Following the transfer of the second group of Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty, the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) commended this courageous and responsible act by Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi and urged the US Secretary of State, UN Secretary general and EU High Representative to work for the safety and security of the people of Ashraf and their resettlement in third countries. This move is taking place while this Camp lacks the necessary human rights and humanitarian standards to house these people. Solely on the advice of Mrs Rajavi and the repeated calls by the Special Representative of Mrs Clinton and Special Representative of the Secretary General, they gave in to this relocation.
Neither the infrastructure of Camp Liberty, nor its water, electricity and sewage systems are adequate for this number of people. Residents are deprived of the right to free movement while they do not have a large area like in Ashraf. Regrettably, Camp Liberty is 70 times smaller than Ashraf and, most importantly; the voluminous presence of police and armed forces, together with spying cameras, have turned Camp Liberty into a prison. The problem with water is quite serious in view of the fact that the hot season in Iraq will soon start. The water system in Camp Liberty should be connected to Baghdad's water system in order to avert a water crisis in the Camp.
At the same time, there is still no prospect for residents' resettlement. Although it is now more than six months that residents have presented their applications for asylum, all they have received is nothing but wishful talk.
In the present situation, continuing with the transfer of Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty is dangerous in every respect and may lead to irreversible problems. Concentrating a population in a small area with no possibility of movement, together with a significant presence of police and a lack of basic necessities is to just create an explosive situation.
So no more relocation to Camp Liberty until most of the 800 already there are transferred to third countries. Then move further people from Ashraf.
Most expeditiously, the bare necessities should be provided in Camp Liberty. In particular, the police and armed forces should be placed outside of the Camp, its area extended, and problems with infrastructure, especially water, resolved. Only then additional people could be transferred.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras MEP
President, International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)
8 March 2012
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