Ashraf, Iraq: "I won’t let my brother’s death be in vain"
His Grace has written of the atrocities being committed in Ashraf before (here and here). He has received an email from the Ashraf Campaign (ASHCAM), with a letter Nima Habashi in Camp Liberty, Iraq. The world needs to know:
My name is Nima Habashi, one of the residents of Camp Liberty, Iraq, and I would like to share with you the profound pain that I am suffering.David Amess MP: “I have campaigned on this issue for a long time and I am a strong supporter of the rights of the people in Ashraf City and Camp Liberty. I hope that ASHCAM continues this good work and raises this issue whenever possible.”
As you all know, on 1 September 2013, during their latest attack against the 100 defenceless residents of Ashraf City, the Iraqi forces savagely murdered 52 people and abducted seven others. My brother, Naser, was one of the victims.
We all became aware of the scale and depth of the carnage through the pictures and footage that were provided by the brave Ashrafis. Some of the videos that display the crimes committed by the Iraqi forces were filmed by my brother. The assailants hunted him down and shot him in the throat to prevent him from recording their crimes. The pictures of the murderers and their victims all prove that this horrific crime was premeditated by the Iraqi government; the assailants were fully equipped and had access to resources that could only be provided by the government.
The last time that I saw my brother, he embraced me and promised that we would see each other again soon. We both thought that America and the United Nations would stay true to their word regarding the security and protection of Ashraf City residents. I guess we were badly mistaken. Their ineffectuality in fulfilling their obligations and pledges spurred the Iraqi government into committing this atrocity, and cost Naser and the other victims their lives. And if serious action is not taken soon, the lives of the seven hostages in the custody of the Iraqi government will be forfeited as well.
Unless some firm action is taken to stop him, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki – ever the loyal servant of the Iranian regime – will proceed with his plan to surrender the hostages to Iran, where they will face torture and certain death at the hands of one of the world’s most brutal dictatorships.
We’ve all had enough of inaction by the United States and the UN. It’s high time they took some decisive action before a disaster takes place, and not afterwards. The responsibility for any harm that befalls the hostages will be laid at their feet.
I’ve been on hunger strike since September 1st, demanding the immediate release of the hostages by the Iraqi government. In this regard, I ask the help of anyone who reads this article.
Don’t let Maliki get away with his crimes. Don’t let him hand over the hostages to the Iranian regime. Call on the US and UN to put pressure on the Iraqi government to release the hostages.
I made a pledge after Naser’s death not to relent until the perpetrators of this crime against humanity – Maliki and his cohorts – are brought to justice. I demand an impartial and complete investigation into the murder of my brother and the other residents of Ashraf. Putting the Iraqi government in charge of such an investigation is outrageous and out of the question. It’s an insult to me and the other relatives of the victims – and to anyone who believes in justice, for that matter. What do you suppose would be the outcome of such an investigation, conducted by the same person who gave the order to pull the trigger? I don’t think I need to answer that question for you.
Naser died documenting and exposing one of the worst cases of human rights violations in recent years. I will make sure that he will not have died in vain. I hope you can help me in this cause.
Dr Barry Morgan, Archbishop of Wales: “The human rights of those detained in Camp Liberty are clearly being violated and they are turning to the international community in desperation for help and support. The mark of a civilised society is how it treats those in need. If we fail to respond and turn a blind eye to the detainees now, we will be colluding in their treatment and will have to share the blame for their fate.”
Lord Alton of Liverpool: "ASHCAM’s demands are straightforward and just. They include the championing of the safety of the residents of Camp Liberty; holding the Government of Iraq to account for its failure to comply with its human rights obligations under international law; and, the establishment of a UN commission of inquiry into the Ashraf City massacres of 2009 and 2011, and the Camp Liberty massacre of 2013. These objectives deserve our wholehearted support.”