26th victim of medical blockade of Ashraf and Liberty died in AlbaniaPublished by International Liberty on August 10, 2015
Mohammad Hadi Taali, Camp Liberty resident whose health deteriorated due to inhumane medical blockade of the camp, died in Albania. He is the 26th resident of camps Ashraf and Liberty who have lost their lives due to the inhumane medical blockade imposed on the residents. He was denied proper treatment in Baghdad and the Iraqi forces under the command of Nuri al-Maliki did not allow him to go to Erbil for treatment.
Mohammad Hadi Taali passed away in a hospital in Albania at noon Saturday 8 August , after 40 years of struggle against two dictatorships.
In 2013, physicians in Baghdad diagnosed that he has lung cancer and advised that he be transferred to Europe or Erbil for treatment. However, not only the endeavours for his immediate transfer to Europe or Erbil proved futile, but the cruel restrictions for his treatment in Baghdad aggravated his illness. Dozens of letters by Hadi Taali and residents’ representatives to the UN and US officials, as well as Liberty’s Daily Reports to UN monitors, clearly show the role of the Iraqi government in tormenting him to death.
On 2 April 2014, in a letter to Nikolay Mladenov, the then Special Representative of Secretary-General (SRSG) for Iraq, residents’ representative once again requested Taali’s urgent transfer to Europe for medical treatment and emphasized that if such swift transfer is not possible, government of Iraq be asked not to prevent his transfer to Erbil for treatment at the residents’ expense.
The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), in its report of July 2014 to the Security Council stipulated: “Mr Hadi Taali has suffered from lung cancer for 9 months and the residents have asked for his transfer to Europe for treatment and if not to Erbil. Despite promises by the UNHCR, he has not been transferred yet to Erbil.”
On 25 June 2014, Taali wrote to UNAMI human rights office: “It is now two weeks that my treatment process has been stopped because of the GOI’s prevention… With such obstructions and limitations of the GOI, my illness is progressing and …I ask that you urgently intervene.”
On September 19, 2014, he wrote to the Special Representative of UN’s Secretary General:
“Today I learned that one of my friends by the name of Taghi Abbasian… was tormented [to death]… I closely witnessed how he suffered pain and torment he had to tolerate for making a medical appointment. Similarly, I myself have been and am under such a torture by the agents of Iraq’s former Prime Ministry stationed at the camp. I have no doubt…if Taghi Abbasian had free access to medical services as a regular citizen has, he would have lived more years and wouldn’t have suffered so much…do I have to have the same destiny?
“I have stated in numerous letters that my current condition and the progress of my cancer has been the outcome of the brutal siege imposed on us; first of all there was such a delay in diagnosing the illness that it progressed; secondly, in treatment… I was harassed so much that the treatment has become more painful than the cancer itself.
“For instance, every time that I went for chemotherapy, I arrived very late at the hospital because of deliberate delays made by the prime ministry elements at the camp’s entrance, and each time the same elements accompanied us in our trips to further torture us, to shorten the time for injection that needed to be four hours to two hours. Because of this I repeatedly suffered a shock and terrible pains which was in fact a torture to me…
“You had committed that we would stay in Camp Liberty temporarily, whereas it is now about three years; we were supposed to have access to medical services; not only there were no medical services, rather it turned into a means for torturing and tormenting the patients. Has not the time come for the perpetrators of this antihuman siege to be expelled from the camp? ….Please do not let yourself witness another piteous death caused by turning Liberty into a prison and the brutal siege by the Iraqi intelligence agents that are the remnants of the previous government in Liberty.”
After his transfer to Albania, Hadi Taali was immediately placed under medical treatment, but because of the progress of his illness caused by the delays in his treatment, doctors could not save him and he passed away on Saturday, 8 August.
Hadi Taali was born in March 1955 in Iran. He was first arrested by SAVAK, Shah’s secret police in 1970’s and was expelled from the factory where he worked. During the 1978-1979 revolution he was one the vanguards who organised strikes and labour movement in the city of Qazvin.
For almost three decades he was in Ashraf struggling steadfast against the antihuman clerical regime. He was amongst the injured residents of the July 28-29, brutal attack on Ashraf by the Iraqi forces in 2009. Maliki’s forces badly battered him with wooden planks and batons injuring him in the head, ribs, left wrist, and left ankle.
ILA calls on the US government and relevant UN bodies (UNAMI, UNHCR) and the Government of Iraq to act immediately to end the inhumane siege of Camp Liberty.