High time for intervention of UN Secretary General and the US Secretary of State to guarantee the rights of Ashraf and Liberty residents
The saga of Iraqi government mistreatment of Iranian dissidents in Iraq continues unabated. What is more puzzling and perplexing is the silence of the UN and the US, as the main parties that brokered an agreement with the Government of Iraq and the dissidents who belong to the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
The last episode took place on Friday evening as the fifth convoy of the dissidents left Camp Ashraf, their home for the past 25 years, to Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base near Baghdad airport.
What happened was that the utility vehicles that were accompanying the convoy and were headed to Liberty for the dire needs of the residents who lack proper water supply, fuel or service vehicles, returned to Ashraf, when they were half way to Liberty, right under the unwatchful eyes of UN observers.
Iraq Government Dirty Trick
This was nothing short of a dirty trick by the Government of Iraq, and was against the draft agreement with Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq. It is also in violation of all agreements and the provisions of the MOU, and earlier agreements with the Government of Iraq.
The transfer of the fifth group began on Friday evening May 4, subsequent to two weeks of intense negotiations and communications between the U.N. and the representatives of the Ashraf residents and following the insistence of the US Department of States special advisor on Ashraf and the UN Secretary General Special Representative. Eventually they agreed that several vehicles including 3 water tankers, 2 sewage tankers and 1 fuel tanker will accompany the fifth convoy.
Yet some time after the convoy left Ashraf, in the presence of the UN monitor, the residents realized that there was no utility vehicle in the column. Subsequently, it was discovered that upon the orders of Iraqi authorities, all the utility vehicles, each one of which had an Ashraf resident onboard, had been returned to Ashraf.
The new round of covetous behavior by the Government of Iraq took place after a week-long process of inspecting the belongings of Ashraf residents that began on April 27. Throughout the seven days, the defenseless residents faced deliberate delays, obstructions and humiliating behavior by the Iraqi forces.
Iraqis once again prevented even the paralyzed residents and those who need special treatment, from transferring their vehicles and special trailers. This was despite the fact that in several letters and emails, the UN had committed to do its utmost to meet the humanitarian needs of the patients, but apparently the Iranian Regime has prevented Nouri-al-Maliki and his security advisor from carrying out their commitments to the U.N. during their recent trip to Tehran.
Presently, there are nearly 2000 people in camp Liberty. This is while the camp lacks the minimum requirements for proper living of the residents. Even their most basic humanitarian needs have not been met and guaranteed.
Camp Liberty Is A Prison
In reality, Camp Liberty remains a prison, and is surrounded by Iraqi armored vehicles.
The residents have shown the utmost flexibility and have given up on a lot of their rights. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iran resistance has shown utmost cooperation to achieve a peaceful solution on this humanitarian crisis. The Iraqi Government, at the behest of its masters in Tehran, keeps trampling on the rights of the Iranian dissidents.
Reprimand the Iraqi Government for its behavior
It is high time for the direct and immediate intervention of the UN Secretary General and the US Secretary of State to reprimand Iraqi Government for its behavior and to guarantee that the rights of the residents are observed and their properties are not plundered by the Iraqi Government. The UN and the US should adhere to their promises and commitments to the residents.
The whole world is watching.