Hamza al-Khatib was a 13 year old boy in Syria. He was killed in custody. They cut off his penis.
While it may seem difficult to understand this story, some clues are right before our eyes. This is part of a pattern. Suleiman al-Khalidi wrote a thoughtful piece (Shattered humanity inside Syria's security apparatus) about his days in captivity in Syria, that included this passage: "When they told him to take down his pants, I could see his swollen genitals, tied tight with a plastic cable."
Genitals seem to be of particular interest to Syrian security forces.
Anyone remember Jeffrey Dahmer? Now imagine that as a state institution. Suddenly Gaddafi appears like an entertaining eccentric, while Mubarak and Ben Ali are saints.