Warning: This site contains images and graphic descriptions of extreme violence and/or its effects. It's not as bad as it could be, but is meant to be shocking. Readers should be 18+ or a mature 17 or so. There is also some foul language occasionally, and potential for general upsetting of comforting conventional wisdom. Please view with discretion.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

Assad Files, 2018: part 1

Revisiting the Corpse/Prisoner Number
August 29-31, 2018
(incomplete, last adds Sept. 3, 10/14)

Previous analysis on the "Assad Files" (should get more organized)

Syria's Disappeared (interweaves Assad Files, Caesar Photos, 82 names list)
(on the many deaths of the alleged author of the 82 names list)

Timeline of "Assad Files" stories
8 October, 2014: New York Times (7 months after "Caesar torture photos" reported)
(7 months later) 12 May 2015: Syria's Truth Smugglers, the Guardian
(11 months later) April, 2016 Bashar al-Assad's War Crimes Exposed Ben Taub, the New Yorker
(11 months later) March 15, 2017: Reuters piece, to prime us for the following?
(11 days later)  March (26?), 2017: Documentary: Syria's Disappeared aired on Channel 4, UK
(8 months later) December 2, 2017: reminder in the Daily Mail. 

Then... are they watching and provoking me? 
(8 months later) Aug. 9 2018:  Revealed: Syrian military leaders knew detainees were being tortured. (hat tip to James Graham on Twitter for alerting me, raising some initial questions, and helping find the video on YouTube so I could actually see it.)
Syria's Disappeared director Sara Afshar writes for the Guardian - the world must act on the clear proof!

Now they get more explicit in tying the "Assad Files" documents in with the "Caesar photos," claiming specific documents refer to specific prisoners.  Therefore, I'll more explicitly link to my sprawling work on this subject:

Bill Wiley is still the Head of the "Commission for International Justice and Accountability," which Channel 4 describes as "a private non-profit organisation, funded by Western governments." He just now has "told Channel 4 News they’ve uncovered vital new evidence against the leadership of Syria’s Military Intelligence."

Wiley and the CIJA have long boasted of the tens of thousands of Syrian government documents they secured from defectors, raids, etc. That bulk of candid inside communication from a system believed to be so insanely abusive should provide plenty of examples of the required orders. But so far I find the best they can find - or are willing to share in their efforts to convince us - was four documents shown over and over. Each sports an ambiguous line or two that could be spun as suggesting such a system. And it gets spun that way, with vigor.

It's like this: Find a memo that says don't beat the prisoners. It might be an order from some bureaucrat responding to media allegations, just to be sure. Well, ha! Gotcha! They speak of abuse, so it's real. And per what alleged prisoners SAY about it, and what the photos PROVE about it, it must be systematic, and very extreme.

As for the memo to start the systematic abuse, or to keep it up, or anything directly related to such an order... still lookin' for that. Then they say war crimes, Nuremberg, speak of accountability and so on, all in the mass-media court of public opinion sculpting, which is the farthest this shit will ever go. 

Adding: I think one belligerent nation has issued an arrest warrant over an implicitly implicated Syrian official, based on this assemblage of supposed evidence. And you know what, I would like to see this guy turn himself in, not get suicided, take this to trial with other copies of the same documents and the true stories, and not have it take 11 years of blocking to get it done....

But for now it's all about public opinion and more reasons for political pressure up to and including regime change. Now, after over 4 years of trying, 8 months since their last confident update, we have a bit more from the CIJA. And finally, after a few years trying, they found something that kind of throws me for a loop. I'll consider this first, and soon post a part 2 covering the remainder of what this latest adds. 

Branch 227's Body #2668 
Elesehwere in the program, a memo is revealed where the head of military intelligence asks to be told of every death in detention. If it's as systematic as they say, he must have gotten at least 6,700 memos over the span of that many exterminated priosners in the Caesar photos. Of these many thousand of implied 'we killed that guy too' reports, we get to see one in this new program. 

Channel 4 reports "Perhaps the most significant piece of evidence which investigators shared with Channel 4 News is a death report which can be matched with a corpse pictured in the Caesar photographs." In the video (7:00) it's described as "perhaps the biggest breakthrough of all." It should be pretty routine, but there's one example anyway. Maybe just the one so far, a breakthrough four years into the search. 

