Camp Liberty – No. 65
-Fearing results of an impartial investigation, Martin Kobler covers up the truth and attempts to depict the results of an investigation which hasn’t taken place, in favor of the Iraqi government, hence portraying himself as not guilty.
-Non-interference of the Iraqi Prime Ministry’s people into the affairs of the patients, transfer of residents’ medical equipment to Liberty, and daily hospital visitation of 10 patients are three necessary steps for provisioning of minimum medical standards.
In regards to the death of PMOI member Behrooz Rahimian, the Associated Press quoted the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) under supervision of Martin Kobler as saying that ” the United Nations mission to Iraq said its monitors have determined that a hospital that treated a member of an Iranian exile group who died this week at a refugee camp near Baghdad did not consider his health condition serious enough to warrant hospitalization when he arrived for treatment in November…The U.N. mission in Baghdad said in a statement Wednesday that it “does not have any indication so far that treatment was obstructed by the Iraqi authorities.” It noted that representatives for the refugee residents told U.N. monitors that Rahimian “appeared to be in good condition until the time of his death.”
These statements are fabrications, invert the truth, and are an attempt to help the Iraqi government escape from consequences of a crime against humanity, i.e. gradually killing an ill refugee residing at Liberty.
UNAMI, under supervision of Martin Kobler has resorted to such statements while on December 25, in a letter to the UN Secretary General, Liberty residents’ representative described with details the Iraqi government’s obstruction in treatment of Behrooz Rahimian and emphasized that the SRSG and UNAMI were capable of preventing this and similar tragedies. This letter, a copy of which was simultaneously sent to Kobler, asked the Secretary General to: “appoint an impartial delegation to investigate on the situation of Ashraf and Liberty and how the GoI made Behrooz Rahimian suffer to death and is doing the same with other patients and wounded. An impartial investigation is a requisite to prevent this crime from reoccurring.”
Martin Kobler and UNAMI being terribly afraid of the conclusions of an impartial investigation, are covering up the truth or inverting it with an attempt to depict the results of an investigation, which has not been conducted yet, to be in favor of the Iraqi government thus portraying themselves as blameless through putting the blame on the opposite side to hide their destructive role. The reality is that:
• On November 25, Iraqi intelligence agents, attached to the Iraq’s Prime Ministry, threatened the physicians, mistreated Behrooz and his interpreter, and prevented his hospitalization in the CCU.
• On the evening of November 25, Behrooz’s interpreter discussed the issue of agents preventing Behrooz’s hospitalization with UNAMI’s responsible monitors, while in the the hospital, and asked the issue to be resolved, to no avail.
• On November 26, Liberty residents’ legal counsel wrote in a report to Martin Kobler, his deputy and other UNAMI officials that:
“Harassment of patients in Baghdad by intelligence agents continues. Last night one of the patients, who was dispatched by clinic’s physician to Yarmouk Hospital as an emergency case due to heart problem, faced harassment by the intelligence agent who had gone along with the patient.”
• On November 26, in a letter to UNAMI’s human rights official, Behrooz wrote about his visit to the hospital and his harassment by the intelligence agents as well as prevention of his hospitalization by the intelligence agents. A copy of that letter was given to Mr. Kobler.
Of course, Behrooz is not the only example. Using medical services as a tool for physical and psychological torture of Ashraf and Liberty residents has been practiced for years and so far a number of residents have died as a consequence of this practice.
At Liberty, since some time ago, in addition to police, a member of the intelligence service attached to Iraq’s Prime Ministry, goes along with the patients to the hospital in order to harass the patients. In dozens of letters, meetings, and contacts during the last few months, representatives of residents have brought up the issue of medical siege and the role of Prime Ministry’s agents in harassing and mistreating the patients with UNAMI and Mr. Kobler to no avail.
Additionally, the Iraqi government did not permit residents’ medical equipment, which they used for many years at Ashraf, to be transferred to Liberty. Consequently, the residents have been deprived of the minimum care that Liberty physicians could provide them.
Since February 2012 that residents have been relocated to Liberty, that is in more than 10 months, a total of 255 patients have been transferred to the hospital in Baghdad (on average, less than one person per day) which is far less than the residents’ needs. Considering that many of the 1,132 people who were wounded during the 2009 and 2011 attacks continue to suffer from their injuries, in practice, many of the patients will not get a turn to visit the hospital.
A fair and unbiased approach by Kobler would have required him to not to deny the truth and instead of trying to white wash the Iraqi government’s crimes, condemn this unjust siege, and physical and psychological torture of the patients and report it to the UN Security Council.
This unjust and inhumane approach is taken while all the residents of Liberty are asylum seekers, concerned individuals, and individuals protected under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the United Nations and the U.S. government are responsible for their protection and safety. After relocation of the sixth group of the residents to Liberty, the U.S. State Department announced:
“We urge continued steps to address humanitarian concerns raised at Camp Hurriya by the residents. ….. The United States encourages these efforts and reiterates its commitment to work towards resolution of humanitarian issues at Hurriya…. The United States also reiterates its commitment to support the safety and security of the residents throughout the process of their relocation outside of Iraq”.
To prevent similar catastrophes and loss of more lives, the Iranian Resistance calls on the UN Secretary General and the U.S. State Department to take immediate action for guaranteeing the minimum medical necessities of Liberty residents, and specifically, calls for:
1. Agents of the intelligence service and Iraqi Prime Ministry not to interfere with the routine affairs of the patients;
2. Residents’ medical equipment be transferred from Ashraf to Liberty to be used for improving the medical status of 3,100 residents there; and
3. Every day, an average of 10 people be taken to the hospital. Should there be a shortage of ambulances, a number of residents’ ambulances which have been prevented to be brought to Liberty so far, can be used for this purpose. The cost of hiring drivers will be paid by the residents.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
December 28, 2012