Medical Siege against Camp Liberty, a crime against humanity

After Nouri al-Maliki assumed office as Iraq’s Prime Minister in 2005, and after the U.S. government vested Iraqi forces with the security of Camp Ashraf in 2009, an inhumane medical siege was placed against the residents of the camp. The siege came in tandem with a plethora of other illegal and repressive measures carried out by the Iraqi government and at the behest of the Iranian regime.

Even after the residents were transferred to Camp Liberty, in the vicinity of Baghdad International Airport (a forcible relocation that was sanctioned and encouraged by the U.S. and the UN), the government of Iraq continued to impose medical restrictions without relent, an undertaking that has so far caused the death of 21 patients in a most painful manner. The latest instance was Taghi Abassian, a resident who died from intentional delays and obstructions caused in his treatment process by Iraqi forces. Continue reading

Camp Liberty residents, victims of two prisons

By Nasrin Feizi, Camp Liberty

Females_in_PrisonA few weeks ago, we held a ceremony in honor of Taghi Abbasian, who lost his life as a result of the medical siege imposed on Camp Liberty, where I live with 3,000 other Iranian dissidents who seek freedom in their country. At the same time I came to a statement issued by Amnesty International. The statement warned the Iranian regime for depriving its sick political prisoners of receiving medical treatments in hospitals outside prison. The statement also mentioned names of some prisoners who were in severe health conditions.

I am a woman who has spent ten years in the Iranian regime’s prisons before coming to Camp Ashraf, and when I speak about prison-making in Camp Liberty, I feel it deep inside. Continue reading

Awaiting disaster

By Ramin Jafari, Camp Liberty

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The weather was a blistering 50 degrees Celsius, it was 12:30 pm, and I was on my way home on Camp Liberty’s dirt and gravel roads, exhausted from the hell-hot weather. I suddenly heard a voice from the section where the ill residents were hospitalized. I looked and saw one of the nurses running toward me. He looked tired and worried at the same time. I put a hand on his shoulder and asked what was wrong?

Through gasps, he said, “A few days ago, Taghi Abassian (one of the residents) died in front of my eyes because he was denied medical treatment. Right now, there are several other cancer patients who are in a very dangerous situation. Please come to their dormitory and help me out.”

I thought that he might have mistaken me for a medic or an assistant doctor. I said, “I’m not a doctor. I think you’ve got the wrong guy.” Continue reading

An illegal prison

Ahmad Mohkami, Camp Liberty

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In autumn of 1983 as I was walking down an alley in the small German town of Worms I came upon a group of people calling themselves activists of Amnesty International. They had formed a ring and were protesting against injustice in an Asian country. I joined them and stood in their midst until sunset. When I returned home that day, my brother asked me where I had been. I simply told him I was protesting against injustice.

A year later I was in Ashraf city, a camp belonging to Iranian dissidents, located in Iraq’s Diyala province, this time to be a voice against injustice in my home country, Iran.

I never thought that, after 30 years of devoting my life to the goal of freedom, democracy and human rights against the fundamentalist and terrorist Iranian regime, I would end up in a prison in a country that, after the US invasion, was supposed to set an example of democracy in the Middle East, and that I would be deprived of all my minimum humanitarian rights stipulated in the Human Rights Charter. Continue reading

Red stains on a white shroud

By Nazar Karim Beigi, Camp Liberty

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Ilam, with its sky-high mountains and fountains, is one of the most beautiful but at the same time poorest cities in western Iran. Though my country enjoys great fields of oil and gas resources but my family like many others had to resort to hard work to cope with poverty. I always asked myself, “why poverty!?” My friends and I struggled to earn a full meal, and going to school instead of laboring in the hot brickyards was a fancy for us.

In a cool breeze of a Friday afternoon I accompanied my friends to the only soccer stadium of the city to play as usual. We entered the stadium. In the middle of the playground’s lawn the sight of few armed men and two black-veiled armed women from IRGC (Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps) caught my attention. Continue reading

Better to die on your feet than to live on your knees

By Ahmad Rahbar, Camp Liberty

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It is a hot summer afternoon. The sun’s warmth is waning as dusk settles over a camp in the vicinity of the Baghdad International Airport. This camp is ironically called “Liberty.” The six-foot-tall concrete walls encircling the camp block out the horizon, depriving of the beautiful sunset for which the Babylon has earned fame.

The camp that was supposed to be a temporary transit location has been my home for the past three years. This place is a reminder of the prisons of the Iranian regime, where I spent four years of my life on charges of reading the “Mojahed” newspaper and believing in the ideals of freedom and democracy.

Inadvertently, old memories flashback in my mind and my thoughts take me back 35 years, when following the fall of the Shah regime, I joined the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) to protect the achievements of the people’s revolution against the newly-established religious fascist regime. Continue reading

Iran: Concerts cancelled for having women musicians or the use of the term ‘concert’

concert-yazdThe Iranian regime’s authorities have cancelled at least two concerts in the past week in Iran for having women musicians in the group.

On Sunday, a number of women musicians were not allowed to appear on stage beside the men in an official sponsored festival in Isfahan.

The women musicians were forced to sit down and watch as only men played and the group was promised that they would be allowed to hold the concert later.

However, in the other location women were again were prevented from going on stage and the concert was cancelled.

Another group of musicians were not allowed to perform in the city of Mashhad on October 9-10 as planned despite having received official permission. Continue reading

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