Iraq-Camp Liberty: Members of parliament ask UN and US to protect PMOI/MEK, in light of another possible catastrophe

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Iraqi forces Humvee vehicle running over Camp Ashraf residents during 8 April 2011 massacre
Iraqi forces Humvee vehicle running over Camp Ashraf residents during 8 April 2011 massacre

By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Saturday, 9 April 2016

Marking the 8 April 2011 attack against camp Ashraf in Iraq, housing the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), members of Iraq's Council of Representatives, parliament of Iraq, called on the UN and U.S. to protect PMOI/MEK members now in Camp Liberty in Iraq.

In a letter to the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid al-Hussein yesterday, 52 members of the parliament wrote, "we strongly believe that especially in the non-consistent security conditions of Iraq, providing all the necessary protection means for this camp is the most vital of all measures in order to prevent a repeat of another possible catastrophe. Therefore, it is up to the U.N. and U.S. government to, according to their defined obligations and responsibilities, call on the Iraqi government to carry out the necessary measures to guarantee the residents’ security and protection until the resettlement of all residents in third countries."

Citing attacks against camps Ashraf and Liberty the letter says there are the mistakes made in recent years that tainted the image of Iraq in the international community.

"Today marks the anniversary of one of the bloodiest such attacks carried out by forces under the command of former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki on 8 April 2011 against Camp Ashraf. A large portion of the camp unbelievably came under a military occupation by security forces and 36 defenseless men, women and children were gunned down in cold blood, while dozens of others were wounded. But unfortunately, to this day even a small step has not been taken to carry out an investigation into this vicious crime"…

Tahar Boumedra, Chief of the Human Rights Office of United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) at the time of the attack says he tried to prevent the attack on 8 April 2011. He writes in his book, 'Untold Story of Ashraf' that, "I called DSRSG Skuratowicz as the designated officer (DO). In order to end the violence, we agreed to take the extraordinary step of going to the home of Faleh al- Fayadh, the NSA. Contacting Iraqi government officials on ordinary days was a challenge let alone on a Friday morning. By the time we arrived at his house it was 9am and the number of the dead had reached 22. We asked him to stop the attack immediately if he wanted to save life and save the image of the Iraqi army and, indeed, that of the country. An attack on unarmed protected persons by three battalions of the Iraqi security forces was unacceptable. Al-Fayadh’s response was to tell us that we had merely been alarmed by false rumors. I pulled out my mobile phone and asked him to speak to people on the ground to hear for himself what was happening. Instead, he made his own call. I guessed that he called his lieutenants, Haqqi and Sadiq. Al- Fayadh then reiterated that nothing had happened"

"It is crystal clear that if prior to these humanitarian catastrophes international human rights conventions and laws about the refugees in regard to Liberty residents were respected, and most specifically if relative U.N. entities had lived up to their responsibilities and defined mandates in this regard, these catastrophes - at least in such horrific dimensions - would have been prevented." the Iraqi parliamentarians concluded.

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