Jan. 17, 2004
By NIR BOMS & ERICK STAKELBECK
Nizar Nayouf has not only seen hell, he has even lived to tell about it. Barely.
Just 41 years old, Nayouf suffers from permanent spinal injuries, a failing left kidney, a bleeding gastric ulcer, and deteriorating eyesight. He also has paralysis in his lower extremities and unsightly disfigurements caused by cigarette burns that were anything but accidental.
The source of Nayouf’s ailments, and the scene of his own personal hell, was Syria’s Palestine Prison, which is run by the Syrian Intelligence Service or “Mukhabarat,” famous for its unrelenting cruelty.
His crime? Founding a human rights organization and speaking out against a Ba’athist regime that has held Syria in a totalitarian grip for four decades.