The cruelty, inhumanity and monstrosity of the Syrian regime

Yesterday, Friday 23 April 2021, Nabil Ghaleb Khair (photo) died at the age of 54 in Assad’s prisons after more than thirty years of detention, twenty of which were spent in the hell of Saidnaya prison. Nabil was born in 1967 in the town of Al-Qanawat, north of the city of Sweida, my home region.

Like many young people in the region, Nabil worked in Lebanon to help his family, and it was in Lebanon that he was arrested by the Syrian regime’s intelligence services on 4 June 1991. He was quickly transferred to one of the worst detention centres known as the Palestine Branch in Damascus, where he stayed for about six months, during which time he was tortured, lost several teeth and had his jaw broken.

Nabil was never charged, no clear accusation was made, he was arrested on the basis of a report written by an agent of Assad, the sinister moukhabarate equivalent of the Stasi. He was sentenced to death by a military court without a lawyer present, and then the sentence was commuted to life imprisonment.

Nabil was not given the opportunity to defend himself or to hire a lawyer, and he was not able to contact his family during the “investigation and trial” period. Following the trial he was transferred to Saidnaya prison where he spent fourteen years without visits until 2005.

With the start of the Syrian revolution, the regime emptied Saidnaya prison of former detainees to send protesters, Nabil was then transferred to Sweida central prison on 25 June 2011, where he remained until his death yesterday.This is what the Assad’s anti-imperialist paradise has always been like, young people without a future are forced to go and work as labourers abroad and even leaving their country and abandoning it to the Assads, they are not safe from its tyranny.

Nabil has spent more years in prison than Mandela for no apparent reason. His only experience of life was poverty, which forced him to go and work in Lebanon, as a result of the takeover of the state by a mafia clan whose only objective is to enrich itself, and then torture until his death in Assad’s dungeons. May he rest in peace.