Patients tortured in Syria hospital
Cape Town – Gruesome images of prisoners tortured by medical staff in a military hospital in Syria have been smuggled out of the country and will be broadcast on British TV on Monday night, says a report.
A hospital worker, whose name is given as "Abu Hamzeh" by the British paper the Daily Mail, is reported to have secretly shot the footage at a Homs military hospital within the last three months and handed it to a French journalist "Mani" to smuggle out of Syria.
According to the paper, the footage shows "wards full of wounded men, blindfolded and shackled to their beds. Some bear marks of extreme beating". The footage also shows "the instruments of torture" - a rubber whip and electrical cable - on a table in one of the wards.
The report says those wounded during protests in Homs are brought to the hospital under the orders of the Syrian government.
"I have seen detainees being tortured by electrocution, whipping, beating with batons, and by breaking their legs," Abu Hamzeh told Mani.
"They twist the feet until the leg breaks. They perform operations without anaesthetics. I saw them slamming detainees' heads against walls. They shackle the patients to beds. They deny them water."
Photojournalist Mani, who spent most of January and February in Homs, told the paper that ordinary Syrians now considered it too dangerous to go to state-run hospitals if they're injured. "Most opt for hopelessly under-equipped makeshift backstreet clinics."
The footage comes after a report released by Amnesty international in October last year. The report claimed patients in government-run hospitals in Syria were being tortured in an attempt to suppress dissent.