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Four Iranian detainees released in Baghdad

Kermanshah, Sept 22, IRNA -- Head of Iran's Chamber of Cooperatives in Baghdad Mohammad Mehdi Teimouri on Wednesday referred to his detention in Baghdad along with three of his colleagues and said that they were badly beaten and found themselves in the lowest possible spirit.

In a telephone conversation after he was released on Wednesday, he told IRNA that he and his three colleagues were arrested by the US and Iraqi troops in their office in Baghdad at 02:30 on July 18.

"They used explosives to burst open the door of our representative office in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad and captured us blindfolded in an inhuman way. They did not have any military uniforms on.

"After having arrested us, they confiscated all our personal and office belongings including our mobile telephones as well as our money in foreign and national currencies among others, which were not retrieved after our release.

"During our 66-day detention, we were continuously beaten by Iraqi forces while we were being interrogated. We were asked about the reason we were in Iraq, while the memorandum of understanding on cultural cooperation signed with Iraqi officials on our earlier visits was the best evidence to the effect," he added.

He noted, "Though Iraqi troops were fully aware of the reason for our stay in Baghdad, they accused us of seeking confidential information instead of being involved in economic affairs.

"One of the tasks of Iran's Chamber of Cooperatives in Baghdad was to accompany the cooperatives and unions interested in entering into trade with Iraq and arrange negotiations between them and their Iraqi partners," he added.

According to him, the other three detainees included the Managing Director of Iran's Cattle Breeding Union Massoud Zare'ie, Managing Director of Iran's Fisheries Union Yousef Mohseni and a specialist from the Ministry of Cooperatives Qassem Salehi.

... Payvand News - 9/23/04 ... --

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