Next groups will move in after minimum assurances are secured, especially removal of Iraqi police from inside the camp to avoid any tension, violence and massacre of the residents
NCRI – Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, announced that 400 residents of Ashraf have agreed to move to Camp Liberty at the earliest possible time.
On February 14, she called on Secretary Clinton to intervene and make the final decision on the arrangements concerning the transfer of first group of the residents of Ashraf to Camp Liberty.
Mrs. Rajavi, after being informed of recommendations and assurances of Secretary Clinton last night, called on Ashraf residents to transfer the first 400 residents to Camp Liberty in the coming days to remove any doubts about their good will. This is despite the fact that there was no agreement on the transfer of all their vehicles and personal movable property to Liberty.
Transfer of the next groups will only take place after the Special Representative of Secretary General and the Iraqi government declare their approval of the minimum assurances, particularly departure of Iraqi police from inside Camp Liberty, in order to avoid tension, violence and another massacre of the residents. This is particularly important for security and peace of female residents.
On December 21, 2011, Mrs. Rajavi announced that the residents of Ashraf had agreed with the transfer of 400 residents to Camp Liberty with guarantees for minimum assurances. On December 28, 2011, she also announced that 400 of the residents would move to Camp Liberty on December 30 with their movable property and vehicles as a sign of good will gesture. This has been repeatedly raised by Mrs. Rajavi, including February 2, but she never received a positive response from Ambassador Kobler, Special Representative of the UN Secretary General, and the Iraqi government.
On January 31, Ambassador Kobler announced that Camp Liberty was ready for transfer of Ashraf residents. This was while there was no running drinking water or water for washing and the residents had to buy water. Even more importantly, contrary to the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Ambassador Kobler and the Iraqi government, Camp Liberty does not fulfill international humanitarian and human rights standards such as freedom of movement, which was raised by the UNHCR, and there is no free access to medical services, lawyers and families. Only the technical infrastructure of the camp has been approved by a shelter expert.
UNHCR has recognized Ashraf residents as “asylum seekers” and “people of concern” who enjoy fundamental protections, security and well being.
While the Iranian Resistance reminding Iraqi government of its obligations under international law and conventions, highlighting the Secretary General’s repeated emphasis on the Principle of Responsibility to Protect (R to P) and declaring 2012 as “the year of prevention”, calls on Ambassador Kobler not to surrender to pressures and unlawful demands against asylum seekers and their fundamental rights and protections. International humanitarian and human rights and international refugee protection standards cannot be relinquished. The residents of Ashraf, PMOI members will not submit to forcible displacement under pressure and intimidation.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 16, 2012