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Enter Syria's notorious Saydnaya torture prison

Amnesty International has used testimony by former inmates to create a chilling digital model of Saydnaya Prison, including haunting soundscapes and minimal visuals.
Amnesty International has used testimony by former inmates to create a chilling digital model of Saydnaya, including soundscapes of the appalling conditions. (Amnesty International )

It's been described as the worst place on earth. Thousands are said to have been killed and tortured in Syria's Saydnaya torture prison. 

For a long time, little was known about the building and exactly what goes on inside it. 

But now, Amnesty International has used testimony by former inmates to create a chilling digital model of Saydnaya Prison, including soundscapes of the appalling conditions and daily horrors described by prisoners.  

Amnesty is using a surprising combination of art, architecture and first hand accounts to help people understand the brutality of the Syrian conflict.

Lawrence Abu Hamdan, one of the sound artists behind the project, joins guest host Piya Chattopadhyay to discuss the importance of the harrowing project, how the prisoners developed an "acoustic lexicon," and the value of testimonies from "ear witnesses."

"It's a very isolated place," says Abu Hamdan, adding that only workers and prisoners have been inside these walls. He describes the environment as a brutally enforced condition of silence, where "any sound, a pin drop, would sound like a car crash." 

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