Aziz, ein syrischer Oppositioneller, berichtet, wie es in syrischen Gefängnissen zuging, lange bevor die Aufstände gegen das Assad Regime ausbrachen:
Aziz spent four months of his detention in solitary confinement, in the dark. Mercifully, he forgot his sense of smell. Sight was irrelevant. The cell was 90 cm wide and 180 cm long. It included a toilet and a tap. The terrible humidity caused mould to grow on his skin. He caught scabies from his filthy blanket. Sores filled with puss developed all over his body. Unable to see, he explored these with his fingers.
How did he survive? By exercising his memory. He remembered his parents, his brothers and sisters, his aunts and uncles, and he laughed and cried. He was tormented by guilt for hurts he had inflicted on his loved ones, and moved to tears by their remembered kindnesses.