Iraqi Christian kidnapped, mutilated and slowly tortured to death
An Iraqi Christian man was kidnapped by insurgents and tortured to death recently when his family could not pay a ransom of $100,000 for him.
The body of Ashur Issa Yacob, 29, was discovered last May 16 by a police patrol three days after he was abducted in the oil-rich city of Kirkuk, where he worked as a construction laborer, Catholic Culture said.
Jamal Taher Bakr, Kirkuk police chief told the AFP that the killing is most likely the handiwork of the al Qaeda. The victim is married and has three children, according to the AFP.
Police told the AFP that Yacob’s head was almost completely sliced off. He was hogtied and his clothes were thoroughly soiled in blood. There were traces of torture and dog bites.
Yacob’s eyes were also gouged out, and his ears which were cut off. His face which was skinned, and he was most likely slowly
tortured to death, according to The Pakistan Christian Post.
Kidnappers demanded a ransom of $100,000, which his family members could not afford to pay. The average daily wage of a
construction worker is $21, according to AFP.
A pastor in Kirkuk told Compass Direct News, on condition of anonymity, that the employer of the victim was told to fire Yacob because he is a Christian. “Because the contractor was rich and they couldn’t do anything to him, they kidnapped [Yacob], and unfortunately they killed him.”
There is the suspicion that extremists demanded the huge ransom and then justified the slaughter on the grounds of jihad, according to the Pakistan Christian Post, noting that extremists view non-Muslims as infidels “unworthy of kindness.”
By killing humans in this way, extremists see themselves as holy warriors who will be rewarded in heaven with many virgins.
Extremists have also massacred Shia Muslims, moderate Sunni Muslims, Shabaks, Yazidis and Mandaeans.
Kidnapped for money
Archbishop Louis Sako of Kirkuk told CDN that Issa’s death is “horrible” and unusually brutal. “He was kidnapped for money. That happens, but kidnappers don’t usually torture and kill this way. This wasn’t human …this is like they were beasts.”
Sako, who spoke to CDN by telephone from Rome, said that Muslims and other nationals in Kirkuk have been kidnapped before, and he didn’t think Issa was targeted because of his faith.
Kirkuk is at the center of land that is under dispute between the Kurdish regional officials in Arbil and Baghdad’s central government, both of which claim ownership of the territory, the AFP said.
Only al Qaeda
Kaldo Oghanna, general secretary of the Chaldo-Assyrian Student and Youth Union told CDN that he believes only al Qaeda could commit such a horrifying act. “It’s a very bad situation, and everyone, the youth, they are feeling hopeless. This kind of attack is – beastly.”
Oghanna told CDN the brutal killing has left young Iraqi Christians sad and less trusting in the government’s ability to establish security. “We fear that the coming days will be hard for us as Christians.”
Sako expressed fear that more Christians may leave Iraq because of the incident, CDN said. Human rights groups have expressed concern that extremists are implementing a wider plan of ethnic cleansing.
In 2003 there were some 1.4 million Christians in Iraq, whereas today more than half have fled the country.