Ashraf residents, another 400 are moving to Camp Liberty

At the request of Special Representative of Secretary Clinton and Special Representative of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and their promise for attempt to fulfill minimum assurances of Ashraf residents, another 400 are moving to Camp Liberty

• Ashraf residents call on the Security Council to act to lift the restrictions as Iraqi government continues to impose restrictions and carry out unlawful interventions amongt other things in transfer of the residents’ property

Another 400 Ashraf residents are moving to Liberty. This act was accomplished following 10 days of dense talks and calls in Ashraf, Paris, Washington and Baghdad, at the request of Special Representative of Secretary Clinton and Special Representative of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon (SRSG) and their promise for attempt to fulfill minimum assurances of the residents.

In a hearing at the US Congress on 29 February, US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton reminded the Iraqi government of its commiments on safety and security of residents in Ashraf and the new camp and she said with respect to their transfer to third countries, “no government has raised the FTO issue with the Department of State as a bar to receiving individuals. And we’re going to continue to work to ensure the safety and security.”

Since Tuesday, March 6, the second group of Ashraf residents has started taking their belongings to the loading site but regrettably, the process was delayed for very long due to the obstacles created by the Iraqi forces. The obstructions still continue.

Until now, Iraqi armed forces have prevented the transfer of many utility vehicles including cranes and lift-trucks while these items are very much required considering the situation in Camp Liberty and the serious shortages in infrastructure and installations in that camp. Iraqi agents are also preventing with no reason the transfer of basic living items such as tables, chairs, heaters, generators required by the residents and satellite dish.

On Wednesday morning, March 7, a group of Iraqi swats (Police forces dressed in black) broke the doors and locks of some of the containers using hammers and threw out the residents’ belongings. Two suppressive Iraqi officers known as Captain Khodeir Ahmad and Lieutenant Heidar Azab who were directly involved in the killing of Ashraf residents were acting agents in the aggression of March 7. Consequently, UN monitors came to the scene and noted this repressive and humiliating behaviour in details.

Yet another stale example was the remarks made by Odei Khodran, Governor of Khalis city, who is a known agent of the terrorist Qods force. In a foolish fabrication, he said to the Iraqi media, “Bayonets and military uniforms were found in suitcases of some members of the Khalq Organisation which were going to be used for killing the Iraqi forces”!

While commending the Ashraf residents for their perseverance against the pressures by the clerical regime ruling Iran and their extreme show of flexibility, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said, “As Ashraf residents have well demonstrated their goodwill, it is the time for the US Government and the United Nations to guarantee the minimum assurances for the Liberty residents so that they can benefit from all their rights. From now on any move by the Iraqi Government that hinders these minimum assurances and refuses to fulfill the residents’ rights would hold back the transfer of next convoys.

Following the transfer of the first group of Ashraf residents to Camp Liberty that lacked the minimum human rights and humanitarian standards as well as the extensive presence of police and surveillance cameras, many parliamentarians and prominent dignitaries in US and EU, and Non-Governmental Organizations, described camp Liberty as a prison or a place worse than a prison and warned against the continuation of such situation.  A number of dignitaries suggested going to Liberty at their own expenses in order to report to the public about the conditions in Liberty, but the Iraqi government rejected.

Ashraf residents emphasized that the transfer of others can only take place when the minimum guarantees are secured, the Iraqi armed forces are moved to outside the camp, the surveillance cameras are removed, freedom of movement is allowed,  issues relating to water and electricity shortages and sewage system are resolved, free access to medical services is allowed, the residents are permitted to build necessary facilities, and the Iraqi government and UNAMI assist that all the moveable properties of Ashraf residents be transferred to either Camp Liberty or to outside of Iraq or to be sold inside of Iraq by the end of April. Iraqi government, with the arbitration of the UN and US, compensates the residents for all the non-moveable properties that the residents have built in Ashraf with their expenses, to cover for the residents’ expenses at Liberty or for their relocation to third countries.

With Iraqi governments imposing restrictions and illegal intervention during the transfer of their belongings, the residents of Ashraf called on the United Nations Security Council to act and on the United Nations and the US government to intervene to lift all restrictions.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 7, 2012


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