Earlier this month, a patrol of the Fourth Division arrested four children from the city of Douma in Eastern Ghouta, while they were passing through the al-Aab Farms area on the outskirts of the city.
Sowt Al-Asima’s correspondent said that the officers arrested the children while they were transporting a quantity of copper and electrical wires into the city of Douma, adding that their ages ranged from 13 to 14.
The correspondent added that the officers arrested the children because they were working in the destroyed farms and old tunnels that were used by Jaish al-Islam during its control of the area, collecting electrical wires to sell them later in Douma.
According to the correspondent, the patrol escorted the children to the market in Douma city to identify the scrap dealer who buys copper from them. It transpired that the dealers is a well-known merchant in the market, from the Morjana family, pointing out that he had contacted a Fourth Division officer after the arrival of the patrol, preventing them from arresting him.
The correspondent confirmed that the four children were taken to a checkpoint belonging to the Fourth Division, stationed near the Kilani Gas Station in Douma, to be eventually released after four days in custody.
According to the correspondent, the children were subjected to torture during the custody, in addition to being forced to carry out forced labor for the checkpoint personnel.
The Fourth Division has been preventing the people of the al-Aab Farms area on the outskirts of the city of Douma from reaching their homes since the regime took control of the area under the settlement agreement to displace the opposition Jaish al-Islam faction that used to control the area towards northern Syria in 2018. The Fourth Division also established, in cooperation with Military Security, 16 checkpoints inside and on the outskirts of the neighborhood, amid excavation operations to search for the bodies of the regime’s members and the foreign militias fighting alongside it, and another to search for gold, antiquities, and weapons depots.
Sowt Al-Asima’s team documented the arrest of 453 people during 2020, including 15 women, 56 children, and two people with special needs, on charges related to security and criminal issues, communicating with opposition parties, and others related to terrorism.
This article was translated and edited by The Syrian Observer. The Syrian Observer has not verified the content of this story. Responsibility for the information and views set out in this article lies entirely with the author.