February 1, 2010

UPDATE 2 - Iraqi Female Writer/Blogger Hiba Al-Shamaree.

Following my last post on the arrest of Hiba Al-Shamaree (here), I would like first to warmly thank each and every single one of you who; posted, emailed, translated, re-tweeted, forwarded.....my appeal for her release.

In less than 48 hours, the beginning of a campaign has been launched.

1) An online petition issued by Writers for Freedom  is available. The text is in Arabic - which I will translate for you.

" This is a campaign for the release of the writer Hiba Al Shamaree who is detained because of her opinion by the government of Nouri Al-Maliki. Hiba Al-Shamaree went from her current place of residence Jordan to Baghdad on a humanitarian assignment as an eye doctor,  for a project involving deaf and mute children, and that on behalf of the International Indian NGO- HMOK.  The government of Nouri Al-Maliki  targeted her because of her anti-occupation writings and managed to arrest on the charges of inciting anti government feelings and have consequently detained her on charges of "terrorism" because of her writings.

We the undersigned, hold--  the government of Nouri Al-Maliki, Jalal Talabani , the Iraqi parliament and all military forces present in Iraq -- responsible for the life safety of Hiba Al-Shamaree. 

Her real name is Hanan Ali Ahmed A-Mashadani, 33 years old. We demand her immediate release in the name of democracy -- the democracy incessantly preached by  the occupying forces, both foreign and local, in Iraq. And because of that, we signed below. "

So please sign it HERE.

2) Youtube : Someone by the name of Global Sailor 101, has made a video in English  for the release of Hiba Al-Shamaree. Thank you Global Sailor. The video can be viewed here.
And another video in Arabic by Al Rafdean was also uploaded and can be seen here

3) Media 

- TV : I know that the Iraqi sat. TV Al-Babeliya ran the news about Hiba's arrest several times already. More needs to be done though. The following TV  stations need to be contacted :

Al Sharqiya
Al Jazeera, both Arabic and English
Al- Arabyia
CNN and the BBC.

Also main press like : Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, Quds Al-Arabi, Al-Hayat ,Al-Arabiya, the Guardian, the Independent, Times,  Daily Telegraph, Daily Mirror, etc....

4) NGO's must be addressed.

- Reporters sans Frontieres/Reporters without Borders 

- Human Rights Watch
- Amnesty International 
- U.N

5) Governments - am not holding my breath but let them know that you know.

- The White House 
- 10 Downing Street
- Iraqi Government 
- American Embassy in Baghdad

Why all this fuss about one blogger, you may ask, when tens of other bloggers are arrested around the world.
I will tell you what the fuss is all about.

- this is a FEMALE Iraqi blogger and we all know what happens in those Iraqi prisons. I think I have covered that aspect of "democratic" Iraq many a times on my blog.

- she is a mere blogger.

- she is  a professional woman, an eye doctor and her skills are very much needed. We don't want another Iraqi  doctor to be murdered.

- she has been arrested in a country that has paid in millions of dead, maimed and exiled, in the name of "Freedom and Democracy"

- she has been detained in a country that has been "liberated" by the US and UK because it was ruled by a "brutal dictatorship", "a dictatorship that arrested and tortured its innocent prisoners."

- her arrest and detention are an important confirmation that Freedom of Speech does not exist in Iraq, 7 years of "Liberation" down the line.

- her arrest and detention also show the extent to which the government in power is so unsure of itself and of its legitimacy that it has to imprison and torture a 33 year old woman for writings on a blog.

- her arrest and detention are a clear message to us Iraqis, that a similar fate awaits us if we dare voice our opinions.

- and because You and I chose Freedom and Life over Silence and Death, I urge you all to do what you can to have Hiba Al-Shamaree, the Iraqi woman blogger, released immediately.