The documents is shown with parts of the Arabic verifiable. "The document addressed to the Head of Military Intelligence, alleges that the detainee was a terrorist – a broad definition the regime often uses for anyone who opposes it." I don't think that first part is translated exactly. (I'll be asking about a fresh translation, including possible misinterpreted words and context clues). Then a big chunk is blacked out - almost the entire page in fact (at right: most of the page as seen at 7:06). The prisoner's name may be worth leaving off, and it seems some other context (like a second person being introduced, perhaps?) Note that when top secret files have redactions, it's by the people releasing it. They don't want all details seen. But the Syrian government never meant for these to be seen, and would redact nothing. It's Wiley and the CIJA who decided we didn't need to see the middle 95% of this document. Ask why. 

It's dated August 6, 2013: shortly before Caesar fled with the last of his photos. As the report relates the text, “due to his bad health condition," (whose? the same "terrorist," or maybe someone else also mentioned?) "he" (not "the detainee") "was taken to Military Hospital 601 and died as a result of his heart and breathing stopping. The body was taken to the hospital’s refrigerator with the number 2668.” The following compresses the key part, but not the full multi-page document and all its contents … I'll try for this soon, and maybe translation.

The body went in "with" the number 2668. It sounds like a new number they need to know, one related to his death or processing and storage at the hospital - not the previously logged prisoner number. But it could be that. Could it just be the number someone had written on the man before they found him? Of course that's silly - only opposition people get to find victims of the other side just laying around.

Adding: a page 2 has less, but much redacted. At 8:00 - the narrator says the memo "recommends the body is kept, no mention of returning it to the family," and in fact talk of burying it themselves, somewhere "known." Not somewhere unknown. The specific known place might be what's blacked out right before. The top part might explain to follow the standard procedure for unidentified bodies they're left to deal with. My guess for the completely redacted #2 of 3 recommended steps: keep the photos on file so family can ID the body someday. Since it's buried in a known place, the man's family could then go to the grave logged for body  # 4738/b aka 227-2668.

Consider death should be in the hospital, and so should the fridge, Most likely is a direct transfer there from the table. There's no mention of being taken out to the garage area, photographed and, as usual for bodies in THAT system, then carted off to bury in a "martyr's cemetery" for the unidentified, unclaimed, or "disappeared" (depending who you ask). This guy goes in a fridge, maybe for a while prior to that? Maybe, sure.

The CIJA researchers checked that number 2668 in the Caesar photographs, of bodies supposedly all at the garage behind that hospital. As the report says, they "found corpse number 2668 from Security Branch 227 – a man who appears to have had his eye gouged out." Ok. Unlike most people, I can look into this easily. I suspect they're presenting this wrong somehow, and expected to find a mismatch. Turns out I couldn't, but follow along...

Which Number is Meant?
This 227-xxx should be the prisoner number, according to "Caesar" and the Syrian sources. But, as I'll explain below, more rational Western interlopers disagree and consider this an order-of-death numbering. I've been calling it the prisoner number. It so happens my example card is for another 227 prisoner, numbered quite close to this guy. 
Everyone including me agree it has to do with processing at the hospital. It could refer to the universally false death certificates blaming natural causes, as we hear. Or could be for body retrieval (this number leads to a gravesite if the family can ID the victim interred there), as I surmise.

I'm not sure these cards are official, or made-up by "Caesar" for his own unofficial photo shoots to "verify" the numbers written on the victims. But even then, the bottom number is perhaps valid, pointing to the same real gravesites. 

In the span of the enormous March 2013 folder, for some reason, the hospital number hits 4,999 and then re-starts at 1, but now with an Arabic B attached (as seen above - like a U with a dot under). That's not all 9s, but maybe numbers starting with a circle (their 5) seem awkward? So later numbers can be read as this plus 5,000 in the sequence of … falsified torture murder, or unidentified bodies sent to the martyr's cemetery. 

