Syrian rebels set up prisons to curb crime, maintain order

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Rebel groups in Syria have established their own security systems in areas liberated from the regime’s hold.

A rebel controlled police force, prisons and courts have sprung up in an attempt to keep order in Aleppo and Idlib’s countryside.

Inmates in a prion visited by an Al Arabiya correspondent in Aleppo include prisoners detained from the Syrian Armed Forces or the pro-regime militia, and the rebels who break the law.

It may not be an ideal prison, and it does not meet international standards, but the rebels of Aleppo wanted to curb the crime that is spreading throughout the city.

Prisoners are given lessons in the Koran to encourage them to realize their mistakes.

“I have stolen, I had nothing to eat so I stole. I am studying Koran here to repent, and I repented,” stated one prisoner.

Inmates claim they are being treated well; one speaks about an obvious black eye.

“I was hit by shrapnel while fleeing a battle,” he replied when asked if the guards were hurting him.

“No, nobody hit us or hurt us; the guys are good and are treating us well.”

It is difficult to ascertain whether he is telling the truth, the prisons are not subject to an overarching authority and are not required to meet international humanitarian standards.

It is simply an attempt to stop the country descending further into chaos.

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