Nadia Suleiman, one of the 11 female detainees who was arrested by mercenaries (the Hamzat Division) in Afrin, narrates her story and what she suffered in their prisons and says that each of the women detained with her suffered multiple forms of torture and rape.
Day after day, the various stories, and testimonies of women and people in the occupied Afrin canton increase, all of which narrate the brutality of the Turkish occupation and its mercenaries and the crimes committed against the people of Afrin.
March 18 marks the fourth anniversary of the occupation of Afrin canton by the Turkish occupier and the mercenaries of the so-called “Syrian National Army”, who committed the most serious crimes and violations that increased according to their witnesses.
The young woman, Nadia Suleiman, was born in 1996 and returned with her husband to Afrin after its occupation. The mercenaries arrested the husband on May 25, 2018, and months after his arrest, he sent a voice message to his wife asking her to visit him in a prison in Azaz and that the gunmen had allowed him visits from his family.
About an hour later, a mercenary car arrived, accompanied by a friend of her husband, and apparently received a voice message, but later it became clear that the audio message was to lure her with her husband’s friend to kidnap them, where she was arrested,
At that time, the mercenary, Abu Laith, named al-Haskawi, took Nadia to the headquarters of the Turkish military intelligence MIT and detained her until the hours of midnight, and they robbed her of personal belongings and began to interrogate her, as reported to ANHA agency.
Every woman suffered some forms of torture
Nadia adds: “After my detention by the Turkish intelligence, someone spoke to me in Turkish language, but I did not understand what he was saying to me. Then he carried me to a room containing seven masked mercenaries, one of whom was sitting in front of me and also spoke Turkish language and began to examine my hands and shoulders.”
And she continued, “The mercenary tried to harass me for several times. After that, they transferred me to solitary similar to a refrigerator. I stayed there for a month, and throughout that period I was subjected to physical and psychological torture and sexual harassment.”
In May 2020, a video clip appeared on social media, in which 8 women were found detained in the mercenary prison of the Hamzat Division of the Turkish occupation in Afrin, during the storming of the prison by mercenaries and other settlers.
Nadia was one of those women, and after she was interrogated more than 25 times, she was imprisoned in solitary, and later she was transferred to a larger prison with about 40 male and female detainees.
Names of kidnapped women
Nadia says, “They took me to the (Hamzat Division) collective prison and put me in a room containing 11 women and two children, the first was two years old and the second was four years old, their names (Longin Abdo, her sister Rogin Abdo, Nazli Naasan, Roshin Amouni, Rukan Manla Mohammad, Farida Hussain, Estherban Abdo, Valentina Abdo, Newroz Bakr and another name I did not remember, in addition to the two children (Eid, Ergan).
Nadia points out that she repeatedly tried to commit suicide as a result of psychological pressure, torture and harassment, and a desire for salvation, but she failed, so she was transferred to a solitary cell, and hit her with a sharp object on the head, so she lost consciousness and stayed in the solitary for a long time until she lost a sense of time, and says: “I was repeatedly pulled from the solitary by my hair, depriving me of clothes, water and food, even going to the toilet, connections to the world were lost, no one knew where we were and how and we did not know what was going on outside, we could not refuse anything, they robbed us of our will and everything.
Methods of brutal torture
For months she lived on a loaf of bread and some cheese served to her every 3 or 4 days once; This led to her illness and nervous breakdown. She was tortured in several ways, including tied to the ceiling to hang down, implantation of needles in fingers and nails, and other methods. Nadia stated that her clothes were removed repeatedly, during the interrogation, and afterwards, and when the charges against her were rejected. She was taken to the torture room and hung to the ceiling with her hands tied from the back, and they hit her and other women with a hose, cable, and iron, and they exposed her lean body to electric shocks, and she explained that after she was subjected to several types of physical torture, she was fainting, but they used to bring her down to the water and deliver it. With electric current to wake up.
“The torture was daily, individually or collectively, and we were repeatedly raped. They gave us narcotic pills, and sometimes they sprayed cold water on us all in the harsh winter, even young children were not exempt from torture, and the infant was deprived of milk.”
Each of the women suffered forms of torture … they killed Kurdish civilians
Nadia notes that each of the women detained with her has been subjected to multiple forms of torture, and the women have been subjected to harassment, rape and insults. She said, “The sounds of torture are still stuck in my mind and cannot be forgotten.”
“I could hear the voices of men in the cells near our rooms and their screams while they were being tortured in a brutal manner, and I witnessed the killing of Kurdish civilians.”
