46 NGOs urge UN protection at Camp Liberty

Written by Staff Writer on .

NCRI – Some 46 international non-governmental organizations (NGOs) from five continents have signed an urgent appeal to the United Nations and to the governments of the United States and Iraq condemning the October 29 deadly missile attack on members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK) in Camp Liberty in Iraq and demanding international protection at the camp.

The following is the text of the appeal:


Urgent Appeal to
United Nations, USA and Government of Iraq

December 2015

We, the Non-Governmental Organizations and personalities respecting human rights of every individual and groups of people under international law, express our strongest abhorrence over the ruthless and deadly attack on October 29th against Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty in Iraq. This vicious crime is without doubt a definite case of a crime against humanity in the 21st century.

The attack that left 24 residents killed and hundreds injured is reportedly carried out by the support of the elements of the Iranian fundamentalist regime in the Iraqi government. In addition to the large number human casualties many parts of the camp suffered severe damages due to the missile attack. Following the grave attack, instead of assisting the residents, the Government of Iraq in an inhumane and criminal move hindered delivery of food, fuel and medicine, and is now preventing the entry to the camp of utility vehicles or any items needed to repair the damaged and shattered trailers used as an accommodation in a bid to impose even further pressures on the residents.

Ever since 2009 when the protection of the residents in Ashraf – recognized as "protected Persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention- was transferred against their will from the US to the government of former Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in 7 military attacks 141 of the residents have been killed and 27 others lost their lives as a result of a criminal siege.

Unfortunately, warnings issued by international organs prior to the attack went unnoticed, and today we are witness to yet another war crime against these refugees. It is quite natural that the United States and United Nations failure to take necessary practical measures will be seen as a green light by the Iranian regime and its proxies in Iraq, and we will witness further bloodshed; especially since the management of this camp continues to remain in the hands of individuals associated with the Iranian regime who have played a direct role in the past seven massacres.

Therefore, reiterating the commitments of the US and UN vis-à-vis the safety and security of this population, we demand:

1- A thorough and impartial investigation to the attacks against residents of Liberty as has been demanded by the UN special rapporteurs (https://spdb.ohchr.org/hrdb/28th/Public_-_AL_Iraq_06.08.14_(3.2014).pdf)
2- Removing the inhumane siege imposed on the camp immediately and not preventing the residents from procuring concrete T-walls and sandbags vital for their security and in a similar manner the residents must have access to every item needed to repair their shelters and environment.
3- Action to take Camp Liberty out of the control of elements linked to the Iranian regime, and recognizing the site as a refugee camp under the supervision of the UN Refugee Agency.