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Sunday, June 19, 2016

Fail "Caesar" Part 6-F: Arrested on the Road

Fail "Caesar" Part 6-F: Arrested on the Road
April 17, 2016
last edits June 19 (Soumariyyah Station)

<< Part 6: Evidence the Victims were NOT Prisoners of the Government

Some victims shown in the "Caesar  torture photos" were said to be taken from home; Rihab Allawi, Khaled Hadla, and Mohammed Tariq Majid from the Human Rights Watch report were nabbed from home (or a hotel), two of them by branch 215, dedicated to "secret raids and intrusions." That could be true or, I suspect, untrue.

We could likewise question the many who were reportedly nabbed while mobile, passing through a government checkpoint, or out on the road and presumed to have vanished at a checkpoint. This too might be false, but there's a compelling logic to it; in Syria under Assad, the activist sources imply, only the unsecured stretches of road between checkpoints are safe. There are zones of freedom there, especially further from the center of Damascus, where armed anti-government men could, if they wanted, park a truck across the road - or just limp from the bushes with a wounded leg and a rifle - seize a car, load up the hostages, and drive off. And it's only in places like this do people not get abducted, to read the opposition's "activist" record.

It must be checkpoints behind cases like taxi driver Feras Sabbagh al-Omar from Hama (VDC) who was "forced to drive to Rabea village and was killed there and his body was mutilated," on or around June 22, 2014. Is this how a collapsing regime's thugs drive around these days? There's a Rabea in Latakia, near the Turkish border.

So far I've compiled these these 35 fairly clear cases of people who allegedly entered the torture prison system via checkpoints and/or driving. (many with Caesar photo shown, the rest likely inclusions by various clues) That's not a large proportion of all killed - probably about 6,700 alleged detainees. But this is a larger chunk of those identified (said to be 7-800, perhaps higher now). And this list is not complete - or guaranteed true, or anything really.

And again, there are less than 800 who've been identified with any story - another 6,000 or so remain totally unclaimed and unexplained. So we can suspect these few identified cases have the best stories among them. And they aren't so good. Now, just going by the ones arrested while trying to get somewhere... First, three cases are featured among the eight included in the Human Rights Watch report.

Ahmad al-Musalmani, child: - SAFMCD, j-1129 - His uncle Dahi says the 14-year-old was taken off the bus at a checkpoint as he was returning from Lebanon for his mother's funeral. Found to have an anti-Assad song on his device, he was the only one who never got back on.That info was from other who say they were on that bus. Wound up held by Air Force Intelligence. The data suggests he was one of the first bodies entered in the folder starting August 1. It's said he was arrested on August 2.

Osama Hussein Salim - SAFMCD, ja-001 - VDC - A Palestinian living in the Yarmouk Camp, worked as an accountant at Damascus University. "Officers of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine – General Command, a Palestinian armed group allied with the Syrian government, arrested him around 10 a.m. on February 24, 2013 from a checkpoint at the entrance to Yarmouk, while he was trying to enter the camp." Info source: "A friend of the family saw Osama’s arrest and informed them what had happened." Wound up held by Air Force Intelligence, with an odd ID number (only ja there is, so ja-001).

Oqba al-Mashaan - SAFMCD: j-8025 - VDC - from MouHassan, in Deir al-Zor governorate, where he worked as a government employee at the local agricultural department office. "Pro-government armed men arrested Oqba on March 28, 2012 as he was on his way home and turned him over to the local Air Force Intelligence branch." Info source: "Several onlookers saw the arrest and informed the family what had happened." (did they witness the transfer to AF Intel?) Wound up held by Air Force Intelligence, per SAFMCD data.

The others are mostly from the VDC - note: date of death is usually noted "not known accurately." A date is given but usually it's the date they logged an identification, based on Caesar photos math-ups. These come after January 2014, some later in the year, perhaps coordinated with the photo holders, and more in and after March, 2015 when the face-shots were publicized.Here just listed as ID date.

Mohammad Khaled al-Tout - VDC entry - SAFMCD: 227-2620, 7-7-2013 - from Douma - See also profile here: "Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons where he was arrested in the 10'th month in 2012 while he was taking his daughter to Jeroud hospital for treatment." Identified March 10, 2015. Jairud is a ways NE of Adra, further NE of Douma (Wikimapia) - well outside of town in the desert. The area seems likely to be government-secured. Was he nabbed there, or a bit closer to home? What happened to his daughter?

