(New York) – Government security branches in Raqqa city hold documents and potential physical evidence indicating that detainees were arbitrarily detained and tortured there while the city was under government control. Human Rights Watch researchers visited the State Security and Military Intelligence facilities in Raqqa, now under the de facto control of local armed opposition groups, in late April 2013.
Local opposition leaders with the support of the National Coalition for Syrian Revolutionary and Opposition Forces and neutral international experts should safeguard potential evidence of torture and arbitrary detention in security forces centers in opposition-controlled areas, Human Rights Watch said.
“The documents, prison cells, interrogation rooms, and torture devices we saw in the government’s security facilities are consistent with the torture former detainees have described to us since the beginning of the uprising in Syria,” said Nadim Houry, deputy Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. “Those in control of Raqqa need to safeguard the materials in these facilities so the truth can be told and those responsible held accountable.”
In the State Security facility, Human Rights Watch researchers observed on the ground floor and in the basement, rooms that appeared to be detention cells.Among the documents were what appeared to be lists of security force members who had worked there. Human Rights Watch researchers also saw a “bsat al-reeh” torture device in the facility, which former detainees have said has been used to immobilize and severely stretch or bend limbs...................
FULL ARTICLE: Syria: Visit Reveals Torture Chambers | Human Rights Watch