(formerly IRIN News) Journalism from the heart of crises

Rayhan Nasir, Iraq: “We never saw my father again”

Rayhan Nasir, 24, is losing hope after two years spent searching for his father.
Afif Sarhan/IRIN

Rayhan Nasir, 24, is losing hope after two years spent searching for his father, who disappeared on his way home from work. Nasir Muhammad, then a 53-year-old pharmacy owner, telephoned the family to say he was leaving his shop, would buy some bread and cheese, and join them for dinner. That was the last time the family had any information about the father of four.

“The last time we saw my father was on 23 August 2005. We never saw him again. Since that date we have been searching for him but cannot get any information. Police officers tell us that probably he has been killed and that because of the situation in Iraq it is useless to open an investigation into his disappearance.

“The owner of the bakery told us that on the day he disappeared my father bought many pieces of bread and asked him to go with him to the mosque the following Friday.

“On the night of the same day, during curfew time, someone entered the pharmacy, looted everything and left the key in the main door.

“We don’t believe my father is dead. The war is taking everything from the people in Iraq but my father cannot be a victim. He is a very good man, friendly, good with us and my mother, who since his disappearance suffers from serious depression and needs medication to sleep and eat.

“We have looked everywhere for my father - morgues and hospitals in Baghdad and in nearby cities, in prisons, police stations, clinics - but all in vain. I can say that my father evaporated like water evaporates after boiling.

“During our search we came across many families in the same situation - people who have lost their loved ones and never got a message or information about them again. Some people say my father might have been killed by criminal gangs for being a pharmacist. Others say he was killed by militants or insurgents or maybe he is being held in a prison, but we are losing hope.”


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