Witness saw teen severely beaten in Syrian jail for failing to praise president

The Associated Press reports:

Inside a filthy detention center in Damascus, eight or nine interrogators repeatedly bludgeoned a skinny teenager whose hands were bound and who bore a bullet wound on the left side of his chest. They struck his head, back, feet and genitals until he was left on the floor of a cell, bleeding from his ears and crying out for his mother and father to help him.

Ibrahim Jamal al-Jahamani, a fellow prisoner who said he witnessed the brutal scene in Syria in May, heard the interrogators demand that the 15-year-old proclaim strongman Bashar Assad as his “beloved” president.

The youth, later identified as Tamer Mohammed al-Sharei, refused. Instead, he chanted an often-heard slogan from anti-regime street protests calling for “freedom and the love of God and our country.”

Tamer’s refusal apparently was the final straw for the interrogators.

“Guards broke his right wrist, beating him with clubs on his hands, which were tied behind his back,” al-Jahamani told The Associated Press after his release from detention, referring to the beatings as torture.

“They also beat him on the face, head, back, feet and genitals until he bled from the nose, mouth and ears and fell unconscious,” he recalled.

“He pleaded for mercy and yelled: ‘Mom, dad, come rescue me!’” al-Jahamani said. “He was lying like a dog on the floor in his underwear, with blood covering his body. But his interrogators had no compassion that they were savagely beating a boy,” al-Jahamani added, his voice breaking with emotion.

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