Ashraf Residents Oppose Presence of Iraqi Armored Vehicles in Camp Liberty

The issue of stationing armored vehicles in Camp Liberty is a serious threat to the lives of the residents. Since yesterday morning, on a provocative and hostile act, Iraqi government resorted to armored vehicles in CL more concerns have been aroused regarding the oppressive intentions of GoI against the residents. To our outmost surprise, UNAMI and UNHCR monitors were not informed of Iraqi force armored vehicles stationing in CL.

Considering presence of armor vehicles, spying cameras and increasing siege that the Government of Iraq imposes on every aspect of the residents’ lives this place that was supposed to be a “Temporary Transit Location” for asylum-seekers, is currently turning into a facility for keeping POWs without international protection. The management of this prison has been assigned by Government of Iraq to Sadeq Mohammad Kazem who is under prosecution by Spain’s National Court for investigation over the crimes during the previous two deadly attacks on Camp Ashraf.

On the other hand, the residents of Camp Liberty are facing serious problems due to shortage of water. Water is severely rationed in all sections of the camp. Especially with arrival of the fourth group, the water problem has turned into a crisis. In such conditions that the GoI refuses all the residents’ proposals for providing minimum water requirements, persistence of GoI for transfer of the next group to CL is an inhumane and cruel act.

Transfer of the next groups will intensify the torments of 1600 residents of CL for accessing humanitarian services including water and is against the spirit of the MoU signed by SRSG and the GoI.

Camp Ashraf residents insist that the fifth move to Liberty will not happen before the residents written demands that have been brought by their representatives (particularly about armed forces, shortage of water and electricity, transfer of especial equipment and vehicles for handicapped and injured to Liberty, etc.) to the attention of SRSG and Secretary Clinton’s special representative are met and implemented.

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.