Ex-UN official in Iraq: It is impossible for UNAMI and US Embassy to be uninformed of the hostages’ location

• Boumedra: “In the attack of April 8, 2011, the US tried to hide the realities but I sent the report in irregular manner”

• The nominee for Assistant Secretary of State pledges to Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee to urge for the release of the hostages and protection of Camp Liberty.

In a shocking testimony in the UN Headquarter in Geneva, Dr. Tahar Boumedra, Head of the UNAMI’s human rights office and UNAMI advisor on Ashraf between 2009 and 2012, stated on Thursday, September 19: “Ashraf is highly fortified camp where nobody could penetrate into the camp without the active preparation and support of the Iraqi Police and Army… There are observation towers in every corner of the camp…  Nothing could go into Ashraf without being seen… Now when I hear that there is doubt raised about who made the recent attack on Ashraf, it shocks me…. It was me who did the fact finding on April 2011 attack and I talked directly to those who committed the crime in April of 2011. They tried to put the blame on the Ashrafis but in the end they recognized that they did it.”

He added: “There is nothing that happened to the Ashrafis that is a secret to UNAMI…….. There are three security institutions in the UNAMI called Polad, Milad and DSS, which are in regular contact with the Iraqi Police, Iraqi Army and the Chief of Staff of the Iraqi Army and security of the Prime Minister Office. I could confirm in this meeting and I hope that the Press or the UN personnel in this room would challenge what I am saying. I am telling you that it was done by the Iraqi Army coordinated by the Prime Minister’s office ordered by Falleh Fayaz the National Security adviser.”

Mr. Boumedra stressed: “My counterparts in the American embassy also tried to hide the realities but they told me oh you know the situation got out of hand and the Iraqi Army could not sort of monitor the situation closely. They went into Ashraf on the 10th of April and did not inform me because there are some convention working arrangements that we inform each other and I went to Ashraf on 13 of April and found out that the Americans had been there before me and they did not say anything and kept quite……….. The report about the massacre of April 2011 was sent here to Geneva in irregular manner because I was not allowed to send the report through the normal channels. That means if I didn’t send it in an irregular manner we would have covered it up.”
On the location of the seven Ashrafi hostages, Tahar Boumedra stated: “Here again it is not a secret there is no way for UNAMI not to know. There is no way for the American embassy not to know where they are……….. When the 36 in 2011 were taken from Al Khalis they disappeared and I followed them where they were. They were in Baghdad in the Green Zone 50 meters away from UNAMI headquarters also 50 meters from Iraqi Presidency in a building with a label on it ‘High Council of National Education’ and the National Education was used as a secret prison. They kept them there. I went to visit them in the presence of the Iraqi security officers. I told them now you are my neighbors and I will visit you every day. Next day I went to visit them they were removed.”

Also on September 19, Senator Robert Menendez, Chairman of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee stressed in the hearing of Ambassador Patterson, nominee for Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs: “I’m also disturbed by Iraq’s failure to protect the MEK community at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, which most recently resulted in 52 deaths and the kidnapping of seven individuals who remain hostages. I expect the Iraqis to hold the guilty parties responsible for their actions. I also hold the Iraqis responsible for the security of those at Camp Liberty and I hope that the administration will also send the same message”

Senator Menendez asked Ambassador Patterson: “would you commit to me that you will make an effort to make it very clear to them that they are equally responsible for those individual at Camp Liberty and to find the attackers on Camp Ashraf and return the hostages, seven hostages that were taken from Camp Ashraf” Ambassador Patterson replied: “Yes sir, I will.”

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
September 22, 2013

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