Mohammed Subhi Abed, a soft-spoken man of 43, says he was working for the opposition Free Syria News radio station in the northern city of Raqqa when masked gunmen burst into the offices in June and confiscated all of the laptops and satellite equipment. They also abducted him, placing him in a badly lit cellar along with "six or seven" other people, he said.
"They tried to extract information from us by torture," Abed recalled in a recent interview with the Los Angeles Times in Turkey.
His interrogators, he recalled, forced his legs through a tire, locked them in place with a metal rod, before beating the soles of his exposed feet with a braided wire. He was released after 32 days and fled to Turkey.
His kidnappers, he alleges, were from the Islamic State of Iraq and Sham, or ISIS, an Al Qaeda affiliate that has been gaining ground in rebel-held areas of Syria, especially in the north.