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Palestine refugees in Iraq live under ‘tragic’ conditions

In 2006, masked militants raided the house of the Palestinian refugee in Iraq Khalid Mustafa Mahmoud and kidnapped his father. He has not returned home since.

Speaking to Quds Press, Khalid, who has since married and had two children, was forced to flee to Germany. “I was 14 and I have not yet heard any news about the fate of my father so far.”

Khalid said that his family searched for his father for years. “Whenever we ask a police station about him, they threaten instead of helping us,” he said, “they turned our life to scenes of horror as all attempts to know anything about him have failed.”

Under much pressure, including detention of family members, Khalid’s family was also forced to flee to Turkey.

Journalist Hassan Khalid told Quds Press that there are about 50 Palestinians in Iraqi prisons charged with terror offences, noting that 15 Palestinians were subjected to enforced disappearance.

Palestinians are also subject to distortion campaigns on certain TV channels in addition to being vulnerable to violations and torture and are deprived of family visitations.

Palestinian prisoners were not included in the general amnesty law which was approved by the Iraqi parliament in 2017, Hassan explained.

Prisoners’ families live under “tragic” conditions because they have no source of income so they are unable to live decent lives or hire lawyers. Thousands of them have been forced to flee the country.

According to Quds Press, about 40,000 Palestinian refugees were in Iraq in 2003, when the US occupied the country. Hundreds were killed and imprisoned by the American troops and Iraqi militias under different pretexts.