• Torture
  • June 15, 2010
  • 3 minutes read

Syria: Ayat Issam Ahmed is disappeared and tortured by Political Security agents in Damascus

Syria: Ayat Issam Ahmed is disappeared and tortured by Political Security agents in Damascus

Ayat Issam Ahmed, a university student from Damascus, was arrested on 18 October 2009, after receiving a summons to appear at the Political Security branch in Al-Fayha, Damascus, where she was questioned about her religious beliefs. During her interrogation, Ayat Issam Ahmed was exposed to various forms of torture, which eventually led a severe deterioration in her health. Following her incarceration, her house was raided; as officers carried out a warrantless search during which they confiscated several books as well are her computer.

On 2 June 2010, Alkarama sent Ayat Issam Ahmed’s case to the Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances and the Special Rapporteur on Torture, requesting their immediate intervention with the Syrian authorities in order to acquire any information regarding Ayat Ahmed’s whereabouts.

Although the Syrian authorities have not acknowledged her arrest or any information regarding her situation, an Iraqi women, apparently detained alongside Ayat Issam Ahmed, has confirmed that Ayat has suffered repeated physical abuse, and that her face bears clear signs of torture. According to testimonies from the Iraqi cellmate, Ayat Issam Ahmed has been rushed to hospital on several occasions following torture sessions.

Based on further information, Ayat Issam Ahmed was taken to Mezza prison before being transferred to Political Security investigative bureau in Al-Fayha, from where she was later taken her to the Palestinian Branch of Damascus prison in May 2010.
Ayat Issam Ahmed’s whereabouts remain unknown as a result of the Syrian authorities’ refusal to provide any information and continued denial of visitation rights. The Committee against Torture, in its concluding observations to the Syrian authorities in May 2010, expressed its deep concern at the numerous allegations of systematic torture at the hands of State officials in State detentions centers; especially during secret detention and before trial, when the detainees is deprived of his fundamental rights.