reality of the incident.
She spent ten months being investigated by the Air Force Intelligence Directorate, before she was transferred to the special missions branch (215) of the Military Intelligence Directorate, where she was tortured heavily. She lived in extremely difficult and inhumane conditions. Since her arrest six years ago, she had suffered from poor health, according to reported information which was published by the journalist Tawfik al-Hallaq on his Facebook page.
In the same context, social media pages also circulated reports about the regime executing activist Layla al-Shouikani, an engineer in informatics, who had obtained American citizenship, two days after news from Adra prison, where she was being held, was cut off. Her family was informed of her death through a notification from the civil registry, according to reported information.
Shouikani was one of the first to revolt against the Assad regime, and worked to coordinate protests in Damascus. She also worked in the medical field and brought in medical resources to areas under siege by regime forces, as well as documenting Assad’s crimes during that period.
Shouikani was moved from Adra prison in the Damascus countryside to Saydnaya prison in 2016. It was here that she was executed. The only news leaked about her after she was transferred to the “human slaughterhouse” was of her martyrdom under torture.
On Tuesday, the International Campaign to Save Detainees in Syria said on its Facebook page , “Shouikani died under torture two years ago, however the regime did not leak this news to the civil registry department until recently.”
The number of women held prisoner in Syria or forcibly disappeared between 2011 and 2018 is about 10,000 women, 82 percent of whom were arrested or disappeared by the regime. The rest are distributed among the remaining Syrian factions.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.