From The Wall Street Journal:

Recounting what he believes was at least 10 days spent in the hands of Syria's military intelligence service, the man said he was beaten and shocked, kept naked and blindfolded in a room packed with detainees and excrement, and listened as his 17-year-old cousin was burned with a poker. He was asked to kneel in prayer to a portrait of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.

The 32-year-old father of two provides one of a new flood of accounts of torture, reported by activists and rights organizations and detainees, that have emerged amid the country's ten-week uprising against Mr. Assad. While the U.S., United Nations and others have long characterized Syria's regime as among the region's most repressive, rights groups and other observers say this spring's crackdown has spurred new levels of brutality.

Amusingly, the recent Vogue profile of Syria's first lady and her husband, the mass-murderer Bashar, has been removed from the magazine's website, but here is a brief excerpt:

"A precise man who takes photographs and talks lovingly about his first computer, (Assad) says he was attracted to studying eye surgery 'because it's very precise, it's almost never an emergency, and there is very little blood... The 35-year-old first lady's central mission is to change the mind-set of six million Syrians under eighteen, encourage them to engage in what she calls 'active citizenship.'...The household is run on wildly democratic principles. 'We all vote on what we want, and where,' [Asma] says."


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