UN Special Rapporteur calls for restoration of water supply destroyed by bomb in Iraq
The Special Rapporteur on the right to food to the Human Rights Council, Jean Ziegler, issued the following statement today:
Geneva, 6 March 2008: -- I am deeply concerned about information I continue to receive concerning the deteriorating situation in Ashraf City/Camp Ashraf (Iraq) and its surrounding area, following an explosion on 8 February 2008 that destroyed the water pumps in Zorganieh, which supply the area.
That pumping station provided drinking water and irrigation for Ashraf City and its surrounding area, covering more than 20,000 persons. The explosion has caused water and food shortages for the local population, which relies on local food supplies already severely affected by water scarcity. The situation is made more critical by increasingly hot weather.
Some of the reports I have received allege that the explosion may have been intended to increase pressure on over 3,000 members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) confined in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province. The camp remains under the control of the multi-national force under the demobilization agreement the Iraqi authorities signed with the PMOI in May 2003. In July 2004, the United States Government recognized PMOI members as Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, meaning that they should not be deported, expelled or repatriated, or displaced inside Iraq.
The rights to food and to drinking water are protected by international human rights law. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights recognizes the right of everyone "to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food", and other international human rights instruments, to which Iraq is a party, further spell out the protection of these rights.
The Iraqi authorities have failed to protect the inhabitants of Ashraf City and its surrounding area from the actions of third parties which are impeding enjoyment of the rights to food and water and creating a critical humanitarian situation. The competent authorities must restore urgently the water supply to all the inhabitants of the region affected by the explosion in the water pumping station; the affected population must be protected from violation of their rights by third parties. I call on the Iraqi authorities to take immediate measures to guarantee the rights to food and water of the inhabitants of Ashraf City/Camp Ashraf and its surrounding area.
The Special Rapporteur on the Right to food sent a letter to the Iraqi government on 17 October 2006 where he inter alia raised concern about the damages caused by a series of explosions to the water pipeline that stretches 26 km from the pumping station near the Tigris River to Camp Ashraf. This allegedly affected access of the Camp residents and nearby villages to drinking water for approximately two weeks. Irrigation was also reportedly disrupted by the explosions.
|Proxies of the terrorist Qods force blew up Ashraf water pump station using more than 300 kg highly explosive TNT. The blast torn the station apart.|
Anti-human clerical regime exploded water pump station of Ashraf City
AT 3:30 a.m., Friday, February 8, 2008, in a criminal attack the agents of the terrorist Qods force of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps(IRGC) blew up the Ashraf City water pump station by detonating more than 300 kg highly explosive TNT.
This anti-human attack against the water pump station located at Zorganieh area, 25 km west of Ashraf City, meant to increase pressure on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran and the local inhabitants. The explosion has destroyed the water pumps, installations and employees’ facilities, and has cut off water flow to the Ashraf and surrounding villages.
The water pump station has been owned by the PMOI since twenty two years ago, and in addition to Ashraf City, has been providing water for living and agricultural needs of more than twenty thousand local inhabitants. It also has been providing drinking water for part of the Odhaim residents.
The pumping station has been under the protection of local residents and tribes in recent years and for the past few months the newly formed "Awakening Councils" have been protecting it.
Two days prior to the explosion, on February 6, a member of the Tribal Council, Sheik Hamid Dhiab who was in charge of the area’s security and protection of the water pump station was assassinated during a terrorist attack on his life. The Sheiks Council in the area held the terrorist Qods force of the Iranian regime responsible for this criminal assassination.
In sumer 2006, the mullahs’ regime blew up the water pipelines to Ashraf twice at locations nearby this station, and each time the damages were repaired by the help of local inhabitants and the Ashraf residents’ efforts. However, although the involved agents had been introduced by the PMOI and the people of area, the judicial and legal follow- ups have been left unanswered, and the Iraqi government officials have not considered the matter whatsoever. Meanwhile, the support by local inhabitants and measures taken by the tribes in the area were the only cause to prevent the Iranian regime and its agents from repeating terrorist and criminal actions.
Due to pressures and conspiracies by the mullahs’ regime, the Ashraf City has been under medicine, food and fuel blockade, aimed at serving the anti-human mullahs’ regime, in violation of the international conventions and humanitarian standards. However, the blockade is still in place despite the rejection of international organizations such as the European Parliament and the United Nations.
Halting water flow and explosion of water pump station and water pipes and installations is an anti-human, anti-Islamic measure by the clerical regime which is considered a war crime based on the 4th Geneva Convention against the protected persons and the inhabitants of the area.
The recent gathering of infamous agents of the mullahs’ intelligence service in Hotel Mansour in Baghdad organized by the regime’s embassy clearly indicates that the war crime against Ashraf residents continues and should be legally pursued.
The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran urges the Multi-National Force-Iraq, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the United Nations and particularly the government of Iraq to investigate immediately, condemn and legally pursue those responsible for this terrorist crime.
People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran
February 8, 2008