“The Price of Loyalty in Syria”

the-price-of-loyalty-in-syria“. . .One night in Damascus, I met a 33-year-old computer programmer named Amir who had been part of the nonviolent protest movement from the beginning. . .
I asked if he was still active in the rebellion. ‘They put me in prison for two days,’ he said. ‘I was not tortured, no one even said a bad word to me. But for me it was — ‘ He stumbled for words, then turned toward me. ‘You know how Dante went to hell and was allowed to return? This cell was 10 meters square, with 152 people in it. It was two stories underground. There is no air, you feel constantly that you will choke. They had an undeclared system: for the first week, you stand, all day and all night. Then you get to lean against the wall for a few days. Then you get to sit. When you are standing, you are terrified to fall asleep, because you may never get up. Some people were there for only a few hours, some for days or weeks, and some had been tortured in ways I never imagined. For food, you get a bit of bread and some water, but that does not matter. You get about 30 seconds, once a day, in the bathroom, but trust me, you are not even worried about that. Because there are people in there who are literally asking for death.'” [. . .]    –Robert F. Worth, The New York Times, June 19, 2013