Iraq: Camp Liberty Medical Siege is Crime Against Humanity
Depriving terminally ill and cancer patients, on the verge of losing their lives, of medical treatment is considered a crime against humanity. Such horrific crimes are completely politically motivated and carried out by Iraqi security forces loyal to the Iranian regime at a camp adjacent to Baghdad airport and ironically named ‘Liberty‘, all under the very eyes of the UN.
Around 3,000 Iranian dissidents, who have during the past 28 years lived as refugees in Iraq, are now the targets of this massive crime. This blockade has to this day taken the lives of 22 of these refugees, who lived in Camp Ashraf – located 90 kilometers north of Baghdad up to 2011 – and then transferred to Camp Liberty neighboring Baghdad airport under a mandatory relocation. On Sunday, 9 November 2014, patients in Camp Liberty held a rally protesting this medical siege that has been ongoing for 5 years.
Inaction and silence by the UN and US, who are legally and morally responsible for our safety and security under numerous agreements and commitments, has actually facilitated the continuation and intensification of this crime by Iraqi forces against the refugees in these two camps.
The patients in Liberty are now asking themselves does anyone know about their pains.
Last week over 2,000 Iraqi physicians and medical personnel issued a statement condemning the medical siege and calling on the US government and UN to urgently intervene and take practical measures in this regard.
The harsh medical blockade imposed on Liberty residents, all considered ‘protected persons’ under the 4th Geneva Convention and ‘persons of concern’ by the UNHCR, are examples of a true crime against humanity in the making. At 8:30 am I reached the site of the protest gathering held by the patients near the camp’s entrance. The protesters, all patients deprived of open access to medical services due to the siege whose illnesses have all passed the point of no return, raised their placards protesting this blockade. The residents also called on UNAMI to lift these pressures and allow them to enjoy unhindered access to medical services.
He adds, “I don’t know why Iraqi forces are preventing me from going to a hospital to get treatment. To this day they have cancelled my medical appointment three times, all based on bogus reasons. This is while the Iraqi resident physician in the camp’s clinic had said I must be taken to a Baghdad at first notice. Each time that my medical appointment is cancelled it takes two weeks for my turn to come up again and of course my illness advances during this period.”
See also this related story: The World Medical Association Deplores Inhuman Medical Siege in Camp Liberty