The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]
Dear List, I came across this from 23rd April 2002 and thought it worth reposting. The ironies need hardly be pointed out. Media manipulation, the disappeared, lack of access to travel, the pentalty for criticising the regime (on the day Al Jazeera and Al Arabia are being penalised for doing just that) Iraq one big prison. Perhaps I shld have headed this 'no change,' Only difference is now there is virtually no internet (and if there is it's now monitored by Level Three Communications or Sy Colman & Co) and in addition to their miseries Iraqis are being shot daily by the US - if not be robbed, raped or blown up or their valuables stolen at home by US troops and other gangs. f. Dear CASI members, I received very encouraging feedback from members on this list about my last message. And I decided to continue :) As I said in my last email, all media in Iraq is owned and run by the government. And the government makes every possible effort to make sure that Iraqis don't get access to any other sort of media. Satellite dishes are banned in Iraq. If they discover that you have a satellite system, the equipments will be confiscated, you will be fined double the cost of the equipment, and the head of the family will be locked in humiliating detention center. One of my neighbors had the honor of getting into one of these centers. People are kept in large concrete halls, with 70-80 people in each one. They are not allowed to ever leave the place. (The toilet is a barrel at each corner of the hall). If you are lucky, you will be released after 6 months. (Absolutely no one gets out before 6 months) Recently, the government has offered Internet access from home (to the people who can afford it). It is unmetered but a bit restricted when it comes to what websites you can access. Basically you are allowed to visit a website called (URUKLINK www.uruklink.net) and another one called (IRAQ2000 www.iraq2000.com) and that's about it!! If you want an email address, you fill the paper work (which includes all sorts of questions about you, your family, and any relatives living abroad), pay the processing fee, and you get an email address which is always @uruklink.net so they can monitor every word that you send or receive. (Just like what the western governments do, right felicity?) Another way to get access to non-government media is to leave the country (if you are so desperate). But again, leaving the country is not as easy as you might think. You need an exit visa (yeah, that was not a printing mistake, you need a visa to get out of Iraq!!) The processing fee of that visa is around $200 dollars. Tens of thousands of people won't be allowed to get one. They are banned from travel. People who can't leave the country find themselves in a big prison called "IRAQ". Sometimes they get fed up and speak out. If someone makes the biggest mistake of all and "insults" the "great leader", he will be arrested, disappear for months, and the body might be returned to the family but with a bill to pay, the cost of the bullets used to execute their son. This is not a scene from a horror movie, this is happening every day in Iraq. It is happening as we speak. If you were a bit more careful, and criticized the policy of "the government" and did not mention Saddam, the authorities there have a unique way of dealing with you. After they arrest you, you will be locked in one of the AMN centers, tortured day and night, and when they have a group of similar cases, you will be taken to a football field, crowds from the streets will be brought in to watch, and you get your tongue cut off. I want everyone in this list to imagine him or herself being an Iraqi living in Iraq and going through all this. Cutting parts off bodies of Iraqis is not very uncommon in Saddam's Iraq. Members of the military forces who fail to report to their units for one month or more, will have their ears cut off. A doctor who refuses to cut an ear will be executed. Sanctions are evil, but they are not the only thing Iraqis are suffering from. IRAQI Sent by Mail at easy.com, an easyGroup company. _______________________________________________ Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq. To unsubscribe, visit http://lists.casi.org.uk/mailman/listinfo/casi-discuss To contact the list manager, email firstname.lastname@example.org All postings are archived on CASI's website: http://www.casi.org.uk