The fate of Iman and his uncle are somehow tied to each other.
Khalid Vakili, the father of Iman Vakili, requested the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch to reach the authorities of the country, the Kurdistan region, and anyone who can help this family to return their child.
The text of the interview of Iman Vakili’s father with the reporter of Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch:
I don’t know if we ourselves caused Iman to leave or they tricked him! Iman was only 13 years old, I didn’t spare him anything as much as I could, but for a while he insisted on buying a motorcycle for him, but I refused. I was right, how can a 13-year-old boy have a motorcycle without a license! The same conflicts existed between us until one day Iman said that he wanted to go to his uncle (Idris).
It’s not bad for him to go to his uncle. The part that caused us discomfort was that Idris had become a member of Pak Party (Kurdistan Freedom Party) several years ago. I don’t know how these thoughts reached my son’s brain! But I know it wasn’t from Idris because he loved his nephew very much and I’m sure the people who are on a mission to attract children deceived Iman. I also left Iman’s words because of his childhood. It never occurred to me that my 13-year-old son would agree to leave the country through the dangerous route of smuggling and become a member of the Pak party.
After a while, he went out to play and he did not return home. We looked for him everywhere, but there was no news of him. Immediately, one of the neighbors told us that a white Peugeot car with 4 other people took Iman with them. His mother and I and a few others immediately went to the border and fortunately we were able to reach my son there. It was there that with his mother’s pleas, Iman regretted and agreed to return home. A few months passed and it was almost 2018. We also thought that he had forgotten about it until one day when he was supposed to go to school, but did not return home.
We were just suspicious of those people and we knew it was their work, so we contacted every place we could and tried to get our child back, but this time it was too late, it had been a long time since Iman left and we couldn’t look for him anymore.
We tried to contact Idris, but there was no news from him, so we immediately reached Iraq and went to the Pak party camp. We begged them to return our son, but they would not agree and said that Iman should stay there for three years. Which parent can accept something like this! Our efforts did not go anywhere, we did not hear from Idris and his phone was switched off. We had to return to Iran, almost a few months after Iman left, Idris called us and said that he managed to escape from there and went to the city of Sulaymaniyah, but he could not return to Iran due to the fear of party members because he was threatened. If he comes to Iran, they will definitely kill him.
When we told Iman’s story to Idris, he didn’t know what to say, he didn’t know anything either, and he seemed to blame himself for his nephew’s fate, but at that moment, the only thing he could think about was hiding. It was from the party members, because if they found him, they would kill him. Almost a year has passed since this incident and we went to Iraq two more times during that year and finally we were able to have a meeting with Iman. Of course, we couldn’t talk very easily because there were several people as guards by our side. As much as possible, Iman made his point that he was threatened. The first time we brought him home, after a few months, they called him and threatened Iman that they would kill his family because he had promised to go there but had not fulfilled his promise. That thirteen-year-old child had agreed to their request for fear that something would happen to us. We could see the regret from the sad face of Iman. When he found out that Idris ran away from there, he had nothing to say. Days and months passed, when Iman was kidnapped, he was only 13 years old and he was about to turn 15. As every parent, we wanted to see our child playing with other children at that age. But we had to imagine Iman with a military uniform and a gun. Idris called us one day and said that he couldn’t bear his nephew to be there anymore. He said I know what is going on there and I know what they are doing to these children. Because of this, he had contacted several people he knew there, and they had promised to help Iman escape if Idris could give them money. Idris had made an appointment with them in Erbil and was able to provide the money. He was supposed to visit them on a certain day and time so that he could get my son back, but on the exact same day and at the same time, there was no news of Idris. We tried a lot to find out about him, but it was useless. When Idris disappeared, we went to Iraq once again, but this time not only for Iman, but for Iman and Idris, but they denied that Idris was with them. We knew that something had definitely happened to him, he informed us before he met those two people from the party, and we knew that he was going to meet the members of the party, but they still do not accept it and we are not still aware of the fate of Idris. Now my son has been there for more than three years, they told us that your son should be here for three years and later he can decide for himself whether to stay there or return, but they still don’t give him such permission. That’s why we tried to complain to them through the Kurdistan regional government and human rights organizations. Many organizations promised us that they would help us get my son back, but till date there is no news. Today, when I am talking to you, I hope that on behalf of you or any organization, I can make my voice heard by every person who can bring my son back.
Our family needs help…
*The photo is related to Idris.