Nidal Abdul Aziz al-Khalaf al-Haj Ali - SAFMCD:227-2648, 7-7-203 - VDC Age: 37. From: Daraa, Khirbet Ghazaleh. , Married with Children. Mother's Name: Yosra al-Haj Ali (why not maiden name like usual?)  Civil Engineer. "He is a resident of Yarmuk camp, Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons, date of death is not accurate, he was detained by regime's checkpoint when he was with his family heading to Damascus University to receive his Doctorate certificate on 2-7-2013 and they also took his car." ID on 2015-3-19. What happened to the family he was in the car with?

Eisa al-Khateib - SAFMCD j-9080, 1-2013 - VDC - from Damascus, "sha". Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons after being detained at the Airport highway near the fourth bridge on May 2013. ID 2015-03-22 (photo at right)

Morad Ahmad al-Khateeb - VDC - (no photo to match) Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons after being detained by a regime's checkpoint on the road to Damascus international airport, ID 2014-05-12. Also arrested May, 2013 seems a good guess. Anoy women and children with them?

Probably not Caesar photo victims, but related: Two brothers share the notes "Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons, he was arrested with his father and brothers from their car on the highway after the Mezzeh first massacre in 22-07-2012, his father martyred due to deterioration of his health as a result of the arrest0. Documented in 20/04/2013."
Video of the martyr     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-FN5wp87f_8
Video of the martyr     http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QngFsi_lMvM&feature=youtu.be
(not reviewed, prob. dead) They show a still with Salim's entry, seeming freshly killed and stiff (dead for several hours, and less than a day). Leaked  video from inside the prison? Early return to 'family' and swift documentation? These shouldn't appear in the secret Caesar photos ... but what if they did?

Bus drivers:
Note: Frequently, buses are waylaid by terrorists, passengers screened for religion, with Alawites, other non-Sunnis, and the driver executed (especially if Alawite) after the rest are sent along. In other cases here, the "Alawite regime" stops buses at checkpoints, takes the driver prisoner, and does whatever with the passengers.

Mohammad Rakad - SAFMCD:215-2112, 4-6-2013 - VDC - from Damascus, Dummar. Bus Driver. "Palestinian nationality, Known as Abo Lafi, Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons, Date of death unknown accurately." ID-15-03-2015. (photo at right)

Waddah al-Nahtan - SAFMCD: 227-1551, 4-6-2013 VDC - (match pending)  Idlib Bus Driver. "Works as a driver on Maara-Damascus line, Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after that he was detained by Qutaifeh checkpoint with his brother two years ago, date of death is not accurately." ID date: 03-29-2015 So abducted March-April, 2013.

Maysour Mohammad Farhan Fares - VDC -  (SAFMCD match pending)  from Daraa, Khirbet Ghazaleh - Mother's Name Mila al-Homsi - age 31, married, 3 children - bus driver - Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons where he was arrested on 12 -12-2012 ,According to the medical report, he died on 15.04.2013. ID: 2014-08-09 (photo at right, match pending)

Taxi Drivers
Shadi Hassan, Jordanian taxi driver, only non-Syrian I know of to be claimed - SAFMCD, j-9151 - VDC entry - activist 'eulogy': Hasan was "tortured to death as part of the scandal of the age" ... "Two years ago, Assad’s mukhabarat (intelligence services) abducted him from al-Soumarriyah Station with his white Camry (with Jordanian plates), which he used to support his three children." The station is question is West Damascus, near Daraya (Wikimapia), between some army bases. That might not be quite where he lost his freedoms.

Ahmad Ehsan Jamal el-DeinSAFMCD: 215-746, 2-2013 - VDC - Dummar, taxi driver ID 2015-03-11 (photo at left)

Firas al-Daeif - VDC - (no photo to match) taxi driver, Homs, returnee's camp  ID 2014-08-21

Mahmoud Abdulqader al-Tallawi - VDC (no photo to match) - 41 taxi driver, Homs, Karam al-Shami. "He was kidnapped about two months ago when he was driving his car, today his family know that he was tortured to death by regime forces at prison"

3 taxi drivers (no photos to match) from Artouz or Jdaidet Artouz IDd early, in June 2013. 2 named Khateeb, IDd 6-6, one Marbia, 6-20. Notes for all say:
"Military's police office in Qaboon handed His personal belongings to his family through municipality
office and the mayor of the neighborhood, and gave then a paper that reads: This is an official document in which we inform you on his death, the document also states that the cause of death was : A disease that he has picked up while being detained in the Military security branch # 227 in Damascus"
This note appears with 10 men of 7 names, reported June 5-20, 2013.

