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Oct 10, 2004
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A Former Hostage in Iraq Tells His Story

#284 | 04:10
Source: Al-Arabiya TV (Dubai/Saudi Arabia)

The following are excerpts from an interview with Muhammad Ra'd, a Lebanese national who was kidnapped in Iraq and later released:

Muhammad Ra'd: [The kidnappers] brought me into a room reeking of blood – there was dry blood on the ground. A masked man was there, holding a whetting stone and a knife, he was sharpening the knife with the stone.

Interviewer: What do you mean by knife?

Muhammad Ra'd: A butcher's knife used for slaughtering. At this stage I said, this is it, I'm about to be slaughtered, this is my end – slaughter. I didn't think of anything else. That's it. I'd rather you slaughter me now, the sooner the better, just let me rest. The one holding the knife gave me a strange look. The commander came. They call the one who authorizes the slaughter "commander." He took me out and said…

Interviewer: Was he also masked?

Muhammad Ra'd: No, the one who came in later wasn't masked.

Interviewer: An Iraqi?

Muhammad Ra'd: Yes. He took me out and said, "There is something we want to show you now, to serve as a lesson to all Lebanese and especially those who collaborate with the American army. You are going to see a horrific sight but you can take it. We're already used to it, but perhaps it's the first time you'll see such a thing. Two cars came. The Egyptian [hostage] was in the trunk, in his underwear. His entire body was blue from beatings. We went inside. They said to me, "Stand in the corner behind the cameraman and don't say a word." They placed a guard next to me so I wouldn't leave through the door. They forced me to watch this sight. They dressed the Egyptian in a gown and forced him to kneel down on the ground.

Interviewer: Did he shout, cry, ask for help?

Muhammad Ra'd: No, no. They made him kneel down and he told me the Egyptian's story. The commander told me his story. He said to me, "This is the second time we caught him. The first time he was throwing [laser guiding] discs on the houses of the Mujahideen in Falluja. We caught him and he showed remorse, we forgave him, helped him and set him free. A short time later we received information that this man is in Falluja, involved with the same discs and kidnapping Iraqi girls and bringing them to the American army for their entertainment. He asked me, "What, am I not allowed to kill him?" I nodded.

Interviewer: You told him that he can kill him?

Muhammad Ra'd: I nodded, just so he would get it over with. If you want to kill him, kill him, if you want to kill me, kill me. I just want to get this over with. He was kneeling on the ground and they tied his hands behind his back and told him what he had to say: Identify yourself, say where you come from, from what area, give your exact address is and what you are doing in Iraq. The Egyptian spoke – he gave his address and his name. He wanted to say the Islamic declaration of faith [shahada], but the "butcher" who was behind him… they call the guy who stands behind and does the slaying "the butcher"… He pulled his tongue out and cut off a piece of it. He said, "The shahada must not come out of your mouth, because you are defiling it." They put some cotton wads in his mouth. The "butcher" read a statement that he was holding in his hand, he finished reading and they lay him down on the ground, someone held his feet, and he cut off his head - slaughtered him. He slaughtered with ease, in cold blood, as though he were slaying a bird. I couldn't bear this sight and smell anymore. I fell to the ground. They took me outside, sprinkled some water on me, gave me some tea and a cigarette. I said to the commander: "If I'm going to end up like him, get it over with now because I can't take it anymore."