Expressing gratitude for the Government of Iraq and ignoring systematic violation of its commitments, is tantamount to deliberately closing eyes to realities and rights of asylum-seekers and international humanitarian laws and standards
Government of Iraq has refrained from providing 75 percent of the list of minimum humanitarian requirements including water and power, utility and passenger vehicles, forklifts, necessary equipments and materials for construction of porches, facilities for patients, and prevention of sale of goods of Ashraf residents
Every fair minded individual would have been shocked and deplored by the gratitude and appreciation that Mr. Martin Kobler expressed at the UN Security Council session yesterday regarding the flexibility that the Government of Maliki has shown vis-a-vis Ashraf residents.
His remarks on “difficulties in maintaining dialogue between UNAMI and the residents and between the residents and the Government of Iraq…” are absolutely untrue. The residents and their representatives have consistently welcomed dialogue with UNAMI and officials of the Government of Iraq. They only refrained to take part in meetings that are chaired by an individual who has tortured and murdered the residents and is under international prosecution, subsequent to three months of futile attempts, in order to prevent further creation of crisis and tension. Mr. Kobler apologized to the residents for taking the same individual with him to Ashraf as the chairman of a meeting last January.
Mr. Kobler’s complaint at the Security Council regarding “the residents lack genuine will in participating in the process facilitated by the UNAMI” is in direct contradiction of his remarks at the Security Council session on April 10. At that time, following transfer of 1,200 Ashraf residents to Liberty, he underscored:
“I would like also to highlight that the Camp residents despite initial difficulties have shown good will and cooperation recently in the relocation process. The residents have, indeed, come a long way. It is difficult to abandon a place where one has lived for more than two decades”.
Subsequent to the above remarks, 800 other Ashraf residents have been transferred to Liberty and as such, 2/3 of Ashraf residents have been relocated. Also, less than a month ago, in his June 23 statement Mr. Kobler thanked the residents and stated: “2,000 residents have been relocated to Camp Hurriya in a peaceful and orderly way, with only 1,200 remaining. On this occasion, I would like to thank both the Government of Iraq and the residents for their cooperation”.
This is while nothing has been done to resolve the issue of water that is currently provided by the residents from 12 Kilometers away at 55 degree Celsius involving huge costs. Kobler had previously written on several occasions that the Government of Iraq has made a commitment to connect the water of the camp to city water network prior to the month of Ramadan (July 20) or to allow the residents pump the water from a canal that is 150 meters way and to purify it.
(including” Preparation for Move 6″ document May 28, 2012/ Article 2/ and “Note to the File” June 1st, 2012 about the meeting in the Liberty with Mr. Bakoos and the residents’ representatives on May 31)
Mr. Kobler did not even feel the need to mention the systematic violation of commitments of the Iraqi government (280 violations in Camp Liberty from Feb 18 to Jul 4, 2012), the refusal of 30 legitimate and legal demands of the residents according to the UNHCR statements, selling or transferring of residents’ properties to Liberty, returning the residents’ confiscated properties to them, purchasing fuel at the same price it is being sold to Iraqi citizens, transferring of women’s utility vehicles which were returned to Ashraf at the middle of the way to Liberty, transferring the generators which belong to the residents, 10 vehicles for every 400 resident according to previous agreement and even 5 lift trucks for 3300 residents that 2000 of them have to carry heavy loads on their arms and shoulders in camp Liberty. This while, in his June 23 statement he underscored:
“SRSG Kobler will continue to urge the Government of Iraq to respond positively to the residents’ legitimate and reasonable demands with respect to humanitarian issues, in accordance with international humanitarian and human rights law”.
Previously on December 6, before the UN Security Council Mr. Kobler committed that ” any workable solution must be acceptable to both the Government of Iraq and to the residents of Camp Ashraf. A solution must respect Iraqi sovereignty, on the one hand, and applicable international humanitarian, human rights and refugee law on the other hand” this is what Mr. Kobler has never fulfilled.
In addition, he has never denied the explicit remarks of the Security Advisor of the Government of Iraq about intervening the Iranian regime in the Ashraf dossier. The Security Advisor of the Government of Iraq stated in the Iraqi official television on April 24:
“Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, has talked in details with Iraqi and Iranian parties through the Iranian Embassy or other channels communicating with Iran in order to provide the requirements for implementation of the understanding which has been agreed on between him and Iraq to close camp Ashraf and put an end to the presence of this organization on Iraqi territory. Talks included the mechanisms and Iran’s role in what has to be done to solve this matter…”
According to professional researches of experts of International organizations “by any standard, Camp Liberty is a prison and the residents have been subjected to arbitrary detention. “
Kobler declared in the UN Security council session:
-” Responsibility also falls on many international supporters. It is of great importance that they contribute to positively to influence the residents position”.
-“I also appeal to Camp residents to abide by Iraqi laws and avoid provocation and violence.
Time is running out to find sustainable solution. The government’s patience is wearing thin….”.
It is very surprising that despite all the extensive international protests to his biased conduct in favor of Maliki’s Government and the Iranian regime against its opposition, including protests by the churches in the UK and the US, the US congress and the Council of Europe and more than 4,000 parliamentarians in 46 countries as well as International Union of Lawyers, Mr. Kobler pointedly asked the Ashraf supporters to side with him and the Government of Iraq to exert more pressure on defenseless residents in order to give up their minimum rights and legitimate and legal demands.
During his remarks in the UN Security Council, he saw no need to remind that 49 Ashraf residents were killed and more than 1000 wounded in the July 2009 and April 2011 raids and he has also forgotten the UN commitment for an investigation in this regard. Instead, he warned defenseless resident not to resort to violence and provocations!
Mr. Kobler’s remarks in the UN Security Council were so partial that the Iraq Ambassador only sufficed to say: “As Mr. Kobler mentioned, the Iraqi government has shown flexibility to relocate these people”.
Mr. Kobler’s positions in the UN Security Council against Ashraf residents, coupled by expressing his gratitude to patience and flexibility of Maliki, ignoring the systematic violation of Iraqi government’s commitments stipulated in the Memorandum of Understanding that Government of Iraq had signed with Mr. Kobler, is deliberately putting blind eyes on the truth and the rights of asylum-seekers as well as humanitarian standards and International Humanitarian Law will without any doubt pave the way for the third massacre in Ashraf.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 20, 2012