Unprecedented Heat Wave Engulfs Iraq, Inhumane Siege on Camp Liberty Residents


Middle East Heatwave

An unprecedented heat wave has engulfed the entire Middle East. Turkey and Jordan have also faced previously unseen scorching summer heat.

In Iraq, however, the heat intensity is actually higher than anywhere else. The extreme heat in this country is unbelievable and literally intolerable, according to international news media.

The Iraqi government announced a four-day holiday due to the atrocious heat, due to the fact that all infrastructures are destroyed in this country and the lack of adequate electricity.

See a short video about Camp Liberty conditions here:

Intolerable Conditions In Camp Liberty

The problems resulting from the immense heat skyrocketing into temperatures never seen before are even more intolerable for a few thousand Iranian dissidents living in Camp Liberty adjacent to Baghdad International Airport.

Iranian Refugees

These individuals are Iranian refugees, who in 2011 were forced to evacuate their 26-year long home in Camp Ashraf, located 60 miles north of Baghdad, and move to Camp Liberty. This new site, a deserted and ransacked US military camp, lacks the most basic infrastructure based on international standards.

This transfer was carried out according to an agreement between the United Nations, US and Iraqi governments.

Despite the fact that UNAMI and the US have legal and moral responsibilities over these refugees’ safety and security, an all-out logistical and medical siege has been imposed on camp residents ever since the protection of these refugees in 2009 was transferred from Washington to Baghdad.

Iran Controls Camp Liberty In Iraq

The residents have also been targeted many times in bloody attacks staged by Iraqi forces loyal to the Iranian regime.

Camp Liberty residents
Camp Liberty residents

Tehran’s increasing meddling in Iraqi affairs is a known fact. Over 100 of these residents have been killed and more than 1,300 others injured.

Protest Rallies

During the past past few days, the residents have staged a number of rallies demanding the inhumane siege be lifted as the intolerable recent heat wave has to this day led to the dehydration of many residents and placed their lives in grave danger.

Many of the camp’s power generators and food storage refrigerators have broken down.

The residents also protested inaction seen from the UN and US parties who have specific responsibilities in this regard. They demanded a speedy lifting of the blockade imposed by elements linked to the Iranian regime in the Iraqi government.

“Due to the inhumane siege enforced on us by the Iraqi government, and not allowing us to procure supplies needed for the camp’s infrastructure at our own expense, all of our devices are breaking down and under this scorching heat where our water and electricity all rely on old and worn-out power generators, these sets are going out of order one by one and we no longer have any water, electricity or cooling systems for food storage,” one residents says.

“This is an outlaw prison,” he adds.

“Under this tremendous heat the pipes in this camp become so hot that the water just cannot be used,” another resident says.

Violation Of Written Commitments

Human rights organizations believe there is only one solution to end the violation of written commitments provided and promised by the US and UN to the camp residents. That solution is to lift the inhumane siege that has taken the lives of many of the residents to this day.

The way to end prison-making measures in Liberty is to have the camp management team changed. This responsibility must be assigned to an organization in Iraq that has no political or religious affiliation to the mullahs’ regime ruling Iran. The next important step is to truly recognize this site as a UN-supervised refugee camp.

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.