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NooralHaya
07-24-2005, 03:47 AM
'Why Did They Force My Son Into The Water?'
Source: Independant
By Kim Sengupta


On 8 May 2003 Ahmed Jabbar Kareem hugged his mother, Zahra, goodbye as he did every morning before leaving for work. That was the last time she saw him alive.

When the 17-year-old failed to return home, in one of the poorest parts of Baghdad, the family went on a search. They returned to find waiting for them a young man, Ayad Salim Hannoun, with a horrific tale.

He claimed that Ahmed had been ordered into a river by British troops, and had drowned. The account he gave to the family, and then Iraqi police and British military authorities, will be key evidence in a war crimes trial of troops charged with inhumane treatment.

Ahmed, according to Ayad, was in an area near al-Sa'ad Square when a British patrol came under fire. Afterwards he was among four youths, including Ayad, who were arrested, and put into an armoured personnel carrier. The young men were frightened and promised to tell each other's families if any of them came to harm.

They were taken, along with civilians injured by gunfire, to the Republican Hospital where they were found to be unhurt. Then, Ayad maintained, they were taken to a bridge over the river Zubair, a tributary of the Tigris, and ordered, by the soldiers, it is alleged, to jump in and swim. Ayad and two of the others were strong swimmers and managed to cross the waterway. But Ahmed could not swim and drowned. Ayad said in his written statement that he saw the boy frantically struggling and waving before going under.

Mrs Kareem said: "We are pleased to hear the news from London. It has taken a very long time, and we do not know how much longer it will be. We have not been told anything. The British and the Iraqi police do not keep in touch with us.


"At the time of Ahmed's loss when we heard what happened we rushed over to the river. I was crying and so were the other children. We were stopping people on the bridge and along the shore begging them to tell us if they had seen Ahmed. I was hoping that people had seen that he could not swim, maybe even the soldiers, and pulled him out."

Ahmed's father, Jabbar Kareem Ali, went to the local police station at al- Hussain with Ayad where their statements were taken down. Mrs Kareem recalled: "The next few days were so bad, so terrible. I used to go beside the river and wait. I knew by then that my son had gone, but I thought maybe the body would be found."

Ahmed was buried in the holy city of Najaf. British investigators wanted to exhume the body but the family insisted that it should not be disturbed during the 40 days of mourning. After that time, the body was taken to the American hospital in Najaf for a post-mortem examination. Ahmed's family are angry that they were not informed. The Army says that it acted in the interest of justice.

"Why did they force him into the water?" asked Mrs Kareem. "Maybe they were joking, but they must know there are some people who cannot swim."

Ahmed's case was highlighted by a civil rights group, the Iraqi League. Its chairman, Mazan Younis, helped the family bring a High Court civil case through the Birmingham solicitors, Public Interest Lawyers.

Ahmed's father said: "I was distraught about the events that led to my son's death. As a parent my feelings are deeply hurt and I am suffering great sadness. Trying to discover how my son died and pressing for an investigation has left me exhausted."

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NooralHaya
07-24-2005, 06:29 PM
they said this happened in 2003, but this is the first time i've heard about it. did anyone hear about this back in `03? :sl:
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someone
07-24-2005, 07:25 PM
Assalaamu alaykum

That was soooo horrible and sad! Allahu Akbar!

My first time reading this.
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- Qatada -
07-24-2005, 08:12 PM
:sl:

subhan Allah! :( insh Allah he will enter Jannah al fardous because there is a sunnah which mentions that if a muslim dies by drowning they are shaheed:


The Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: “The martyrs are five: the one who dies of plague, the one who dies of a stomach disease, the one who drowns, the one who is crushed by a falling wall, and the one who is martyred for the sake of Allaah.” Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2829; Muslim, 1915.
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Ataraxis
07-24-2005, 08:26 PM
:sl:
Oh my...:(. Horrible, horrible..and extremely sad! Yes, this is my 1st time hearing about it since '03! But then again media doesn't really tell much of the horror happening in Iraq...Anyways, thx for sharing! Allahu Akbar.
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NooralHaya
07-24-2005, 08:45 PM
yeah i thought maybe this would be the first time people heard of this. inshaAllah lets not let this happen with other events and let's start to hit up islamic news sites so we can read up on what's happening to our brothers and sisters near and abroad. of course the media wont cover this. Allah ta'ala has made it a duty upon us to help these people, we should AT LEAST go out of our way to just read up on their lives =\
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