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Iraq: Al-Dujayl Native Tells Her Story

A Radio Free Iraq (RFI) interview with Zaynab Adnan, whose parents are natives of Al-Dujayl, the town in which a 1982 massacre occurred that is the basis of the current court case against former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and some of his officials on charges of crimes against humanity. Adnan discusses the impact Hussein's rule had on her family's lives. Adnan was interviewed in Baghdad by RFI correspondent Imad Jasim; it was broadcast on 15 August 2005.

Adnan: I was born in a prison. My mother told me that we had
been acquitted…and then we were imprisoned again. When we were in
prison there was just desert around us. There was absolutely nothing
else. I do not know how animals live there; maybe they [survive on]
some ground water. I do not know how we lived there. For four years my
development was unnatural. When we left the prison I was a child who
did not know what real food was. I had actually never seen a melon.
Even while I was growing up I had no self-confidence because I lived
deprived from everything. I had no father, brother, or uncle. I did not
know what the word "father" meant.… Thank God, I managed to get better
as my poor mother helped me. This was when I finished school and went
on to study civil engineering. Mother said I needed [Iraqi documents
for] citizenship so we started to work on that. Four times she went to
[the police directorate that issues passports and other documents in
the Baghdad district of] Al-Karrada from where they [forward documents
to] the general security [department]. After two months, [that
department] sent me a letter.
RFI: Were you denied citizenship?

Adnan: They denied it. In the end, a verdict came from the
Interior Ministry saying: "She is not granted citizenship as her father
has emigrated from Iraq," and, "Her father is an agent of Iran." In
fact, my father was dead but we did not know about his fate. Every day
a man from [general] security would come and say: "Sorry, Zaynab, we
have to ask you about something. Your mother did not want you." My
mother came, explaining: "They are investigating about your father." I
told [the man]: "I have never seen my father. I do not know him. Maybe
my blood relates me to him but I do not know him."
RFI: Did you ever receive the body [of your father]?

Adnan: Of course not, we did not receive the body.… Saddam has
left a big pain in my heart. When he will be tried and executed, this
pain will be healed for sure. When Saddam will be executed, I will feel
that there really is a state and a government here.
(Translation bye Petr Kubalek)