Shafaq News / During recent times, Iraq has witnessed several instances of citizens being kidnapped while traveling to or within Iran, subjected to various forms of torture by the abducting gangs. Many families of the victims have been compelled to pay significant sums of money for the release of their loved ones.
Shafaq News Agency interviewed one of the abduction victims in Iran, who endured the harrowing experience. Akar Barez, a young man in his twenties from the city of Erbil, the capital of the Kurdistan Region, was abducted alongside his friend during their trip to Iran for medical treatment.
Akar underwent nasal surgery in Iran earlier and returned to see the doctor who performed the procedure. While traveling by taxi from Urmia city to Maku city, the taxi driver handed them over to kidnappers at night, a group consisting of three individuals.
He recounted, "After the abduction, they chained me with iron shackles around my neck and took me to a mountainous area, stripping me of all my clothes and belongings." He further added, "The gang purposefully tortured us severely using chains and belts during the five days we were held captive. They filmed us and sent the videos to our families for extortion purposes."
Regarding their release, Akar explained, "After transferring the ransom, which amounted to $11,000 USD, along with the phones, watches, and belongings they took from us, the gang released us. They handed us over to the Asayish forces at the Haji Omran border area, where we returned to Iraq and then to our homes."
The Kurdish young man concluded, stating, "During our time in the hands of the gang, they frequently changed their locations, making it impossible for us to identify them. They even covered their vehicle's license plates with mud."