16.12.04

Siria: cárceles de cinco estrellas

Ser detenido en Siria resulta una experiencia más agradable que pasar las vacaciones en un Club Med de Maldivas. Todo son atenciones. Así describió en un artículo un periodista sirio su paso por la cárcel tras pasar un mes en manos de la temida Mujabarat (policía secreta):

It became clear to me from conversations with the other detainees that the moral and civilized treatment I was receiving was not given only to me because I was educated, but was being given to all the people, particularly after Dr. Bashar Al-Assad [rose to power]. This made me feel that this man's existence is enough to protect us and our aspirations for freedom and true democracy.

Típico de las dictaduras sofisticadas. No sólo te detienen injustamente, sino que luego, como muestra de arrepentimiento, debes cantar maravillas del trato recibido. ¿La cárcel? Estupenda, volvería mañana si pudiera. Y la comida era excelente.

Otro periodista publicó, también en la prensa gubernamental (la única que existe en Siria) otro artículo en el que se escandalizaba por tantas mentiras. Hakam Al-Baba sabía de lo que hablaba. Él también había pasado por prisión, y no una vez. Desgraciadamente, no disfrutó del tratamiento de cinco estrellas:

[I could not] refrain from smiling when I read this communiqué, ironically published in the Syrian press, which usually does not publish personal communiqués. Mr. Fayyad describes in detail the humane treatment he received, beginning with permission to phone anyone he wished to speak to, and including calling in a private physician, hinting that he spent his detention in hospital with medical treatment, which he forgot to describe as excellent. He notes that his interrogation was nothing more than a sympathetic conversation, and that following this, he had gone home. (...)

In 2001, I published an article on the Syrian media in the Lebanese paper Al-Nahar, which was less [severe] than statements by current Syrian Interior Minister Gen. Ghazi Kan'an, who said that nobody reads the Syrian press. For this, I spent over two weeks with one of the security apparatuses: every day from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM, and from 5:00 PM to 10:00 PM, during which I listened to threats, warnings, accusations, and interrogation regarding [my] connections. [I had] to confess [to charges] under threat and fear that I never felt in my life, except during similar moments in which I was summoned to a different security apparatus.

La única consecuencia positiva de este singular debate es que Hakam Al-Baba pudo publicar su artículo en un periódico gubernamental controlado obviamente por el Gobierno. El único consuelo.