With the arrival of the new Persian year, pressure builds on Liberty residents

By Nasrin Faiz

Eids and national festivals and holidays are periods that highlight human values and everyone endeavors to show and let out these inner sentiments. For example, some people give donations to human rights organs. Some government organs and departments donate a day’s wage to the most needing sectors of the society. Some go to visit homeless and unattended families and children. Others go to refugee camps and comfort them with their support.

Yet the beginning of the Persian New Year in Iran enlightens these human sentiments to a far greater extent because it coincides with the spring season. The cold winter goes and spring with all its blossoms and amazing spirit gives news of a new year. However, the political refugees in Camp Liberty near Baghdad Airport cannot enjoy any of the human sentiments that come with the spring season and the Persian New Year. Christmas and New Year came and went, international human rights day came and went, the Persian New Year and dozens of other national eids and holidays came and went, yet none had any effect on the human sentiments of UNAMI towards these freedom loving refugees. UNAMI didn’t even bother asking itself: by the way, why don’t these political refugees who have left their home, running from a religious and fascist regime, must not have freedom of movement? Why must they be imprisoned between these walls? Why don’t they have free access to meet their lawyers? Why must they be under a deadly logistical and medical siege that is costing them their lives?

For us Liberty residents, any and every eid and national holiday will not lead to joy, but rather turn into an element that places more psychological and mental pressure on us, increasing the harassments.

The truth is that this camp is being managed by murderers who have taken part in the slaughter and massacre of Liberty residents.

These individuals, who are supposedly the camp’s managers, are all implementers or the Tehran Embassy dictations against the Camp Liberty residents. These individuals, during Maliki’s prime ministry, were involved in the systematic suppression of Camp Ashraf residents. Yet, despite the removal of Maliki from power and the relocation of the residents from Ashraf to Liberty, these individuals are continuing their activities. In addition to the daily harassments, these individuals have imposed a 5-year-long logistical siege on the residents. The new Persian year for the Liberty residents beings at a time when they have lost many of their friends in several missile attacks or as a result of the inhumane medical siege.

The new Persian years begins at the camp while we are not permitted to enter the most basic living necessities. This might be unbelievable for you, but we are not even permitted to purchase and enter a kilo of paint to renovate our living areas. They don’t permit us to enter the most basic materials that are needed to renovate and repair the trailers that have been damaged during the missile attacks.

Most heartbreaking is the silence and inaction of UNAMI and the US Government, who through written commitments, transferred my friends and I from our home at Ashraf in the Diyala Province, to Camp Liberty. I have never come to understand why an organization such as the UN, which advocates human rights and humanitarian values, keeps silence vis-à-vis such human rights violations.

The UN had promised us that we could sell our property at Ashraf. This is while all our property at Ashraf has been looted by militia forces. We were promised that we would benefit from civil rights and …

Yes, neither the Persian new year, nor the spring season, Christmas, international human rights day and … have not been able to compel the UN and its relevant organs to live up to their moral and political obligations!

As a political refugee residing in Camp Liberty, I say to the UN: take the beginning of the new Persian year as an opportunity to take the proper measures to implement our international demands and observe our rights at the camp.

We remind UNAMI and the US Government to use the new Persian year and officially call on the Iraqi Government to allow the sale of our property at Ashraf in order to pay for our living expenses at Camp Liberty.

By doing so, you might be able to connect the marking of the new Persian year and the spring season with the principles of the UN. By doing so, you can congratulate us Iranians in Liberty prison on the arrival of the Persian New Year. Our only crime has been that we said ‘no’ to the criminal and fascist regime in Iran that has now become the main threat against global peace.

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