Syrian medical student finds her brother as a cadaver
A Syrian medical student has made a horrific discovery (Abd Doumany/AFP)
A Syrian medical student received a shock after the body of her missing brother reportedly appeared as a cadaver for her to dissect. According to accounts in Arabic language media, he was arrested in 2013 by the Syrian regime, and his family had no knowledge of what had happened to him, until now.
The 20-year-old medical student, who did not wish to be named, was preparing to enter the dissection hall when she identified the body of her sibling, who was seven years her senior.
The student reportedly said: "We are used to dissecting old corpses, which usually tend towards the colour black. But they told us today that they were going to bring us new bodies for autopsy, only to be surprised by my brother laid out in front of me."
She added that her brother had gone missing three years ago at a regime security point in Damascus. Reports claimed the family had tried hard to find him, spending large amounts of money on the search, but to no avail.
The student is said to have lost consciousness on making the discovery. It seems that she was not able to let her peers or lecturer know of the identity of the deceased, out of fear of bringing harm to her family.
However, some have questioned the veracity of the account, suggesting it might be opposition propaganda. It has been argued that it is unlikely this girl would feel able to speak critically to the media about al-Assad’s regime, particularly in its Damascus stronghold, for fear of reprisal. Indeed, others have suggested that the details of the story do not add up, including the use of a body for medical research without the family’s permission, and the fact that cadavers for medical training are generally imported to the Middle East.
"Everyone, this news is a lie, because in Syria we import corpses from abroad to use as bodies for explanation. You don't have to share every story which shows the ignorance of its writer."
While we cannot independently verify this story, it certainly has the ring of truth. An Amnesty International report released in November 2015 described the enforced disappearance of large numbers of people by the Syrian regime in order to crush opposition and to make money through bribes paid by desperate family members. The report included stories of whole families, including children, disappearing, and of individuals using their entire life savings to pay off government officials for the release of their relatives.