"Return us to Ashraf", Iranians in Camp Liberty tell Ban Ki-moon

Share

NCRI - In a joint letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, over 3,000 Iranians in Camp Liberty, Iraq, said: "More than one month after the missile attack, we have repeated time and again that our most urgent issue is immediate provision of security."

"Continuation of interviews in Liberty... hides the truth and portrays a wrong image of business as usual and as if matters are being pursued in the right path. None of us accept this dishonorable attitude that leaves the lives of other residents in danger." 

The residents said: "The only solution is our immediate return to Ashraf which is relatively safer as it is eighty times larger than Liberty with concrete buildings as well as equipped bunkers that we built ourselves. Liberty's polluted environment and extremely unsanitary conditions due to a broken down sewage system and overflow of sewage tanks, outbreak of infectious diseases, and the medical siege and crisis doubles the need to transfer residents to Ashraf."

Text of the joint letter by over 3,000 residents of Camp Liberty:


March 15, 2013
H.E. Ban Ki-moon
Secretary-General of the United Nations

Dear Secretary-General:

We the residents of Camp Liberty in Iraq would like to draw your attention to our perilous security condition at Camp Liberty where we have been forcibly transferred from Ashraf in a conspiracy of the Iranian regime and Government of Iraq with the knowledge of the United Nations under the pretext of expeditiously going through the process for resettlement in third countries. We had been reassured that this process would be peaceful and we had been promised that this process would provide a high guarantee for our security. Now, this process has culminated in bloodshed.

In the last hours of Wednesday, March 13, one of the wounded of the February 9 attack on Camp Liberty, engineer Hamid Rabi, passed away in a hospital in Baghdad after suffering for 33 days. He is the eighth martyr of this missile attack. Mr. Rabi was a political refugee in Germany and a permanent resident of that country. German officials had also interviewed him on December 11. Following his injury, residents’ representatives requested his immediate transfer to Germany. Moreover, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, in writing assumed all expenses for his transfer, residence and medical treatment in Germany. This could be done if only the German Embassy in Baghdad extended his passport or gave him a permit to enter Germany.

Failure to transfer a critically wounded resident who had both a refugee passport and permanent residence status in Germany, vividly shows that while 2000 individuals have been interviewed, how dangerous it is to keep the residents in Liberty killing field on the pretext of continuing with the interviews and transfer to third countries. This solely paves the way for further slaughters. This is a trap laid for residents, United Nations and the international community one and a half years ago by Martin Kobler in a wicked plot to implement the wishes of the Iranian regime and Government of Iraq. However, the era of this deception is over now. Since last year, the number of residents killed in Liberty is more than the number resettled through the RSD process which is under ten individuals.

For your information, thirty-five days after the missile attack on Camp Liberty and while threats by the Iranian regime and its elements and hirelings in Iraq for future attacks on Liberty continue, the Iraqi government stonewalls the least protective measures in the camp, including returning the T-walls, which during the presence of Americans offered relative protection to the containers against missile attacks, and it does not allow a single T-wall into the camp. Likewise, it prevents transfer of our protective vests and helmets from Ashraf. Concurrent with entry of residents to Camp Liberty in February 2012 and in subsequent weeks, Iraqi forces employed several cranes working round the clock to expeditiously remove 17500 T-walls from Camp Liberty despite residents’ protests and thereby intentionally left the containers vulnerable to any attack.

There is no doubt the goal of Iranian regime and the GOI is to inflict further casualties on us in later attacks. General James Jones, President Obama’s former National Security Advisor, reiterated that the situation at Camp Liberty is worse than Guantanamo prison. (CNN- 11 March 2013)

Over past one month after the missile attack, we have repeated time and again that our most urgent issue is immediate provision of security. Continuation of interviews in Liberty and the very slow method of resettlement which is consistent with the Iranian regime’s will is not the solution to the vital issue of our collective security, and any just conscience would agree that in fact it increases the dangers for the wide majority that will remain in Liberty for a long period. It covers the truth and portrays this wrong image as if everything is normal and matters are being pursued in the right path. None of us accept this dishonorable attitude that leaves the lives of the others in danger.

Dear Secretary-General,
Our immediate security can be provided by rapid transfer of all of us to the US even though temporarily. The US government has signed an agreement with each and every one of us and in return for getting our arms has taken the responsibility of our protection until our final disposition. In its statement of August 29, 2012, the US State Department reiterated the US government's commitment on "the safety and security of the residents throughout the process of their relocation outside of Iraq."

Otherwise, the only solution is our immediate return to Ashraf which is relatively safer since it is eighty times larger than Liberty with entrenched buildings as well as equipped bunkers that we built ourselves. A polluted environment and extremely insanitary situation at Liberty due to a deficient sewage system and overflow of sewage tanks, outbreak of infectious diseases, and medical siege and crisis doubles the need to transfer residents to Ashraf.

Refugee Status Determination process and the transfer to third countries, which has been covered with blood and has become impossible in Liberty, could continue in Ashraf. This meets the ‘UNHCR Manual on Security of Persons of Concern’ that was published in 2011 is applicable to the current situation in Camp Liberty; it specifies in Section 1.7 "If the host government is unable or unwilling to provide adequate security and cannot guarantee the safety and welfare of persons of concern, consider the merits of relocating the camp or settlement population."

Respectfully,