Noor* was tortured and sexually abused by Syrian security forces during her detention.
After being released from a detention center operated by one of the four Syrian intelligence services, Noor recently fled Damascus. Noor was allegedly tortured and violated physically in the detention center.
Noor, who is currently living in Europe in her early thirties, speaks ardently about her studies in communication and her two young children. Last year, she was a part of the complainants who filed a complaint for war crimes and crimes against humanity that was lodged to a Prosecutor’s Office in Europe against Assad’s senior intelligence officials.
It took immense courage and determination for Noor to openly expose the abuses she suffered during her detention as a result of continued sexism and stigma that is usually associated to sexual harassment in patriarchal societies. She needed to take action, though. ‘That’s the only thing I can do for Syrian people while I’m outside of Syria. I hope that one day my rights will be recognised and I can obtain justice,’ she said.
Sexual abuse against women, men and children has been reported throughout the conflict in Syria. According to activists, although abuse has diminished in parts of the country, Syrian women continue to be subjected to sexual violence by security forces.
Nine lawsuits against Syrian authorities have been lodged in Germany, Austria, Sweden and Norway, due to the efforts of Syrian civil society groups, lawyers and the European Centre of Constitutional Rights. These allegations are aimed toward intelligence officers and high-level members of the violence Syrian security apparatus for violations such as torture, assassination, rape and other types of sexual abuse, political repression and denial of liberty, which are crimes against humanity.
Noor hopes her lawsuit will lead to arrest warrants. She yearns for the day when officials who organized against the opposition would quit power.
*Name has been changed for security and sensitivity issues