Saying: Hassan was the father of 3 girls who had been severely tortured. He had lost his voice from torture. She added: The sounds of torture are still stuck in her mind and cannot be forgotten
Being assaulted and one of the Turks offers her to marry
Nadia says that she was raped several times inside the secret prison in which she was kidnapped in the Mahmoudiya neighborhood in Afrin, in addition to other women being raped by mercenaries supported and loyal to Turkey, with the participation of soldiers and elements of the Turkish intelligence MIT.
The kidnapped women are discovered for the first time
Nadia says that their tragic situation lasted for six months inside the prison of the Hamzat Division in the Mahmudiyah neighborhood in Afrin city. There was chaos and heard the sound of gunfire and chants. People broke into the prison. And she says: We ran away and got into one of the cars, we learned later that we were in the Military Police Department, and that fighting broke out between settlers and mercenaries, which led to the break-in of the prison in which we are held, which is affiliated with the Hamzat Division.
What happens after the imprisonment of al-Hamzat? … The charges
Nadia added that they stayed for only two days in a military police prison, for two days without torture and they were offered a little food and water, and added: “But they did not allow us to shower, which was a dream for us, I do not remember the last time I bathed.”
Nadia continues, recounting what happened with her after that: “After 48 hours, the military police handed us over again to the Hamza Division, the same previous faces, who took us to Mazen / al-Kabira village in Afrin countryside, and from there we were transferred to the Azaz area, and we were placed in a prison with somewhat better conditions, and then they took us to interrogate again, and they filmed us and took our pictures repeatedly, they told us that we should save what is on paper and record it in front of the cameras.
She says: “I read the text that included that I am a terrorist, an agent working for the PKK and the Syrian Democratic Forces, and that I was leading a group that was planning to target Turkish officers and soldiers and that I was planning to carry out bombing operations in Turkey. We were hit again, and they gave us hours to memorize the content of the paper, it was not I have any chance to refuse that, so I accepted under threat. “
Nadia talked about the mercenaries, accompanied by Turkish-speaking people, photographing them several times, once naked, and once in clean clothes that they presented to them and then they took, and in the videos they made them deny that they had been subjected to any torture and that prison life and conditions were luxurious, and forced them to thank Turkey, Erdogan, the national army and the security services and that they protected them.
In another video, they made them admit to duress, beatings and torture that they were terrorists who were involved in or planned bombings and agents in favor of the (Syrian Democratic Forces) and the Kurdistan Workers Party. Unless we carry out their orders in front of the video, we thanked Erdogan and thanked them, after that we were transferred to a prison in the city of al-Bab, we stayed there for a month, we were transferred from al-Bab to Maaratah prison in Afrin, and every time we were re-interrogated and obliged to admit that we are guilty and terrorists They treat us well, and our prison conditions are luxurious.”
In Maaratah prison for the first time, the kidnapped women were referred to the court and the judiciary, and Nadia remembers those moments by saying: “In the beginning, the military judge, I do not remember his name, asked me, and they also asked us in prison to remain silent and not say anything, and wait for the judge to speak and that in return for our silence we will get, on release, within a pardon they will issue.
But I didn’t care about anything. I spoke before the judge about torture, rape, harassment, beatings, prison conditions, that we are innocent civilians. We were forced to make video statements under torture, and they kidnapped me while I was going to visit my detained husband. The judge interrupted me and asked me to be sent back to prison and threatened me. The next day, they brought me into the courtroom, and I was forced to sign papers whose contents were unknown, in Turkish and Arabic.
Nadia adds that they were referred to another court, which appeared to be civilian this time, and this time Nadia decided not to remain silent despite their threat to kill her and spoke before the judge who identified himself as (Ahmed Saeed), and she told him how she was tortured and raped, and how the rest of the women were exposed to her in prison. The rest of the detainees were tortured, and she said that she witnessed the killing of two people under torture, the first is his name (Bilal Abdo) and the second (Uncle Hassan, a father of three girls). She expected him to listen and be fair, but it turned out that he wanted to talk to her for fun, and she said that he was smiling and mocking her. He threatened her and asked her not to tell anyone about these stories to protect her honor and her family, so that she would not be killed, pursued and returned to the same circumstances.
The commanders of the mercenaries forced Nadia to sign papers in Arabic and papers in Turkish without allowing her to read their content, and she was photographed again in prison and released with her being told to stay at home and not leave or speak to any media or write something on social networking sites.
How did her suffering end?
Nadia said that her family agreed with a smuggler to pay $ 300 to get her out of Afrin, and she reached a safe place, but the fate of her husband is still unknown, and he was kidnapped days before her abduction.