Thousands of Syrian women are believed to be incarcerated in the Assad regime’s prisons. Little is known about their fate, but those who manage to escape tell tales of horror. Julia Hahn reports from Gaziantep.
Muna Muhammad recalls every last detail. The stench in the cells, the pain, her torturers. “He pulled a black plastic bag over my head and then he hung me from the ceiling, head down,” the 30-year-old says. The memory still haunts her. The guard said he was going to leave her hanging from the ceiling until all her “evil thoughts land in this bag,” she remembers.
Muna was a music teacher before she was arrested in 2012 for participating in protests against President Bashar Assad in Deir al-Zour. She was released, then re-arrested and taken to the infamous Military Intelligence Branch 215 facility in Damascus – inmates call it “branch of hell” because torture is a daily occurrence.