The Evil In Damascus


I simply do not know how the brutal torture of children can be surpassed as an example of pure evil. What is happening in Syria has become morally intolerable even under the standards of the Middle East. You can view the profoundly disturbing video of the corpse of a 13 year-old boy delivered back to his parents by the Syrian security forces here. I warn you. The Dish publishes many graphic images, but the sheer effect of sadism on this child's body is too much for public display.

The boy, Hamza al-Khateeb, was arrested on April 29 and returned to his family around a month later. This is a regime that actually wants to broadcast its atrocities to intimidate its people:

The child had spent nearly a month in the custody of Syrian security, and when they finally returned his corpse it bore the scars of brutal torture: Lacerations, bruises and burns to his feet, elbows, face and knees, consistent with the use of electric shock devices and of being whipped with cable, both techniques of torture documented by Human Rights Watch as being used in Syrian prisons during the bloody three-month crackdown on protestors.

Hamza's eyes were swollen and black and there were identical bullet wounds where he had apparently been shot through both arms, the bullets tearing a hole in his sides and lodging in his belly. On Hamza's chest was a deep, dark burn mark. His neck was broken and his penis cut off.

His father fainted when he saw his mutilated corpse. The boy, apparently, was a sweet kid, swept up in what can only be called a terrorizing campaign by the Assad regime:

Torture in Syrian prisons, long known as some of the worst in the world, is now "rampant" according to a report by Human Rights Watch. "When you have mass execution and torture it rises to the level of a crime against humanity. In Syria, it appears clear that this has become widespread and systematic," said Ricken Patel, director of Avaaz, which has been documenting human rights abuses in the country. "This is a campaign of mass terrorism and intimidation: Horribly tortured people sent back to communities by a regime not trying to cover up its crimes, but to advertise them."

The Assad regime is worse, it seems to me, than even Qaddafi's. I do not know what the West can do militarily or economically, and suspect it's not much. But there is something you can do. His Facebook page is here, with 62,000 followers. Let his family and friends know you have noticed. Let history record this act of barbarism. Let Assad know the world is watching and remembering. And let this cry ring wider and further than in Syria alone.

"We are all Hamza al-Khateeb".