BRUSSELS, July 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
The following is a statement from Struan Stevenson MEP, President of European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq:
The EU, US and UN must intervene to force the Iraqi authorities to meet the basic humanitarian requirements of the residents of Camp Liberty. Currently the Iraqi Government has prevented the resolution of water and electricity problems, the transfer of passenger cars as well as vehicles and trailers for the disabled, and they have barred the sale of the residents' properties in Camp Ashraf.
Part of the remaining goods and belongings from groups 4 and 5 of Ashraf's residents were transferred to Camp Liberty on Sunday, 15 July. These properties were initially supposed to have been transferred on 6 May after the fifth group moved to the camp. This was later postponed to 16 June and subsequently the UN envoy in Iraq specified in his report of 12 June that the Government of Iraq (GoI) would send containers to Ashraf on 19 June for loading, but this was again postponed.
The GoI did not allow the transfer of the 3 vehicles and 6 trailers which have been specially built for the transport and convenience of the disabled, and also refused to transfer 6 other utility vehicles which were separated from the fifth convoy and turned back while moving from Ashraf to Liberty.
The UN envoy, Ambassador Martin Kobler and Secretary Clinton's special advisor for Ashraf, Ambassador Dan Fried, both wrote in separate letters to the residents on 24 April that the GoI agreed on the transfer of the vehicles and trailers for the disabled in the fifth convoy.
Following the fifth convoy, the residents and their representatives have on several occasions raised with US and UN officials their minimum humanitarian demands listed as six basic items. These demands, which have received extensive international support, were brought to the attention of George Bakoos, political advisor to Prime Minister Maliki and deputy of the Ashraf committee in the prime minister's office, in a letter by me and the vice-President of the European Parliament on 29 June. In this letter, which so far has received no reply, we wrote:
"We would like to draw your attention once again to the 6 items demanded by the residents as their minimum rights under the terms of the MOU and stress again that unless they are met, relocation to Liberty is not possible. As you notice, items 2, 3, 4 and 5 are related to the GOI and could be easily and quickly done if there is goodwill.
- The SRSG (Martin Kobler) will not permit any interference of the Iranian regime against its opponents in Camp Ashraf and Liberty.
- All the agreements and commitments related to the fifth convoy, mainly women, will be fulfilled by GOI (6 utility vehicles, 25 trucks to transfer their belongings, 6 special trailers and 3 vehicles of the paraplegic patients).
- All the provisions of SRSG letters, particularly about the police, 10 passenger cars for every convoy, a precise date for the connection of Liberty to the city water network and power grid, construction, green area and planting of trees will be guaranteed and implemented before any other move.
- Liberty's legal status will be recognised as a refugee camp.
- The UN guarantees selling all Ashraf moveable and immoveable properties or transferring moveable properties to another country/ or to Iraqi Kurdistan.
- The US will inspect Camp Ashraf as soon as possible. "
These are basic requirements for meeting the humanitarian needs of several thousand people squashed into a small area at Camp Liberty. None of these are outside the MoU framework and no one can claim that they endanger the security and foreign policy of Iraq. Failure to implement these points will clearly illustrate a flagrant disregard for International Humanitarian Law and if Iraq does not implement them it will certainly underscore its ominous intentions.
Struan Stevenson MEP
President of European Parliament's Delegation for Relations with Iraq
SOURCE The Office of Struan Stevenson, President of European Parliament's Iraq Delegation