Zainab al-Hosni

She was eighteen, from Homs. The regime wanted to get its hands on her brother Muhammad, an activist on the run, so it arrested her instead, as bait. Shortly afterwards the insecurity forces caught Muhammad, and shortly after that they summoned Muhammad’s mother to pick up his corpse. The corpse was burnt and punctured by bullets. While in the morgue, by chance, the mother found Zainab’s corpse too. Zainab’s arms had been cut off. Part of her body had been skinned. She had been decapitated.

During the battle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the regime in the early eighties the regime committed massacres. But it never tortured children and women to death. This style of barbarism is an innovation. Does it need to be said that it’s an innovation which doesn’t suit Syrian values? There are still some people, astoundingly, who tell us that this regime of the psychopathically ill is capable of ‘reform’.

Hafez al-Asad was a ruthless dictator of great but flawed intelligence. His sons do not qualify as dictators. To call them dictators is to insult dictators. They are a foul mix of pervert, monster, idiot, and spoiled brat. Each moment they remain at liberty is another catastrophe.

Beyond that, for Zainab, I can say nothing more.

UPDATE: – It now appears the regime is playing a clever sick game. Zainab has turned up on regime TV alive. The regime did kill her brother, and did label some other person’s dismembered corpse as Zainab’s, no doubt to discredit the accounts of the revolutionaries. So whose corpse did they dismember? This theatre reminds me of the time a few months ago when a French TV channel received a communication from a known contact at the Syrian embassy in Paris telling them the ambassador had resigned. The channel reported the story, then the next day the ambassador turned up to denounce the ‘lies’. Here’s Rime Allaf’s comment on Facebook:

The Zeinab story: the lie is the regime’s and the regime’s alone. The regime first came to arrest her (the real Zeinab), then first returned the body of her brother to the family (he died under torture), then told the family come take your daughter too – and gave them a burned beheaded body, unrecognizable, in pieces. That body, of course, still is a martyr, we just don’t know whose it is. The family was told by the regime that this was their daughter, they didn’t just find the corpse in the street, and it’s not the opponents of the regime who made this up. And after everyone got all worked up, they deliver “the victim who simply ran away” because – to boot – her brothers (who must be “extremists”) were abusing her.

The point is that the regime is not only criminal but criminally stupid, as if these games can prove anything about the “armed terrorist gangs” and about the “lying activists” and as if we’re supposed to forget the whole sequence of events, and only watch the Syrian television clip like idiots and say oh, the opposition lied. (Ironically, the criminal Taleb Ibrahim the other day claimed on television these same gangs had killed Zeinab.)

11 thoughts on “Zainab al-Hosni”

  1. I am appalled and dumbfounded by the level of coldbloodedness of Syrian regime. No matter what they do their days are numbered the regime knows it quite well.

  2. It makes me want to throw up..
    These people are shaitans Helpers they will suffer for this as for these innocent people they are resting now in peace alhamdillah peace be upon them…. Zainab is an angel of god now, so really these evil people no matter who they are have lost..

  3. The Assads are worse than gangsters. How could anyone call himself a man, then look into this young woman’s eyes and take debased pleasure in her death agonies? The criminal Baath regime is beyond redemption. All that is left is to arrest them and make them answer to the world for each of their crimes and render justice to their victims.

    1. yes, it made me laugh. there are serious criticisms of al-Jazeera to be made, of course, but the absurd ones here gave me a welcome holiday from reality. thanks.

    1. you’ll see that an update has been added to the relevant piece. from your MRZine piece it seems that you believe the appearance of Zainab proves the existence of an international conspiracy, including Amnesty and others, against the poor old Syrian regime. You should think a bit harder. This is regime theatre designed to discredit international human rights groups as well as the protestors. It isn’t very sophisticated theatre. It was played out at the expense of the family, whose son was killed. And it leaves us with the question – who does the dismembered, skinned corpse belong to?

      (How I wish the supporters of fascist torture-regimes would stop posing as progressive lovers as truth)

      1. First of all, I recommend that the requisite standards of journalism and human rights advocacy be always upheld. Where there turns out to be a factual error — in this case, the identity and circumstances of the woman who was actually murdered — make a correction. Each allegation, made by anyone, has to be empirically investigated (rather than just assumed to be factually accurate), or else we will never know the truth (e.g., in this case, who actually murdered the woman whose dismembered body was seen on the widely circulated video and why she was murdered).

        Secondly, there are enough documented and documentable human rights violations committed by the Syrian government to make the case that you wish to make. This particular case, however, has not been demonstrated to be one of them yet, so using it to illustrate your argument in the absence of evidence takes away from it.

        Last but not least, I do not believe that what Amnesty International, Human Rights Wach, and western mass media are angling for is the same as what you want for your country. They have their own agenda that is congruent with what the western powers are pushing for, but not with the establishment of a truly democratic government in Syria to supersede the existing Ba’ath party regime.

        1. AI, HRW etc did uphold the requisite requirements – the Hosni family was given a death certificate by the regime. Official state documents are good enough proof, especially when they appear to make a case against that regime. But in this case, the regime was lying. It was lying about a dismembered corpse that it had in its possession. If you look clearly you’ll see that this doesn’t let the regime off the hook, it makes the case against it even worse. As for your demand for a correction – I repeat that I updated the post above as soon as I knew about the state tv ‘interview’ with Zainab.

          AI, HRW etc have annoyed me in the past by treating Hamas and Israel as if they were equal parties to conflict, condemning the ‘crimes’ of a resistance group in the same breath as the real crimes of an apartheid occupier. But I have not had reason to suspect them of fabricating evidence or being lax in their research.

          Of course the West has its own agenda in Syria. So does Russia, China and Iran. Are you going to teach me how to boil an egg now?

          I do welcome the American and European position on Syria. This doesn’t mean I’m calling for a military intervention, nor that I’m so stupid as to think that the West is motivated by universalist morality (although of course some westerners are), nor that I’m blind to Western hypocrisy when it comes to Yemen, Bahrain and Palestine. If the West decided to establish a no-fly zone over occupied Palestine, to sanction Israel, and to call for the end of Zionist racism, I would be suspicious of western motives, but of course I’d still welcome it.

  4. Your MR magazine describes the Zainab story as “opposition propaganda”. Given that it was the Syrian state documented the decapitated body as Zainab’s, are you going to issue a correction and an apology to the Syrian people? Or are you going to continue lecturing them about how the West isn’t their friend, as if they were idiots?

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