Camp Liberty: 7,145 Physicians, Medical Personnel Call on UN, US To Take Action

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7,145 physicians and medical personnel from the US, Europe and Middle East signed a statement calling on the U.S. government and the United Nations to take action according to their moral and legal responsibilities vis-a-vis Camp Liberty residents in Iraq to lift the medical siege on the residents

Nearly 3,000 Iranian dissidents residing in Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport, MEK opposition members and “protected persons” under the 4th Geneva Convention, have for five years been under bloody attacks and an inhumane medical and logistical siege imposed by Iraqi forces loyal to the Iranian regime.

The deteriorating medical situation resulting from the imposed medical siege has raised the attention of international human rights organizations and dignitaries about inhumane conditions in the camp. Numerous international calls for measures to provide care for the patients in the camp have been made by many from numerous countries, inviting the UN and the Obama administration to take urgent action to save the lives of the patients of this camp.

Signatories of the statement emphasized that: “From 2009 when the protection and security of Ashraf residents was transferred to the Iraqi government, the residents have been gradually placed under a cruel and deteriorating logistical and medical siege.”

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Two female protesters in Camp Liberty ask the USA and United Nations to live up to their responsibilities and take action to end the medical siege being waged by Iraq.

Physicians and hospital staff who have signed this statement stressed that: “The current Liberty residents (members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran) have legally lived in Iraq for years and in 2004 they were recognized as ‘protected persons’ under the international law. From 2011 onward, as emphasized by the UN Refugee Agency, they were also recognized as ‘people of concern.’ Therefore, there is no excuse or pretext to deny the residents access to medical services and treatment in Iraq, which to this day they have always paid for at their own expense.”

The settlement concludes:

“Considering the fact that the UN and US are obligated vis-a-vis Liberty residents’ safety and security, and also have legal and moral responsibilities and obligations, we call on the UN and US government for urgent action and prioritizing terminal patients in Camp Liberty, such as those suffering from cancer, through the following measures:

  1. Free access for Liberty residents to medical services;
  2. Freedom of movement for Liberty residents to enjoy access to Iraqi physicians and hospitals to resolve their medical needs;
  3. Transferring the residents’ necessary medical equipment and supplies from Ashraf to Liberty which was all purchased at their own expense.

Despite numerous calls made to this day, the US government and UN – who bear the most responsibility regarding the residents’ safety & security – have to this day refused to take any serious action to lift the medical siege. Inaction in the face of human rights violations against the refugees of Camp Liberty in Iraq can truly lead to humanitarian catastrophe.

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.