Omar’s brother was killed in Iraq and his body dumped at a mosque. Eight other relatives are in Iraqi prison and he has no contact with them. He does not know if they are still alive. photograph bryan petts-jonesOmar* sometimes stops himself from picking up his mobile phone when it starts ringing.
Six years ago the Latrobe Valley resident was on the phone with his brother, who was living in Iraq, when the latter was taken by a group of Shia men. He was later killed and his body dumped at the mosque where he had worked as an imam.
“He was talking to me and asking me how to take photos because he had a newborn baby (and then) I thought the line was disconnected,” Omar said.
Omar said his mother chased the gunmen and threw stones at them to defend her son, unaware she was being shot at.
The militias then told Omar’s parents to leave Iraq or they too would be killed.
He said the men even wrote a sign and placed it in front of the family’s Basra house threatening anyone who would rent or buy the property.
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