I am the child listed as “number 50” in the lists you have been sharing since last night. I don’t have much to say to you…
I have only one thing I’d like to say, but I forget what it is…
Everything happened really fast. After the shelling that had started in the morning began to die down, they broke down the door. They came inside and took us with them, they separated us from my mother. They took me and my three siblings. My baby sister was in my mother’s lap, she was sick two days ago. They grabbed her. My mother screamed. Later I heard one of the thugs curse at my mother and then hit her. The last thing I heard from her was her screaming: “My babies!”
My father was not with her…we did not know where he was. They took him a week ago from the checkpoint. We haven’t seen him since, and we haven’t heard any news about him.
I don’t have much to say to you about what happened that night…only one thing.
They threw us into a large car filled with children around my age. They were crying. Some of them were infants. Their screaming was really loud. The driver was cursing at them.
The car stopped near a house at the edge of the village, near the field that I used to play in with my friends. The thug opened the door and ordered us to get out as he was cursing us and beating us. Every time someone stepped out he beat them. He was saying many curse words. I knew some of them. My mother used to warn me not to say them. Others I never heard before. But I understood they were bad words.
I don’t have much to say to you…
The thug beat me on my back as I stepped out of the car. I was carrying my baby sister. I fell on the ground and my sister fell from my hands. The thug laughed and called me a stupid Sunni.
When we entered the house I saw that there were many children. Most of them had their hands tied. Some of them were crying, but not many. Only the infants were crying. There were other thugs there. One of them said that they didn’t have any more ropes. Another one replied: “We’ll just kill a few of them, we can use their intestines as ropes.” They all laughed. My sister began to cry.
They left us for a while. My sister asked me what they would do with us. I knew what they would do, but I told her that I didn’t. I think she also knew. She cried and said she wanted our mother. My brother also cried and said he wanted our father. I knew we would meet him soon.
I don’t have much to say to you.
Everything happened really fast. The room was crowded and many of the children were crying and asking for their mothers. The new thug walked into the room. He smelled even worse than the others. He cursed a lot. He cursed us, and cursed God and Islam. I knew him. His son went to school with me. We used to play together in that field next door.
The thug carried a knife in his belt. He took it out of its sheath. The sounds of crying became louder. And the sound of thugs laughing also became louder. He said he hadn’t smelled blood in 3 days and that he missed it. Another thug replied to him while laughing: “We killed the three guys that we grabbed from the checkpoint yesterday…did you forget?” He said: “yes…it feels like it was forever ago.” He cursed again.
He took a step forward with the knife in his hand. Everyone moved back and the screams got louder. “Who should we start with my pretties?” he said as he laughed. “Who will be the first dead corpse?” I expected everyone to scream…I expected the crying to increase. However the exact opposite happened. Everything was silent. It was as if everyone wanted it all to just be over.
The thug with the horrible smell walked up to a little girl with blonde hair. She was shaking. He grabbed her from her hair. He said to her: “I wanted to **** but slaughtering you is also fun.” She was shaking. She was begging him saying “Please sir”..”Please don’t…” He placed the knife at her throat and quickly cut it. Before she could even finish her sentence he was holding her head in his hands. He started pointing it at us all. He was holding it from her hair as the blood dripped from it. Her body was on the ground and blood was spraying at us all.
The sounds of crying became louder. There was a young girl crying and saying the Shahada (Declaration of Faith, La Ilaha Illa Allah, There is no God but Allah) in a loud voice. He grabbed her and said: “This is for the Shahada,” and he stabbed her in the throat and cut out her larynx and threw it at us. But the girl reminded us of the Shahadah, so we all started saying it. We remembered what we used to hear, that whoever says the Shahadah before dying will be in heaven. So we started saying it. He got irritated and began slaughtering faster. The sound of crying began to mix with the sound of what I realized was their bodies shaking as they were being slaughtered. Those sounds also mixed with the sounds of Shahada and the sounds of laughter and cursing coming from the thugs as they watched.
I saw my cousin Samer as the thug took a hold of him. I hadn’t noticed him before. Samer was quiet, unlike his usual self. But as he was being slaughtered, she shook violently and ran. His head was slightly hanging to the side of his neck, but he ran towards me. As if he wanted me to save him. The blood sprayed from him like a fountain. I found the blood covering my face. I moved back until the wall was directly behind me. I think I was in the corner. I couldn’t see because the blood was covering my eyes. But I didn’t wipe it off. I preferred not to see.