Qassem mohammad Amein al-Baqli "al-Awaji" - VDC - (no photo to match) Daraa taxi driver ID 2015-08-19

Other Drivers
Jamil al-Aswad - SAFMCD: 215-367, 1-11-2012   VDC - Damascus Dummar Driver. (one entry number before M. Rakad) ID 03-14-2015 (photo at right)

Yaser Abo Naser - SAFMCD (no photo to match) - VDC - Status: Non-Civilian. Rank: Soldier. From Damascus, Khan al-Sheih Camp. " of Palestinian nationality, worked as a driver in Palestinian Liberation Army, Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons in the 248th directorate, date of death is not accurate" ID: 2015-03-20.

Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Tamer - VDC - Daraa truck driver, age 42 but looking older. Detained late 2011, thought killed by branch 215 around 2-2013 but no SAFMCD match.

General 'Checkpoint'
There are many more examples that likely fit - those below are just a sampling. First, one that's unlikely to be an area match, but might provide insight: Elwan Faisal Elwan - VDC - Idlib, Khan Sheikhoun 2014-05-28 - "Executed by regime's army forces that are stationed in Khazanat checkpoint after detaining him, the death was mentioned in the documents found after that taking over the checkpoint by FSA." Or perhaps "Executed in Khazanat checkpoint after taking over the checkpoint by FSA with documents faked on stationery found there."

But in most cases this isn't even needed to question the claim - there's no proof they were arrested at a checkpoint.

Ahmad ISsa Mehsen al-Khateeb - VDC - from: Daraa Giza Pharmacist.  "Martyred under torture in regime prisons after a year and a half in detention knowing that he was detained when was passing by a regime checkpoint." ID: 2015-5-24

Mohammad Manhal Abo Hassan - VDC - age 17 Damascus Yarmuk Camp. Martyred under torture in regime prisons in Palestine Directorate after being detained by Yarmuk camp's checkpoint on July 2013, his family received his ID. ID: 2015-08-07

Abdullah Jamal al-Deen - VDC - from Ghouta. "Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons after being detained by an army checkpoint then was transported to the military security prison, Date of death unknown accurately." ID 2014-10-28

Emran Hammad - VDC - from Qalamoon: Ruhaiba  Martyred under torture in the air forces intelligence prisons after being detained by the Masaken checkpoint on 26-9-2012, ID date: 2014 11-18

Walid al-Asaad - VDC - age 60, engineer, from Jeroud. died May 14, 2013. "He was tortured to death by regime forces after being arrested at a checkpoint about one month ago, and his body is still with them"

Imad Yosef al-Bazzal - VDC - From Damascus Suburbs, Mqelibeh. died 2013-02-27 "He was martyred under torture by regime forces after being arrested by one of the Kesweh checkpoints"

Abdo al-Bazzal - VDC - From Damascus Suburbs, Mqelibeh. died 2013-02-27. "He was martyred under torture by regime forces after being arrested by one of the Kesweh checkpoints"

Saleem Hasan Abas - VDC - From Damascus Suburbs, Wadi Barada: Efra. Died 2014-05-12. "Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons after being detained by a checkpoint in Rukneddin neighborhood in Damascus a year earlier, Date of death unknown accurately"

Sbaina Checkpoint
one especially prolific checkpoint with at least 4 entries

Haitham Musallam Hammad - VDC - from Bebila ID 7-24-2014  arr. July 2013? "Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after being detained by Sbaina checkpoint about a year ago, date of death is not accurate"

Khaldoun Akram al-Khabbaz - VDC - ID 7-24 "Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after being detained by Sbaina checkpoint about a year ago, date of death is not accurate"

Mohammad al-Sarsawi - VDC -age 50, from Yarmuk Camp. "Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after several months of being detained by Sbaine checkpoint during the distrubution of the food baskets, Palestinian nationality, date of death is not accurate, his wife received his personal belongings without a death certificate" ID: 2014-08-05

Nazeer Mohammad Abdul Moati - VDC - Relief Activist, from Yarmuk Camp. "Known as (Abo al-Abd), Palestinian nationality, Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after being detained on Rama street during the distribution of food baskets, date of death is not accurate" ID: 2014-07-10

Husain Dahouk - VDC - from Sbeineih, died: 2013-01-01. "He was martyred due to wounds sustained when he was tortured by regime forces at the checkpoint at Sbeineh junction."

