Liberty Residents Oppose Drawing Iranian Regime Into Ashraf Dossier


Call of representative of Ashraf residents to EU, US, UN

to prevent drawing the Iranian regime into Ashraf dossier

The representative of Ashraf and Liberty residents, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, leaders of the U.S. and the EU, expressed great concern over trip of Mr. Kobler, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq (SRSG) to Tehran and negotiating with the religious fascism ruling Iran over the fate of the residents. He once again reiterated on the red line of drawing the Iranian regime in the dossier of its dissidents at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and called for immediate intervention of the UN Secretary General.

The residents, their representatives, lawyers, scores of parliamentary groups, dignitaries in Europe and the U.S, in recent months have condemned drawing the Iranian regime into Ashraf dossier and have called for stopping it. Yet this legitimate and logical red line is consistently ignored by Mr. Kobler.

The representative of Ashraf residents reminded his three letters to Mr. Kobler on May 18, 19, 20, where he articulated these concerns in great details and underscored: Mr. Kobler did not reply to these letters similar to what he had done on other letters regarding this issue and even refrained from providing a simple rebuttal of what was announced by the Iranian regime and the Security Adviser of the Government of Iraq.

On 24th of April, on return from Iran, Maliki’s security advisor, Faleh Fayaz Al-Ameri, said on Iraqi state television that it is natural “to discuss the issue of the ‘terrorist’ organization of Mojahedin with the Iranian party”. The security advisor added, “Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, has talked in details with Iraqi and Iranian parties through the Iranian Embassy or other channels communicating with Iran in order to provide the requirements for implementation of the understanding which has been agreed on between him and Iraq to close camp Ashraf and put an end to the presence of this organization on Iraqi territory. Talks included the mechanisms and Iran’s role in what has to be done to solve this matter.”

In this regard, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) on April 25 stated: “The Iranian Resistance strongly protests and warns the Government of Iraq and Special Representative of the UN Secretary General on any such matter” and called “on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to prohibit all UN agencies and staff to talk and deal with the religious fascism ruling Iran regarding its opposition particularly about residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty”.

NCRI, on May7, simultaneous with the trip of Mr. Martin Kobler, to Tehran, announced “the Iranian resistance once again warns against involving the mullahs’ regime in the Ashraf dossier”.

The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) that represents 4,000 parliamentarians on both sides of Atlantic on May 9 stated: “Mr. Kobler’s visit to Tehran exactly on the day after the relocation of the 5th group of the residents raises, more than ever, a series of questions and concerns by all freedom-loving people, especially since in his trip to Europe in February, Mr. Kobler told the European sides that the Iranian Ambassador in Iraq had set the PMOI’s transfer from Ashraf as the precondition for his visit to Iran”.

In his letter, the representative of Ashraf residents pointed out that the conduct of the UNAMI and SRSG are in complete contradiction of what the UN Secretary General has reiterated repeatedly that the solution has to be “acceptable to the Government of Iraq and the camp residents.” The conduct of the SRSG is in direct contradiction of his remarks at the UN Security Council on December 6, 2011 when he stated: “Any workable solution must be acceptable to both the government of Iraq and to the residents of Camp Ashraf.”

Mr. Kobler signed the MOU with the Security Adviser of the Government of Iraq on December 25 without prior notification of the residents. But unfortunately the provisions of the same MOU and the content of the December 28 letter of Mr. Kobler that was sent to the residents with the MOU are being consistently violated. Provisions of subsequent letters of the SRSG regarding the presence of armed forces at Liberty, transfer of necessary service vehicles and passenger cars to Liberty, transfer of vita; needs of wounded residents and those who are paralyzed from waist down, the issue of moveable and immoveable properties, are all being trampled upon, but there is no objection by the UNAMI and Mr. Kobler.

The letter while pointing out that Camp Liberty lacks the minimum human rights and humanitarian standards, cited the January 29 letter of residents to SRSG that stated: “We are under pressure to “voluntarily” go to a ‘detention center’ instead of a ‘refugee camp’, or else we would have another massacre in sight that we would be blamed for. It is apparent that detention center or massacre are the two well-known options of the Iranian regime for annihilation of its main opposition force and the trampling on our dignity.”

The letter underlined the numerous flexibility that the residents had shown including forsaking the right of residence and asylum after living in Iraq for 25 years, and submitting individual application for asylum upon the recommendation of the UNHCR, accepting the plan of European Parliament to be transferred to third countries, accepting transfer from Ashraf that they had turned from a barren piece of land into a modern city,… The letter stated that despite all these flexibilities, the residents are faced with forced eviction and forcible relocation. Under the name of UN a detention center called TTL has been established and its government management is by a fellow called Sadeq Mohammad Kazem, one of the key players of the massacres of Ashraf in July 2009 and April 2011 and was indicted by the Court in Spain and shows no respect to the letters and agreements with SRSG.

TTL is a failed project. There is no short-term prospect for transfer of the residents out of Iraq. The UNAMI told the Ashraf representatives that transfer of Liberty residents to third countries will not be possible until the PMOI is removed from the US black list. This means that Liberty is not a TTL for few days or weeks or months. Therefore, lack of the humanitarian and human rights standards and the breach of the UNHCR’s statements regarding the basic rights, safety, welfare and freedom of movement of the residents cannot be ignored, because Liberty is TTL.

The representative of Ashraf residents at the end of his letter once again underscored that residents of Ashraf and Liberty seek nothing except what has been in the reports of the UN Secretary General to the Security Council. He once again outlined the demands of the residents in six articles as he had corresponded them to Mr. Kobler previously. The demands were:

1.SRSG will not permit any interference of Iranian regime against its opponents in Camp Ashraf and Liberty.

2. All the agreements and commitments related to the fifth convoy, mainly women, will be fulfilled by GOI (6 utility vehicles, 25 trucks to transfer their belongings, 6 special trailers and 3 vehicles of the paraplegic patients).

3. All the provisions of SRSG letters, particularly about the police, 10 passenger cars for every convoy, a precise date for connection of Liberty to the city water network and power grind, construction, green area and plant trees will be guaranteed and implemented before any other move.

4. Liberty legal status will be recognized as a refugee camp.

5. UN guarantees selling all Ashraf moveable and immoveable properties or transferring moveable properties to another country/ or Iraqi Kurdistan .

6. US will inspect Camp Ashraf as soon as possible.

Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and human rights activist who is a member of Iranian opposition, PMOI. He graduated from Texas State University, USA. Connect with him on Twitter.