Syria has been locked in civil war for a long time, and with war comes torture. One form of torture often used by the Syrian government against the rebels is called the German Chair. When a detainee is captured, they are placed in a metal chair. Their legs and arms are secured to the metal seat while the back of the chair is pulled back and down toward the ground. This causes severe stress on the spine, neck and other limbs, often causing permanent damage. Basically, if your back doesn't break, you are more than human.
Joseph Hallit knows the German Chair all too well. In 1992, Syrian forces nabbed Hallit just after he had obtained his medical degree from the University of Damascus. For four y ears, he was kept in solitary confinement, and for another four he was tortured.
The most severe brutality he endured was the German Chair. He says his flesh was torn so deeply from being stretched that he could see the nerves. To this day he still has 3-centimeter (1.2") wide scars on both his arms from the torturous stretching.
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