MICHELE NORRIS, Host:
From NPR News, this is All Things Considered. I'm Michele Norris.
ROBERT SIEGEL, Host:
And I'm Robert Siegel.
NORRIS: He is not stepping down anytime soon.
NORRIS: But first, NPR's Peter Kenyon is on the Turkey-Syria border. There, he got a firsthand account of one man's torture at the hands of Syrian security forces.
PETER KENYON: When the mukhabarat, the secret police, couldn't get Abu Ali to tell them the names of the leading activists in his town of Jisr al-Shughour, the 43-year-old says they blindfolded him and tied his hands and feet to an apparatus on the floor. His interrogators told him he was about to take a trip on the Flying Carpet.
NORRIS: (Through translator) I felt my body coming off the ground, then they beat me with a cable on my legs and feet. I could stand it on the legs, but on the feet it was extremely painful. This was the first stage of the Flying Carpet.
KENYON: Longtime Syrian activist Tamar Lawan, himself a torture victim, interviewed them and said they described a May 15th predawn house-to-house raid that matched Abu Ali's description.
NORRIS: They broke the door, even when the women were sleeping, and they collected like 35 persons from the village and they take them to the city, to Idlib.
KENYON: Abu Ali says after the heavy cable, they beat him with a thinner, more stinging cable. Then, he says, they started with the electricity, in three stages: bad, excruciating and indescribable.
NORRIS: (Through translator) The last stage is horrible. Your body shakes violently. You can't control it. And when you scream, no sound comes out. When they finally stopped, I was paralyzed for a while. I couldn't move.
KENYON: He says if the regime had hoped to intimidate townspeople with a terrifying show of force, their plan backfired.
NORRIS: (Through translator) We got back to town and all these people were there. It was a huge rally. People weren't getting scared, they were getting angry. It's the same everywhere. After the crackdown in Daraa, there were bigger demonstrations in Homs, and the same in Banias. The more damage the security forces inflict, the bigger the protests become.
(SOUNDBITE OF PROTEST)
KENYON: Peter Kenyon, NPR News, on the Turkish-Syrian border.
NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.