By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Monday, 6 June 2016
Lift illegal restrictions imposed on camp residents
Twenty one Iraqi MPs including Dr. Zafer al-Ani, a member of the Iraqi Parliament Foreign Affairs Commission and spokesman of the Muttahedoon Faction, Dr. Ahmad al-Massari, President of the Iraqi Forces Union, and Talal al-Zobaie, President of the Integrity Commission and 18 other Muttahedoon MPs issued a letter to UN High Commissioner of Refugees Filippo Grandi and US Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones describing the conspiracy of Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence agents against Camp Liberty residents as paving the path for future aggressions against the safety and security of Liberty residents. They went on to call on the United Nations and United states to impel the Iraqi government to prevent Iranian intelligence agents from entering the Liberty vicinity, lifting the illegal siege against the residents and bringing an end to hindering their resettlement process in third countries.
This letter, dated 1 June 2016, was aired by the Iranian “Simay-e Azadi” satellite TV station:
On behalf of the Muttahedoon Faction consisting of 21 seats in the Iraqi Parliament I would like to express our deepest concerns regarding the extremely provocative and despicable measures by agents dispatched by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence (VEVAK / MOIS) against refugees living in Camp Liberty near Baghdad International Airport.
I was informed of the first organized transfer of these agents to Liberty on May 23rd, carried out in close coordination with the current Camp Liberty management team, and of their hideous and unconventional actions against Liberty residents while bogusly claiming to be their family members. Considering my close knowledge of similar measures in the past, I immediately called on relative officials in the Iraqi government and the Iraqi Parliament Speaker to take necessary action and prevent any aggression against Liberty residents. However, considering the fact that no effective actions were taken in this regard, the VEVAK / MOIS agents were encouraged of this inaction and increased their chantage and insults against Liberty residents to attacking and assaulting them. In flagrant and abhorring collaboration with Iraqi army intelligence agents present at the scene, they illegally entered the camp’s perimeters and attacked and beat the residents. This takes place at a time when all camp residents are considered “protected persons” under the 4th Geneva Convention and the UNHCR has time and again described as “persons of concern.” However, the more concerning aspect of this preposterous measure is that Iranian agents climbed up high T-walls surrounding the camp, in the presence of Iraqi security forces, and with adequate time used their professional cameras to conduct recon and take video footage from all the facilities inside the camp. This is a very dangerous measures, and based on the bloody experiences of the past, has no other meaning than paving the path for future terrorist attacks against the lives of these refugees. Like us you have most certainly seen the images of these dangerous measures.
This comes at a time when a large number of the residents’ true family members have been executed upon their return to Iran after visiting their loved ones in Camp Ashraf, or continue to be detained behind bars. Furthermore, the requests made by hundreds of Camp Liberty residents’ family members from all over the globe seeking to visit their loved ones have been turned down for years by the Iraqi embassies in their countries. A joint letter written by 400 of these family members is an undeniable document in this regard.
Of course, another objective pursued in these shameful and oppressive measures is an attempt to disrupt and/or derail the resettlement process of these refugees, currently ongoing with the efforts and cooperation of the UNHCR and U.S. Embassy. Of course, in this regard we have received numerous reports of the oppressive and harassing conduct practiced by the Camp Liberty management team in inspecting the personal items of residents heading for Albania. They are in the most illegal means preventing the transfer of the residents’ most basic personal property and confiscating these items.
To this end, on behalf of the Muttahedoon Faction, and citing the recently approved resolution in the U.S. House of Representatives Foreign Affairs Committee based on upgrading the level of protection in Liberty to that of the Baghdad International Airport and providing the necessary facilitation for the resettlement process, we are requesting from you to call on the Iraqi government to take the necessary security measures and prevent the transfer of Iran’s VEVAK / MOIS agents to Liberty, and also end all restrictions and current obstructive placed in the path of these refugee’s resettlement process.