Call for help from the heart of Liberty

Addustour daily (Jordan), Baghdad, 28 Sep 2013 – Following the murder of his father, Abbas Garmabi, in a massacre in Camp Ashraf belonging to Iranian refugees, and also his mother being abducted and arrested as a hostage in the hands of Iraqi authorities, an Iranian young man by the name of Hanif Garmabi sent a message asking for help to those having awaken consciences. 
Hanif Garmabi says his friends on September 1st at 7 am informed him Iraqi forces had attacked Ashraf and he becomes very concerned because his mother and father, along with many of his longtime friends, are in the camp.
Hanif adds at 8:30 am after hearing the first news of the Iraqi forces attack against Ashraf he realizes a large number of the defenseless and unarmed residents of the camp were shot upon by the attacking soldiers and many were killed and injured, and most of those killed were murdered while their hands and feet were tied.
“I was left shocked. What I had in my hand fell to the ground. I could hear my heartbeat. I remembered my mother and father, and the memories of my childhood passed before my eyes,” Hanif says.
“During the early 1980s when Khomeini’s regime was busy arresting and executing its dissidents, especially supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), my mother and father were forced to exit Iran and leave me behind while I was only a small child, without the love of my parents… I always thought of them. During my teenage years the regime in 1998 began harassing and interrogating me to therefore place pressure on my mother and father and force them to leave the PMOI,” he added.
“In the year 2000 while I was accepted into college, I was forced to leave Iran due to the increasing pressures from the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and their death threats against me. I came to Iraq and after many years I saw my mother and father, and I was along their side during these years of the ups and downs of the struggle against Khomeini’s regime,” Hanif continues.
“I remembered the last time I saw my father. Before coming to Liberty when I was saying goodbye to him, I hugged him and told him it is hard for me to go to Liberty without you. He gave me assurance and said this too is part of our struggle and we must continue on for our cause,” he addd.
“I always wanted to die alongside my father, and even thinking about their death was unbearable for me… I knew that their staying in Ashraf brought many dangers along with it. In the midst of all these thoughts all of a sudden the voice of the TV anchorman announced the names of the September 1 massacre in Ashraf. With each name so many memories rushed to my mind. I was engulfed with pain, as if I was suffocating, and even my body began to tremble. The TV anchorman announced the last name: ‘Abbas Garmabi’. A particular cold rushed through my body. I placed my head between my knees so no one would see my tears. My friends were expressing their condolences, but I couldn’t hear anything, I couldn’t see anybody. Just the memories of my mother and father, and the heavy weight of this pain passed through my mind. The number of the martyrs increased and finally reached 52. At 5 pm, once again the Resistance TV station aired breaking news and announced the names of seven residents taken hostage by the criminals. Hearing my mother’s name I thought my heart had stopped beating and was going to explode in my chest. I was like a lost ghost… I could no longer walk. I would shout within myself: ‘People, look at those who claim to be Muslims, look at the crimes they are committing in the name of Islam. How they are taking hostage a Muslim woman member of the PMOI, defenseless and unarmed, who had fled the cruelty of the mullahs’ and sought refuge in a neighboring Muslim country. What will be her fate, while her husband has been killed and she herself has been taken hostage?’” Hanif pleaded.
“Seeing the image of my injured father, who had been killed by the agents placing a bullet in his head, ignited a new fire in me… This is by all definitions a true epic; an epic of standing to the end… an epic of saying ‘no’ to ruthless killers,” he added.
“Many of my friends and I here in Liberty from the very first day of September saw no other way than launching an unlimited hunger strike protesting the irresponsible nature of the UN and international community in the face of the security of Ashraf and Liberty residents, due to the US turning its back again and again on its commitments regarding our safety and security. We will continue our hunger strike until all our main demands are met and an impartial delegation is sent to investigate into the grave crime in Ashraf, UN forces are stationed in Camp Liberty and the immediate release of the hostages,” he added.
“For freedom, there is a door that is knocked with bloody hands,” Hanif finalized.

It might take you just a few minutes, but can save several lives

By Shahabeh Barooti

Shahabeh Barooti, resident of camp Liberty
Shahabeh Barooti, resident of camp Liberty

To International Human Rights Activists, Iranians around the World, U.S. Politicians, European Parliamentarians, Government decision makers, U.N. officials, Lawyers and caring Mothers, and to all human beings who care about others: PLEASE help me have my mother back. It’s about one month now that my mother, Mahnaz Azizi—along with six others– have been abducted by Iraqi mercenaries. Her life is at grave danger, because the Iraqi government is going to surrender her to the brutal mullahs ruling Iran who shall torture and execute her mercilessly. On September 1st, Iraqi Special Forces at the orders of Iraqi Prime Minister and at the behest of the Iranian regime stormed Camp Ashraf, home to Iranian dissident refugees in Iraq, and murdered 52 unarmed men and women by shooting in the head. They also abducted seven residents of the camp, including my mother. They are now jailed in notorious Sharaf prison in Green Zone in Baghdad, waiting to be surrendered to their arch enemy, the mullahs who will undoubtedly kill them brutally. You may watch a short footage of September 1st horrifying crime at : I appeal to you to do whatever in your capacity to prevent this inhumane crime. The U.S. can and should force the Iraqi government to release them. There are 42 eyewitnesses who survived and testify to that horrible crime. You may write or call to U.S. President, U.S. State Department, Secretary John Kerry, U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, UNSG Ban Ki-moon, your Congressman or Senator, or post a call on your website, facebook, etc. Just think what you would do you if you were in my shoe. Please Help me have my mom back.

