AL QASIMIYAH /Syria/, March 12. /TASS/. The Syrian military have discovered a prison and a court, where terrorists sentenced locals to death for even the smallest of infringements in the town of Al Qasimiyah in Aleppo province.
The prison was located in a former ice cream factory.
"This was their prison. There are several cells — both big and small. Even women and children were imprisoned here, a total of 500 people," a Syrian serviceman named Hadjar told Russian journalists.
The place is littered with prisoners’ belongings and jumpsuits of those sentenced to public executions.
"Here are sewage pits, [the terrorists] dumped those whom they considered particularly dangerous or guilty there," the serviceman said.
According to the locals, the militants would punish even the smallest infringement: curfew violation, failure to pay debt, a woman appearing without headscarf in public and even for expression of disrespect to the terrorists. The so-called sharia morality police watched over this.
"I’ve been imprisoned for six months," serviceman Ahmad Mugairi, apprehended by the militants over charges of collaboration with the Syrian army, told journalists. Mugairi managed to escape and joined the government forces. "What Army could I have collaborated with, if there were only militants around for 10 years at that point? See all these papers — these are records of people, most of whom bore no guilt, the militants just disliked them."
A luxury mansion across from the prison housed the so-called sharia court. The militants fled, leaving its entire archive behind. According to the Syrian military, the militants ruled as they saw fit. According to the locals, the bandits often apprehended people for ransom, the fines were charged in US dollars. The "court" documents have stamps of all kinds of militant groups, including the former Nusra Front.
"The militants arrested civilians, usually innocent ones, and sent them to kangaroo courts. They said they ruled in accordance with the laws of Islam, but this had nothing to do with true belief. We have examined the documents and we see horrible things: People were sentenced to death for insignificant things. Militants rooted out the undesirables this way. It was revenge, settling old scores. The militants pretended they had built a state, but in fact, there was no legitimate state here, just a bunch of bandits who seized power," self-defense unit fighter Faisal Abuzar told journalists.
The Syrian military say the abandoned archive will help to find names of missing people as well as to investigate crimes and identify the militants.