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.)