They were not familiar faces. In addition they were asking us to get on their car, which was not justifiable. We tried to bring an excuse so thanked them and wanted to leave. But they were insisting on their request. They had a threatening tone. It went to the point when one of them showed his gun and threatened us. We had no way.
A while ago, I published an article in a newspaper about MKO’s involvement in terrorist activities against Iraqi people and I noted that this Iranian opposition group has no benefit for Iraqis and we have nothing to do with it. But the most important fact is that this group should not endanger the security of Iraqis and should not ruin our ties with neighboring countries. Following the publication of this article, I received an email from an Iraqi called “Amin Al-Bassari”. Since the email was so long, I bring only a part of that here:
“In 1999, I and some of my friends decided to go to the shrine of Imam Hussein on foot. We had to start moving toward Karbala on the first of Muharram (Arabic month). We had decided to use car whenever we felt tired. We had no flags or sing when traveling and ignored the words of those who said that this traveling would be so difficult. Near the “Ghale Saleh” a car stopped in front of us. There were 4 in the car, one of them a woman. Two of them got of the car and came close to us. One of them asked: where are you from?
I answered: from a neighboring village and we’re going to meet one of our friends in a nearby village. He said he would get us there.
We were really afraid. They were not familiar faces. In addition they were asking us to get on their car, which was not justifiable. We tried to bring an excuse so thanked them and wanted to leave. But they were insisting on their request. They had a threatening tone. It went to the point when one of them showed his gun and threatened us. We had no way. They had a special accent. First we though that they are from remote Iraqi cities. They took us to a building in Al-Amara city. Then we found that it was the building of Estekhbarat (former Iraqi intelligence service). One of the guards who was talking to seemingly an official said: “Sir, the group of Khalq has come and there are a number of people with them.”
They sent us to the room of the official. Up to this moment no one had a violent behavior with us. After greeting with the forces of Khalq, this official asked about us.
The man said that he had found us beside the road and that we had been suspicious, notably since a bomb had been exploded near Khalq’s car a few days ago in the village of Abu Aran.
The official looked at us angrily. Then called a man (Abu Amjad) and asked him to take us to investigation room… there we understood that the region in which we had been arrested was a suspicious region. We told them that we were from Basra. This caused them to become more suspicious about us since we were moving on foot. We had a hard situation. We had to say explicitly that we were going to visit Imam Hussein’s shrine or we had to remain silent and then they would accuse us of armed activities.
We couldn’t resist the tortures and revealed our main goal. But this didn’t save us from their cruel punishments, since after investigations (which took 8 months) we were sentenced to 5 years in prison.
All this happened to us because of Mojahedin-e Khalq.”
This was a summary of Amin Al-Bassari’s email to me. I don’t give more explanations and lay the judgment for the readers.
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