By Hamid Imeni, Camp Liberty


In today’s world almost everyone is aware of the dirty act of hostage-taking. When one hears a phrase, reads it or sees it, like it or not similar actions and objectives, along with a repeated scenario, come to mind. However, the evil spirits in all the dirty frameworks are too similar and common, wherever they may be, and they only encourage more hideous crimes and actions.

Right now I want you to join me for a few moments to get informed with a new type of hostage taking. I have just one request: in any state you may be reading these lines, empty your thoughts for a few moments for the sake of the rights of human beings, so that you would completely understand and come along with me. Now I want to take you to a ‘prisonlike’ place where 2,800 noble and freedom-loving human beings are and one third of which are women. Therefore, during the next few moments that we reach there I prefer to brief you a bit on its history. The ironic part is that many people, meaning the so-called “human rights activists” have dubbed this place “Camp Liberty” and they insist the residents must accept this name, too.

Well, it looks like we’re here. If you look precisely at the camp’s entrance there are a number of armed Iraqi security forces standing there. They claim they are here to protect the camp and its population, but I don’t know why their weapons are pointed at those inside the camp?! A bit further there is an ambulance that takes a number of patients at around 9 am to the camp’s checkpoint.

In the next few minutes patients that cannot stand on their own two feet are forced to wait out of the vehicle, under the pretext of having their items inspected. The security forces use such methods against the ill residents as a means of torture. At times the patients are forced to wait standing there for 30 to 45 minutes, which is grueling during the summer season. If you look more precisely you will see that the angry security guard is demanding more than just body checks and inspecting the patients’ supplies, he is also spilling their belongings on the road as yet another way to insult their dignity. If you wait a bit longer, then you will realize why I call this place “Liberty Prison”!

Once again the patients are returned back into the ambulance and they are forced to just sit there for an hour. If you look at your watch you see that it is close to 11 am and due to the deliberate obstructions by the security guards the patients have been forced to change their interpreters once, twice and at times three times, and they are now finally prepared to go. At the last moment they see the security guard come to the ambulance again, forcing a number of the patients get out of the vehicle. If you don’t know why they are returning back into the camp I’ll explain why. The security guard says all patients can only go to one hospital only!! Therefore, the patients that have appointments with medical specialists in another hospital are forced to return, all with extreme pains. Look at the person on the right for example, walking on the side of the road very slowly. He has cancer and must undergo regular chemotherapy at specific timings. This is now probably the third time he is being returned again and this is the biggest help the security agents can provide to the cancer tumor in his body.

Finally, the ambulance departs the camp but don’t be too happy because when the patients finally reach the hospital in Baghdad most of the physicians have closed, saying their office hours are over!! Put yourself in the shoes of those patients, who has endured all the hardship and finally reached the hospital, and now they return empty-handed!! This is while according to all the “signed contracts and written agreements” between the United Nations and the governments of the U.S. and Iraq, the residents should enjoy free access to medical services. Unfortunately, however, in this filthy world there is a far distance between signing something and actually living up to it, as if economic-political contracts always have the last word?! Now, do you see why I say “Time has been taken hostage”?

This is just the tip of the iceberg of all the harassments the residents here tolerate. The security agents know they have sold their “dignity” and “humane principles” that they act so brutally. Now that you have come to understand this bitter truth, the question that I have for you is how can we protect humane dignity and principles that are summarized today in human rights laws? Is there any need to protect human rights? Yes, this should be everyone’s priority because our being human is on the line of respecting human rights across the globe. Today, by standing up for international laws one defends their own element of humanity and then that of the society, and passing it on in the best way possible to the next generations. Let us strive to defend human rights across the globe!