Voice from the Commonwealth
Commentary, World Views and Occasional Rants from a small 'l' libertarian in Massachussetts

"If ye love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest for freedom, go home and leave us in peace. We seek not your council nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you, and may posterity forget that ye were our countrymen." - Samuel Adams

Monday, April 28, 2003

When our own entertainers and writters decide to open their minds they can find out about supressing speech from these folks.

More than 50 celebrated writers and thinkers came together to elect a committee to make contact with others across Iraq.

They gathered at a small building that used to house the official writers' union and has now been renamed the Union of Free Writers and Thinkers.

"We are here to revive the writing and the poetry that was banned by the regime," said playwright Aziz Abdul Sahib.

He said writers who praised Saddam were treated well but the Baath party was "always watching" those who did not.

"There were always security members at my plays and sometimes [the plays] were not allowed," said Sahib.

Poet Imad Kadhum spoke of going underground and relying on his wife to support them for seven years after running away from compulsory military service.

"All the writers here refused Saddam Hussein and many were in trouble if we did not praise Saddam in our poetry or stories," he said.

"We never accepted that we were criminals. If our work was disliked by Saddam or [eldest son] Uday, then we would be placed in jail."

Kadhum added: "A lot of [writers] may have been killed, and to this day we don't know what has happened to them."

< email | 4/28/2003 12:02:00 PM | link

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