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.

Yes, this camp is called Liberty but in reality it is an illegal prison, according to UN Workgroup on Arbitrary Detention. Here, our Iraqi prison guards carry on their duty under the nonchalant stare of the UN and the US government! And the inmates of this prison are Iranian combatants who have struggled for decades against repression and injustice in Iran. They have left their higher education in western universities and all privileges of a good life in US and European countries to do all in their might for freedom and human rights in Iran.

I think a question that occurs to the mind of any honorable human being is “Why should anti fundamentalist and anti terrorist Iranians be incarcerated in a prison under the auspices of UN and US authorities, especially at a period that our world is feeling the agony of brutal acts of extremists and fundamentalists in the Middle East?”

The bitter irony is that the very people who are the antithesis of the state terrorism sponsored by the Iranian regime using all sorts of fundamentalist dogma are imprisoned, while the real terrorists are free to carry out their vicious and barbaric acts of terrorism which is reaching European boundaries too.

We have a proverb in Persian, which goes, “Tying the rock and letting loose the dog,” which means putting chains on the solution and unleashing the problem. In this case the dog is the terrorist regime in Iran and the rock is the Iranian resistance.

In order to cleanse the world of the virus of fundamentalism, which these days is far more dangerous than the Ebola virus, and to form an antifundamentalist front you should open the chains from the hands of those who hold the cure to this virus.

The 8 year inhumane siege and the prison like conditions imposed on camp Liberty by the government of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, at the behest of the Iranian regime, should be abolished. The policy of appeasement and turning a blind eye on the Iranian regime has proven to be a failed policy and should change immediately. Delay in this matter will have enormous consequences, for which the people of Iran and Middle East will pay the price.