- Posted October 14, 2013 by
I’ll give my life to free my mother
For me, this is the reality.
On September 1st, Iraqi forces, under the direct orders of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, stormed Ashraf City and savagely murdered 52 of its remaining 100 residents, including my dear father, Abbas Garmabi. They killed him without mercy while he lay wounded on a hospital bed in the city’s clinic. His crime? Raising his voice for freedom and standing up for what’s right.
The same forces, who had the complete cooperation of the local police supposedly responsible for the security of Ashraf City and the protection of its residents, abducted seven of the residents – six women and one man. As if the death of my father was not enough, I soon learned that my mother was amongst those seven. She and the other hostages were taken to the prisons of Maliki’s “Golden Division” (better known as the “Dirty Division”), a compound renowned for the horrific accounts of torture practised on the inmates.
Amidst mounting international pressure, Maliki then ordered the hostages to be transferred to one of the many covert safe houses run by the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad, Sharaf prison – a place even more notorious than the dungeons of the Dirty Division – to be tortured further and most likely surrendered to Iran, where they will face almost certain death at the hands of one of the world’s most vicious regimes.
I had expected the United States and the United Nations to act upon the explicit assurances and guarantees they had given to the former residents of Ashraf City. They had all the means at their disposal to prevent this catastrophe. If they had only lived up to a fraction of their obligations, the September 1st massacre would never have taken place. Even more dismaying is their inaction in rescuing the seven hostages in the custody of the Iraqi government.
Along with many other residents of Camp Liberty, I began a hunger strike on September 1st. This is the only means by which I stand a chance of saving the life of my mother and the other hostages. We are demanding their immediate release. We also demand protection for the residents at Camp Liberty, who are under the constant threat of terrorist attacks and massacres similar to the one that took place in Ashraf City.
I am determined to continue my hunger strike until my mother and the other hostages are freed, even if it means ending my own life. If my death will open the eyes of President Obama and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and, for once, make them take the necessary measures before the worst comes to pass, then so be it. I am willing to make the ultimate sacrifice.
I want reach out to all those who read this article. Please help me in this cause. Every single voice counts – and your own could make all the difference.