Photographer and EPUK member Gary Trotter is campaigning for the release of Iraqi citizen Tarik Ramadan, who has been imprisoned without charge for two-and-a-half years.
Ramadan had previously worked as Trotter’s interpreter and ‘fixer’, who in the last few days has gone on hunger strike to protest his detention.
Tarik went missing on 3rd February 2005 as he was leaving the US-military controlled Kirkuk airbase where his small family business has a maintenance contract. Despite making enquiries at the airbase and with local authorities, his family were not told that he had been arrested, and believed that he had probably been abducted and murdered.
But after four months they received a letter from Ramadan via the Red Cross who had found him in the Asaish prison in Sulaymaniyah. He had been arrested when leaving the base by US military, and handed over to officers from Asayish, the Kurdish intelligence agency.
Since his arrest, Tarik has not been charged, nor has he been given any documents relating to his arrest. Despite repeated requests, the Asayish, the Kurdish Regional Government and the Iraqi Government have all failed to produce a single document relating to Tarik’s case, and have given no details of what crimes they allege he has committed or what charges he faces.
Trotter told EPUK: “I have been investigating Tarik’s case for almost two years and everything I have learnt during this time indicates his arrest and imprisonment is just one example of the ethnic cleansing currently being waged by the Kurdish authorities against non- Kurdish Iraqis in the region.”