Maryam Rajavi: If Minimum Assurances are not provided in Liberty, residents of Camp Ashraf and Liberty ready to temporarily relocate to the Jordanian side of the border

Mrs. Rajavi informs Secretary Clinton that if the minimum assurances are not provided at Camp Liberty, all residents of Ashraf and Liberty are prepared to leave Iraq in March with their moveable properties and temporarily relocate on the Jordanian side of the border under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross and UNHCR. During the 2003 war, ICRC and the UN had set up tents to accept tens of thousands of asylum-seekers in that area.

To ensure that the Jordanian government maintains control and feels assured, the area will be fenced by the residents, who will not leave the premises until being resettled in third countries, except for patients who could not be treated within the fenced area.
As such, there will be no need for Liberty detention center and the chain of problems and difficulties. At the same time, this will demonstrate maximum flexibility on the part of the NCRI and the residents of Ashraf and the Iraqi government will also achieve what it desires the most.
This plan does not require any budget or cost as far as the UN, the US and the EU are concerned. Flattening the land, installing tents, providing logistical support, services and construction materiel will be undertaken and paid for in full by the residents and under the supervision of Jordanian authorities. Electrical power generators will be transferred from Ashraf. The residents’ fixed property will be sold under the supervision or arbitration of the UN and the US and the proceeds will be used to relocate and resettle the residents in third countries.
Mrs. Rajavi appealed to Secretary Clinton, the UN Secretary General, Baroness Ashton, Antonio Guterres, Navi Pillay and the ICRI President to announce their agreement with, and support for, this relocation to end the crisis in Ashraf and the slaughter of its residents once and for all,.
While there are still two months left before the deadline for the closure of Ashraf at the end of April, announced by Iraqi Prime Minister, Iraqi authorities have begun threatening Ashraf residents to forcibly relocate to Camp Liberty. None of the minimum assurances that Ashraf residents had sought, has been met. In effect, they are left with only two options: Massacre and death at Ashraf or gradual death in a place called Liberty, under the name and supervision of the UN.

The International Union of Lawyers that represents nearly two million lawyers in 110 countries, the International Committee “In Search of Justice” (ISJ) that represents more than 4,000 parliamentarians in 41 countries, including majorities in 30 parliaments, more than 10,000 European mayors in France, Belgium, and Italy and prominent political, military and judicial personalities and former US government officials in the United States have described Liberty as a being akin to a prison or a “concentration camp.”

In its March 1 statement, the ISJ underscored, “Contrary to the January 31 statement and promises made by the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, Liberty does not meet humanitarian and human rights standards and is a severely dilapidated complex in need of total reconstruction.  The extensive presence of Iraqi armed forces many surveillance cameras and a lack of freedom of movement have turned the camp into a virtual prison, which has aroused the outrage in the world community and the European Parliament.”

This is while the UNHCR has recognized Ashraf residents as “formally asylum- seekers under international law” and “people of concern” who “must be able to benefit from basic protection of their security and well-being. This includes protection against any expulsion or return to the frontiers of territories where their lives or freedom would be threatened”.

In an update on the this matter, UNHCR announced on March 1, “Any relocation outside Camp New Iraq [Ashraf] proceed on a voluntary basis, with freedom of movement the most desirable state at the site of relocation”.

It is noteworthy that in his December 28, 2011 to the residents of Ashraf, UN Secretary General’s Special Representative on Iraq, Martin Kobler, had written, “As ‘asylum seekers’, you will be eligible under international law to enjoy basic protections and well-being”. I am aware of your request for respect for your privacy, in particular regarding women. I will continue my efforts with the Government of the Republic of Iraq in this regard to establish the appropriate arrangements, with the agreement of the Government of the Republic of Iraq, which would respect the sovereignty of Iraq”. With regard to other issues, such as assets and properties, we will continue the discussions towards reaching a solution that respects the property rights of the residents in an organized way under Iraqi law”.  Regrettably, none of this items have been implement in the manner that would satisfy the residents and give them confidence.

Moreover, in his letter to the residents of Ashraf on the arrangement for the relocation of the first 400 residents of Ashraf to Liberty, dated February 25, 2012, Mr. Kobler had referred to only one police station inside Liberty. It has now become evident that there are six additional police posts with Iraqi guards armed with heavy machine guns within the Camp who engage in patrols 50 to 60 times a day. Mr. Kobler had written that the belongings of all 400 would be transferred as well. Yet, since February 17, more than two-thirds of the belongings loaded on the trucks have not been transferred.

The SRSG had written, “The residents will bring their medical equipment to CL.”  However, it is evident that identical to what happened at Ashraf, the Iraqi government wants to take control of the medical equipment.”

None of the earlier promises has been kept. In addition, as European Parliament Vice President and President of the International Committee in Search of Justice (ISJ) Alejo Vidal Quadras announced on March 1, “A campaign of disseminating lies” has been started, “with the intention of blaming the residents of Liberty responsible for the current state of affairs.”

In Separate letters on February 29 and March 2 to the UN Secretary General Ban-Ki-moon, EU High Representative Baroness Ashton and UH High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, drew attention to the campaign of demonization and dissemination of false information in order to justify forcible relocation, resorting to violence and blaming the victim, requested their immediate intervention and support for the minimum assurances necessary for the relocation of the residents of Ashraf to Liberty. They include the removal of armed Iraqi guards from seven position from the small and tight area of the Camp, where 1,000 Muslim women will be residing, open and direct access to medical services, lawyers and family members, freedom of movement, the transfer of vehicles and moveable property from Ashraf to Liberty or their shipment outside Iraq and the sale of fixable property at Ashraf under UN supervision and reimbursing the proceeds to pay for the cost of relocation and resettlement in third countries.

This minimum assurances are legitimate and lawful and have no contradiction whatsoever with Iraqi government sovereignty. Not agreeing to them clearly forebodes of evil intentions to break down and destroy the Iranian opposition or a massacre at Ashraf.

For this reason, on March 2, Mrs. Rajavi informed Secretary Clinton that if the minimum assurances are not provided at Camp Liberty, all residents of Ashraf and Liberty are willing, if the Iraqi government does not prevent it, to leave Iraqi in March with their moveable properties and temporarily relocate on the Jordanian side of the border under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross and UNHCR. During the 2003 war, ICRC and the UN had set up tents to accept tens of thousands of refugees in that area. To ensure that the Jordanian government maintains control and feels assured, that area will be fenced by the residents and the residents will not leave the premises until being resettled in third countries, except for patients who could not be treated within the fenced area. As such, there will be no need for Liberty detention center and the chain of problems and difficulties. At the same time, this will demonstrate maximum flexibility on the part of the NCRI and the residents of Ashraf and the Iraqi government will also achieve what it desires the most.

This plan does not require any budget or cost as far as the UN, the US and the EU are concerned. Flattening the area, installing tents, providing logistical support, services and construction materiel will be undertaken and paid for in full by the residents and under the supervision of Jordanian authorities. Electrical power generators will be transferred from Ashraf. The residents’ fixed property will be sold under the supervision or arbitration of the UN and the US and the proceeds will be used to relocate and resettle the residents in third countries.

Mrs. Rajavi appealed to Secretary Clinton, the UN Secretary General, Baroness Ashton, Mr. Guterres, Madame Pillay and the ICRC President to announce their agreement with, and support for, this relocation in order to end the crisis in Ashraf and the slaughter of its residents once and for all.

Mrs. Rajavi added that all residents of Ashraf and those in Liberty can be relocated to the border regions of Iraq’s neighboring countries (Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait).

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
March 3, 2012

 

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