Christian on hunger strike for Iraqis
Alan Slater, 68, a Canadian member of Christian Peacemaker Teams (CPT) in Iraq has began a liquids-only fast on January 8th at the Iraqi Assistance Center (IAC) in Baghdad.
Slater is fasting to draw attention to the struggle many Iraqis face to regain their property confiscated during Coalition house raids.
After U.S. military personnel closed the IAC an hour early on Thursday, January 8 (while twenty-four Iraqis in the office were still awaiting help) Slater announced he would refuse to leave the building until the soldiers helped the people.
At 1:00 pm the next day he told the officer in charge that he would stay until he had a chance to talk to Paul Bremer or Colonel Sanchez about the problem of Coalition Forces taking money, jewelry and other property from Iraqi homes. Soldiers then forcibly escorted him out of the office.
CPA (Coalition Provisional Authority) officials have failed to follow through on promises to return money, documents, and other property taken on September 30th from an Iraqi farmer and his two workers at his farm 40 km north of Baghdad.
Coalition forces imprisoned the three men at Ba'quba for three days, but released them when US personnel admitted that the house raid had been a mistake.
Slater has worked with the three men, trying to regain their property, since he arrived in Iraq in mid-October.
"I have lost all trust in this process" the farmer has told CPTers.
Slater says that he will fast until the CPA addresses the problem.