Al-Zaidi was arrested by Iraqi security forces at 18.00 hrs., on Friday
January 9th near Al-Nasriyah in southern Iraq. This is an appeal for
the immediate and urgent mobilization of your Agencies in securing the
release of the prominent human rights defender, Mr.Uday Al-Zaidi.
Iraq: Mr Uday Al-Zaidi - Appeal of Extreme Urgency.
is an appeal for the immediate and urgent mobilization of your Agencies
in securing the release of the prominent human rights defender, Mr Uday
Mr Al-Zaidi was arrested by Iraqi security forces at 18.00 hrs., on Friday January 9th in
Al-Shatrah city in southern Iraq. Uday Al-Zaidi is internationally
renowned for his courageous and outspoken advocacy against the sectarian
cleansing in Iraq which began with the onset of the “divide and rule”
policy of the US-UK invasion, continued under the occupation, their
Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki and now under his replacement of August
2014, Haider Al-Abadi.
urgency and gravity of the situation cannot be over-stressed,
especially as it has been learned that the Iraqi authorities refuse to
disclose Mr Al-Zaidi’s whereabouts thus, in contravention of all
international legal norms, he is denied access to legal representation.
In an interview with Al Jazeera (15th December
2014) he described graphically, at length, the reality of the
humanitarian catastrophe resulting from the government’s brutal
systematic sectarian edicts.
he said that he was “expecting” anything as a result. Warned to take
extreme care in his movements, he determined to attend the funeral of a
friend and was arrested.
witness to Iraq’s ongoing tragedy has been tireless and international.
On 19 March 2013 he received the BRussells Resistance Award.
May 2011, invited by the Madrid-based Spanish Campaign Against the
Occupation and for the Sovereignty of Iraq, talking at venues in a
number of cities he showed visuals, the reality of: “… killing of
children, raping of women and men, secret prisons, daily humiliations”,
of families assassinated by U.S bombs over eight grinding years. “An
image is worth a thousand words. These images show what the occupation
has done for us”, he said.
2003, there have been a million deaths and four million orphans … Iraq
is a wealthy country. But its people, us, have to dig in the garbage to
try and survive.”
He also called for an end to the corruption under Prime Minister al-Maliki – and returned to Iraq.
January that year in Iraq he addressed the dishonour of the Iraqi
people manifested by a government: “ … representing their groups,
militias and parties, and their masters abroad.” He talked of the
“defilements” of Iraq in ever deepening crisis” and “tyranny.”
Nouri Al-Maliki is now Vice President of Iraq.
Al-Mukhtar, President of the Arab Lawyers Association and Vice
President of the Geneva International Centre for Justice states starkly
of Mr Al-Zaidi’s detention:
“This is a very serious matter. They will slaughter him.”
to the Iraqi government at the highest level is incumbent on all those
to whom humanity and human rights is utmost priority. No time can be
wasted. Rivers of blood have bled, literally, from Iraqi feet and
bodies, from Abu Ghraib to the innumerable secret prisons. Delay will
near certainly be death.
is also incumbent upon the UN and all other relevant international
organizations that pressure be brought on the Iraqi Authorities for Mr
Al-Zaidi’s immediate release. Prime Minister Al-Abadi’s personal
responsibility for Mr Al-Zaidi’s safety is paramount. His release could
be a turning point for Iraq. Any other outcome a further slide into the
abyss, with human rights and international law counting for even less
than their woeful international post-invasion standing.