Iraqi Committee in Defense of Ashraf
Iraqi civil society organizations, tribes condemn pressures on Ashraf residents, call for recognition of Liberty as refugee camp
Iraqi civil society organizations and tribes issued a statement condemning the pressures being imposed by the Iraqi government against Camp Ashraf residents to force them to evacuate Ashraf, al-Sharqiya TV reported. This statement added any relocation to Camp Liberty must be stopped until minimum humanitarian necessities are provided for.
The statement is as follows:
After more than five months from the beginning of the relocation of Ashraf residents in Diyala Province to Camp Liberty, this transfer has not only decreased the residents’ humanitarian conditions, in fact it has resulted in 2,000 of the residents becoming homeless and to suffer increasing hardships. It has now been proven that this relocation plot was prepared not with humanitarian motivations, but in fact with political goals. This plan is nothing but a failure.
Despite the given promises, fundamental services are not provided for in this camp and Liberty has become a prison for the residents.
The UN Human Rights Council announced in a report on 17 July 2012 issued by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention: “The conditions in Camp Liberty are synonymous with those in a detention centre, as residents have no freedom of movement, nor interaction with the outside world, nor do they have freedom of movement and the semblance of a free life within the Camp. The situation of the residents of Camp Liberty is tantamount to that of detainees or prisoners.”
ًWhile the Iraqi government’s stonewalling measures in providing the residents’ minimum humanitarian needs have resulted in the halt of the new groups’ transfer to Liberty, recently the UN Special Representative in Iraq is pressuring the residents to forgo their rights. At a speech in the UN Security Council he made clear the political motivations behind these pressures, perpetrating the residents as the element behind the stall and responsible for use of force.
For us Iraqis who are following the developments up close and are informed of the residents’ problems, this biased stance taken by Mr. Kobler is completely shocking.
Thirty five organizations consisting of human rights associations, women’s societies, Iraqi tribal associations and civil society organizations through this statement stress their support for the providing of fundamental humanitarian needs at Liberty especially water and electricity, and condemn Mr. Kobler’s remarks.
Iraqi civil society and tribal organizations call on the UN Secretary-General and the US to enforce pressure on the Iraqi government to implement the articles of its agreements with UNAMI and deliver to the demands of Ashraf and Liberty residents in providing basic necessities such as water, electricity and sale of their property to continue life in Liberty. All these measures should be taken under a specific timetable.
The signatories of this letter call for a halt in the transfer of new groups until the Liberty residents’ minimum humanitarian demands are provided for and Camp Liberty to be recognized as a refugee camp to place the residents under international protection.