United Nations Lies and Iraqi Obstruction Result in Death of Another PMOI Member

Behrooz Rahimian, a PMOI member in camp Liberty, died due to GOI obstruction of his treatment

Behrooz Rahimian, a PMOI member, died from cardiac arrest on Sunday, December 23 at 12.00 noon, a month after the Iraqi intelligence service prevented him from being hospitalized.

Iraqi Premiership, intelligence agents and the Prime Minister himself, under whose supervision all these restrictions are being imposed, are responsible for his death as they did not allow his medical treatment.

UNAMI, and Martin Kobler personally, should be held accountable for their silence about the inhumane siege imposed by the Government of Iraq (GoI) and also for not pursuing the complaint made by Behrooz and the camp residents’ legal adviser on this matter. Behrooz’s death could easily have been prevented.

Who Was Behrooz Rahimian?

behrooz rahimian
Behrooz Rahimian

Behrooz was from a well-known family in Mazandaran Province of Iran. He started his professional struggle in the ranks of the PMOI thirty five years ago. Prior to this, three of his brothers, Bahman, Firouz and Bijan as well as his wife, his two cousins and two other members of his family, who were all in the PMOI, were killed in the struggle against the clerical regime ruling Iran.

Two Preventable Deaths In Camp Liberty

Behrooz was the second resident to die at Camp Liberty. Before that, engineer Bardia Amir-Mostofian died on March 20, 2012 from cardiac arrest after a forced and hasty relocation, which was insisted on by Martin Kobler, to take place on the eve of Iranian New Year. He had the cardiac arrest soon after he entered Camp Liberty. Iraqi doctors confirmed that he died due to excessive sleeplessness and fatigue. For 48 hours prior to his death, he had been involved in transferring the items for inspection in a relocation from Ashraf to Liberty.

Behrooz suffered from heart disease for a long time and therefore he was under treatment and control by physicians. However, since four years ago as the cruel medical siege started he had faced increasing difficulties. Nevertheless, Behrooz and many other patients received the minimum medical care by using facilities of the residents’ own clinic in Ashraf and through the efforts by PMOI physicians. But the situation became more dangerous for Behrooz and other patients after they were relocated to Liberty where the residents were prohibited by the GoI to use their own medical equipments.

Behrooz experienced severe pain in his thorax on November 25, 2012 and he was transferred to a hospital in Baghdad as an emergency case. The hospital physicians decided to hospitalize him in the CCU but the Iraqi intelligence agents prevented that and pressurized the physicians to refuse to hospitalize Behrooz.

UNAMI Takes No Action As Iraq Intimidates Doctors

The patient’s translator called leader of the UNAMI monitoring team at Liberty, from hospital informing him of the critical situation of Behrooz and prevention of his hospitalization. However, no action was taken and as the physicians were threatened and intimidated by Iraqi agents, Behrooz was returned to Camp Liberty after taking some medicine while he was suffering from severe heart pain.

Martin Kobler Ignores Letter

On November 26, the residents’ legal adviser wrote the following in a report which was sent to Mr. Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Mr. Busztin, his deputy, Francesco Motta, head of the UNAMI human rights group, US and the UNHCR officials, “Harassment of patients in Baghdad by intelligence agents continues. Last night one of the patients dispatched by clinic’s physician to Yarmouk Hospital as an emergency case due to heart problem faced harassment of the intelligence agent who had gone along with the patient.”

In a letter to the UNAMI Human Rights Office on November 26, a copy of which was sent to the representative of the residents, Behrouz wrote: “Yesterday about 16:00, I felt some pain in my chest which I had no precedence of such a pain before. I was taken to Liberty clinic by my friends and the resident doctor examined me and after taking electrocardiogram… he signed the referral for me to go to the hospital in Baghdad.”

Iraqi Agent Interferes With Medical Treatment

“Since the very beginning, i.e. 21:30, I faced with bothering, pressures and insults of the Iraqi intelligence agent who had come along with the escort team…Once we got to the hospital, he started to interfere in medical affairs and causing obstructions and putting pressure on the doctors and the hospital staff. He created an intimidation atmosphere and openly told them that they were not allowed to keep this patient (me) during the night. When I started to tell the doctor about the problem I was suffering and the interpreter wanted to translate my words, he started to insult me and the interpreter and in a loud abnormal voice told him not to speak in English and it is forbidden. I did my best to convince him that I do not know Arabic, but he didn’t listen to me and didn’t allow us to talk with the doctor… Finally, I contacted UNAMI monitor at night… Due to intimidation atmosphere that the intelligence agent had created in the hospital, all the doctors and hospital staff were behaving very cautiously and despite the serious problem I had, they did not hospitalize me and told me to return to the camp at night….”

Outright Lies In United Nations Report

The slaying of Behrouz occurs at a time that two days ago, the UNAMI under the supervision of Martin Kobler in its human rights report for the period of the first six months of 2012, in the section on Ashraf and Liberty by ignoring or distorting the realities, has tried to depict a completely reversed picture of Camp Liberty. This is done to cover up the fact that the camp is a prison, lacks the human rights and humanitarian standards, the basic rights of residents are violated, and the residents face a medical siege and are deprived of right to ownership. The report has tried to whitewash the crimes of the GoI that are perpetrated at the behest of the Iranian regime and with Martin Kobler paving the way.

Amongst other lies, this report purports, “There is a medical facility with an Iraqi physician at Camp Liberty. Ambulances are on alert around the clock. The Government of Iraq guarantees the transportation of the residents to outside of the Camp for medical appointments on need.” This report is a green light for the Government of Iraq and the Iranian regime to continue and to intensify their repressive policies and their anti-human siege against the residents of Ashraf and Liberty.

The Iranian Resistance calls on the US Government and the UN to put an immediate end to obstruction and blockage in treatment of patients and preventing the transfer of medical equipments of the residents to Liberty and the anti-human medical blockage that has resulted in slaying of a number of the Asharf and Liberty residents. The Iranian resistance reminds that these conducts are examples of Crimes against International Community, violations of Geneva Conventions, and violation of asylum laws and those who commit these crimes should be prosecuted and be brought before justice.

It is noteworthy that similar to other Ashraf and Liberty residents, Behrouz was a Protected Person under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The ID card number that the US Government had provided him after recognizing his status was AB36790D.

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.