Why? Perhaps they were eager to show off a rollover, but afraid they wouldn't get to 9999? They would have; numbers are seen running up to 5,000 again before it switches again (not to their 3rd letter, J, which is already taken for AF intel victims), after which it's said another 1,000 or so bodies came in, for that 11,000 total detainees claimed. I think I can see two numbers past that line: (215-4059 has maybe 3 / ? and the SNHR report shows 215-4071 has maybe 24 / ? - Both images are washed-out, unclear. At right, both enhanced. The letter is unclear, perhaps their S - a bit like we do C. The bottom one looks like no letter, or maybe .a very lazy S.

So any given number would be passed twice, and about 20% of them passed a third time. But neither time frame 2668 hospital number was passed is a match for the story of death on July 31, 2013.

If pre-switch: he would be between: H#2654 on 215-380, Dec. 9, 2012 folder, (teenage boy with severe eye damage and thick mucous from the nose - SAFMCD) and H#2681 on 227-759 (in another 000 folder, from late 2012). SAFMCD Face shot - at right is a photo of his tattoo of (Basel al-Assad?), published as proof Assad even "tortured" his own "Shabiha" (aka Popular Committees fighters, later Syrian Defense Forces, or sometimes meaning all Alawite males above the age of 13)

If he's body 2668 after the b switch, he would be just a few bodies after H#2665/b, used for 215-3034, in the June 4, 2013 folder (which seems to gather photos running back at least to April). That's still too early, by weeks if not months. In fact, if he's the one they say, he must come nearly 2,000 bodies later than that. As the example card graphic above shows, 227's 2668 would come not far before him, and would have a hospital number in the 4,000/b range as well.

So let's take it as the 227-number, as the CIJA did. Here are some closely-numbered detainees of the same branch, for a little context:

227-2615, July 7 folder, has Christian cross tattoos, marks of prior violence, and of starvation. Body #4624/b. It's not visible here, but another view is used for the sample card above. Interesting, huh? SAFMCD face shot.

227-2791, Aug. 14 folder, very late in events. has a (Basel al-Assad?) tattoo. He's body number 4994/b - just six bodies from the next letter switch


But I'm rambling. Point is, they don't refer here to the hospital number. That, I always thought, meant unidentified bodies, not known "terrorists" who died from "poor health." It's the upper number for body or prisoner #227-2667. Falling between them would be consistent; the memo says 2668 died July 31, and these are both from July and August.

Victim Visuals
Clearly they do mean the 227 number here, and refer exactly to this guy logged between those two above:
227-2668 comes fairly early in the 000 folder between Jul 7 and Aug. 14. All these are at the end, in the several-week span of eye-gouging for all branches (it's widespread then, but not universal, and hardly seen prior to that - seen perhaps on the Christian above, left eye blurred, but not on the late "Shabih"). 

The Channel 4 video shows a body shot, face blurred, showing his card, with hospital number 4738/b. Under the blur, it looks like the same face, head tilted, with off-centered red around his left eye. The body shot shows he's quite emaciated. As people say, you can't tell so much from looking at the face. The number is written on the body too, as it often is. Maybe in case someone just rips off the tape? 

Note: eye gouging alone is not necessarily fatal. Looking at this guy, I'd say it's possible he survived for a while, and could have a pulse upon discovery. Also note that heart failure in the hospital, or breathing stopped (suffocation) WOULD BE the cause of death for those they found alive and tried to save. Some are documented. For example J-5062 (AF intel - SAFMCD face-shot June 24, 2013 folder) ) needed nutrients but may have suffered damage to the airways and esophagus, and so required an central venous catheter into the core of his bloodstream. But it seems even that wasn't enough to keep him alive long. 

So the CIJA's corpse-associated memo number 2668 line up the numbers written on these bodies processed at about that time - and for those pinned on 227, no less. That could mean the memo refers to that body. It also might be some trickery at a spot where they found the numbers lined up with a number in a memo. with that many photos and that many documents, I bet one could find at least 2 or 3 such confluences that, with a little redaction and misdirection, could serve a stand-in proof that they all refer to the same bodies. 

In Review: Who's Writing the Numbers?
I always wondered just who wrote those numbers and why. Intitially, I thought the branches had teamed up to recover the many dumped bodies, or oversee efforts, and had their own vouched-for number - not order of killing but order of counting among found bodies.

