Thurgham al-Zaidi Freed and Vows to Continue Protest

Thurgham al-Zaidi, speaking on al-Jazeera Arabic from Baghdad in late May, 2011. Click picture for video clip.

On Monday June 26th, protest organizer and leader with the ‘Popular Movement to Save Iraq’ Thurgham al-Zaidi, was kidnapped* by an unknown group wearing civilian clothes. Read an English translation of the ‘Popular Movement’s’ communique below for further details (click here for the original Arabic.)

Communiqué #46

 Bismila alrahman alraheem

Re: The Kidnapping of the activist Thurghaam al-Zaidi

‘The Popular Movement to Save Iraq’ and organizations in coalition, condemn the kidnapping of the protest organizer Thurgham al-Zaidi by a Green Zone gang. Thurgham al-Zaidi was kidnapped by a group wearing civilian clothes near the Iraqi army checkpoint of troop #11 on Monday,  June 26th 2011. The army did not respond to this kidnapping at all, indicating  it  had been planned beforehand. The security forces had detained him in the past without ever releasing original arrest papers, showing again the utter powerlessness of the Iraqi courts over the executive branch that arrests whoever it wants, whenever it wants with absolutely no judicial process! When we call for the government to stop randomly arresting people who have committed no crimes, we hold the government responsible for the life of Mr. Thurgham al-Zadi. We demand his immediate release, in addition to the release of all the innocent prisoners in occupation and  government jails.  We also ask of the legal and human rights organizations inside and outside of Iraq to intervene and push for al-Zaidi’s release, as well as the release of all in occupied Iraq that suffer from psychological and physical torture, violating the human rights that the Green Zone government continues to trample on.

–The Popular Movement to Save Iraq

Co-signer Organizations: Movement to Free the South , Ahd Organization to Protect the Rights of Prisoners, Popular Front to Save Kirkuk, The Iraqi Organization of Tribes of the South and Central Euphrates, Students and Youth of a Free Iraq, and Rising Iraqis

Occupied Baghdad 6/30/2011

*Update: According to Uday al-Zaidi (brother of Thurgham and coordinator of Popular Movement to Save Iraq) Thurgham was tortured during his detainment, has been released and is vowing to continue taking part in the protest movement. See the below translation of Uday’s facebook status update.

“Thank God and everyone who stood by him, your brother Thurgham has been released. He was subjected to severe torture for his participation in protests. This is the tax that the youth of Iraq are paying for freedom, and for booting out our two occupations, the American and Iranian. Maliki doesn’t scare us. Thurgham has assured me that he’s coming out to the protest this Friday, along with his little son Haydar, to say to Maliki “if you kill the big ones, the little ones are coming after you!”

7/3/2011

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