By Nasrin Faizi
The Wall of China is very beautiful. The Egyptian Pyramids are one of the world’s seven wonders. However, when we read history we come to understand that behind all these beauties are thousands of slaves and prisoners who lost their lives under the extremely heavy loads, and their bodies are hidden inside the greatness and magnificence of those very rocks.
If you have seen any history movie, you know that one of the cruelest aspects of dictatorial rulers is shown when a number of human beings must pay the price of their rule with their own bones being crushed, from the Pharaoh, to Namrut, to those who built the Wall of China, or placed Caesars and czars in power.
However, they are history now, becoming a lesson for all mankind. What is strange is that, now, in this 21st century we must again witness such cruelty in a refugee camp named as Camp Liberty, located near the Baghdad International Airport, home to Iranian dissidents. Refugee and asylum are words derived from the dictionary of human rights organizations such as the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. This is an organ with a statute based on the abolition of historic cruelty. However, in practice such cruelty is flagrantly imposed on Liberty residents. The UNHCR, UNAMI and other human rights organizations have remained silent.
Liberty residents carry their heavy loads on their own backs, while they had dozens of forklifts, when they were in their previous home in Camp Ashraf (located 90 kilometers northeast of Baghdad). The Iraqi security forces – in charge of Liberty’s management and associated to the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad – do not permit them transfer these forklifts from Ashraf to Liberty. This is addend cruelty. In the era of slavery advanced equipment were not invented yet. This is a shame that, in the twenty –first century, Liberty residents have to carry loads, just like slaves, while Iraqi forces do not let them bring their own equipment from Ashraf. The Iraqi forces rule that the residents must carry their loads on with their bare hands and on their backs.
Who is to be held accountable? What is the crime of purchasing and having forklifts, but, rather, being forced to carry the load, of the forklifts, on your back? Where on earth is it a crime to carry loads with a forklift and why are the UNHCR and UNAMI remaining silent in the face of this flagrant violation? And in many cases, in response to the residents’ protest about such measures, UNAMI and UNHCR monitoring teams recommend to the residents to just accept the pressures imposed by the Iraqi camp management? At the same time, should the residents encounter any physical problem or injury they have coup with the camp’s limited facilities. The same Iraqi intelligence officers, who run the camp’s management, are keeping the residents under an atrocious medical siege which has claimed the lives of 22 residents so far. Truly, have the UNHCR and UNAMI literally stopped in methods of providing help to refugees, as if we are back in the times when human bare hands made the wall of China and the Pyramids? If not, why have the UNHCR and UNAMI remained so indifferent vis-à-vis these serious problems Liberty residents are facing? Why do they, simply, accept all the limitations enforced by the Iraqi management of the camp, and remain so inactive?
All in all, evolution has in its course of history. It started from the age of slavery, reached the age of knowledge, and is now in an era when respecting human rights has become a value.
Those who claim they are defending human rights, history will judge, for itself.