Torture and humiliating videos in Iraq .. Activists narrate


Source: Iraq – Naseer Al-Ajeeli

still Kidnap campaigns and systematic eliminations of activists The demonstrations in Iraq have been going on since the fourth of last November, perhaps the last one a few days ago.

The practices of intimidation, intimidation and pressure on media professionals, lawyers and activists in the demonstration grounds have not ceased.

Since the outbreak of the protests more than four months ago, the frequency of assassinations under the wings of darkness has not diminished, “partly” until recently, as a result of popular pressure, to be replaced by a series of kidnappings, arrests and intimidation of activists, which has driven many of them to the cities of northern Iraq, especially Erbil and Sulaymaniyah.

Insulting videos

On the issue that occupied the arenas of Iraq, an activist spoke, who declined to give his name for security reasons, saying: “There is no doubt that kidnapping is very difficult, because along with the beating and torture, you are insulted and photographed by the kidnappers while you are completely disgraced, and later they use these videos Degrading in order to blackmail you and discourage you from participating in the demonstrations. ”

Iraq witnessed the first systematic kidnappings on the fourth of November, at which time the activist, Saba al-Mahdawi, who was released after about 10 days, extended to start after this date terrifying stories of kidnapping, arrest and threat, not to mention the shaving of heads, severe beatings, insults, insults, torture with electric wires and putting needles In the nails to deter activists from reaching the squares, in addition to stabbing knives, as happened with the war photographer Ahmed Al-Muhanna, who was stabbed.

From Baghdad (Reuters)
From Baghdad (Reuters)

Activists accuse three parties of kidnapping, which is the National Security and Popular Mobilization Security, while the third party, Moqtada al-Sadr, is from the Peace Corps (especially members of the Mahdi Army previously).

In addition, civil and media activist Ayat al-Marsoumi told, who has been in Tahrir Square in Baghdad since the start of the demonstrations, that she has been subjected to many harassment and threats, and she has seen and heard of kidnappings and killings. She added: “Activists are subjected to the worst forms of torture with hunting rifles intended for hunting animals and birds.”

She also talked about her being belligerent, just because of her participation in the demonstrations, saying: “When the movement started, I was working on a local channel within the Union of Islamic Broadcasters linked to Iran, but as soon as I joined the youth of my country demanding our intuitive rights and accountability of the political class, that channel ended my services and separated from Work, as a local radio ended for the same reason, without giving me my rights. ”

Baghdad, February 17 - The Associated Press
Baghdad, February 17 – The Associated Press

The factions of Iran

In turn, “Muthanna Ali” spoke to the Arabic. Net about a systematic kidnapping plan implemented by “security services and armed factions loyal to Iran that follow the popular crowd,” as he put it.

He believed that this plan is being implemented in Baghdad and the central and southern governorates through intimidation and photographing in degrading conditions with the aim of intimidating activists and urging them to leave the demonstration grounds.

To that, the Iraqi activist, Noura Al-Qaisi, told Al that she and a group of girls launched a campaign to urge Iraqi women to stand up to these threats, to challenge the honor and insults on social media, and to go to court and rehabilitate.

Death threats from Sadr’s supporters

Regarding the threats that she was exposed to, Al-Qaisi mentioned an abusive campaign against her on the communication sites, where she published her photos with obscene comments, stabbed her honor, and received death threats.

Muqtada Al-Sadr (AFP)
Muqtada Al-Sadr (AFP)

She also pointed out that she was even accused of promoting Hitler, and of loyalty to ISIS.

In addition, I revealed how someone called her, threatening that the followers of Muqtada al-Sadr (the leader of the Sadrist movement) are in Sweden (where you live) and they will take revenge on you.

The government is responsible

For his part, activist Sajjad Al-Kaabi held the Iraqi government responsible for not seriously investigating the kidnapping file, or arresting any suspect, asking: “Why did the government not disclose the parties involved, and is it linked to loyal militias?”

He continued: How the government did not reach any thread and there are cameras that documented many of these kidnappings, including kidnapping Lawyer Ali Gasib Al-Heliji In Maysan governorate (southern Iraq) by a woman who lured him, who was kidnapped by masked armed men riding two black cars.

It is noteworthy that Ali Gasib al-Hiliji is a political activist and lawyer who has disappeared since October 8, and his fate remains unknown, according to a statement, the Iraqi Bar Association and its people whom I spoke Arabic. Net with them in a previous report.

An injured Iraqi protester near al-Khilani Square - Baghdad
An injured Iraqi protester near al-Khilani Square – Baghdad

Back door in a restaurant

In turn, Iraqi activist Hassan Al-Kinani talked about his experience, saying: “In one of the demonstrations, a group of Sadrist activists pursued me until I arrived at a restaurant in Al-Wathba Square, where I hid, and then the owner of the restaurant took me out from a back door, where I ran away from the kidnappers.” .

third party!

Faced with these repeated kidnappings, the government has repeatedly pledged to pursue officials, without results, contented with speaking of a “third party”, while a number of activists are sticking to accusing armed and masked factions of factions close to Iran of being behind these intimidation and intimidation and silencing the mouths.

In addition, Iraqi activists, journalists, and bloggers face systematic campaigns from party-funded pages, as well as a stream of accusations of working for regional countries, and the American embassy, ​​and dozens of threats arrive daily through unidentified Internet accounts, whose owners are suspected of being linked to Iranian-backed factions.

From Al-Khulani Square, Baghdad
From Al-Khulani Square, Baghdad

For masked, violent and loyalty

In the face of this powerlessness of the government and the concerned authorities, masked people continue to kill activists.

Activists are still sticking to their demands, refusing to compromise or retreat.

Whereas, the “masked” is safe in a party that has strived to extend its authority and its shadow to any demonstration arenas.

In this context, the political and strategic analyst, Hisham Al Hashemi, considered in previous comments that the masked man is working to extend the control of corrupt parties to the demonstration arenas, and to review their capabilities in sniping contrary to the law in defiance of society and peace, considering that the violence of the masked turned into a source of party and religious loyalty , As their security upgrades relate to continuing violence against opponents.

It is noteworthy that 79 kidnappings have been recorded in Iraq since the protests began last October, and only 22 of the kidnappers, including one girl, were released, according to the latest census of the Iraqi Human Rights Commission.

While 545 people (including 17 security associates) were killed and 24,000 injured, during the violence that accompanied these popular protests.

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