Thirsty Sands (Part 25)


2020-01-21


Thirsty Sands (Part 25)

Jafar Rabiei

Design: Ali Vaziri

First published in 1991

Publishing House, Islamic Propagation Organization

Printed at the Aryan


 

Hearing the content of this conclusion from the enemy’s tongue, showed the Iraqi’s view of the POWs. A point enjoying great significance for the POWs was that in that particular time when Iraq displayed cruelest of treatments towards the POWs, the POWs had been able to make the enemy arrive at such a conclusion; that is, resistance and steadfastness in light of such values. Any time when the sound of radio was heard pacifying the forces of the Iraqi regime and its backers, deafened ears; whereas, the slightest right of the POWs: performing freely their religious US practices was ignored by the Iraqis.[1]

The Iraqi soldier said: “you love war, since whenever I speak of peace, you do not accept.” On performing prayer, he said: “Do you not get tired of saying prayer constantly? Whenever I see each and everyone of you, you are performing prayer.” And on crying, he said: “whenever, even in midnights. I together with the rest of the guards enter the camp, in each hall we see a group crying in supplication.

In response to his comment on war the boys said, “we don’t love war; we seek our rights. You have invaded our soil and must be answerable to it and pay for the damage caused by the War. If retrieving one’s right implies that one loves war, yes, we love war”. Acceptance of these words was not consistent with the mentality of the Baathist soldier. He said, “since you are captives, you should not say such things. You should ask your officials to end the war.”

Our friend did not tell him much on performing prayer      and crying, because he knew that the Iraqi was unable to comprehend such things, or understand the meaning of a POW’ saying prayer and crying after years in captivity. Before thinking of himself, a captive thinks of assimilation in the cause of belief and school of thought for which he has been entangled in such conditions.

The Iraqi authorities who had created an atmosphere of mental and physical torture and a climate lacking in the slightest medical facilities, knew in view of their experience that the POW’s patience would one day come to an end. Based on this very belief, they arrested five POWs in Tir 1363 (July 1984) on charges of planning riot and incarcerated them in a prison lying in the middle of the camp. They did so in order to prevent the POW’s possible hunger strike, using the report they obtained through their fifth column. The POWs remained in prison for one month. After a month, when they were brought back to the halls we could most definitely say that nothing had been left of them except the skins covering their bones.

A little while later, when we described the Iraqi guards’ mistreatment of these five POWs to the Red Cross, they only said, “we accept that the behavior of the Iraqis has been brutal during that period of time. We will report this matter.” One instance of the behavior described to the Red Cross was that the Iraqis had deprived these five POWs of food and water for five days also forcing them to stand in an over 50 centigrade heat.

One month after their release, they drew this ominous lot for four other POWs. My name was also in the list. In later days, I realized from the behavior of the guards and commander of the camp that the list of the four names had been given to the Iraqis by two agents of the enemy’s fifth column.

After we went to the prison, they kept us there until evening prayer. Except for the little distance in the floor and the entrance door through which a narrow light beamed inside, there was no other opening. The prison area was about 10 square meters. As we did not have any wrist watch as and due to excessive dark inside the prison we did not realize what time it was and how time passed. After conjectural calculation and guessing the time, we began to the evening prayer. We were saying the prayer's ta’aghibat when the doors of the prison room opened and a guard asked us to come out. First I thought they wanted to return us to the hall, but as soon as we came out of prison the guard said, “Amer (Arabic word meaning commander) wants to talk with you.” The guards brought us out of the came and took to the deputy commander’s room. On the way at a distance of 50 meters many soldiers were standing, waiting for us. According to our on previous experience, we realized that we would be obliged to their favor as in the past!

 

To be continued…

 


[1] - Indirectly Iraq banned the POWs from performing their daily prayers for in­stance, the Iraqi’s had announced that whenever the guard entered the hall, even in time of free hours everyone in any posture, even in praying state, should break his prayer and staid in front of the guard.



 
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