Mutiny of Detainees in Deir Ezzor

A detention center in the town of Al-Kasra, west of Deir ez-Zor, which is under the control of the SDF, witnessed a mutiny carried out by hundreds of prisoners, the second in months after ISIS detainees in The Goiran prison in Hasakeh province was planned and made.

First: The location of the detention center

Located in the district of Al-Kasra, bordered to the east by the Detention Section of the Public Security (formerly the building of the farm protection), to the west by the old cemetery, to the north by the Education Authority of the Civil Council (formerly Al-Kasra Elementary School) and to the south by the counter-crime building and the women’s Asayesh.

The surrounding residential buildings are inhabited by military and security personnel except the Education Authority and are separated by a wall and a dirt curtain, an area of approximately (3,000) square meters, consisting of (20) rooms opposite the corridor ending with an iron door, the prison has a large square surrounded by a high wall.

Justice for Life interviewed two witnesses who were aware of the details of the incident, which the organization declines to reveal their names for their own security.

A photo of the detention center

 Second: Details of the incident:

After the transfer of former members of ISIS of non-Syrian nationalities to a detention facility in al-Shaddadi town in Al-Hasakah governorate, detainees believed to be members of the Syrian nationality, as well as members of armed opposition factions, Jabhat al-Nusra and others accused of communicating with Syrian government security services. The number of prisoners now is about 300.

JFL researcher says that people would not have known of the presence of so many detainees in the centre without this incident.

The detention center is one of the Public Security Apparatus[1] centers. “At approximately 2 p.m. on June 22, 2020, a large number of detainees took off the internal doors of the rooms and went to the internal corridor where they gathered, then attacked the interrogation room and destroyed computers, tables, and surveillance cameras,” the witness said. “The detainees’ demands are focused on their long-term detention without any charges or judicial review, some of whom have been in detention for more than a year and some have relatives who have not been informed of their detention,” the witness said.

On the start of the confrontation, the witness says: “The public security elements deployed to the nearby buildings, a member of the public security entered the barrel of a weapon (Anti-Aircraft) from the door of the  corridor  and fired indiscriminately, enabling the detainees to take off the door, forcing all the security personnel to leave their weapons and withdraw.” Some people near the detention center say that detainees echoed the word “Baqiya”, one of the chants of ISIS operatives.

At 4:30 p.m., 25 vehicles of the Syrian Democratic Forces (HAT) counter-terrorism apparatus and about 100 elements whose faces are not visible[2] arrived, the witness says: “The public security elements evacuated their positions to begin the anti-terrorist force to confront the mutiny, they fired heavily for an hour, after which the detainees were rounded up in a number of rooms, removed one by one and beaten until they lost consciousness.”

Some of the injured detainees were treated by military medical staff and no injured were treated at the town’s sole public hospital.

At around 8 p.m., anti-terrorist vehicles exited the detention facility accompanied by a large covered vehicle. The witness refused to give further details about this vehicle.

[1] One of the domestic security sections of the SDF

[2] SDF’ anti-terrorist elements usually cover their faces with masks.

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