Preventing the injured and disabled from taking their daily necessities to Camp Liberty
Alzaman Independent Newspaper: April 30, 2012
According to published news in media, the Iraqi authorities prevented the fourth group of Ashraf residents from taking the basic necessities for the injured and disabled in this group while moving to Liberty despite the fact that most individuals are fully or partially paralyzed and were by no means able to move unless on wheelchairs. Below are some of their statements:
Taher Khan-Beygi, 49, who is a computer engineer, was shot on the neck and has been paralyzed for 24 years: “I have lived in Iraq for 26 years and the reason for my presence in this country is to topple the regime of the mullahs and to free my people from the tyranny of the religious fascism ruling Iran.”
“When I became paralyzed,” he added, “I was hospitalized for one whole year and over 10 surgeries were conducted on my body, during one of which they had to cut some of my intestine. For this same reason, I walk with difficulty. I have always lived in a room with special needs equipment and since I depend on a cane and wheelchair to move around, the paths for my commute have to be paved with asphalt or concrete. I will be completely locked up in a place like Liberty with pebbled roads.”
“When the Iraqi government does not allow me to move my equipped trailer to Liberty, it deprives me from my basic rights that all humans enjoy. Our bothers wouldn’t have spent so much time and money to make trailers for me and other disabled refugees had the present trailers in Liberty been suitable for our use. No matter how much I try to explain my situation to Iraqi authorities, they refuse to accept my request for the transfer of my trailer to Liberty as if we do not have any legal identity. On the contrary, the right for possession of personal belongings is recognized everywhere in the world as one of the basic rights, particularly for the vulnerable unwell,” he added.
“In brief,” he adds, “these harsh actions are only meant to weaken our wills and to make us bow to them. However, heroic Ashraf residents have proven that the harder the conditions become, the stronger their wills turn and as the forefather of the liberated, Imam Hussein, once said, may humiliation be distanced from us.”
Abbas Taslimi, an electronics engineer who has graduated from the States says, “I was injured in the bomb raids by the Coalition Forces in 2003 and lost both my legs. I have had many problems in my commutes since then. It is obvious that a paraplegic with physical limitations needs special equipment and facilities to meet his minimum requirements in life.” He goes on reasoning, “For example, my only mode of commute is a wheelchair. In order to use the service room, it should be accessible by wheelchair. In addition, I need physiotherapy facilities for my paralyzed body parts, special facilities to be able to sleep and get up, etc. …”
“My friends at Ashraf, in the course of past years, have prepared those facilities. At Liberty, however, such facilities do not exist and I cannot, in reality, lead my daily life without them. Liberty resembles a prison and there is no paved and smooth road for commutes. There is no special vehicle for the paraplegic,” he concludes.
Morad Ramezani, another patient living in similar conditions, sates, “I am a paraplegic. Based on my physical conditions, I need special equipment to commute to the service room, the eatery and the resting place. For instance, I need a special resting place along with special bed, washer and dryer, a physio place for my paralyzed body, a sanitation area accessible by wheelchair, a special vehicle with hydraulic arms for displacements and transportation, slanted paved pathways to move around, etc. …”
Iraj Alishahi is another one of the disabled patients who is completely paralyzed from waist down. This is his life story: “I personally did not have any interest in going to Liberty and wanted to stay in Ashraf because I knew with my conditions I could not survive there. But my brothers strove to build a trailer with special features suitable for my conditions. I want to take this trailer with me. In this trailer, there are special facilities such as a bathroom, a complete sanitary system, a washer, and a physio room.”
He said he explained his situation to the Iraqi officer who agreed with him and understood his situation but could not let him move those facilities to Liberty.“He told me to adjust myself to the conditions of Liberty.”
The next person is Fereydoon Zare’, who is paralyzed on almost his entire body because he was shot on the head in the past. “I have to get help from others to be able to do some of my stuff. For the last 3 years my treatment has been stopped due to the siege of Ashraf. The Iraqi government has even prevented the physiotherapist from entering the camp. Naturally, a person like me needs special facilities to live on. I learned through friends in Liberty that there are no sanitary facilities there. It is even impossible to commute in wheelchair. In reality, Liberty is a prison. If I can’t move around and leave my trailer, I am confined in it. So my trailer is a prison within another prison. Under such conditions, I don’t want to go to Liberty.”