Iran Human RightsFormer UN official urges action to end humanitarian crisis...

Former UN official urges action to end humanitarian crisis for Iranians in Camp Liberty

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The former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, Ad Melkert, expressed his concerns regarding the violation of the rights of Iranians in Camp Liberty by Iraqis and presented a set of recommendations in his report on the humanitarian crisis at Camp Liberty.

The former Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq, Ad Melkert, expressed his concerns regarding the violation of the rights of Iranians in Camp Liberty by Iraqis and presented a set of recommendations in his report on the humanitarian crisis at Camp Liberty.

The former US military installation in Baghdad, Camp Liberty, is now serving as a refugee camp for the members of the Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Iraq.

These individuals were formerly residents of Camp Ashraf and have been promised to be protected by the US forces under the Geneva Convention. This primarily brings the focus of the US to the potential threats that the residents of Camp Liberty face.

The main problem that has caused concern is the fact that the political situation has drastically changed within that region mainly due to the strength that the Islamic State has managed to gain. With that strength, if this extremist group gets any closer to Baghdad than it already is, the consequences for the residents of Camp Liberty can be severe. Furthermore, there is the constant threat from the Shiite community that has pledged allegiance to the Iranian forces as well. Both these factors have, therefore, resulted in a major concern for the safety and well being of the residents of Camp Liberty.

In his report, Melkert has mentioned the fact that the numerous attacks that took place on Camp Ashraf should not be ignored and that the attacks at Camp Ashraf indicate that something similar can happen at Camp Liberty. Furthermore, the conditions at the camp itself are worth taking into consideration and the report mentions how the Iraqi government is not even close to developing a mechanism to address the grievances and problems of the residents of the camp. It was also mentioned in the report that the Iraqi government would choose not to respond to the report either.

Despite the fact that a “Special Adviser for Relocation of Camp Hurriya Residents Outside of Iraq” has been appointed by the United Nations, it should be taken into account that not many countries are stepping forward to open their doors to the refugees of Camp Liberty.

Several issues such as the lack of adequate medical facilities, the use of extra police without any need, the lack of appropriate infrastructure and the transfer of information regarding the refugees to the government of Iran have emerged amongst others. These issues all point towards serious threats that the residents of Camp Liberty are facing.

A number of solutions, including providing adequate medical facilities and the improvement of infrastructure along with increased involvement from international bodies into the matter have been proposed by this report.

 According to the report, these solutions need to be implemented immediately taking into account the urgency of the situation. Only if these solutions are implemented can the residents of Camp Liberty be freed from the constant threats that they are exposed to at the moment.

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