News : Iranian opposition

Iraqi forces block merchants from entering Camp Liberty, while Maliki caves to Iran's demands to steal residents' property

NCRI - Iraqi forces under command of Nouri al-Maliki have, in recent weeks, been preventing Iraqi merchants and buyers from going to Camp Liberty in order to purchase property in Camp Ashraf, the decades old residence of members of the People's Mojahedin Oranization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

Meanwhile, UNAMI’s plan for the transfer of the 42 residents remaining in Camp Ashraf who survived the, which was presented to the residents of Camp Liberty on September 5 by the Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General for Iraq in presence of representatives from US Embassy, explicitly states: "The GoI shall allow the residents to sell their property at any time."

The Deputy Special Representative of Secretary-General for Iraq sent this plan to the residents’ representative writing: "Together with the US Embassy, we have drawn up a document that... is a way forward to solve the property issue."

Moreover, Ms Elizabeth Jones, Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, reiterated this plan in her letter to Mrs Maryam Rajavi on September 6.

Nevertheless, on 8 October 2013, the Iraqi Prime Ministry committee charged with the suppression of Camp Ashraf residents obstructed the entry of four merchants who had come to Camp Liberty to purchase parts of Ashraf property. This happened despite UNAMI being informed of the merchants’ names on October 5, and the UNAMI monitoring team and the Iraqi battalion protecting Camp Liberty had been reminded of their time of entry on October 7.

Then on October 13, this committee once again prevented the entry of Iraqi merchants whose names and particulars had been given to the protecting battalion in writing two days in advance, and UNAMI had once again been informed.

Then again on October 14, Iraqi forces barred the entry of another seven Iraqi merchants. Again, the names and particulars of the seven had been given to the protecting battalion and UNAMI monitoring team a day in advance. All merchants were initially stalled before being sent away by Iraqi forces.

Obstructing the entry of Iraqi merchants to Camp Liberty is part of Maliki’s plan to deprive residents of their property rights and to steal their property, as ordered by mullahs’ regime.

Since the end of 2011, Maliki’s forces have obstructed residents’ and their representatives’ extensive efforts to sell their property, preventing merchants from entering Camp Ashraf to buy property there, while also apprehending and beating some of them.

On April 2012, residents signed a contract with an Iraqi company to sell movable and immovable property, but the Government of Iraq (GoI) prevented the implementation of the contract through threats and enticements.

Then in September 2012, residents signed a contract with an British company for the sale of all movable and immovable property, with the contract confirmed by Britain’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Iraq's embassy in Britain, and the Arab British Chamber of Commerce. However, by threatening to kill the representative of the company and threatening the confiscation of its property, the GoI prevented the deal from going through.

Subsequently, at UNAMI’s suggestion, the residents designated Senator Robert Torricelli as their legal representative on the issue of property. At the beginning of January 2013, and in coordination with UNAMI, Senator Torricelli, along with a prominent US jurist, came to Baghdad, but GoI refused to conduct any negotiations with them for resolution of the issue of property and also barred them from visiting Ashraf and Liberty.

The Iranian Resistance calls on the UN Secretary-General and Security Council, the US government, the European Union, and pertinent international bodies to prevent Maliki’s government from stealing residents’ property and depriving residents of their property rights, and to compel the GoI to allow sale of residents’ property under the supervision of the residents’ legal representative Senator Robert Torricelli.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

October 16, 2013