The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) hosted a live Twitter chat on Thursday with several individuals on hunger strike in Washington D.C. The hunger strikers responded to real-time questions about the status of the seven Camp Ashraf residents taken hostage by the Iraqi government and the health conditions of the ten hunger strikers protesting outside of the White House.
It is the 11th day of hunger strike in D.C. and guest Reza Kafi mentioned that many of the participants are beginning to suffer physical ailments as they continue approach two weeks with no food.
On September 1, 2013, Iraqi forces of Nouri al-Maliki attacked Camp Ashraf and killed 52 members of the Iranian opposition movement, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Also they took seven residents hostage including 6 women.
Several of the hunger strikers in D.C. traveled from Ottawa to continue their protest outside of the White House, which they feel is a more powerful and influential location. Reza also mentioned that they continue to grow as a group and that new participants from the U.S. have joined in support.
Iranian opposition members and supporters around the globe are also participating in the hunger strike, and their health is declining daily. However, even with failing health conditions, the hunger strikers refuse to give up on their fight.
The hunger strikers’ two demands are 1) The immediate release of the seven hostages that are being held by the Iraqi government and 2) that protection be provided by the United Nations to all Camp Liberty residents.
Reza shared with the chat participants that although protesting outside of the White House, no members of Congress have visited the site or shown any support. The strikers have had visits however, from Linda Chavez and Thomas Cantwell as well as members of the Canadian Parliament.
Many of the participants expressed their sincere support and gratitude to those risking their lives in this protest. The D.C. hunger strikers, as well as the participants around the world, have expressed their appreciation of donations of all kinds. “Any help is greatly appreciated. Support letters, phone calls and supply are all welcome,” said Reza. “As the weather gets colder, we are all in need of coats, blankets and tents,” he added.
The Washington D.C. chat was a part of a series of live Twitter chats in the #FreeThe7 campaign.
NCRI will continue to host twitter chats throughout the next few weeks. Join in the conversation by following @Iran_policy and #FreeThe7 on Twitter.