One of Al Hasaka prison fire on March 23, 1993, in which some 61 prisoners were killed, one of the mass killings against Kurds in Rojava.
Al Hasakah prison, located in Goyran district built in the 1960s, during the Syrian-Egyptian unity. It designed for 200 prisoners, but the Syrian state has been putting in it more than 700 people.
And about the fire in this prison and its causes, was it fabricated or not? Hawar
( ANHA ) News Agency met with Shams eddine Mala Ibrahim, a member of the Democratic Union Party in Al Hasaka and a political prisoner at the time. He said at the beginning of his speech: " I was arrested by the Syrian state in 1992 for political reason as I was responsible for the groups that came from Lebanon, after receiving their training at the academies. I used to distribute them on our homes until they went to the mountains of Kurdistan."
Ibrahim added, "One of the group's members escaped and turned himself in to the Syrian intelligence. He told them about my work as a result I was arrested and charged with sabotaging the relations between Syria and a neighboring country. I remained in the political security branch of Qamishlo about 37 days then I was transferred to the High Military Criminal Court in Aleppo, then transferred me to a prison in Al Hasaka."
The Syrian government arrested the Kurds for participating in the martyrs' ceremony
"At that time, the Syrian government arrested a large number of the movement supporters for various reasons mainly for their participation in the martyrs' ceremony of the Kurdistan Liberation Movement, where I and 61 people were arrested.
"We had our own organization and influence in the prison. The prison administration listened a lot to us because we were the organized force in the prison. The rest of the prisoners were accused of kidnapping, murder, theft and drugs."
On March 23, 1993, people were still celebrating Newroz and the Easter was the day of the prison fire, which consisted of five dormitories. Guards used to open the doors of dormitories on some occasions like Eid, he continued, "I was in the second dormitory with many supporters of the movement. The fourth and fifth ones were addicts, drug dealers, criminals and a number of supporters of the movement."
There was a strange smell in the dormitory
Ibrahim: "When we visited our friends in the fifth dormitory, the smell of the dormitory was abnormal. People were very drunk. We were told that they were using drugs including Ali Qasim, then we went back to our dormitory and felt that there was unusual movement "We didn't know what was going on, our dormitory, which was dedicated to 30 people, where they put 122 prisoners."
They prevented the entry of the gas and allowed it on the days of Eid
He confirmed that the prison administration had cut the gas on the prisoners for more than 15 days, but on the occasion of Easter, they distributed on them. In our dormitory there was more than 300 liters. Each prisoner put the gas under his bed Then, the doors of the dormitories were open on the occasion of Eid, the prison administration closed all the doors."
Chaos in dormitories due to a drug addict
"After closing the doors of the dormitories, I saw what is called "Ali Qasim", outside the dormitories. The police arrested him because he was drunk. Ali Qasim threatened them, after they knew he was going to kill himself with a blade in his mouth, Ali Qasim's friends in the other dormitories set fire to the door of our dormitories by pouring gas on blankets and threatened the police that they would burn the prison if they did not get away from Ali Qasim and bring him back to his dormitory. The police responded to their call."
"Shortly thereafter, we heard the voice of Ali Qassem again outside his dormitory, so the police arrested him and beat him. He called on his friends to do something for him, so his friends in our dormitory returned to the sit-in, including Kameran nicknamed Camus, Walid and Mohamed Amin nicknamed Hosho, but this time, the police leavehim, so Camus poured gas and on blankets, put them in front of the door of the dormitory from the inside and burned them. He also poured gas on Hasho on the door of the dormitory and burned him. The fire spread inside the prison.
62 victims, 25 of them were Kurds
" Many prisoners suffocated because of the smoke despite I called on them to lower their heads down because the smoke is going up. I put water on a piece of wet cloth on my face." Then Walid cut off the electricity cables and threatened to electrify the entire dormitory so we asked the security to cut off the electricity from the dormitory. The police officer in charge of the keys of the dormitories escaped. A friend called him back and opened the door, but he threw the key and escaped. Our friend opened the door. I heard another friend of mine, abdul Bari, who was martyred in the fire, calls and tells me that they opened the door, so I went out of the dormitory. then they carried me to the hospital. Later, I learned that the number of victims reached 62 people, including 25 Kurds."
Shams eddin Mala Ibrahim, after i arrived at the hospital and received treatment, at around 4:00 a.m., a lieutenant came and took me with him for investigation after several attempts by the doctors not to leave because of my injuries, but they took me out barefoot."
He continued: "When we arrived at the investigation section we were about 12 people. We stayed there for 13 days. A brigade from the Presidential Palace in Damascus came for investigation. They called me to investigate at 11 p.m. I satyed in investigation until 7:00 a.m. in which I told all the truth to an officer that the main reason is the police chief of the prison administration because of idleness and bribes, and most importantly drugs how did you go to prison?, no one can enter drugs except with the help of the police chief."
"After the investigation, they sent us back to prison and released all the movement's supporters. They put more pressure on me,but after a while I was released as well, because I objected to the charge against me, and it was accepted," said Mala Ibrahim.