This sounds reasonable again, but in the meantime I've presumed, and still suspect, Caesar was sort-of right; these are fake prisoner numbers ascribed by the terrorists he covers for. But they're placed like body numbers, probably assigned at killing time to keep it simple. All they need is some tape, a marker, a notebook to keep track of issued numbers and keep it looking "systematic." Aside from a few goof-up I've noted, seems they did ok. Thousands of bodies, consistently counted, even after arbitrary division into this and that "military intelligence" branch. That's manageable.

It does raise the question of capability - someone had to kill this many, or coordinate the counting between different terrorist groups. It all being one group makes most sense, and I'm confident in naming only one as definitely capable of securing this number of people they consider expendable. Aside from the Syrian government, hypothetically, and perhaps Jabhat al-Nusra, the Saudi-backed Jash al-Islam fits the bill. They ran half of Ghouta, took sometimes hundreds of hostages at once in some of their raids, and had big funds to buy up more hostages from other groups.

Is it NOT a Fluke?
So the number in that memo, taken as referring to a "detainee" they called a terrorist, might line-up with that guy who was a bit starved and had his eyes gouged out, at least. It could well be a fluke. 

But then I checked HRW:
branch 227 as it happens, 2 months before this case - a memo reportedly says:

On June 2, 2013, the [DETAINEE] died after his heart and breathing stopped. He was placed in the morgue refrigerator, with the number ‘2040.’

Q: does "detainee" replace a name, preceded by "the"? Or does it replace a different word? 

Same story, they issue a number 2040 in early June. Compared to the above guy, this is about 600 of these 227-branded bodies earlier in sequence, and about 2 months earlier, suggesting just branch 227 killed or processed  an average of 300 a month in this span, about 10 a day on average. 

227-2040, folder 7-6-2013 - would fit better in 4-6, but that was enormous and runs BACK at least to April, it seems. Some of the most recent photos waiting 'til next collection makes sense. 6-7 might be the most logical spot for a 227-2040, and here he is. Eyes sunken but present. Quite purple. It's possible, if not likely, this guy had been alive recently.

That seems to line up as well for date as well, and we have TWO points where it seems to. But I think HRW got that memo tip from the CIJA folks, who seem well-versed at screening for leading bits. As I noted above, it seems likely at least 2 or 3 spots will have one set of body numbers lining up with another system just by chance. So far I've seen two spots where it seems to line up. It could be that's all they have, or maybe they found 3, or even 4. Or maybe it's systematic, there are hundreds or thousands of line-ups on file, and they're just holding back still on the proof... saving it for the trials, maybe.

Q: Are there any cases where the numbered person died somewhere outside the hospital? A couple bodies reported as giving out there - a couple numbered bodies evidence efforts made to save them (no visible sign on these 2, but signs aren't necessary) - are these both rare, and are these two sorts of rare cases perhaps the same thing?

The Channel 4 video says at 8:20 "Channel 4 news has seen several more of these signed death reports, and their matching Caesar photographs" Bill Wiley then says, holding some of these: "basically these kinds of matches, in a nutshell, corroborate the authenticity of the Caesar photos." That is more interesting than usual. But then again, look at one of the features of these especially-valued matches. 

But clearly, this isn't easy to debunk with a date mismatch, as I suspected. This might be a new twist, may take some more thinking … Some thoughts I'm floating as I ponder the issue. 

- Possibly a fake document? I still don't suspect this. Why fake it with so much needing redacted?

- I've taken the unID body # on the cards as probably legitimate, with only the MI branch prisoner or body # made up. But this could be "Caesar's" own # system too, counting bodies brought in by defector friends and never processed officially. Maybe the hospital was running to 2668 at the same time Caesar was about 9,500

 - That being a lot of bodies to sneak in and out of a secured facility, maybe the photos were largely taken somewhere else. Only some views are clear on being at the Hospital 601 garage.- the numbers could be kept track of regardless of where the bodies were taken 

- As floated above, maybe the 2668 refers to a prisoner who died in custody, of branch 227 as it happens, while the legit body numbers at this time for UNIDENTIFIED bodies was around 4500/b, and - as it also happens - one of those was tape-labeled 227-2668.

