STATEMENT ON ASHRAF AND LIBERTY – 2012
Iran’s regime has carried out over 120,000 executions and systematic torture over 30 years making it the most serious abuser of human rights. According to Amnesty International, executions in Iran have doubled in 2011 compared with previous years. Iran’s rulers are the main source of instability in the region and the world through their active complicity in the killing of the Syrian people, interventions in the Middle East, and efforts to acquire a nuclear bomb.
Iran’s regime seeks to destroy its opponents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, prior to the downfall of Bashar Assad and before the current geopolitical balance is lost. Following the two attacks by Iraqi forces on Ashraf, killing 47 and injuring 1,000, an agreement was signed at the end of 2011 between the United Nations and Iraq to relocate the residents inside the country before allowing the UNHCR to carry out its refugee determination process for transferring them to third countries.
Encouraged by Mrs Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Resistance, and in order to give the peaceful solution a chance, the residents agreed to be transferred to Camp Liberty despite their legal right to stay in Ashraf.
Ashraf residents’ movable and immovable properties which are worth $500 million have been built and obtained with their own efforts and money. Yet, Iraq does not allow them to sell their properties in Iraq or transfer them to another country.
Camp Liberty does not meet humanitarian and human rights standards. There is heavy presence of armed forces and armoured vehicles, lack of freedom of movement, serious shortages of infrastructure such as water, electricity, and sewage, and lack of necessary facilities for the disabled and elderly. Iraq justifies these restrictions under the pretext that Camp Liberty is a Temporary Transit Location.
While condemning violations of the Iranian dissidents’ rights in Ashraf and Liberty, we call on:
1- The UN and United States to act immediately to compel Iraq to stop imposing inhumane restrictions on the residents particularly preventing them from selling or transferring their properties;
2- The UN and the UNHCR to recognise Camp Liberty as a refugee camp under international protection, given that the process of resettlement in third countries is a long one.
Following the remarks by the US State Department lawyer before the Court of Appeal on May 8, 2012 that there may exist weapons in Ashraf, we support the Iranian resistance’s call on the State Department and Department of Defense to task the US military to immediately inspect Ashraf with necessary equipments and announce their findings. This is an essential condition for continuing the transfer of Ashraf residents to Liberty in order to prevent any justification for further massacre.