Rayan was smashed in the face with a rifle butt and flung head first down concrete steps. Then he was hung from the ceiling by his wrists and beaten. Even then, the torture was not over: it stopped only when he fainted from the excruciating pain of being placed in a tyre while his legs were twisted and wrenched with a stick.
The 37-year-old interior decorator and judo trainer had been among the first to join the protest movement against Syria’s President, Bashar al-Assad. But the torture inflicted on him was not by the regime. It was by rebels supposedly on his side – another grim example of how Syria’s revolution is now consuming its own children.