Resistance of Iran Criticizes Ploy to Move Fifth Group From Ashraf to Liberty

Iraq turns around utility trucks en route to Camp Liberty, returns them to Ashraf before the eyes of UN monitors

Resistance of Iran leader, Mrs. Rajavi, asked for the immediate intervention of UN Secretary-General and U.S. officials and announced that she would not recommend anybody to go to Liberty from Ashraf, until this issue is fixed and all agreements are implemented completely.

After two weeks of exhausting talks and after changing eight drafts with SRSG Martin Kobler that was totally violation of commitments and infringement of the MOU and previous letters and agreements with the GOI, finally at about 8 p.m. local time Friday May 4, more than 400 residents of Ashraf departed for Camp Liberty. Inspection of the cargo and the residents in unbearable heat lasted eight days from Friday, April 27 until evening, Friday, May 4, and the transfer of half of the cargo has been postponed to future.

The move of fifth group was brought about upon the insistence of Special Advisor on Ashraf to Secretary Clinton and Special Representative of the U.N. Secretary-General for Iraq and in a condition where against numerous letters and emails of Mr. Kobler, Iraqi officials rejected the transfer of the vehicles and trailers especially made for the handicapped and paraplegic patients. After two weeks of tense negotiations and correspondence, only one minibus for 400 people and six utility trucks (three water tankers, two sewage tankers, and one fuel tanker) were approved to be transferred with the fifth column.

Nevertheless, just one hour after the convoy departed, monitored by UN monitors, the residents who were on the buses figured out that the utility trucks were not in the convoy and hence informed their friends in Ashraf, using their mobile phones. During the first hour, nobody either in Ashraf or on the buses was able to call the UN monitors. Later, it became clear that the utility trucks, with a resident in each of them, were being returned to Ashraf upon the orders of Iraqi officials.

Approving the transfer of six utility vehicles and then changing their direction and returning them while en route is a dirty betrayal and flagrant violation of all agreements, right under the eyes of the UN and its monitors. THis was done so that the 400 residents are under further pressure, lacking water, sewage and fuel tankers.

The residents in the fifth group reportedly asked their contacts with the SRSG and U.S. officials, while en route, for the immediate return of all to Ashraf.

Mrs. Rajavi, upon whose request Ashraf residents accepted the move to Camp Liberty, asked for the immediate intervention of the UN Secretary-General and U.S. officials. She announced that she would not recommend anybody to go to Liberty from Ashraf any more until this issue is fixed and all agreements are implemented completely.

In its successive statements, the UNHCR has emphasized the right to movement for the residents in Liberty; however, Liberty has remains a prison, surrounded by armored vehicles.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

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.