In 1980, after a failed attempt on his life, Syrian President Hafez al-Assad had 500 to 800 inmates of Tadmor Prison massacred (clean up took two weeks). The prison was closed after Hafez al-Assad’s death in 2001. His son, current President Basshir al-Assad, re-opened Tadmor Prison on June 15, 2011. Syrian expatriate Doctor Bara Sarraj, an immunologist at Chicago’s Northwestern University, wrote From Tadmor to Harvard detailing his nine years in the prison, describing it as “constant humiliation, horrible beatings and hangings.” Currently, Syria is in a state of civil war, and Tadmor is open for undisclosed business.
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