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Blogger Khalid Jarrar, author of Secrets in Baghdad, remains in custody of the Iraqi intelligence service, known as the Mukhabarat.

As we reported yesterday, Khalid’s brother Raed says their family was relieved to hear on Thursday morning that Khalid is still alive after going missing for two days. On Sunday, Khalid described on his blog how his apartment in Baghdad had been broken into and his hard drive was stolen. Soon after that he disappeared.

Khalid’s family are calling for his release, or at very least that he be charged and tried for something. Raed says: “Our goal now is to ask the mokhabarat to take Khalid to court and reveal what exactly he is being charged with (if anything).”

The Committee to Protect Bloggers supports the Jarrar family’s appeals.

Please show your support for the Khalid Jarrar by posting supportive comments at Raed’s and Khalid’s latest posts. If you’re a blogger, please help spread the word by linking to them.

At least they found out that it's only the secret service...
Raed
If your child or sibling vanishes for two days then calls from the secret service jail in any other place on earth, that would be considered a disaster and a violation of human rights…

In Iraq, however, it’s Happy News.

Because the other options include: To be tortured, executed, and thrown in garbage by SCIRI and their Badr brigades. To be held by the Iraqi police and left to choke to death in one of their cars. To be held by the US troops then disappear and be mistreated for months in one of their many prisons. To be kidnapped by one of the countless criminal gangs and cost your family some tens of millions of Iraqi Dinars and/or your life.

I wish there were more that we could do than just hope Khalid makes it home safely...

UPDATE:

6- nofrills @ July 24, 2005 04:26 AM

Just a quick note... His mom says he is now free.

Read his mom's blog (Saturday, July 23, 2005):
http://afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com/

7 Comments

You sure their secret police is still called Al Mukhabarat?

Because that lot were Saddam's secret police, and when there's even a claimed change from dictatorship to democracy, the first thing that's done is to disband and re-form, or at least, rename the secret police.

Like the USSR's KGB (translates to "Committee for State Security") became the FSB ("Federal Security Service") after the communists got thrown out.

@Suresh


I believe that you are right in what you say about Al Mukhabarat. The problem is, that the remains of Al Mukhabarat are almost necessarily former Baathist agents. These are folks who are also well known to hunt down with ruthless effeciency, those who work for or even voice support for the new U.S. backed government and police. So, I'm not sure why Raed says it is "good news" that Khalid is in their custody. I understand that Khalid is no proponent of US Forces, but I would feel a lot more comfortable if he was in the custody of the US backed Iraqi police because I *think* that would mean better safety for him.

Our confusion over this incident is a testimony to the chaos and instability in Iraq. It just goes to show how those engaged in post-invasion operations in Iraq are awash in a culture and in regional politics they simply don't have a good grasp on.

Some people say that the US should sit back, let the regional factions tear each other apart, and then mop up the aftermath when the insurgencies are at their weakest. It's a brutally pragmatic, even Machiavellian idea. A method that would be costly in human lives to be sure, but can we really stop the momentum of internal Iraqi politics otherwise?

I'll be sending a big bolt of positive mental energy in Khalid's direction.


What's very interesting is the deafening silence from the warbloggers over this. Whereas idiots like Jeff Jarvis and Instapundit were all "rah-rah people power" in promoting Iraqis who supported the US invasion (I really wonder about who's actually behind those blogs), they don't seem to be too concerned about this.

And Jackass Reynolds only recently blogged about an Iranian blogger in trouble, as the neocon dumb-machine gears up for an assault on that country

I'm not sure about what they are called now, but Al Mukhabarat has been virtually revived some time ago. Some of the search results here:

http://billmon.org/archives/000463.html
http://billmon.org/archives/000501.html
http://www.casi.org.uk/discuss/2003/msg04997.html

who would have thought of stuff a blatant thing to do. It's interesting that Jarvis would even do such a thing to a blogger, just because he's an Iraqi.

Just a quick note... His mom says he is now free.

Read his mom's blog (Saturday, July 23, 2005):
http://afamilyinbaghdad.blogspot.com/

Thanks for the update!

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