Marking December 10th, the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
By: Mansour Abaskhani, Camp Liberty resident
This year we marked and commemorated the anniversary of the United Nations General Assembly Declaration of Human Rights on the 100th day of the campaign for the freedom of seven Ashraf hostages. Truly, what was the goal of that declaration signed by the UNGA back in 1948? Was it anything but preventing human rights violations defined in its Third Article, that every human being has the right to life, freedom and security?
This question was always before me that am I also covered by this declaration? What portion of it belongs to me? Am I included amongst the mankind that is spoken of in this text?
When I look back, I see no traces of it.
I was no more than a simple student when I ran into this question for the first time. I didn’t know much about politics. When I was going to school one day in the city square I saw they had erected gallows. No question came to my mind and with my friends we just passed along playing. When I came back in the afternoon, I saw the regime’s ‘Pasdaran’ (members of the notorious Revolutionary Guards) had hanged two human beings. I continued on in the utmost fear. Two weeks later I saw the Pasdaran there again, lashing 10 to 12 people under the pretext of being hoodlums. Then I came to understand that human beings are grouped into two clusters: first, those who raise the lashes and hang people; and second, those who must be whipped and hanged. I didn’t want to belong to any of those groups.
When I grew up more I found my path and joined the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). It has been 20 years now that I am in Iraq. An Iraq that the US government claims it has established a new democracy in, and we are people of concern according to the UN Refugee Agency and also hold ‘protected persons’ cards issued by the US. However, it has been 4 years now that our protection and security, thanks to the Obama administration, has been placed in the hands of our own murderers. During these harsh 4 years I have not slept one night in peace and actually feeling secure. Each night I go to bed worrying they might storm in through the door or launch more rockets at us, because there is no guarantee that Maliki’s forces won’t pour in to kill us all. Why not? They have already massacred us five times since 2009, killing more than 100 of our friends. The latest incident occurred just a few months ago when they raided into Ashraf like mad animals, executing 52 residents and abducting seven others as hostages.
I continue to think we are not included in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. If we were, then someone should have explained why our friends were slaughtered. The UN is right here next to us; and the great guardian of world democracy, the US, is also right here.
But they are just watching.
I don’t know, maybe tomorrow those Pasdarans who hanged people in my city’s main square would come here and actually hang us, and no one would say anything. But …
Now I do understand one thing. The owners of whips and gallows may have each other’s’ backs, but that cluster of mankind who have yet to be covered by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights have a lot of power, too. And they are everywhere across the globe, numbering more than the ones holding the whips.
We are nearing the fourth month of the campaign for the freedom of the hostages, and have you seen it crossing the four corners of the globe and expands over five continents, with each of us crying for one cause.
That is why we can shout out now asking: “Do we have a share of human rights? Are we also covered by your declaration? Is it…”
- From the mullahs’ prisons to the UN’s (freethe7.wordpress.com)
- Life Is Beautiful and I am Still Alive (freethe7.wordpress.com)