ERBIL (Kurdistan 24) – Iraqi security forces announced the arrest of a man in Baghdad who, in a video recently posted on social media, had proclaimed himself to be Jesus Christ.
“In the world of the living,” the man had declared in the video, “I am called Hashim Sahim Jabar,” while in reality, he claimed, “I am Jesus Christ, the son of Mary.”
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“I have come to Iraq and a world of Kafirs [non-believers],” he had said, adding, “God sent me to you to bring equality and justice to a world rife with iniquity and injustice.”
The man was arrested on Monday, a security source told Kurdistan 24.
A statement released later in the day by Baghdad Operations Command said that forces “arrested Tariq Hashim, accused of misrepresentation and fraud in the Ghazaliya neighborhood of Baghdad.”
"His arrest came to eliminate the act of defamation, fraud, and exploitation of ordinary people."
A few hours after Hashim's arrest, a video of him was published online in which he read a letter of apology which appeared to have been given to him by the forces he was held by.
“I was not fully conscious and didn’t know what I was doing, and for this, I apologize to the people of Iraq and especially members of the Christian community.”
The man identifies himself differently in the second video, saying his name is Tariq Hashim, as compared to the previous video where he said his worldly title was “Hashim Sahim Jabar.”
Iraqi security forces have been accused on multiple occasions of coercing suspects or other detainees into publicly reading confessions or apologies.
“I also apologize to security authorities for bothering them and promise my actions will not be repeated."
Editing by John J. Catherine