Brussels- 14 July 2013, ISJ- On the eve of the United Nations Security Council’s session on Iraq, the international committee In Search of Justice (ISJ), which enjoys the support of over 4000 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic, published its report on the developments in camps Ashraf and Liberty in between the two Council sessions.
Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament and President of ISJ, sent this report with separate letters to the Secretary-General of UN, US Secretary of State and rotating president of the UN Security Council, John Kerry, and to all the member states of the Council.
The report which is written in 10 chapters and 100 articles urges the UN Secretary-General and Security Council and particularly the US to take the following urgent actions:
To read the full report click here
Firstly- Convince the Iraqi government to immediately return the residents to Ashraf from where they would be transferred to third countries, and until then, impel the Iraqi government to allow the seven security measures to be taken in Liberty. These measures include returning T-walls, transferring small bunkers into the camp, installing a two-layer protective cover over the roofs of all trailers, transferring protective vests and helmets from Ashraf to Liberty, transferring medical equipment from Ashraf to Liberty, expanding the camp’s area and allowing construction inside the camp.
Secondly- Since the UN envoy, Martin Kobler’s report to the Security Council will by no means be impartial, we strongly request the presence of a representative on behalf of the residents in the 16th July session to present a real report and respond to questions from the Council members.
Thirdly- Take into consideration the opinions of the residents and their representatives in appointing a new Special Representative and/or any individual assuming responsibility over Ashraf and Liberty on behalf of the UN and be assured of the individual’s impartiality and that he/she will not come under the influence of the governments of Iraq and Iran. ISJ is ready to provide its advice and experience in this regard to the Secretary-General and his representatives.
Fourthly- The Secretary-General and Security Council should establish an impartial fact finding committee to investigate the missile attacks against Liberty, Kobler’s record regarding Ashraf and Liberty and testimonies presented by Mr Tahar Boumedra.
Fifthly - Impel the Iraqi government to revoke the cruel siege, especially the medical siege imposed on Ashraf and Liberty.
In other parts, the ISJ report to the Security Council refers to the following points:
1- The 15 June rocket attack was entirely predictable and preventable. In addition to the ISJ, the residents and their representatives and the US Embassy in Iraq had warned of such attacks on 11th February 2013.
2-In addition to a political and moral responsibility, there are strong legal reasons that the US government and the UN have duties and responsibilities regarding the protection of Ashraf and Liberty residents. This responsibility has increased following the transfer to Liberty and the rocket attacks. The residents are all “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention, refugees or asylum seekers and persons of concern, and each and every one had signed a bilateral agreement with the US to enjoy protection in return for voluntarily disarming. The residents were transferred
to Liberty based on a quadripartite agreement (signed between the US, UN, Iraqi government and residents’ representatives). Under this agreement the US and UN assumed responsibility for the residents’ safety and security.
3. The supposedly quick resettlement project has proved to be an absolute failure. Despite comprehensive cooperation by the residents, the camp leadership, PMOI and NCRI, we should note that until the preparation of this report (11th July 2013), only around 3 percent of Liberty residents have been transferred outside Iraq. In the best circumstances, this figure will reach to 10 percent by the end of 2013. Last April, in a report by Secretary Kerry to the U.S. Congress, he reiterated the fact that his endeavours in finding countries to accept the residents have proved futile. Therefore, given the lack of a quick resettlement, the only solution for the residents’ security and protection is their immediate return to Ashraf.
4. In Liberty lies the possibility of another tragedy taking place similar to that of 9th February and 15th June 2013, where the collaboration of the Iranian and Iraqi governments is very obvious. There is no doubt as to the motive of these two governments to inflict further blows. Under this framework, after the February 9th missile barrage and also in the period between the two Council sessions, the Iraqi government has prevented the procurement of any security measure inside the camp even at the residents’ own expense, in order to increase the vulnerability ratio and for casualty figures to remain high.
5. The UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General and his special agents, instead of focusing on the subject of security, continued their policy by presenting completely forged, false and distorted reports to the UN, US, EU and Iraq. This policy focused on two aspects:
- First: Portraying the residents, camp leadership, PMOI and NCRI as the parties responsible for the failure of the resettlement project;
- Second: Demonising the residents and camp leadership, effectively paving the way to further crimes against humanity and attacks.
6. After precisely analysing 14 letters sent by Kobler to the residents’ representatives during the period between the two Council sessions, his speeches in the Security Council (21st March) and the European Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee (29th May), and his interviews and private remarks, ISJ has no doubt as to his devious role and, despite the very long delay, strongly welcomes his replacement by the Secretary-General, although very late.
7. The shocking testimonies provided by Tahar Boumedra, former UNAMI human rights chief and advisor on Ashraf, who resigned in protest to Kobler’s biased policies, have remained unanswered. His newly published book entitled 'The Untold Story of Camp Ashraf' clearly shows that Kobler’s actual mandate was to dismantle the PMOI. Leaving these testimonies unanswered by the UN extends Kobler’s collaboration in crimes and felony to all of the UN and the Secretary-General.
Vice-President of the European Parliament
President of the international committee “In Search of Justice” (ISJ)
In 2008, several senior Euro MPs initiated the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) which brought together prominent international politicians and jurists to challenge the unjust blacklisting of the PMOI in Europe. They successfully won the courts in UK and in Luxembourg and justice was done to PMOI in Europe when they were de-listed from both British and EU blacklists in 2008 and 2009 respectively. The PMOI (MEK) was finally removed from the USA black list on 28 September 2012.
President of ISJ, Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, has been Vice-President of the European Parliament since 1999.