10 November 2014
The World Medical Association has expressed its extreme concern to the Iraqi Prime Minister about “worrying health conditions” in Camp Liberty, the former United States military installation in Baghdad, now being used to house the members of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran who previously resided in Camp Ashraf.
In a letter delivered today to the Prime Minister Hon Dr. Haider al-Abadi, the President of the WMA Dr. Xavier Deau, writes: ‘According to testimonies and reports from human rights organisations the basic rights of the 2700 residents – such as access to physicians and medicine, the confidentiality of physician-patient relationship or the right of patients to have interpreter and accompanying nurses when needed – are frequently violated.
‘Furthermore, numerous reported cases relate to situations where hospitalisation of patients and purchase of medicine have been prevented. Other examples include cancellation of medical appointments, delayed transfers of patients to hospital, or denial of permission to travel outside the Camp to receive treatment. These on-going obstructions have resulted in the rapid deterioration of the health conditions of several patients of the Camp Liberty and even in the death of some.’
Dr. Deau continued: ‘We are extremely concerned by this situation that reveal flagrant violations of medical ethics principles and human rights standards. The right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health is a fundamental element of human rights enshrined in article 14 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights that Iraq has ratified in 1971.
‘We urge the Iraqi authorities to respect its commitment and take action as a matter of urgency in order to ensure to the residents of the Camp Liberty full access to adequate health care facilities, whether inside or outside the camp. It is also fundamental that health personnel work with the assurance that medical ethics principles, such as confidentiality, are entirely respected without any reservation.’