L’œil de Mossoul – avec le blogueur irakien qui a affronté l’EI

Illustrations : Lisa Raneva

« Je craignais que l’EI me trouve et me tue, mais je craignais encore plus qu’ils s’en prennent à ma famille, qui ne savait même pas que je dirigeais le blog »

Cet article a été initialement publié sur VICE Arabie.

Lorsque l’organisation État islamique (EI) a pris le contrôle de la ville de Mossoul, au nord de l’Irak, au début du mois de juin 2014, un habitant a décidé d’informer les gens de ce qui se passait sous le joug terroriste. Ce « non-journaliste » autoproclamé a lancé le blog Mosul Eye, sur lequel il rapportait les décisions, déplacements et actions planifiées par l’EI au sein de la région – obtenant parfois ses informations en discutant simplement avec des combattants dans la rue. Les articles vont des rapports quotidiens sur la situation dans la ville aux mises à jour sur les opérations contre-militaires, en passant par des comptes rendus détaillés de la stratégie de l’EI.

Le site est resté actif tout au long de l’occupation de Mossoul, à savoir pendant trois ans. Certains articles auraient même aidé l’armée irakienne à débusquer quelques-uns des quartiers généraux du groupe. Mais à mesure que le site gagnait en popularité, son fondateur a commencé à recevoir des menaces de mort de la part de l’EI, généralement via des mails et des commentaires sur les articles du blog. La situation a dégénéré au point qu’il s’est senti suffisamment menacé pour fuir l’Irak peu de temps avant que la ville ne soit libérée en juillet 2017.

VICE Arabie s’est entretenu avec le fondateur de Mosul Eye, sous couvert d’anonymat, afin de savoir pourquoi il a lancé le blog, ce que ça fait d’être une cible de l’EI, et comment il voit l’avenir de son site.

VICE : Qu’est-ce qui vous a motivé à lancer ce blog ?
Ain Al Mosul : Le jour où l’EI s’est emparé de Mossoul, tout semblait lugubre. À ce moment-là, j’utilisais déjà ma page Facebook personnelle pour publier des informations, mais j’ai décidé d’aller encore plus loin en lançant un blog sur lequel je documenterais tout ce qui se passait dans la ville. Peu de temps après avoir fondé le site, des dizaines de personnes ont essayé de me contacter – je ne leur ai jamais répondu, de peur que ce soit des combattants de l’EI voulant me traquer.

Où avez-vous trouvé le courage de lancer un blog comme celui-ci ?
Pour être honnête, je ne pensais pas être assez courageux pour faire quelque chose comme ça. Quand j’ai commencé, l’EI répandait tellement de fausses informations sur la façon dont les habitants les avaient accueillis et sur la façon dont, sous leur contrôle, tout le monde vivait dans la paix et la prospérité. Tout ce que je voulais, c’était aider les gens en disant la vérité. Plus j’étais concentré sur la tâche, plus ça devenait facile.

Par quels moyens obteniez-vous vos informations ?
Je me promenais simplement dans la ville et prenais note de la façon dont les combattants de l’EI traitaient les gens – même si je n’ai jamais pris de stylo ou de téléphone pour documenter ce que je voyais. Je mémorisais tout dans ma tête, puis j’écrivais tout une fois chez moi.

Avez-vous personnellement parlé à des combattants de l’EI ?
Bien sûr, quand je les croisais au marché ou autres lieux publics. En général, je me sentais suffisamment à l’aise pour discuter avec eux de religion et de politique, parce que je connais très bien leur idéologie. Bien que, un jour, la discussion se soit un peu envenimée quand ils m’ont demandé si j’avais prêté allégeance à leur chef, Abou Bakr al-Baghdadi. Si je répondais oui, je prenais le risque qu’ils me demandent de prouver mon allégeance, si je répondais non, je prenais le risque qu’ils me tuent. Heureusement, j’ai réussi à éluder la question en changeant de sujet.

Avez-vous déjà failli vous faire attraper ?
Un jour, après avoir discuté avec des combattants de l’EI, je suis rentré chez moi et j’ai écrit un article sur une histoire spécifique qu’ils m’avaient racontée. Quelques jours plus tard, j’ai revu ces types – ils m’ont demandé de leur expliquer comment cette information avait fini sur le site. J’ai complètement nié connaître l’existence du site. Ils m’ont ensuite appris qu’ils essayaient de traquer le mec en charge de celui-ci. C’était très effrayant.


Vidéo associée : Les Combattants étrangers contre l’État islamique


Comment s’y prenaient-ils pour vous traquer ? L’EI a eu accès aux informations personnelles des internautes à Mossoul, n’est-ce pas ?
Oui – et, encore une fois, j’ai eu beaucoup de chance. L’EI a forcé les fournisseurs d’accès Internet à transmettre des informations privées sur tous leurs clients habitant la ville, afin qu’ils puissent surveiller l’activité de tout le monde. Mais j’avais un ami qui travaillait pour un fournisseur d’accès. Je lui ai offert le double du prix proposé par l’EI pour avoir ma connexion internet, donc il n’a pas transmis mes informations.

Comment tout cela vous a-t-il affecté sur le plan personnel ?
Je craignais que l’EI me trouve et me tue, mais je craignais encore plus qu’ils s’en prennent à ma famille, qui ne savait même pas que je dirigeais le blog. Chaque fois que quelqu’un frappait à notre porte, j’avais peur que ce soit l’EI. Je me préparais toujours au pire.

Savez-vous si vous avez aidé les forces de sécurité, de manière directe ou indirecte ?
J’ai déjà reçu des messages de gens affirmant que mon blog avait aidé les militaires irakiens à cibler les combattants de l’EI et leurs quartiers généraux. Bien sûr, j’étais heureux d’apprendre que les informations que j’avais fournies avaient servi à aider les habitants de Mossoul, mais honnêtement, je n’ai jamais eu la prétention de faire quoi que ce soit d’autre que de documenter ce que je voyais – je ne suis ni un journaliste ni un agent de renseignement.

Quel est l’article le plus significatif que vous ayez publié et qui a, selon vous, contribué à combattre l’EI ?
J’étais l’une des premières personnes à écrire sur la structure de leur organisation et les hiérarchies qu’ils avaient établies au sein de l’organisation. Cela a permis de les exposer et de les affaiblir.

Vous avez finalement dû quitter l’Irak. Êtes-vous de retour ?
Je préfère ne pas révéler où je suis mais, oui, j’ai effectivement décidé de partir après avoir reçu une menace directe de la part de l’EI, juste avant la libération de Mossoul. J’ai réussi à fuir le pays en passant par la Syrie avec l’aide de passeurs turkmènes, après les avoir payés 1 000 dollars.

Quels sont vos projets pour l’avenir du blog ?
J’aimerais le garder actif, mais peut-être me concentrer sur la renaissance culturelle de Mossoul et la façon dont les jeunes de la ville y contribuent. Mais peut-être qu’à un moment donné, j’arrêterai le site pour retrouver ma vie normale.

 

Source: VICE

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