- As floated above, maybe the man in the photo is a second character introduced in the redacted parts of the memo, who was found with that number, still barely alive, but then died. But as noted, he was said to go in the refrigerator, not the garage area to be in the photos. But he could go from the fridge to the garage later. 

- In line with the last, perhaps the detainee referred to as a "terrorist" was caught in the act of dumping the bodies, one of which was alive and became the second "he" in this memo. The "terrorist" would presumably survive the day still in custody, and might later be released in exchanges for some soldiers or Alawite civilians his terrorist friends had kidnapped. (for example).

(space to fill in with any breakthroughs or relevant thoughts)

Update: Amin tells me on Twitter the wording in step 1 is "save/keep his topic/case" not his body , an administrative procedure/way of saying  "case not closed." 

Alleged Prisoner Number: The Ayham Ghazoul Case
Ayham Ghazoul makes a very prominent appearance throughout the series as a stand-in for thousands of mostly unexplained others. He was a known, liberal opposition activist (or so I hear, and cautiously credit). He was not an Islamist fighter, and his mother, Maryam Hallaq, reportedly opposed the "protests" at first, but Ayham won her over. They might have even opposed violence and Islamism, to the point of irking emergent Islamist militants in the area... (the area is Daraya, FWIW)

Anyway, someone called Ayham in for arrest in February, 2012, but he was released in May, then arrested again on November 5, allegedly. She says she did ask the government after Ayham vanished, and just got the run-around, except for one "sympathetic" official who finally slipped her a note packed with info, in mid-2014 (a year and a half after his alleged arrest, and a couple months after the Caesar photos were made public info).  I'm more curious now what this says and how it lines up.

Death date 11-11, "just six days after he was detained," the narrator says. "M" had said it was Nov. 9, on the 4th day after their joint arrest, a "fact" he shared with Ayham's family on his release in January, 2013. (HRW report) And he says the guy died right in his arms. "Then [the guards] brought a blanket and put Ayham inside it … and put a number on his head…and took him." But I don't see the date Nov. 5 on this note. The first arrest date in February is there (perhaps contested). But I see no other date earlier than Nov. 11. The death certificate shown has been published before, and agrees with the note on a Nov. 11 death. (SAFMCD face-shot, from the folder (started?) Nov. 1, 2012). 

The main point here: "corpse number 320" appears, as Maryam says, and as it seems the note and the forehead tape also say, his body is "corpse 320," perhaps of or relating to MI branch 215. The photo shows hospital #2129 - is this a second corpse number for another system? Allegedly, yes. 215 and 320 are written in smaller at the top. Does this affirm the branch ID is real, or is it simply a note of what had been written on the body when found? 

So is that number after 227, 215, etc. a corpse number issued on death, or a prisoner number? The allegations above all point to it being post-death, at 215 anyway; "a number," not his known ID number, was put on his forehead at death, and it says there "corpse 320." 

However, as previously explained here, I found strange disagreement on that question. 

Correcting Caesar on Systematic Extermination

The SNHR's report, drawing on an interview with Caesar, calls this this the victim's "number in the security branch (before his death)," presumably set by arrest or arrival date. Only the bottom number is post-death, and issued in that order.

That report also has a former prisoner agreeing; Marwan Abdul Wahhab spoke to them - he saw and experienced torture, starvation, filth and disease, even before "he was transferred to the air-force intelligence branch in Teshreen military hospital after he was given 1958 as a number." 

Caesar Files core witness Mazen Hamada says in early 2013, after nearly a year of detention by AF Intelligence, he was sent to Hospital 601, and only then told "Your name is 1858." These two stories are very similar, and so are their numbers (exactly 100 apart). https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/bashar-al-assads-war-crimes-exposed

SAFMCD, entrusted by Caesar with the photos, has the prominent activist Mouaz Moustafa as a member, who usually serves as the public translator for "Caesar" when he appears. They should know the true story better than most. They put out a video to explain the photos and their relevance. At 2:30, boy victim #216/85 is used to explain how branch victim # is "the number of the detainee in the intelligence branch before his murder." (emphasis in narration). Then they launch immediately into serial error and  the upside of this call - "serial murder." They show yet another group shot with 215 branch victims numbered 2173, 2175, and 2177. The British-accent narrator explains "the numbers of the victims are consecutive or very close in sequence. This confirms the systematic murder process of the detainees."

