They put the hood over him again!


Berlusconi-Fini government denies visa also for Haj Ali, the torture victim of Abu Ghraib

Communiquà© of the Free Iraq Committees Italy

This morning, September 29, Haj Ali, symbol of torture in Abu Ghraib, went to the Italian embassy in Amman (after his dramatic experience he actually lives in Jordan) to receive the promised visa in order to go to Europe. Eventually he was told – after three weeks of pilgrimage to the embassy – that he will not get visa.

The embassy used the ridiculous pretext that Haj Ali would not have residence in Jordan and therefore they could not concede visa. Absurd! Everybody knows that residence in the country of application (actually figured out in the last moment) is no precondition to receive visa. This exclusively political decision comes directly from the palaces of the Roman government. It can only be explained by the voluntary obedience to the US dictate. But here is also a surplus: they want to further humiliate Haj Ali who represents the most human denunciation of the appalling occupation of his country. And with him they want to humiliate the growing solidarity movement with the resistance of the Iraqi people.

According to the responsible officer in the embassy Haj Ali must "simply" apply the diplomatic representation of Italy in Baghdad, i.e. inside the Green Zone that is the American fortress in the heart of Baghdad. Finally we have come to the point that after weeks of attempts the tortured was sent to the torturer in order to receive another no or even something much worse.

The government of Berlusconi-Fini thus has overtaken itself. They impeded the symbol of the brutality of the military occupation of Iraq to come to Europe where he is invited to dozens of cities as well as several big media outlets. This is another glamorous confirmation both of the arrogance of the government as well as of its subordination to the US.

This shameful decision, which the government this time not even got the courage to take responsibility of, became possible also because of the silence by the leaders of the centre left opposition over the struggle for the visas for the Chianciano conference. They have done nothing in front of the violation of the human rights and of the breach of the right to free expression, let alone the muzzle they put over the man with the hood from Abu Ghraib.

We have to sound a strong democratic alarm. After they have impeded the international conference "For a just peace, with the resistance" they also want to impede that the barbaric torture is being exposed in first person by whom who suffered it.

We have arrived at a point where we cannot and do neither want to give up nor give in. This is not only our struggle. It is more and more also a struggle which regards all the sincere democrats. What is actually at stake is the right to the truth.

The struggle continues. We have already taken the steps to ask for visa by other European states. Haj Ali, however, will not be able to be present at the international gathering of October 2 in Rome but we will not renounce the project of the European tour in order to bring him to every corner of the continent to denounce the monstrous violation of the human rights by the US occupation.

The forthcoming meeting in Rome therefore will be an occasion to attack the ruling despotism in Italy, a moment of protest against the violation of the constitutional rights, a point to re-launch the struggle for bringing not only Haj Ali but also the legitimate representatives of the Iraqi people to Europe in order to hold the scheduled international conference.

Septembre 29, 2005