05/16/2013 - #Syria - Aleppo - Battle to release the prisoners at Aleppo central prison, heavy clashes
48 Iranians freed by #Syria rebels in prisoner swap
Syrian rebels on Wednesday freed 48 Iranians they had been holding for months in a swap for 2,130 prisoners detained by the Syrian regime, according to a Turkish charity, a rebel spokesperson and Iranian state television.
“This is the result of months of civil diplomacy carried out by our organization,” a spokesman for the Turkish charity the Humanitarian Relief Foundation (IHH), Serkan Nergis, told AFP in Turkey.
The regime’s prisoners exchanged for the Iranians were of several nationalities, including Turks, he said.
A spokesperson for the rebel Free Syrian Army, Ahmed al-Khatib, confirmed the deal, telling AFP in Beirut by telephone it was worked out through Turkish and Qatari mediation with Iran lobbying ally Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Iranian television made no mention of the swap deal, saying only that “the 48 Iranian pilgrims were released.”
The Iranians counted several Revolutionary Guards members, according to the rebel group which snatched them in Damascus in early August and threatened them with execution.
The rebels released a video on August 5 showing the captives and Iranian military identification cards taken from them.
Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi on August 8 admitted there were Revolutionary Guards in the group, but claimed they were “retired.”
Salehi had said all 48 had been on a religious pilgrimmage to a Shiite shrine in southeast Damacus, rejecting suspicions the Iranians had been providing military support to Assad’s forces.
Wednesday’s prisoner release was not immediately confirmed by Turkish or Syrian officials.
Separate to the abduction, Iran’s Revolutionary Guards acknowledged on September 16 that members of its Quds Force, an elite external operations unit, had been dispatched to Syria.
But Guards commander General Mohammad Ali Jafari told journalists the Quds deployment was there only to “counsel” Syrian forces fighting insurgents, and not for combat.
Salehi’s foreign ministry days later stressed that Jafari’s admission did not in any way mean that Iran had a “military presence” in Syria.
Iran has said it is providing only economic and humanitarian aid to Syria’s regime, which it sees as part of a regional “resistance” to Israel.
The United States and its Western allies believe that Iran is also providing weapons, snooping technology and military personnel skilled in hunting down and suppressing opposition members.
Extent of the detainees went out of the prisons of the occupation Assad!
22/10/12 Updated with English subtitles!
Assad’s army insults and threatens prisoners!
Warning: Foul language. Assad’s militias film their courageous feat of taunting powerless civilians whom they have detained. The civilians are slapped around and are threatened with execution. This footage was uploaded October 21, 2012.
#Syria, reminder video of highlights the plight of Syrian prisoners arrested because they opposed the regime.
#Syrian army deserters freed from underground cells
Nassar spent 10 weeks in an underground jail at Hanano military barracks in the embattled province of Aleppo in northern Syria for planning to desert before his fortunes changed.
He only saw the light of day again earlier this month when rebel forces took the base.
The 27-year-old defector tells calmly of the two-and-a-half months he spent in detention, suffering daily torture, surrounded by filth and beaten down by the heat in the prison where he was treated “like an animal.”
“We were 14 in my cell. Some fell ill with the worst sores we had ever seen,” he says.
“Some died under torture, others came back from the cells with whip marks all over their bodies. The torture sessions started about 11 at night and finished at 4 in the morning,” the young man says, sporting a neatly groomed red beard.
Nassar talks to AFP on condition of not revealing his family name. He fears reprisals against his family in Damascus, which he cannot return to because of the military checkpoints across the war-torn country.
Talal, a 21-year-old also from the capital, was arrested trying to escape his barracks. He was transferred by helicopter from the nearest military airport to Hanano, where he spent 17 days.
He had been thinking of deserting for some time, but an army operation he was part of in Aleppo firmly made up his mind.
“The army torched houses and razed an entire village. At that point, I said to myself, I can’t stay here another day. We talked about it with other soldiers, deciding that if we stayed, we were complicit with the regime,” Talal says.
“We weren’t allowed to watch TV, to use a mobile phone. For a whole year I couldn’t get permission to go and see my family. It’s even forbidden to have views” other than those of the regime, the young man in a blue and white sweatshirt says.
Issa did not buy the regime’s charge that “terrorists” were behind the uprising. The young soldier left the army when what his superiors were telling him did not match up with what he saw on the ground.
“They talked about terrorists but we could only see children facing us. At the start of the revolution they sent us to attack demonstrators,” he says.
Issa, a native of Deir az-Zour in the east of the country, has not been able to speak to his family since he was freed after five months of detention. He agrees to be interviewed in the hope they will find out he is still alive.
The three young men were freed on September 7, when rebels attacked the Hanano base, which was of a key victory for its weapons stash. The rebels claimed to have freed 350 prisoners from the barracks in eastern Aleppo.
The prisoners were kept for two weeks by the opposition forces for questioning. Those wishing to defect were sent to various rebel positions in the region, while common law prisoners remain in detention.
300 #Syria Political Prisoners Freed in Hanano Military Barracks Raid by Free Syria Army
CNN report describes brutal torture in Syria!
#Syria, Prisoners troops Anzamah in Sayeda Zeinab
#Syria, Army prisoners after the liberation of al-Asadi of Aleppo section one school
#Syria, shabiha captured lined up
Jailers in #Syria’s Aleppo become prisoners of war
#Syria, Aleppo prison captured by FSA
#Syria, At the beginning you can see shabiha recording theirselfs, at the end the FSA recorded them because they were captured, translated version soon!