It's not just systematic but hyper-systematic, bizarre, cartoonish. It would mean the prisoners were being killed entirely, in the same order they came in, literally like an assembly line, with no regard to individual case details, ransom negotiations, etc. I don't even suspect genocidal Islamists would be this total and methodical. But the photos show it to be the case, perhaps.

Here's 227's span including the guy under study, 2668. A few spots are empty, but there are a few photos I missed or have yet to process. Maybe someone was actually spared in this stretch from 2638 to 2713 (first in a July 7 folder, then a "000" one, then later in August 14. It's chronological like this running back to late 2012, in this and the 215 folder at least, covering over 90% of the victims. Branch 251 runs the same. AF intel does not, etc. 

"M" who leaked the details of the last arrest, last beating and death of Ayham Ghazoul, says he was arrested with him the second time in November, transferred together, and kept in the same cell for 4 days before Ayham died from his last beating on November 9. "M" is our main source for the accepted story of his last days. He doesn't mention prisoner numbers that I've noticed, and suggests a previously unknown number was placed on him right only after death. But if that number were assigned earlier, told or not... they would be assigned on arrest/transfer, so Ayham and "M" should have adjacent numbers (or very close - they may have been in a larger group), and one should not appear in the photos, as he survived.

The 215 folder shows virtually every prisoner was killed, in the basic order of arrest. But there's a rare blank prisoner number slot 2 over from Ayham, if not right next to him, and that isn't one I missed; I looked hard for that entry, and am confident this span is complete and 322 just isn't included.  it was left open, perhaps to account for fellow but surviving detainee "M". If so, does he realize how allegedly lucky he is?

But this is contested, of course. It was from the start, with the Jan. 2014 Carter-Ruck report commissioned by the Qatari royal family. They drew on extensive interviews with Caesar, It's not clear if it's from what he said or what they surmised that they drew the more logical conclusion (p 13):

"...when a detainee was killed each body was given a reference number which related to that branch of the security service responsible for his detention and death. When the corpse was taken to the military hospital it was given a further number so as to document, falsely, that death had occurred in the hospital." 

And then Human Rights Watch heard both versions, as seen in their report If the Dead Could Speak. To their credit they noted that fact, and Like Carter-Ruck, they leaned towards agreeing it's a post-death number. Their report (page 34) calls it a "detainee number: a number assigned to each detainee by the security branch that holds him" but seemingly only when they're done holding him; "Given that most of these numbers appear chronologically, it is likely that the number was assigned to the detainee following his death." 

But HRW also heard - from "Caesar" himself - the same thing SNHR and the rest heard. Speaking to the UN Congress (HRW was unable to get their own direct interview), "Caesar testified that the number was assigned at the time of the detainee’s arrival at the security branch." This is just what all the Arab sources who work with him have said. Former detainees reported seeing numbers written on the bodies of dead detainees or on cards, before guards removed the bodies from security branches.

So far it seems just one stray guard came out to support HRW's more logical, yet poorly founded presumption. They cite "another defector who served as a guard at a security branch" who claimed the numbers were assigned at each branch "when a detainee died in custody." This is probably not Suleiman Ali, the one defected conscript they interviewed who had worked at the most relevant Hospital 601. That means Suleiman - who may have been a cohort of "Caesar" - did not provide any usable claim to support to HRW's conclusion. He may have even contradicted it, or just never said, or didn't know.

So this issue is far from clear, but people ignore that as they take the hero Caesar's story and deep inside knowledge - selectively. They correct him on some parts, to avoid some of the idiocy he promotes. But the rest is just too damn good to let go; fix it up a little and it almost seems to make sense. 

Air Force Intelligence Numbers
AF Intel is blamed for less deaths than branch 215 or 227, and has a different, more random number system running up to the 9000s, but appearing dead at all different times, and with most slots not showing up as dead people - only 347 faces shown, by my hopefully complete folder, to an implied 10,000 prisoners. 

