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.
I remember once one of the so called commanders of the security administration of the camp immodestly told me, “This tree is taller than a meter and half and it must be cut off.” We of course did not let him do it and I said to myself, “What kind of beings are they to even have enmity with plants?”
According to the MoU we were promised to bring our personal belongings and on that trust I put my personal computer, a bicycle and scientific books in a trailer vehicle which was never allowed to come to Camp Liberty.
I myself suffer from hypertension which gets exacerbated in the summer heat especially this summer when they did not let us bring enough fuel to the camp to run the cooling appliances and I had to stay in a trailer that was searing hot and I could do nothing but somehow endure it.
We were supposed to have access to outside community to buy our necessities freely again based on the MoU. Not only did this never happen, but also each time they sent us some commodities from outside Iraq , the camp administration started to make various obstacle so that in the end many of the food stuff rotted and had to be thrown away.
When I read the MoU the first time I thought if all the clauses of it are implemented we would have no problem since the UN has signed it and it has some certain guarantees but on the ground many of its articles were violated by Iraqi government time and again without UNAMI even uttering a word of objection.
Since I was a previous university student in Mathematics my mind may be a bit “too rationalized” and I sometimes get a feeling of self skepticism that I am more than optimistic, but no, I think if you present such pictures to any living conscience, they will realize what agonies we are going through.
We are under severe pressures by Khamenei’s Iraqi agents and mercenaries, but I know at the same time that the world is not confined to them, the world we live in is very broad and is full of people with big hearts and rich in empathy who irrespective of their nationality, gender and religion, would bow to “Freedom.”
Freedom is a joint goal between us all and I am certain there are ears out there to hear our voices to echo them to the others. It is for such loving noble individuals that I worship freedom and am prepared to pay its price whatever it may cost me. I urge all the freedom-loving people in the world to be the voice of those who are in Liberty prison, all those who tend not to stand against freedom.
This is of course the natural law of evolution to wipe out all those against freedom and I deeply believe in it. This gives me a very powerful motive to even sacrifice for the coming generations, which will be my very responsibility. You can help me in this regard and be my voice.