23 Nobel Laureates Call for Urgent Action to End Inhuman Siege in Camp Liberty

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Joint Statement of 23 Nobel Laureates to protect Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty-Iraq

In a Joint statement addressing U.S. President Barack Obama, E.U. President Jean-Claude Juncker, and UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, 23 Nobel Laureates from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Switzerland expressed their deep concern of the security situation, protection, and imposition of siege and limitations against the residents at Camp Liberty.

These 23 of the world’s most distinguished scientific dignitaries called for immediate measures by the UN, US, and EU to lift the blockade and any restrictions on medical and logistical services for Camp Liberty residents. Also to replace the camp management team with independent elements not under the influence of the Iranian regime, and to take all necessary measures to guarantee the protection and security of Camp Liberty in the face of threats from Iran-linked extremist groups.

Video of the June 13 Grand Gathering in Paris

The Joint Statement of the 23 Nobel Laureates reads:

From the beginning of 2009 when the responsibility to protect nearly 3,000 Iranian refugees in Iraq was transferred from US forces to the Iraqi government, these individuals have been targeted time and time again through ground and missile attacks by Iran’s subordinate forces in Iraq. Hundreds of them have been left killed, injured, maimed and placed under an inhumane and illegal siege. Currently:

  • given the fact that these refugees have always been a main target of Tehran’s state-sponsored terrorism due to their opposition to the religious dictatorship in Iran;
  • given the fact that the same perpetrators behind the massacre of these defenseless individuals are currently running the prison-like camp of these refugees, and they are in charge of imposing the blockade on the site;
  • given the fact that despite pledges provided by the US and UN about these individuals being resettled outside of Iran in a short period, it has been three years now and only 15% of them have been resettled, and there is no near prospect for the others;
  • given the fact that the UNHCR continues to refrain from officially recognizing this camp as a refugee camp;
  • given the fact that Iraq is currently the scene of armed conflicts between Islamic fundamentalist groups (be it ISIS or militants under Iran’s command);

We the Nobel Laureates signing this statement call on the US government, the European Union and the United Nations to take urgent action to guarantee the safety and security of these refugees:

  • You must impel the Iraqi government to lift the blockade and any restrictions on medical and logistical services for Camp Liberty residents;
  • You must impel the Iraqi government to replace the camp management team with independent elements not under the influence of the Iranian regime;
  • Take all necessary measures to guarantee the protection and security of Camp Liberty in the face of threats from Iran-linked militants and ISIS.
Nobel Laureates

SIGNEES:

Richard J. Roberts

1993 Nobel Laureate for Physiology or Medicine

Professor Gunter Blobel, Nobel Prize, Medicine 1999, U.S.

Professor Thomas R. Cech, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1989, U.S.

Professor Elias J. Corey, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1990, U.S.

Professor Robert F. Curl, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1996, U.S.

Professor Richard Ernst, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1991, Switzerland

Professor Gerhard Ertl, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2007, Germany

Professor Edmond H. Fischer, Nobel Prize, Medicine 1992, U.S.

Professor Jerome I. Friedman, Nobel Prize, Physics 1990, U.S.

Professor Sheldon Lee Glashow, Nobel Prize, Physics 1979, U.S.

Sir Johan Gurdon, Nobel Prize, Medicine 2012, U.K.

Professor John L. Hall, Nobel Prize, Physics 2005, U.S.

Professor Dudley Herschbach, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1986, U.S.

Professor Roger D. Kornberg, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2006, U.S.

Sir Harold W. Kroto, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1996, U.K.

Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1987, France

Professor Eric Maskin, Nobel Prize, Economics 2007, U.S.

Professor John C. Mather, Nobel Prize, Physics 2006, U.S.

Professor Douglas D. Osheroff, Nobel Prize, Physics 1996, U.S.

Professor John Polanyi, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 1986, Canada

Sir Richard J. Roberts, Nobel Prize, Medicine 1993, U.S.

Professor Thomas A. Steitz, Nobel Prize, Chemistry 2009, U.S.

Professor David J. Wineland, Nobel Prize, Physics 2012, U.S.

Professor Harald zur Hausen, Nobel Prize, Medicine 2008, Germany

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.