But their numbers aren't issued chronologically by arrest, judging by reports. 

J-1958, issued mid 2012:  Marwan Abdul Wahhab From Homs, arrested May 23, 2012, transferred to AF intel after unclear days, fell sick "after 45 days of his arrest," was transferred to hospital a week later after being given that number - or being told of it. Issued on transfer (unclear when in the 45 days) or the hospital transfer:  # = app. mid-July. J-1958 is a realistic number, but one in a range from which no prisoners appear. (see here, under Detainee # Considered...)

J-1858, issued Feb. 2012 or Feb. 2013: Mazen Hamada, a prime source in the Assad Files system (my assessment) told Ben Taub for the New Yorker 

In early 2013, after nearly a year of detention, sent to Hospital 601, told “Your name is 1858.”" He probably had the name already, just made to forget the other one at this time, for some reason. But with that unclear, he got this number, allegedly, on arrest in Feb. 2012,  or on transfer in Feb. 2013. Not upon death, which never happened. 1858 is in the same span of now shown dead that Marwan's number falls into. They're eaxctly 100 entries apart, oddly.

J-5063 they starved and tortured to death then tried to save, as seen above, was seen in the 24-6-2013 folder, alleged arrest date unclear.

J-714, issued May, 2014: Rasha Sharbaji was arrested while pregnant with twins, along with her three children and two sisters in-law in May 2014 ... to put pressure on Rasha’s husband, Osama Abbar, who is accused of possession of and dealing in weapons, to turn himself in.... Rasha’s husband was accused of being “the biggest arms dealer in Syria”. (she denies it). She was released anyway in February 2017, in an exchange for the release of kidnapped Alawite civilians. Before that, Rasha was transferred to the Air Force Intelligence branch in al-Mezzah, were she was given the number “714” to identify her inside prison. Her children were also given numbers." She didn't have to get sent to a hospital first.

Looking at the death photos, there's a large gap between j-580, killed around June, 2012 and j-953, killed January, 2013. She gets this number between, a year and a half after it would be issued, if this all lined up sequentially.

Some identified AF intel victims with arrest dates;

Oqba al-Mashaan: j-8025 issued on or after March 28, 2012 arrest. It's suggested he was held a year, seen dead in the 3-2013 folder.

Khalid Hadla: j-9189 in or after Jan. 2013. He appears dead in the June 4, 2013 folder.

Osama Salim: ja-01 on Feb. 24, 2013, seen dead soon in 2-2013 folder. What ja means is unclear. He's the only one. There are 3 others marked jm, and the rest just j.

Ahmed Musalmani: j-1129 on August 2, 2012 (and killed within a day or 2, seen dead soon after in a folder started August 1 - but that's actually his hospital number swapped in, it seems - see below, bottom middle, and see here for the full explanation)

Other numbers, conclusion
“Al-Shami” held at Branch 251, for 24 days in November 2011.  “They led me away to a solitary cell, one of 30 there. It was 2m by 2m, with high ceiling. ‘Your name is 23’, they said, as I was in room number 23." Well that system wouldn't run very far. Prisoner numbers that appear in the Caesar photos for 251 start with 001, 001 (duplicated), 002, 003, 4, 5, a gap, then 251-45, 46, etc., pretty steadily with some gaps up to 190. The numbers go sequentially over time with little or no bouncing. 

Mizyed Khalid Tahad, "detainee number 72," of just who not said, was in jail exactly a 365-day year from Feb 2012 to Feb. 2013.

So only at AF Intel do we hear about numbers - and random ones - issued on transfer to hospital. Most other stories about 215, 227, etc. are too vague on the issue to say, but these 2 cases suggest perhaps 227's bodies at least are referred to in memos as detainees and terrorists, or in one memo, or maybe referred to in the same memo as such a person.... The suggestion, however, is very uncertain, and runs against much evidence and reasoning, which I'll explain some more in part 2.

Update 10/14: in a later part 4 of the Assad Files 2018 series, I look closer at the two cases and make a good case, but far from conclusive, that this is a simple illusion caused by 2 number systems briefly lining up.