“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”

Martin Luther King, Jr

Monday, May 26, 2008

Al- Tanf Camp Of Horror

Trauma continues for Palestinians fleeing Iraq. As of April 2,2008 792 Palestinians are stranded in a no mans land between Syria and Iraq in a camp called Al Tanf. The tents in the camp are crammed in between a concrete wall and the main transit road from Baghdad to Damascus. Where the only protection from the searing 106 degree heat, the snow and the blinding sandstorms.

The land is infested with snakes and scorpions, posing a greater danger to the children of the camp. The school tent is dangerously close to the highway where a young boy has already died after being hit by a truck.
Fires in the tents are all too common from heating and cooking. In April a spark from an electric cable started a fire which engulfed much of the camp, with three people severely burned and twenty five others with minor burns were mostly children.

The camp was established in May 2006 when Palestinians fleeing persecution in Iraq, went to the Syrian border but was refused entry.

Many camp residents told of the torture and death that made them flee Iraq. Some had been kidnapped and tortured, while others had relatives who were abducted, mutilated and killed. Still others spoke of armed militia cutting off ears, gouging out eyes and even pouring acid over the heads of prisoners.

Mas’ud Nur Al-din al-Mahdi and Adnan Abdallah Melham were among four Palestinians arrested and detained in May 2006. They were tortured and paraded in public after “confessing “ to a bomb attack. They were tried and found no evidence that they were involved. Part of Mas’ud Nur Al-din al Mahdi’s torture included being hung upside down with a heavy stone being put on his genitals.

The people in the camp of Al Tanf fear they may be there for many more years. They say it is sad that they are there because of political decisions.

The Chilean government has agreed to re locate 116 Palestinians by April 2008, while number of other Governments outside the middle east have agreed to resettle some also, but their plight is unsafe enough that help needs to come as quick as possible.

Call your Government and draw attention to the people of Al Tanf. Highlight the need to relocate these human beings. Make them hear you when you urge them to expedite the resettlement in light of the harsh camp conditions. For more information on this and more click to Amnesty USA.

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