How ISIS Is Turning Feared Torture Techniques Pioneered By Assad Regime — Into An ‘Art Form’

How ISIS Is Turning Feared Torture Techniques Pioneered By Assad Regime — Into An ‘Art Form’

Jay Akbar, writing in the December 13, 2014 online edition of London’s TheDailyMailOnline, reveals that “Islamic State militants are employing identical torture methods used by the Syrian government they have vowed to overthrow. Victims of ISIS claim they are now using well-known punishments like ‘The Tyre,” “The Flying Carpet,” and “The German Chair.” “Activists in Raqqa,” Mr. Akbar writes, “revealed how they were tortured using a method known as the ‘shabeh,’ which roughly translates to ‘ghost’ in Arabic. The practice involves “tying the victims’ arms behind their backs using handcuffs — which are then used to hoist the body into the air, putting extreme pressure on the shoulder sockets.” Hazm al-Hussein, who Mr. Akbar says “was tortured by an Islamic State leader once imprisoned by the regime, said” “All you think about is the pain. You can’t think about anything else. You just have to be patient. If you get angry, they will just take your head off. You know they want to do it.”

Jim Shahinan was given the ‘shabeh’ every four days. for four months….until his arms dislodged from their sockets, Mr. Akbar reports. According to Richard Spencer, reporting for London’s The Telegraph, it took four months for feeling in Mr. Shahinan’s hands to return.” “The repercussions of the same torture still haunt a man simply known as ‘Samir,’ Mr. Akbar wrote. “He twitches uncontrollably as a result; and, hopes to obtain a visa so he can travel to the West for medical treatment.” Mr. Shahinan was also “punished with the ‘German Chair,’ where his body was strapped to a chair, whose back was adjusted at will — to inflict extreme pain on the spine.” He added, “they hanged me upside down in an upturned chair. They came and dis this every day…for four days. This is a traditional way to torture people in Syria. The leave you there, hanging for anything from two to 12 hours.”

In Raqqa and elsewhere, TheDailyMailOnline reports, Amnesty International claims that “torture in Islamic State prisons is reaching ‘chilling levels.’ The international organization also said that this kind of torture has been going on for years, if not decades in Syria. But now, Syria and the Islamic State are making an “art out of torture.” In another technique known as “the flying carpet,” victims are strapped down to a board, and the ends are brought toward to each other to bend their spines,” Mr. Akbar noted.

“A police photographer who defected from Assad’s side earlier this year revealed the graphic evidence — 55,000 deaths in regime cells since the start of the Syrian uprising,” the article concluded.

The scourge in Syria and the group known as the Islamic State, and the Kim regime in North Korea should both be tried for crimes against humanity; I just fear that Senator Feinstein’s “CIA torture” report has compromised the United States ability to argue that both of these entities are guilty of war crimes. Perhaps additional, unanticipated fallout from Senator Feinstein’s partisan and one-sided, and irresponsible treatise that fails to offer the complete and unvarnished truth of the Enhanced Interrogation Program. I hope not, but, I have an uncomfortable feeling that I’m not. V/R, RCP

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