By Shahriar Kia
Ground Report - July 9, 2015 - Early this week, scores of Camp Liberty residents, in vicinity of Baghdad International Airport, home to thousands of Iran ian dissidents including nearly 1000 women, took part in protest against the deteriorating camp’s living conditions imposed by Iraqi forces. The present inhumane condition of the camp is the result of recent rise in restriction to acquirement of camp infrastructure repair & maintenance necessities imposed by the Iraqi forces loyal to Iranian regime who control the camp.
As Iraq furnace summer records high degrees, in Muslim holy month of Ramadan , month of fasting and worship, residents rallied in a medium-width gravel paved vehicle passage so called camp’s main “Street” to show their discontent about living conditions. Despite clear precisions in Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed by UNAMI and Government of Iraq (GOI), regarding residents right to purchase and deliver all life necessities to camp, in recent weeks Iraqi forces have imposed new arbitrary prevention measures on entering life necessities and sanitary vehicles that discharge the camp sewage.
One of participant in the rally said: “Preventing repair of sanitary vehicles will cause severe health threats to us as result of septic overflow. There are not enough sewage tankers to handle the septic”. Connection of camp sewage system to municipal sewage network has been a long standing residents’ dispute by Camp management.
Another protester said: “It is not bearable to stay in the trailers, let alone to have any rest in this summer heat. When generators are not running in their capacity there is no Air conditioning, our room’s over 47 degrees (Celsius), in this hot weather of Ramadan”. Not connected to national grid camp electricity is totally powered through generators, malfunctions of generators due to needed spare parts, directly would have effect on HVAC malfunctioning, resulting intolerable living conditions for residents.
One of residents explained: “By the orders of the Iraqi Committee Tasked to suppress the residents which are controlled by Iraqi National Security Advisor Faleh Fayyad, the Iraqi forces refuse to give us our goods which, they have stopped at gate. Spare parts for camp’s ice-making machines are among the items held up that we badly need in the hot weather and during the month of Ramadan.”
According to the protestors, obstruction of basic life-support requirements is a violation of humanitarian and human rights standards, as well as many international covenants, and a criminal act meriting prosecution.
Obstruction of basic life-support requirements is a violation of humanitarian and human rights standards, as well as many international covenants, and a criminal act meriting prosecution
The protesters in Camp Liberty demanded for immediate stop to this prison-like conditions and arbitrary conduct of GOI forces loyal to Mullahs’ regime in camp and called on the U.S. government and United Nations for urgent action on this recent issue. UNAMI and UNHCR should rise to their duties based on MOU and intervene immediately to alleviate the situation and to improve the camp residents living conditions.
The residents have also “called on the United Nations and the U.S. government that have repeatedly and in writing committed themselves to the wellbeing and security of Camp Liberty residents, as well as the European Union and its member states, to adopt immediate measures to end this antihuman siege.