I don’t have much to say to you, but I remembered you all at that moment. I remembered what my cousin Abdulrahman said to me, my cousin that joined the Free Syrian Army a month ago. Abdulrahman was a student in the University, he has a computer in his room and he used to let me play games on it. One day he showed me a page that he said you all visited. He told me that when one of us is martyred that you write about them on that page. I forgot what it was called. I asked him if you all were sick or handicapped or something…he laughed and said: “something like that.”
I remembered you…
I don’t have much to say to you…maybe only one word. It was on the tip of my tongue, but I forgot it.
Later I couldn’t see anything. I was in the corner and I could only hear. I was sure that my sister had been slaughtered…I heard her calling for my mother. I remembered my mother. I heard a thug say he needed a new knife because the one he had turned dull. The other thug said: “Even better! They’ll feel more pain that way.”
I don’t remember much after that…The same sounds began to repeat themselves. I started to differentiate the sound of blood as it flowed. Whenever the sounds of crying decreased I realized that my turn was coming.
Suddenly I realized that he came closer to me, his wretched smell was easily distinguishable even with the smell of blood. He grabbed my neck…
I remember now what I wanted to say to you at that moment.
I spit on you all and I don’t apologize from anyone…
The disgusting thug placed his knife on my neck…
Original Arabic article written by Ahmed Alomarihttps://www.facebook.com/Ahmedkalomari
:: Article nr. 88394 sent on 28-may-2012 18:01 ECT
May 27, 2012
At a demonstration in south Tel Aviv demanding the immediately expulsion of all non-Jewish African asylum-seekers, a lone Israeli woman who does not agree with the rest of the crowd is shouted down with ferocity and told that she deserves to be raped
The flat, once peaceful town of Houla is an unforgiving place in which to try and investigate what could well be a major war crime and is certainly a significant massacre of civilians.
By Alex Thomson, Houla
10:26PM BST 27 May 2012
Martin Griffiths, the deputy commander of the UN’s observer mission toSyria, on Sunday attempted to lead a small team of peace monitors and aid workers into the area where at least 90 people died on Friday, despite the firefights that continued to rage all the time they were there.
“It is difficult, very difficult,” Mr Griffiths said. “We found one family – a mother and her four children – all of them were dead, the bodies still left there.”
As his UN team went about the business of monitoring a ceasefire, which in Houla does not really exist, the continuing violence hampered their work and clearly put them in danger,
“The Syrian army sent up an armoured personnel carrier. It was armed with a large cannon and it passed our vehicles and fired off two rounds,” Mr Griffiths said.
“That of course caused another firefight which obviously delayed our work and held us up a bit.”
Something of a typical understatement from this quiet but determined Englishman, but the UN team did manage enough time in Houla to assess just what happened during Friday’s atrocity.
Mr Griffiths said both the Free Syrian Army (FSA) command in Rastan and civilian eyewitnesses in Houla itself had said the same thing.
Shelling of the town began at about 12.30pm after prayers and lasted about two hours.
Then, from around 3pm, groups of armed civilian militias — known as the Shabiha — began moving house to house and the killings, using knives and firearms, began.
According to both sources speaking independently, it went on for hours, family by family. Both groups say the killings continued until about 2am on Saturday.
The Syrian army on the ground in Houla and their political masters in Damascus say it was the work of “terrorists”, by which they mean the FSA. Soldier after soldier insisted to us that the FSA was a mixture of Afghan, Libyan, Iraq and Moroccan mercenaries. They offered no evidence to support this.
Yet all around you in Houla, there is compelling evidence to suggest it is Syria’s government and Syria’s army who are telling the lies about the massacre on Friday.
The evidence is simply this: the fact that in Houla right now you still find civilians where the FSA control the ground. Yet there are none (except corpses) where the Syrian army is in control.
So you ask yourself this: why do people remain in one area and not the other? Why do civilians apparently feel safe with the rebels? Why have they fled the area controlled by their own government’s army?
We cannot be sure as yet. But since civilians do not feel safe under the protection of their own army it suggests they perceive a link between that army’s shelling and the murderous Shabiha who came afterwards on Friday in Houla and will surely come again.
*Alex Thomson is Chief Correspondent for Channel 4 News. He is the first British journalist to enter Houla since Friday’s massacre.