Ask the UN to Inspect Sharaf Prison in Baghdad’s Green Zone and Visit the 7 Hostages Now

A video showing inside of Sharaf prison, which is a torture chamber under the command of Maliki. Now seven Ashraf hostages are kept in this notorious prison under torture. Ghasem Soleimani, commander of the terrorist Quds force, frequents this prison. Here is the link to the video.

Time is running out – US and UN must take action


It is now 27 days that the 7 Ashraf hostages are in the custody of Maliki’s savage forces – 27 days of unimaginable torture and torment. It is also 27 days that hunger strikers in camp Liberty and across the world are calling on US and UN to stand up to their obligations and put pressure on Maliki to free the seven hostages. Yet so far, no action has been taken.

The Iranian resistance has obtained reliable information from inside Iran, revealing the exact location of hostages to be Sharaf prison, in Baghdad Green Zone.

The Iraqi government intends to extradite them to Iran, where they’ll be further tortured and executed. The United States and United Nations are directly responsible for anything that happens to them and must intervene immediately to free them from the clutches of Maliki before the worst comes to pass.

Camp Liberty Hunger Strike – Day 27

Camp Liberty Hunger Strike - Day 27
Camp Liberty Hunger Strike – Day 27

Today was 26th day of Liberty residents’ hunger strike. In last few days in addition to headaches and vertigo and weaknesses, there have been 4 cases of heart pains. Also today 6 people were taken to Iraqi doctors at the camp’s clinic for vision problems. It is worth noting that so far 200 of the hunger strikers have referred to camp’s clinic. 

One of medical personnel of Liberty residents said, “I come here every day to check the hunger strikers and I do my utmost efforts to take care of them, but unfortunately the condition is becoming worse every day.”

The father of one of the September 1 massacre victims said, “My son who was only 28 was killed in Ashraf. His mother and his uncles were already killed by the Iranian regime… We prefer to lose our life in hunger strike rather than be killed handcuffed and shot in the head in Liberty by Maliki’s forces”.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby Prays for Release of Ashrafi Hostages

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby
Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby

Anglican Communion News Service, 23 Sep 2013 – Archbishop of Canterbury, the highest ranking religious figure in England, in his weekly sermon prayed for the release of Ashraf’s seven hostages.

I have been reminded of this by the stories from Camp Ashraf in Iraq. Until recently it was a refugee camp holding members of the Iranian opposition, among others. Conditions have been very bad. In the very recent past it was raided, a significant number of people were killed and a number of others disappeared into captivity. It’s a form of terror that is calculated to undermine the morale of those close to the people who disappear. Circumstances in wars are never simple; Camp Ashraf has a very controversial history. But that is not the point. Justice is always transparent; the use of kidnap and absence of due process is always obscure. Hostages go into the darkness so that fear spreads among their friends and families.

So make this a week of prayer for hostages, remembering especially those from Camp Ashraf and those in Syria – and the people of Nairobi. We cannot pretend to understand all the complexities of the situation. But we know that such acts of hostage-taking, kidnapping or extra-judicial killing are always wrong.

On 26th day, hunger strikers in camp Liberty demand the immediate release of 7 hostages

Today is the 26th day of the Liberty residents’ hunger strike. Due to heart and digestive problems and other illnesses related to the hunger strike, 7 of the hunger striker women were taken to the camp’s clinic under the supervision of Iraqi physicians. It is worth noting that to this date 188 hunger strikers have gone to the Iraqi clinic at Camp Liberty for physical problems stemming from the hunger strike.

camp Liberty hunger strike - day 26
camp Liberty hunger strike – day 26

In a letter to Senator Menendez, one of the hunger strikers wrote , “I am an engineer with a master’s degree from Virginia University and I am currently on hunger strike in Camp Liberty…. Our main focus is on the release of the hostages. This issue is being delayed because with every second that passes the possibility that they will be returned to the vicious Iranian regime increases… Everyone knows that Iraqi forces have these hostages in their custody… However, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Maliki denies this. This is very horrible and it means that he wants to extradite the hostages to Iran. The question us now is why are UN and US government remaining silent about crimes of Iraqi government? 52 of our relatives and best friends who we lived with for years lost their lives in this crime and 7 others remain as prisoners in the hands of the criminals. We will do anything for the release of these hostages and bringing these criminals to justice, even if the price is our own lives.”

Views and analysis about Political and human rights issues in Iran and Middle East

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