Thirsty Sands (Part 23)


Thirsty Sands (Part 23)

Jafar Rabiei

Design: Ali Vaziri

First published in 1991

Publishing House, Islamic Propagation Organization

Printed at the Aryan


From the movement of his eyes and slow movement of his body and manner of speaking it was clear that he had drunk too much. The drunk major called the guard in charge of our Oate and said, “Tell me of their crimes”, the sergeant immediately took out a piece of paper and reading out names aloud said they acted contrary to the regulation of the Iraqi Army. The commander said “Anyone who acts contrary to army regulations should be punished.” Then he turned toward the soldiers and said: “Punish them...Since the Iraqis were familiar with their duties throughout the previous nights, they immediately were divided into three groups. One of the groups appeared over us. Another group taking cables and batons and preparing the bastinade as announced their readiness. The third group stood at the exit door. The Iraqi commander asked the sergeant, “With whom will you start?” The sergeant pointed to the two captives: the father and son, and said; “Either of the two.” The commander asked the father to stand beside him. Then he ordered the sergeant to start with the son. First they punched and kicked the son and made him lie on the floor and bastinadoed him. They beat with cable on his feet so much so that he did not feel the subsequent strikes or at least I felt so. Observing this, the soldiers unfastened hi feet from the bastinado, but continued to beat him with cable and baton. The Iraqis were quickly exhausted of the strength used to inflict the blows; as a result, a fresh soldier resumed the beating. The situation kept on as long as strength drained out of the soldiers bodies. While the father in a distressed way asked the commander to stop the torture the commander ignored him and only after the POW collapsed he ordered the soldiers to leave the son and tackle the next one. The third group of the soldiers who had stood at the exit after reaching the tortured POW from the former group took the POW to a corner and effected mental and physical harassment and kept on doing so until the next prisoner was prepared for them to beat. The stages were repealed for all of us. But even before the Iraqi blows began to have any effect on our bodies, they created in POWs hearts a wave of wrath and hatred against the Iraqi Baath party and its filthy nature. The hatred continued when they bastinadoed a POW who had only one leg. Every one of us knew that the blows inflicted on bodies were not simply involved with the Baath party but rather the blows inflicted by the U.S. on the bodies of the sons of the Islamic Revolution. I should say at once that these blows could not only not cause any disturbance in the willpower of the prisoners but in fact made them even more determined than ever before to remain steadfast and firm in preservation of the Revolution and the country.

After passing through all these stage, the commander ordered to exempt the father of the POW from punishment and that we should be taken to the halls. In return, too, the guard of the exit door welcomed us again by their blows. After entering the hall the anxious looks of the inmates were cast on us. Upon seeing us, their eyes were filled with tears. They were truly perplexed and could not believe so much brutality from the enemy.

The situation went on like this. It was four months that the members of the Red Cross[1] had not visited our camp. But it was rumored among the boys that the Red Cross officials would soon come and in fact this was what happened after some days.

The Red Cross people had about 2,000 letters with them. In response to the boys’ questions as to why they had brought only 2 thousand letters after four months, we were told in the same way as before that the Iraqi censorship office did not allow them to bring in more than this number or letters and that the Iraqis did not have sufficient manpower for swift control of greater number of letters.

At usual, arrival and departure of the Red Cross did not last more than two and a half days. Then program was as follow: at the beginning of their arrival they held visit with the authorities of the camp. Then one of them gave the letters to the representatives of our friends in a special room to distribute them among the other POWs. Apart from the letters they received from their families, the POWs could write two letters to be sent to their families through the Red Cross. After distributing the letters the Red Cross members came to the hall for inspection and talked with the POWs. This time too when they entered the hall the boys started describing, the situation of the camp and the fact that …


To be continued …


[1] The POWs contented themselves with saying the “cross” instead of the “Red Cross” implying the futile visits of the organization’s officials.

Number of Visits: 118


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