Middle-east Arab News Opinion | Asharq Al-awsat

Over 2,500 Remain in Iraqi Hezbollah Captivity in Razaza | ASHARQ AL-AWSAT English Archive 2005 -2017
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An Iraqi woman — who fled the ongoing fighting between government forces and Islamic State (IS) group jihadists in the Fallujah area — washes clothes at a camp for displaced people in Amriyat al-Fallujah, on June 14, 2016 (AFP Photo/Sabah Arar)

Baghdad – An Iraqi official has revealed that Iraqi Hezbollah militia continues to keep in captivity over 2,500 citizens, including women and children, in Razaza.

The official told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the fate of the citizens is still unknown as well as the reason behind their continued detention.

Iraqi prominent leader Osama al-Nujaifi said that the abduction was done randomly from buses, homes, and streets.

Nujaifi told Asharq Al-Awsat that he spoke with the Prime Minister and inquired about the reasons behind the kidnapping or detention, adding that there were no responses amid an excuse that the country is currently fighting ISIS.

Militias of Popular Mobilization Forces (PMF) have security and military power and are even stronger than the official security forces.

Even though PMF officials always say that PMF is a government institution that falls under the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, head of al-Abbas forces Aws al-Khafaji stressed that his militia isn’t part of the Iraqi government and takes it direct orders from Iran. Also, head of Khorasan forces Mohsen al-Fadli confirmed that his group follows direct orders of the Wali Faqih and not the Iraqi government.

MP Hamed al-Matlik told Asharq Al-Awsat that armed militias are outlaws and have more power than government forces.

Matlik added that up till now there are hundreds of detainees of Fallujah civilians with PMF, without any apparent reason.

Cars with armed men patrol the streets of Baghdad without any identification cards. The plates of the cars say they either belong to PMF or League of Righteous, and they aren’t searched when passing by security points. They arrest or attack any commander or officer who try to stop them at a check point.

Attorney Housam Yacoub said that he had been looking for kidnapped citizens for over two years, and hadn’t received any government support. He added that these people were taken from their homes or workplaces.

Yacoub told Asharq Al-Awsat that nowadays it is easy for any member or group to wear military clothes with PMF badge and act as a security force. He explained that a young man named al-Bakiri al-Najafi appeared in Baghdad’s streets carrying his gun with other members who were carrying Kalashnikovs and claimed they belonged to PMF.

Yacoub added that Bakiri visited the Ministry of Interior and met a number of security officials as well as head of Supreme Council of Iraq, Ammar al-Hakim.

According to Yacoub, a woman named Enaam Badr al-Suwaiedi also appeared and claimed she was commander-in-chief of Muslem bin Akil forces and belonged to PMF.