Syrian Woman Thought Decapitated Turns up Alive on TV
Syrian state television has aired an interview with a woman who had reportedly been found decapitated, armless and skinned in a morgue last month, amid a deadly protest crackdown.
Zaynab al-Hosni became a symbol of the revolt against President Bashar al-Assad after international human rights watchdogs said late September that her mother had found her mutilated body in a morgue.
But a woman claiming to be Hosni appeared on Syrian state television on Tuesday night, flashing her identity card as proof.
"I fled my family (in late July) because my brother beat me. My parents do not know where I am," said the woman dressed in black clothing and whose face was uncovered.
"They do not know that I am alive. I learned about my own death on television channels which said the Syrian security forces detained me, and burned and cut up my body," she said.
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch had issued statements in September denouncing the murder of the 18-year-old, whose body they said had been discovered in a morgue by her mother.
At the time, Amnesty said her family had come across her body when they went to the morgue on September 13 to identify her activist brother Mohammed, who was also apparently arrested, tortured and killed.
"Zaynab had been decapitated, her arms cut off, and skin removed," the London-based watchdog said in a statement, adding she was the "first woman known to have died in custody during Syria's recent unrest."
The New York-based Human Rights Watch had said Zaynab al-Hosni vanished in late July and that the Syrian authorities returned her "dismembered body" to her family on September 17.