Camp Ashraf- breach of commitments, No. 7
• Mrs. Rajavi: Following stonewalling measures against the European Parliament solution and efforts to set aside Baroness Ashton’s representative, the mullahs’ regime is now attempting to thwart international efforts and calls made by Secretary Clinton, Baroness Ashton and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a peaceful solution.
• Compelling Ashraf residents to accept prison conditions, and the confinement of 3,250 individuals behind concrete walls in an extremely limited area with constant presence of police forces without having the right to freely move in and out of the camp and benefiting from civil services and facilities; without being able to take their vehicles and moveable assets with them from Ashraf; and without being able to send a number of individuals to make a preliminary assessment of the location and its conditions and facilities, is considered collective and arbitrary detention. The international community, especially the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative must stand against flagrant violations of international conventions and laws, and avert such a crime.
• Mrs. Rajavi once again emphasized the necessity of holding an international conference headed by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative with representatives of Ashraf residents, the governments of Iraq and the United States, European Union, UNHCR and European Parliament taking part to save the peaceful solution.
NCRI – The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) has received reports and documents from inside the mullahs’ regime that clearly indicate the conspiracies and attempts by this regime and its Iraqi proxies to defeat the peaceful solution for Ashraf emphasized upon by Secretary Clinton and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. The objective is to build a prison named “Liberty” under the cover of the United Nations.
1- According to these reports and documents, the Special Representative of Secretary-General and the U.S. forces were planning to allocate all of Camp Liberty to Ashraf residents. However, pressures from the Iranian regime on the Iraqi government resulted in the Iraqi forces occupying 98.5% of the camp, leaving just 1.5% to the residents of Ashraf.
2- Government of Iraq (GoI) has resorted to setting up high concrete T-walls in order to besiege the residents. It is also planning to permanently station a police force inside this area. The police force is heavily infiltrated by agents affiliated with the Iranian regime. For this reason, up until now, there has not been even one instance that individuals responsible for the series of explosions in Baghdad have been identified or prosecuted.
3- According to another document, in his two meetings with Faleh Fayyadh al-Ameri, the National Security Advisor, with the presence of his cousin Hadi al-Ameri and Hassan al-Saneed, Maliki has stated that the area of Camp Liberty is too much for Ashraf residents and ordered that just a small section should be given to them so that the security forces could have a round-the-clock and all-out control over them.
4- The Iranian regime has advised the GOI to again carry out identification and fingerprinting of Ashraf residents as they leave Ashraf and enter Liberty. This process had already been carried out by the Iraqi forces back in April 2009 during a 5-day period. In April 2009, in addition to fingerprinting and identifying each and every resident, teams from the Iraqi Interior Ministry searched and inspected every corner of Ashraf with police dogs for three days and confirmed in writing that there are no weapons or ammunition inside Ashraf.
5- The Iranian regime has asked Faleh Fayyadh al-Ameri to request from UNAMI and the SRSG to pressure Ashraf residents to forego their demands, especially for the transfer of their movable belongings and vehicles.
6- The Iraqi Prime Ministry has ordered Iraqi officers stationed in Ashraf to escalate their harassments and provocative acts against the residents. Following this directive, on Sunday January 8, a brutal Iraqi Captain by the name of Captain Ahmed insulted and threatened Ashraf residents several times, video clips of which are available on request from the NCRI Secretariat. In previous nights, by the orders of this person, the Iraqi forces destroyed some placards and signs inside Ashraf. Since two days ago, armed patrols around Ashraf and neighboring villages have intensified, so as to prevent what Iraqi Prime Ministry directives call a probable escape of 121 individuals whose fabricated arrest warrants have been issued and are supposed to be unexpectedly arrested during the process of transfer to Liberty.
7- Meanwhile, GOI is continuously reneging on the commitments it has given to the United Nations to peacefully resolve the Ashraf crisis. Compelling Ashraf residents to accept prison conditions , and the confinement of 3,250 individuals behind concrete walls in an extremely limited area with constant presence of police forces without having the right to freely move in and out of the camp and benefiting from civil services and facilities; without being able to take their vehicles and moveable assets with them from Ashraf; and without being able to send a number of individuals to make a preliminary assessment of the location and its conditions and facilities, is considered collective and arbitrary detention. The international community, especially the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative must stand against flagrant violations of international conventions and laws, and avert such a crime. Relocating a population that has lived in a place for 26 years to another location that its living standards are several times inferior can never be considered voluntary, especially in light of constant threats that Ashraf would be attacked if its residents do not relocate.
8- Preventing the transfer of vehicles and moveable assets under various pretexts, including that Ashraf residents do not have the right to transfer assets of collective use, are clear violations of their rights. It is common knowledge that equipment and assets such as kitchen appliances, buses, minibuses and power generators are available for collective use in any city or village or any human population. Insisting on prohibiting the transfer of these assets is an obvious sign of building a prison-like environment. It is the echoing of the same ominous tunes of last summer in an attempt to disband Iran’s principle opposition force to curry favor for the mullahs’ regime. A disgraceful and dishonorable claim that faced worldwide condemnation, and was followed by several UNHCR statements declaring that conditions for refugee status do not whatsoever require defecting or abandoning the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). In order to disband and annihilate its principle opposition force, Khomeini issued the death sentence of 30 thousand Iranian political prisoners in 1988. Yet even then, members of the PMOI preferred an honorable death instead of succumbing to the religious dictatorship. Even the US, after the consolidation of Ashraf residents’ weapons, announced: “They – Ashraf residents – have the right to freedom of thought, religion, expression, intra-community association and political opinion.” (Letter of General Brandenburg to PMOI Secretary General and Ashraf residents – October 7, 2005)
Therefore, whatever the price may be, no one has any right whatsoever to deprive Ashraf residents of their rights to freedom of expression, thought, political beliefs and especially the right to intra-community association, and they will never accept such conditions.
