Residents of Ashraf and Liberty Raise Their Concerns to UN Secretary General

Ashraf and Liberty residents raised their concerns with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in two separate letters with more than 3000 signatures. They pointed out the followings:

Letters of Residents of Ashraf and Liberty to the UN Secretary General

Martin Kobler’s remarks at the UN Security Council Session in 19 July will pave the way for the massacre and intensification of the suppression and siege against us.

-22 Ashraf residents were run over by the Hamweys of the Iraqi aggressive forces in April 2011 but Mr. Kobler forgetting the call by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights for a “full, independent and transparent inquiry”, thanks the Government of Iraq (GoI) and makes an inverted call on the defenseless residents to refrain from “provocation and violence”!

-While the Working Group on Arbitrary Arrests has evaluated Camp Liberty conditions as a detention center inconsistent with the international human rights law according to article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights, Mr. Kobler is threatening that the “patience of the Government of Iraq is going thin”!

-2/3 of Ashraf residents have been transferred to Liberty group by group based on promises by Mr. Kobler that the minimum humanitarian requirements would be provided in next move. This can no longer go on.

-As suggested by 4000 parliamentarians from various countries, we concur that you appoint a personal representative trusted by residents to closely see our problems and impartially report the facts to you.

-49 residents were killed by the GoI and more than 1000 people were wounded but the GoI is not allowing the residents to provide the necessary facilities for the disabled and patients at their own cost or to transfer them from Ashraf to Liberty.

-At 55 degrees Celsius, the GoI is refusing to connect Liberty to the city water network or to allow pumping water from a river 150 meters from the camp.

-Despite severe shortage of electricity, the GoI is not allowing us to transfer to Liberty the generators which belong to us.

-In a completely pebbly ground and in extreme heat, building footpaths and canopies at the cost of residents are prevented.

-Unlike previous agreement on transferring one passenger car for every 40 residents i.e. only 5% of the residents cars, not a single passenger car has been allowed to be transferred since the fourth convoy.

-In the fifth convoy, six utility vehicles which belonged to women were returned from halfway and have not been given to them since more than two and half months.

-Five forklifts have not been allowed to be transferred and we are forced in Liberty to carry heavy weights with hands and on our shoulders.

-We have been prevented from selling our movable and immovable properties for seven months.

Without providing these essential needs which are all in the MOU of 25 December, the SRSG’s letter of 28 December 2011 and consistent with the International Humanitarian Law, no further convoy should move. By his silence and closing his eyes to the constant breaches of agreements, and by ignoring the minimum rights of asylum-seekers and humanitarian and human rights standards, Mr. Kobler will undoubtedly encourage the GoI to carry out another 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.