Thirsty Sands (Part 9)


2019-09-04


Thirsty Sands (Part 9)

Jafar Rabiei

Design: Ali Vaziri

First published in 1991

Publishing House, Islamic Propagation Organization

Printed at the Aryan


 

But he did not heed our advice and continued with his work. He could appease only part of our pains, because as soon as he left, it was time for our bandages to be changed; and, although the nurse did not curry arm to target the heart of our friends, in fact he did so with his small scissor and stern countenance. By plucking the bandages stuck to the dried wounds in a cruel manner, he aroused the wails of our friends; and with every cry arising from our friends, his pincers pierced the body of our friends like a needle. He said, “You have passed over the dead bodies of our people and therefore should not expect hospitality from us. If the Red Cross was not to visit here, I would have killed all of you.”

Of course our ears had been filled with these words and we expected such atrocities. Because those who left our captives handcuffed to execution squads, who hurried them alive, who committed the worst of crimes in our cities and plundered and looted the people's property had not tasted the sense of humanity, let alone hospitality. We knew that they were descendants of “Haron Al-Rashid” who treated Imam Musa Al-Kazim (A.S) the way they did. With all the prejudices practiced against us by the nurses!, bearing of these hardships was nothing compared with their subsequent mental torture.

I remember nights when the doors were closed and there was no trace of any doctor. The intense pain caused by thousands of our brother combatants was such that stripped them of rest. One of the POWs suffering from asthma was one night suddenly attacked by the disease. Mahdi tried very hard to help him, but he could do nothing.

He went over to the guard sitting just outside the locked door and began to entreat him to call a doctor; the guard didn’t even look at Mahdi’s face, let alone listen to what he was saying. But Mahdi continued his imploration so much so that the guard got angry and pounded the glass door with the butt of his rifle, threatening Mahdi to return to his place. Mahdi returned to the bed of our friend who was in a coma. We were anxiously looking at each other. I asked Mahdi to ask again the guard to call the doctor. With his eyes filled with tears, Mahdi again implored the guard. His imploration and tears were something common to the guard, not impressing him an iota. His stone heart had deprived him of any human reaction. In the interim, an officer came out of a small room beyond the glass door and began to talk to the guard. This made us happy, we imagined that now· they would call a doctor. But, the officer who had just got out of bed turned to Mahdi and started shouting abuses at him. We were shocked. As soon as Mahdi began to say something, the officer shouted at him and didn't allow Mahdi to say a word. With his eyes overflowing with tears, Mahdi returned to our friend's bed and the officer to his own room. The guard had also become enraged; it appeared that the officer had called him ineligible to quiet down a POW. No more than a few seconds had passed since this treatment that the condition of our friend acutely worsened and soared up to the celestial kingdom in front of our bewildered eyes.

Our friends were all sobbing. The weeping was not for his martyrdom, but for his innocence - innocence in a land where the oppressed Abu Abdollah (A.S) has been buried and his advocates achieve martyrdom in love of visiting his tomb. This state continued for some time. Then Mahdi went to the guard and said then: was no longer any need to call a doctor, as our friend has already ascended to heaven. Unbelievably, the guard cast a glance at Mahdi and our sick friend’s bed. He could not believe and asked! “Are you telling the truth?” Mahdi replied: “You can come and see!”

The guard said: “I’ll call the doctor, but if you have told a he, I will render you unhappy.” With a venomous smile Mahdi said: “there is no need to call the doctor; tell them to come and take the corpse.”

The guard immediately rushed to the same room where the officer was at rest and began culling him out. The sleepy officer came out and they began talking to each other. After hearing the news, the officer immediately walked towards them, I only knew that they were duty-bound to register our names in a special book and to report our being alive to Iran with the agreement of Iraqi rulers and after inspecting us. It was the first time I saw them. Our friends there said it was the second time that Red Cross members had come there in the past few days. I do not remember the first time, but then I think I had just been released from the surgical room and was almost unconscious. My friends said: “They [the Red Cross official] have already registered your name and set down your identities.” In a moment agitation over, took my whole body. At that semi-conscious state I am not sure of what answers I gave to the Red Cross officials. I do not know if I told them that I was member of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards corps. In an instant I remembered the communique released by the commander of the fourth corps of the Iraqi Army addressed to the units under his command. The communique stipulated that guards of the Islamic Revolution are regarded as war criminals and must be executed in the same spot they are taken captive. Those violating the decree will be tried and subjected to prosecution.” This statement had to be obtained by Muslim combatants in Moslem ibn Aqil operation after capturing the compound outside the saloon and returned after one or two minutes.

The door of the saloon was made open and he came towards the bed of our martyred friend. After a quick examination one of them quickly ran out and a short while later returned with another to hook on tin oxygen mask over the body of the martyr. They played their roles to perfection pretending that the dead man was still alive. After a white they looked at each other and exchanged a few words between them. Then they asked Mahdi as to when he went bad. Mahdi replied with the words: “since sunset; and I informed the guard every now and then, but he did not pay any attention.” The officer, who was apparently on duty that night, said: “We did our utmost to save this injured, but unfortunately our efforts came to naught; he is dead.” Guard squeezing his throat and unable to speak, Mahdi said: “But you did nothing for him; you could have done something to save him.”

After these deceitful acts they collected their equipment and left. A moment later two servants of the hospital brought a stretcher and took the corps of the combatant martyr away. Again they locked the door and so passed this bitter night.

The next day at about 10 a.m. the members of the International Red Cross appeared. Of course, there was not much I could gather concerning the command headquarters of the Iraqi Army. I did not know what I should have done.

 

To be continued …



 
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