9- On January 4th, Ashraf residents through their representative outside of Iraq issued a letter to the UN special representative raising 21 questions about the conditions of the new location to receive his reply in writing in order to make their decision. They continue to wait to receive a response to their questions, yet to this day they have not been given anything but unclear and uncertain remarks and referrals to the irregular standards of the UN and UNHCR. Vague remarks with various explanations is not something that can convince people to leave the home they have lived in for the past 26 years and to ask them to place their faith in ambiguous circumstances in the hands of the Iraqi government and repressive forces, who have already failed their tests during previous attacks.
10- Many European and US dignitaries participated in the Paris International Conference held on January 6th for securing the peaceful solution from the Iranian clerical regime’s claws. They strongly supported Mrs. Rajavi’s proposal for an international conference chaired by the UN Special Representative for Iraq.
– Ambassador Mitchell Reiss, former Director of Policy Planning at the US Department of State, as the chair of the conference said: “I believe that we all endorse Madame Rajavi’s suggestion for the convening of a conference to clarify the MOU. Currently it is clearly inadequate to the challenge… it’s clear that there are many questions that have been left unanswered. And the residents at Ashraf themselves know that the MOU is inadequate…
So, I endorse, and I think we all endorse, a conference to be convened in Paris or Brussels or Geneva to be chaired by the UN Special Representative for Iraq… The conference needs to draft a document that rectifies the serious shortcomings about the requirements, arrangements and implementation of this relocation. The conference should be convened as soon as possible.”
– Philippe Douste-Blazy, Former French Foreign Minister and deputy to the UN Secretary General, while supporting Mrs. Rajavi’s call for “convening an international conference” on Ashraf, pointed out: “All of us know that the context of the MOU signed by the government of Iraq do not fulfill the minimum demands for the protection and security of Ashraf residents. But based on the accepted commitments by the Secretary General special representative, written in his letter to the residents, Ashraf residents finally agreed to leave their 25 year-old home… I do not want the MOU signed by the United Nations to turn into an instrument in the hands of Iraqi government for suppression of Ashraf residents or a justification for their forcible relocation, because history would not forgive us for that…To prevent such a catastrophe, the international community should decisively talk to Baghdad officials and make them understand that they could not refuse safeguarding the minimum protection and security rights of the residents… The right of personal life free of police intrusions and persecution in daily life in the new camp should be recognized. In order to respect that right, there has to be a five kilometer zone around the camp… There has to be no obstructions for the sovereignty.”
– Gov. Ed Rendell, former Chair of the Democratic National Committee and Governor of Pennsylvania said: “There is no doubt, not one scintilla, not one iota of doubt, that the United States has a moral and legal responsibility to ensure that the residents of Camp Ashraf are protected in every way until each and every one of them is relocated on foreign soil. There’s no doubt about that; it’s our responsibility.” Gov. Ed Rendell asked, “What was wrong? what harm was being done to the Iraqi government by having these 3,400 people live peacefully, controlling their own destiny, paying for their own expenses, living peacefully, endangering and threatening no one in this camp? Why was it necessary to move them? Why couldn’t the UNHCR have done its work in Camp Ashraf? We were told that was unacceptable but nobody told us why.”
-Ambassador John Bolton, former Assistant Secretary of State and U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, said: “I understand why there are difficulties with dealing with the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq, in part because it sees itself as accredited to the government of Iraq. Part of its objective is to make sure it gets along with the government of Iraq. So I think it’s very important as Madame Rajavi and others negotiate with Ambassador (Kobler) that those who want an equitable and correct result for Camp Ashraf understand what needs to be done to persuade the ambassador and the UN bureaucracy in New York that their principal responsibility is not making the government of Iraq happy, it’s protecting the residents of Camp Ashraf. I’d say a nice symbolic thing for the high commissioner to do would be to take his flag and get on a plane from Geneva and go to Baghdad and drive to Ashraf and plant that flag in Camp Ashraf… And how, how tragic it would be, how tragic it would be, what a stain, what a stain on the reputation of this Nobel Peace Prize winning agency to preside over a degradation in the living status and freedom and welfare of refugees.”
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance reiterated: “Following stonewalling measures against the European Parliament solution and efforts to set aside Baroness Ashton’s representative, the mullahs’ regime is now attempting to thwart international efforts and calls made by Secretary Clinton, Baroness Ashton and Secretary General Ban Ki-moon for a peaceful solution.” Mrs. Rajavi once again emphasized the necessity of holding an international conference headed by the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative with representatives of Ashraf residents, the governments of Iraq and the United States, European Union, UNHCR and European Parliament taking part to save the peaceful solution.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 9, 2012