Published by The Hill
By Heshmat Alavi
In the heat of the U.S.-led campaign against the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has invaded large parts of Iraq and Syria, a recent report by Amnesty International gives a stark warning that not addressing extremism in its entirety and making the wrong decisions can lead to the deepening of the sectarian rift in Iraq and eventually trigger an irreversible disaster.
The document, which is based on thorough research in war-torn areas in Iraq, gives horrendous accounts of crimes recently committed in Iraq by Shiite extremist groups against the background of the fight against the Islamic State (formerly known as ISIS or ISIL). Groups sanctioned, backed and funded by the Iranian regime, and agents of the administration of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki have been targeting the Sunni community seemingly in reprisal or revenge for Islamic State attacks and at times also to extort money from the families of those they have abducted. Continue reading
By Nasrin Feizi, Camp Liberty
A 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
By Ramin Jafari, Camp Liberty
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
Ahmad Mohkami, Camp Liberty
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
By Nazar Karim Beigi, Camp Liberty
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
By Ahmad Rahbar, Camp Liberty
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
By Mohsen Bodaghi
I write this pierce in Camp Liberty, Iraq. It is years now that I have left my studies and left my country Iran for the hope of democracy and freedom. Years full of dangers and hardships. I never thought the path for freedom would be so hard and uneven. But these years have taught me that freedom comes at a high price. I sometimes tell myself, probably those who enjoy such gift do not realize its value and only when they lose it will they come to truly appreciate its value, like oxygen for living beings.
Some three years ago I was relocated to a prison called “Camp Liberty,” which makes it even worse since they have named a notorious prison “Liberty”, the very liberty that people throughout the world have paid a heavy price for.
Along with 3,500 of my friends, I moved to Liberty based on a “Memorandum of Understanding” signed between the UN and the government of Iraq. There are many clauses and promises in the MoU but all of them have been breached by the Iraqi government, and U.S. and UN have shut their eyes to such violations. Our demands on the other hand are so simple and primitive that it is difficult for me to even mention them. The surprising thing is that the Iraqi government does not even let us plant trees. Continue reading