12 dying outside US embassy londonTagged as: ashraf hunger-strike iran iraq repression us_embassy
a dozen supporters are nearing a fatal end of a hunger strike outside the london US embassy in grosvenor square. this piece (text by belinda mckenzie) is a call-out to a solidarity demonstration on saturday evening at 6pm (5th september). three of the strikers were hospitalised last night on the 37th evening without food. they have vowed not to give up.
(text below by Belinda McKenzie - reproduced on fair usage basis to publicise this extraordinary story and to invite people to attend solidarity demonstration at US embassy on Saturday 5th Sept at 6pm)
This story concerns the Iranian opposition hunger-strike in Grosvenor Square, now in its 38th day. The 12 who have taken no food at all throughout the whole of August are supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) which has been battling the regime of the ayatollahs for the best part of 30 years. Their headquarters since 1986 has been a sprawling complex out in the desert north of Baghdad in Iraq known as Ashraf City or Camp Ashraf.
On 28th July Camp Ashraf was brutally attacked by Iraqi security forces and 11 of the 3,500 inmates killed, 400-500 wounded and 36 men, included several wounded in the raid, abducted to an unknown location. 5 weeks later it is known that these 36 hostages continue to suffer torture and are in a state of severe exhaustion.
There is little doubt that the Iranian regime was directly behind this atrocity. Several of the thugs who beat up the inmates of the camp with iron bars, batons spiked with nails and chains and sprayed them with jets of boiling water were heard calling to each other in farsi (Persian). The head of the Iraqi government, Nuri al Maleki is known to be friendly towards his counterparts in Tehran, who are using the opportunity of US/UK withdrawal from Iraq to extend their influence in the war-torn country. Ahmadinejad who in his capacity as State Prosecutor under Khomeini personally supervised the torture and shot thousands of PMOI dissidents in the 1980s was doubtless hoping get Ashraf wiped off the map of Iraq and the PMOI excised from the page of history for ever.
Well so he may have hoped – but now, despite the attempts of the Iranian government’s friends and appeasers who include President Obama and our own government to turn a blind eye to the incident, thanks to the internet news has got out and there has been an outcry from around the world, most notably within Iraq itself where the PMOI enjoy enormous popularity. They are seen as a bastion against the Iranian regime and also as a profoundly humanitarian organisation on account of their care of local war-victims. The Iranian resistance, as the PMOI like to call themselves, has friends in many of the world’s parliaments including our own, where a group of some 30 distinguished members of the British House of Lords have been warmly supportive of them for many years and recently helped get them removed from the UK & EU terrorist lists.
What shocks everyone is the sheer cynical destructiveness as well as savagery of the raid in which bulldozers and armoured jeeps were used to mow down the inmates of the camp as well as raze many of its amenities. Prior to the raid Ashraf City with its well-tended gardens, sports facilities, library, schools, hospital and concert-hall was an oasis of order and civilisation. Furthermore, the residents of whom a third are women were totally unarmed and defenceless, their weapons having been confiscated in 2003 by the incoming US forces. Each resident received at the time a signed guarantee of protection by the US military, in addition to the right of protection to which they are entitled under the 4th Geneva Convention.
The 12 on hunger-strike in London, 6 of whom are British citizens as well as having relatives in Camp Ashraf, are growing weaker by the day but remain determined the US must fulfil its moral and legal obligation to protect their loved-ones in Iraq. They will go to the death if needed. “We have to do this, there is no other way” they say. Above them however, the bald-headed eagle atop the brass-and-concrete façade of the Embassy carries on looking the other way and the hours tick by monotonously, with little sign that any going in or out of the imposing building opposite the small, placard-encrusted encampment with its neat row of beds are the slightest bit concerned…
CALLING ALL HUMAN BEINGS! whether Iranian or British, please come and meet 12 of the bravest people in the world at an ‘Evening of Solidarity’ on Saturday 5th September in Grosvenor Square, 6-8pm. Your presence will help send a strong message to the US government and to the Tehran regime as well as to the hunger-strikers that they are not alone and that the world is watching.
Belinda McKenzie 3rd September 2009
GATHERING OUTSIDE US EMBASSY
In Solidarity with 36 hostages taken by Iraqi forces and the hunger strikers in London
Urgent Call to secure the release of 36 hostages
In their 6th week of hunger strike, the health condition of the hunger strikers in London is deteriorating
Most of 36 Camp Ashraf residents who have been taken hostage by Iraqi forces since 28 July 09 are in critical state on their 6th week of hunger strike.
On August 24, the judge in Khalis, the town near Camp Ashraf in Iraq, ordered their release but the Iraqi government refuses their release at the behest of the religious dictatorship ruling Iran.
In solidarity with the 36 hostages, the hunger strikers in Camp Ashraf, Washington, Ottawa, London, Berlin, The Hague and Stockholm have entered their 6th week of protest.
A Solidarity gathering to be held in front of the U.S. embassy where 12 people are on their 6th week of hunger strike.
Please join us to raise our voice to secure the release of the hostages.
Venue: 24 Grosvenor Sq, London, W1A 2LQ
Date: Saturday, 5 September 09
Time: 18:00 to 20:00 pm
UK Committee in Support of Ashraf • 707 High Road • London, Finchley N12 0BT
Contact email: rikkiindymedia(At)gmail[dot]com