By Ali Moradi, hunger striker in Camp Liberty
We are living in the third millennium, where everyone talks about freedom as a universal right. But in Iraq, seven human beings are in the prisons of Nouri Al-Maliki. They’ve been enduring horrible conditions since September 1, when the Iraqi forces attacked Camp Ashraf and abducted them after murdering 52 of the camp’s residents.
I went on hunger strike since September 1st for the freedom of the hostages, and I’m sure that the seven hostages themselves are on hunger strike as well.
Since the minute I heard about the attack and through the day that I followed the news and updates from the news agencies and I learned the names of the newest victims, the question that kept repeating in my mind was, “How many will remain alive?” Based on a quadripartite agreement between the US, UN, the Iraqi government and the residents of the camp, the residents of Camp Ashraf were there to protect the property and belongings.
In the past three months, I sometimes wished that the president of the United States were Abraham Lincoln, who fought for freedom and the end of slavery. President Obama’s motto “Change” showed a lot of promise at the beginning. But his performance so far has left a lot to desire, and the world is still waiting for this “Change” to occur. We’re not asking him to change the world. We just want him to stay true to his pledges and promises, to end his silence and inaction towards the Iraqi government’s hostage taking, and to secure the immediate release of the hostages.
Those seven people have all received “Protected Person” cards from the US government, and were promised protection by the US. But the US government’s treacherous silence is deafening our ears.
The Iraqi government attributes the attack to unknown militia groups, whereas Camp Ashraf has been besieged by Iraqi forces affiliated with the Prime Minister’s office since 2009, and all this while, there’s never been a history of militia groups approaching or attacking the camp. There is no way that anyone can enter the camp without the approval and coordination of Iraqi forces and the Prime Ministry’s office.
The continued silence of the US and the UN is a blatant treason to the values of freedom and Human Rights. They can prevent the murder of the seven hostages by breaking their silence.