Wednesday, September 7, 2005
Seven People on Hunger Strike Against Censorship Since 1 September!
Leonardo Mazzei, 49, employed by ENEL (national electric company), spokesman for the Italian “Free Iraq” Committee
Anika Persiani, 31, active in the “Free Iraq” Committee
Lara Wintzer, 21, active in the “Free Iraq” Committee in Germany
Ilia Montani, 20, philosophy student, activist in the Umbria Student Movement
Jörg Ulrich, 38, student, former PKK militant, of the “Free Iraq” Committee in Germany
Roberto Gabriele, 66, of the international Foundation “Nino Pasti” of Rome. Well known figure in the anti-imperialist movement
Emanuele Fanesi, student-worker in Perugia, active
in the “Anti-Imperialist Camp”
Their press statement
Knock if you can hear us!
Seven of us are already in our sixth day of a hunger strike so that the Foreign Affairs Minister of Italy, Gianfranco Fini consents to the concession of visas to the exponents of the popular Iraqi opposition to attend the conference in Chianciano “For a just peace, with the Iraqi resistance”.
The ample and sincere solidarity that has come to them from every sector reinforces their morale and gives strength to their struggle.
But to win the arrogance of Fini and of the “American Party” THERE HAS TO BE MORE.
What has to be done? That other persons contribute in some way to the hunger strike.
We are addressing specifically the various organisms who, although not being part of “Free Iraq” are together with us in preparing the Conference. Invite even one of your people to support us!
We invite everyone who is concerned about our struggle and comprehends its political importance, not only to sign the petition “We want to see the visas” web page with many initiatives (and circulate it), but to make a gesture of courage and generosity, to come join the seven at the Foreign Affairs Ministry.
To us, this seems the clearest way to help the hunger strikers, so that they are not alone, so that it is not they alone who are defeated, but a Minister that, for an excess of zeal, does not hesitate to bow down at the commands of Emporer Bush.
To those listening, who would like to come to the aid of the seven who are in front of the Ministry, contact them at 0039 347/781 5904 (Leonardo). the web page of the hunger strikers.
LATEST! The President of the Tuscany Region Martini rejected the request made by Forza Italia and various Pro-Bush newspapers to prohibit the Cianciano Conference on 1 and 2 October. He states that the Foreign Affairs Ministry is making a great mistake in not granting the visas to the Iraqi citizens invited by Free Iraq.
WHY DO THEY WANT TO DENY HAJ ALI (symbol of the Torture of Abu Ghraib) A CHANCE TO SPEAK IN ITALY?
One of the persons to whom the visa has been denied is Haj Ali.
Who is Haj?
He is a symbol of the torture in the prison of Abu Ghraib, the prisoner who was made famous in the photograph with the hood and the electrical wires while standing balanced on a box over a wet floor. Haj was the major of the town of Abu Ghraib. After his tragic experience he founded in Iraq “Iraqi Association of the Victims of American Occupation Prisons” (1h1050 Non Governative Organisation).
We will see if Minister Fini insists upon denying the visa to this man as well. Will he say in this case as well that Haj is “spreading hate” only because he will come to tell Italians and others attending the conference in Europe how the heroic mercenaries wrapped in the stars and stripes tortured innocent citizens? In case the visa is really obtained it would be possible to organise a speaking tour at a national level, and we hope that many movements contrary to the imperialist war join us in providing him access to speak. If you want to read the declaration of the “Iraqi Association of the Victims of American Occupation Prisons” see: here.