British MPs Strongly Condemn the Conduct of Iraqi Government During Transfer of Iranian Dissidents From Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty

LONDON, May 5, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) strongly condemns the Government of Iraq’s outrageous conduct of returning the utility vehicles accompanying the fifth convoy of Iranian dissidents who were transferred from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty.
The covetous act of the Government of Iraq was in clear violation of the agreement between the residents and Mr. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq.

The BPCFI calls for immediate intervention of the UN Secretary General and US officials to stop mistreatment of Iranian dissidents and the Government of Iraq’s reneging on its commitments.

According to reports, subsequent to two weeks of negotiations and repeatedly changing the draft agreement with Ambassador Kobler, which were in violation of provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding, finally on Friday, 4 May, more than 400 residents of Ashraf left for Liberty at about 20:00 local time.

This was while searching and inspecting the individuals and their belongings in this convoy lasted 8 days, under excruciating and inhumane conditions imposed on the residents by the Government of Iraq. During the inspections, the residents were barred from taking a lot of their belongings and scores of their belongings were stolen by the Iraqi forces.

Despite all these hardships the Ashraf residents, overwhelming majority of them women, showed utmost cooperation and agreed to the transfer upon the requests of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance.

As the reports indicate, a few hours after the convoy had left Ashraf at the presence of UN monitors, the residents realized that there was no utility vehicle in the column. Subsequently, it was known that upon the orders of Iraqi authorities, all the utility vehicles that each had an Ashraf resident onboard had been returned to Ashraf. This was a clear and unacceptable violation of the agreement reached for the transfer of the fifth convoy to Liberty that was carried out before the eyes of UN monitors.

We know that Liberty faces dire shortage of basic needs and these utility vehicles are urgently needed particularly in light of the growing number of Liberty residents.

The blatant violation of the agreements and trampling on the minimum rights and humanitarian needs of Ashraf and Liberty residents are totally unacceptable and require immediate intervention of the UN Secretary General and the US Secretary of State.

It should be reminded that the United Nations High Commissioner for refugees has repeatedly stressed the rights of the residents of Camp Liberty in particular freedom of movement but the camp remains a prison surrounded by armored vehicles.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

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