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Authorities Puzzled After Prisoner Found Hanged in Damascus Palace of Justice

Judicial sources point to likely suicide but say that foul play is a possibility, Al-Watan reports
Authorities Puzzled After Prisoner Found Hanged in Damascus Palace of Justice

A prisoner in the Qasr al-Adli (Palace of Justice) jail committed suicide by hanging himself with a scarf, a judicial source revealed, adding that the prisoner was charged with the crime of prostitution and had been arrested with his wife.

In a statement to Al-Watan, the source said that the prisoner’s body was found by guards in the bathroom of the prison facility.

The source said that investigations were still underway to clarify whether there were other circumstances around the incident, adding that the incident was most probably a suicide because the prisoner was arrested for prostitution and feared being hurt by those in his community.

The source indicated that the occurrence of this type of event was evidence that these people suffer from psychological illnesses, adding that they are cared for when they are arrested so that they do not carry out acts that harm themselves or others.

According to the source, negligence among the guards allowed the prisoner to bring in items such as the scarf to hang himself, in addition to tobacco, shoe straps and other items which could cause harm to prisoners.

A number of judges have expressed their shock at the incident, given that it is the first of its kind, calling for a broad investigation into the matter.

Other judges said they believed police officers in the jail had acted with negligence, stressing the need for strict observation on prohibited items for prisoners, especially regarding those arrested for drugs and prostitution.

Other judges demanded that prisoners accused of prostitution and drug related offenses should be designated special areas, considering that people dealing with drugs behave in an abnormal fashion due to their ill state.

They said that those who carry out crimes of prostitution are definitely going through a dangerous mental state, which can lead to suicide, as occurred with the prisoner who hung himself.

Another judge said that this type of incident was very strange in the Qasr al-Adli jail, specifically in a place which should be monitored strictly for suspicious behavior from prisoners.

But some of judges have pointed to the possibility of murder, and said therefore the investigations should be intensified in order to understand the reasons that led to the strange event.

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.

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