Love in a time of torture

A young man’s account of sadistic torture in a Syrian secret prison, and how a girl’s note helped him through his pain.

Arrested during a protest in the first days of the Syrian uprising, a young man endured acts of sadism and torture at the hands of Bashar al-Assad’s secret police.

As his body was beaten, whipped, electrocuted and worse; the prisoner could think only of the girl he loves, clenching a note from her in his hand as the torturers did their worst.

Told largely in his own words, this is his remarkable personal story of endurance and hope in a place filled with darkness and despair.

A small piece of paper held tight in a clenched fist. A lifeline to a better place.

Days become nights become days. The kicks, the punches, the questions, the insults, the humiliation and the pain.

“She was always on my mind in the toughest moments during the torture. The only thing that relieved the pain was my belief that, at that moment, she was comfortable in her bed.”

The beatings begun on the police bus driving arrested protesters to one of Syria’s most notorious secret police branches.

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