In the 21st Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council currently taking place in Geneva at the UN’s European Headquarters, NGOs with special consultative status and the representative of the Women’s Human Rights International Association called on respective UN organs to recognize Liberty as a refugee camp and guarantee the rights of the camp residents.
The following is the speech delivered by the representative of this organization at the UN Human Rights Council session:
“Madame President, women’s human rights International Association has been closely following the appalling situation of 3400 Iranian asylum seekers in Iraq including 1,000 women. They were twice attacked in Camp Ashraf by Iraqi forces and 47 of them were massacred, 8 of them being women. To prevent further bloodshed, they agreed to move to Camp Liberty near Baghdad airport and now they are all in Camp Liberty. However, according to the Working Group of Arbitrary Detention, the conditions in Camp Liberty are synonymous to those in detention centers. It added that the situation of the residents in Camp Liberty is sentiment to that of detainees or prisoners. In fact, the asylum seekers in Camp Liberty are being denied their basic humanitarian and human rights. They have no freedom of movement and no access to their lawyers. There is a heavy presence of the armed forces, serious shortage of living spaces for 3400 residents and basic infrastructures such as water and electricity and sewages. It is necessary to call on the Iraqi government to ensure that the minimum recognized humanitarian and human rights standards are respected in Camp Liberty. This is not sufficient. Therefore, in order to ensure that the rights of asylum seekers to security and well-being are protected as long as they are in this camp, we urge Madam High Commissioner to ask the UNHCR to declare Camp Liberty as a refugee camp under the supervision of the UNHCR.”