The experience of despair and hopes of human rights institutions in helping families like Naeem Babaei

International campaign to support Naeem Babaei’s family and other families facing similar problems.

Mr. Babaei’s efforts to return his son: Mr. Babaei has gone to Iraq three times and made many efforts to meet his son. This shows that people in this condition are seeking solution for the problem and getting their loved ones back. Mr. Babaei has stated that so far they have not received any effective help from the authorities of Iraq or Iran. This point is important and shows that there is a need for more cooperation and interaction between officials and society to solve the problems of these areas.

So draw your attention to the interview of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch reporter with Naeem Babaei’s father:

IKHRW- You recently traveled to the Kurdistan Region and were following up on your child’s condition. Tell us a little about what happened when your child became a member of this group:

Naeem’s father – my son was working in a factory in Tehran, but after the outbreak of Corona, he had to return to our city, he was unemployed for a while, but suddenly he disappeared. Of course, I did not understand what happened until I directly spoke to him until I found out that two of his old friends had deceived him and lured him to the party with the promise of a job and life in Europe.

IKHRW-What did you do to get your child back?

Naeem’s father – I went to Iraq almost three times during these years to meet my son, but they did not agree at all. Until I could see my son in November and stay with him one night, when he told me how his friends had deceived him. He said “I really don’t have a way to escape, but know this if I find the smallest way, I will definitely escape from this hell.”

IKHRW- How old was your child when he joined and why didn’t you take care to prevent?

Naeem’s father – he was 23 years old at that time, I was just working as a laborer for as long as I can remember to support my family. I really don’t know what to say! I can only say that he was deceived by the lies of his friends.

 IKHRW- Have you personally visited the office of the PAK and the officials of the Kurdistan Regional Government? What did you get?

Naeem’s father – Wherever we went, no one listened to us, even the offices of PAK, who didn’t pay attention to what we were saying. I went to the welfare and police offices several times, but because I was alone, I could do nothing and I didn’t know what to do.

IKHRW – Some videos have been published of some of these children who say that they are satisfied with where they are, it seems that they are reciting from a fixed text, could this be an example of a forced confession? What do you think, do your children really like to be in these groups?

Naeem’s father – I swear that all these children say those under compulsion, especially my son who said he was tricked and wants to run away, all of them will definitely run away if they can and find a way. I have no doubt that they will definitely escape. Even that girl (Ejin Amini, whose family I traveled to Tehran with and we came to the human rights headquarters, I am sure she will definitely run away if she finds the smallest way.)

IKHRW- Can you explain about your trip to Kurdistan region, what did you do and what were the results? Were the follow-ups of the Iranian Kurdistan Human Rights Watch fruitful and do you have any hope to results?

Naeem’s father – We really only hope for the lawyers of this organization, they helped us as much as they could, both in Iran and in Iraq. There, we went to the United Nations, the welfare and police department, they even filed a complaint for us in different courts, I hope that at least they can help our children, we have no hope but for them.

IKHRW – We have heard from some people separated from this group that they torture the members and put them under psychological pressure. Has it happened to your child?

Naeem’s father – Yes, I am sure that such things have happened, even to my own son. Because the few times I used to talk to him via video, I sometimes got angry and cursed that party and Hossein Yazdan panah that they did not allow him to make video calls for nearly 3 months.  I was sure that something bad had happened to him because after those three months I talked to him again and I noticed scars on my son’s hands. That’s why I tried to control myself and not curse them because I knew they would torture my son on whatever I say.

IKHRW- We learned that during your trip, some of your children and even yourself have been threatened to return to Iran. Can you explain what happened?

Naeem’s father – Yes, when we were gathering in front of the UN office in Erbil, two of their soldiers, who were almost wearing military uniforms, came among us and started threatening and insulting us. They also took pictures and videos of each one of us and threatened that if we don’t leave, it will cost us and our children dearly. They rushed towards us several times, but because there were more families there, we did not allow them to do anything.

 IKHRW- What was the reaction of the Iraqi Kurdistan regional authorities? Did they help you reach your children?

Naeem’s father – no, what a help! If they had helped until now, our children would have been by our side, they did nothing for us.

IKHRW- Did the Iranian consulate officials in Erbil help you and your children?

Naeem’s father – they respected us as much as possible, but not much was done except for a series of paperwork.

IKHRW- If you want to give a message to PAK leaders especially Hossein Yazdan Panah, what would you say to them?

Naeem’s father – I really can’t say anything, do they or Hossein Yazdan panah himself understand the situation of me and these families? Does he understand what our pain is?  He who has no religion and faith, definitely does not know the meaning of family. If he had known, he would not have displaced me and all this family and taken our children from us.

Final word

Mr. Wali Babaei’s statements about the torture and psychological pressures applied to his son, show that the human rights situation in the Kurdish regions needs investigation and attention.

According to this report and the above, it can be concluded that the political and social situation in Iranian Kurdistan requires urgent measures and special attention from the relevant authorities to solve the relevant issues and protect the human rights of individuals.

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