The Syrian Regime Uses Detainees as Recruits

The Disgraceful Deal

Detainees as Recruits

At al Suwayda Prison
On April 12, major general Farouq Umran, head of the police force in al Suwayda governorate, visited al Suwyada Central Prison to meet a number of detainees with political and criminal charges. The detainees were offered the following: to join the Syrian regime forces, or local militias, or even under the command of foreign militias -mainly Iranian and Iraqi militias- as a first step that shall be followed later by more procedures to release the names chosen by the prison administration.
Following the offer, the Activity Commission (A number of detainees who coordinate demands and official papers between the rest of the detainees and the prison administration) visited the detention wings in al Suwayda Prison in order to round up the names of those who want to fight and join the ranks of the Syrian regime forces.
The prison administration agreed to release the detainees with criminal charges, murder, theft, drugs…, while all those who are detainees on “terrorism” charges were denied a release (In this context, the Syrian regime deems any individual taking part in an active and actual opposition to it a form of “terrorism”).
At Adra Prison
In June 2016, we recorded that a Syrian regime security committee visited Adra Central Prison in Damascus suburbs with exactly the same offer: to release them provided they join the forces fighting for the Syrian regime. The committee gave an agreement document to the detainees who wish to be recruited by the Syrian regime, where the detainee had to sign it with his fingerprint, and they will be contacted at a later date regarding their release. We contacted a number of detainees at Adra Central Prison who told us that the agreement wasn’t applied in the political detention wings, and only included detainees with criminal charges or those who were sentenced to long prison terms.

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