Soumariyyah Station
Soumariyyah district, bus station/"garage" (karaj), and checkpoint (on Wikimapia. It's set between Daraya and Moadamiya (rebel hotbeds), Mezzeh military airport, army base 555, military branch 481, various military terrain, and military housing (not rebel hotbeds).  One spot here is labeled God save Syira. It may not be where these people were arrested.

Ahmad Amin al-Atmeh -VDC- age 24, from Daraa: Sanamein - Martyred under torture in the regime`s prisons after five moths of being detained by Sumariyeh regime's checkpoint  ID 2014-11-11 

Awad Khaleel al-Etme - VDC -  from Daraa: Sanamein - 3rd year college student, Martyred under torture in the regime's army prisons after being detained by a checkpoint in Damascus city while heading to Lebanon for work about a month earlier, date of death is not accurate" ID: 29-07-2014 (note: buses to Lebanon leave the aforementioned Soumariyyah station from here) . Also, the name suggests a relation to the above, perhaps seized at the same time.)

Zaher Ahmad Mubaied
This is the second earliest Caesar photos victim, one of two from the May, 2011 folder, both credited to Air Force Intelligence. (the other is elderly "Saida massacre" victim Mahmoud Al-Zoubi, body returned on May 23, likely date of death is April 29).This one is s only seen on June 2, and said to die on June 1. The VDC lists Zaher Ahmad Mubaied (Arabic:  زاهر أحمد المبيض ), from Daraya, age 21 - includes a somewhat dated photo. Occupation: upholstered (  منجد ), I guess meaning furniture upholsterer. Died 2011-06-01 by Detention - Torture. Notes:  "He was arrested on one of the security checkpoint on 28-4-2011 while he was going back from Somariah to Daraya, he was torture to death." Interestingly, he was arrested one day before Mahmoud.

Between that entry and what I found otherwise, there's a noe-too-somber funeral procession video and one detailed body video stamped Ugarit News, uploaded June 2. Best resolution 2:06 version, fuzzier 1:55 version, copy. " +18 Dariya torture in syria Ugarit Daria Damascus torture marks on the body of the martyr Zahir Mubaied from Daria" It shows apparent lashes, beating, and nasty burns at least. As shown, that's a solid match for SAFMCD victim j-201, 5-2011. The implication, as with Mahmoud Al-Zoubi, is this is no buried-in-secret anonymous victim, but one handed back to family or activists. Unless in this case the order is somehow backwards. The death dates for both are date of return, not like usual a much-later ID following release of the Caesar photos.

Inverse Checkpoint
Victims killed under torture in regime prison, then taken to a checkpoint, and found there by rebels (clearly won't be secretly-documented "Caesar photos" victims, just of interest):
- Osama Mohammad Abdow Hamdan - VDC - from Mouadamiyeh, 2013-02-03. "He was killed under torture in the prison by regime's forces , his body was found at al-Arbe'in checkpoint" Rebels got imagery.

There are many patterns between names, nationalities, politics, time and area, etc.  I'll leave alone for now. But a few things to note:
- The prevalence of family arrest. Brothers get arrested together a lot, both taken as guilty of the same unexplained or ridiculous crime. Female and child relatives might be arrested with them too, but ... these don't wind up in the Caesar photos anyway.

- How many of "Assad's" identified victims are identifiable Palestinians, mostly from Yarmouk camp (as I've highlighed here). This is now in tatters, long occupied by ISIS, and long before that in the middle of numerous rebel groups' targets, but long held out because of solid loyalty from the strongest groups like PFLP-GC, PLA, etc. These, not the plotting Islamists, are blamed for the arrests listed here but are sometimes the victims (after "defecting," perhaps...) The narrow detention-torture category in the VDC martyrs database includes 280 noted as Palestinains, almost all from Yarmouk. It seems maybe half to 90% of these will be in the Caesar photos, whether that's shown or not (unclear at the moment).

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