By Massoud Azadi
This place is the so-called Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport where several thousand members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran are residing. Today, words like liberty and democracy have lost their meaning and become void, used by anyone for their own intention and personal interests.
Now, please come with me to Camp “Liberty”.
Mohammad was suffering from heart problems and must have undergone surgery. Yet each time an Iraqi doctor gave him an appointment for surgery in a hospital outside of the camp he was faced with harassment by Iraqi army intelligence forces at the camp’s exit checkpoint. Most of the times, his appointments were cancelled after reaching the hospital very late and the doctors already leaving the facility. Finally, through many efforts and after six months of harassment we were able to have him undergo surgery in a Baghdad hospital. His surgery was successful, while many others in the camp ere not so lucky to receive such timely medical service. They currently number at 24, closing their eyes and resting in peace forever. However, they face another problem even after their death: they are not being providing burial authorization and this is yet another problem we are facing in Camp “Liberty”.
The gravel seen on Liberty’s roads and between the trailers are so large that nearly all the residents are currently suffering from feet pains. When the Americans were here this area was only suited for vehicle commuting and there were no pedestrians. There was gravel, trailers, T-walls and trash everywhere. Not a single green plant could be seen; there was no electricity because the camp is not linked to the nationwide grid; the camp’s worn-out power generators keep on going offline; the delivery of fuel for these very power generators is only made possible through our own hard efforts and expense; and at times a few months pass between the intervals of fuel trucks allowed into the camp. Right now it has been more than two months since a single drop of gasoline has been brought into the camp for our utility vehicles and those used for patients and the elderly. Literally all normal vehicles have come to a halt throughout the camp. Given the constant limitations imposed on the delivery of diesel fuel for the power generators and electricity, this has limited working hours for cooling and heating devices in Liberty, making Iraq’s scorching summer and freezing winters literally unbearable.
The entire camp was completely dead dry, without any traces of life. After some time we began planting flowers and trees here, but we had very few seeds and went through many efforts to procure them.
Even in prisons, inmates are allowed to meet with their lawyers and family and friends. However, in Camp “Liberty” there is no such thing and ever since we came here we have been literally cut-off from the outside world. We were not permitted to bring in our mobile phones, computers and communications devices. Of course, it should be noted that UNAMI personnel come to the camp, but not to listen to us.
We had built a beautiful city called Ashraf in the middle of the Iraqi oasis, all through our own efforts and money in the span of 26 years. However, Iraqi government and UNAMI transferred us to this prison in “Liberty” with lies and promises that were never lived up to.
We have also been targeted by a number of rocket attacks staged by Iranian regime mercenaries, leaving dozens dead and hundreds injured. Of course all this is taking place in “Liberty”, right next door to the heavily fortified Baghdad International Airport!
However, we remain determined to make this prison a livable place. Jesus Christ said there are three things in human beings: faith, hope and love.
We love freedom for our country and the liberty of our people; without love in liberty for our people from the rule of the fundamentalist mullahs, we could never tolerate a single moment in this prison.
Today, we are making this place livable, and tomorrow we will make Iran better for others.