Home Human Rights Journalism Afrin: Al-Sham Legion Tortured a Civilian to Death

Afrin: Al-Sham Legion Tortured a Civilian to Death

Abdulrazaq al-Nuaimi was beaten to death by members of an armed opposition faction, making him the second man tortured to death by armed factions in the area in 2022

by communication
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On 25 February 2022, local activists posted several photos on social media of a dead body displaying brutal marks of torture. Field researchers with Syrians for Truth and Justice (STJ) followed leads on footage and discovered that the victim in the photos was Abdulrazaq Trad al-Obaid al-Nuaimi, a civilian displaced from Hama province.

Al-Nuaimi was detained in one of the security centers of al-Sham Legion/Faylaq al-Sham in Afrin region, where he was tortured to death.

Addressing the photos on the same day, the legion published a statement confessing to the torture and subsequent death of al-Nuaimi in a detention center affiliated with its security administration. The faction stressed that they handed over the body of the victim to his family, with evident torture marks. The faction added:

 “We decry the practice . . . we have arrested the interrogation committee and the members in charge of the detention center where the crime occurred. They were delivered to the military judiciary . . . with the aim of achieving full justice.”

Notably, this is the second case of faction brutality that STJ documents in Afrin in 2022.   Previously in February, STJ published a detailed report verifying the torture and death of a civilian, Rezan Khalil, at the hands of the Tajammu Ahrar al-Sharqiya/Gathering of Free Men of the East, which operates under the Turkey-backed Syrian National Army (SNA).

Death of al-Nuaimi

Abdulrazaq Trad al-Obaid al-Nuaimi, known as Abu al-Auf, escaped his hometown Marzaf in Hama’s countryside and settled down in Afrin region after it was controlled by the Turkish Army and the SNA.

Al-Nuaimi used to live in Celemê/Jelemah village, in Jindires district, administratively affiliated to Afrin region.

He worked in the car trade and ran his business from an office in Jindires town.

On 24 February, around 10:00 a.m., al-Nuaimi was arrested while on his way from home in Celemê/Jelemah village to his office in Jindires town. His phone remained out of coverage until 3:00 p.m. when a member of the legion used the victim’s phone and called one of his family members. The faction member said that they had arrested al-Nuaimi, he was being interrogated, and he would be released soon.

Al-Nuaimi was held in one of the legion’s centers[1] near the archeological Tell Jindires (Jindiris Hilltop). The center is a house belonging to one of the area’s original residents, Khojah Ziebee. The house was seized during the Turkey-led Operation Olive Branch in 2018.

The faction accused al-Nuaimi of working for the People’s Protection Units (YPG) in the al-Shahbaa area, which cannot be true because the YPG had arrested al-Nuaimi before.

According to a relative of the victim, the true reason behind al-Nuaimi’s arrest was that he was late on paying the faction the monthly tax/royalty it imposed on the residents living in the areas they control.

The relative added that al-Nuaimi had never been late on payment before.

At the dawn of Friday, 24 February, the faction delivered the dead body of the victim, with clear marks of marks, to the Military Police. Later, the police informed the family and handed them the body.

Photos of the body went viral on social media, showing undeniable marks of torture, mostly on the back, thighs, and legs, in addition to bruises and traces of shackles around the wrists and feet.

In a circulated voice note, a relative of the victim said that the forensic report confirmed that the victim was electrocuted on his genitals and anus, which caused his death.


To read the report in full as a PDF, follow this link.


[1] Coordinates: 36.38777965722025, 36.69010468861586

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