Ban on Food, Medicine and Fuel Deliveries to Camp Liberty Enters 2nd Week

Blocking Sewage Trucks Places Camp In Major Hygiene Crisis

On the fourth of July, U.S. Independence day, the residents of Camp Liberty in Iraq have so independence. The Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a statement documenting and lamenting an Iran-backed Iraqi-run blockade. The blockade includes a ban on food, medicine and fuel.

On Sunday, July 3, for the 7th consecutive day the crackdown committee controlling Camp Liberty prevented the entrance of trucks delivering fuel, food stuffs, medicine and hygiene products to the camp. This comes as Baghdad remains under 50 degree C heat during the holy month of Ramadan when Liberty residents are fasting. Therefore, the inhumane siege imposed on Liberty enters its second week.

The pretext resorted to for this inhumane measure is the administrative documents of the camp’s logistics supplying company vehicles being outdated. Whereas, these vehicles have been continuously commuting to Camp Liberty and the Baghdad International Airport vicinity for years now, and the logistics supplying company had according to annual customary measures extended all the necessary documents and informed the relevant Iraqi organs and entities more than 15 days ago.

Liberty sanitation.
Camp Liberty sanitation. File photo.

All of the camp’s vital systems including water purification, sewage depletion, cooling systems, the main kitchen and food preservation units rely on electricity. The only source of producing electricity is the camp’s already worn-out power generators. preventing the delivery of fuel has quickly resulted in these systems coming to a halt and rendering a dangerous crisis in Liberty.

To impose further pressure, on Saturday, July 2, the crackdown committee also banned the entrance of sewage dump trucks into the camp. Considering the camp’s decadent sewage tanks, this will lead to black water overflowing, contaminating the residents’ living areas, and ultimately the spread of various illnesses.

This is in flagrant violation of the 25 December 2011 Memorandum of Understanding signed by the United Nations and Iraqi government which stipulates, “The Government shall facilitate and allow the residents, at their own expense, to enter into bilateral contact with contractors for provision of life support and utilities such as water, food, communications, sanitation, and maintenance and rehabilitation equipment.”

The objective sought by the crackdown committee in these inhumane measures under the 50 degrees Celsius temperature is to impose maximum pressure and to torture the residents psychologically and physically.

In August 2015, there was a terrible heatwave and the Iraqis initiated yet another siege of Camp Liberty. In March that year, 23 Nobel Laureates protested the medical siege that was going on at the time.

The Iranian Resistance reiterates the numerous and written commitments provided by the United Nations and U.S. government vis-à-vis the residents, calling for their immediate intervention to bring an end to this inhumane siege, so providing the residents’ necessities to the camp would be resumed, and all obstacles placed against the entrance of fuel, food, medicine and utility vehicles would be lifted completely.

Shahriar Kia

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.