INU- In a U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, April 17, a number of senior and high ranking members of congress expressed concern about the safety and security of Camp Liberty residents to the U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
Expressing her concern, Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen said "the double-layered T-walls that were protecting the camp have been removed and now the residents are vulnerable to armed attack as they were on February 9th when 8 residents were killed."
She asked Secretary John Kerry "Will the US ask the Iraqi government to adequately protect camp Liberty?"
Responding to her question, Secretary John Kerry said: "I met with Prime Minister Maliki a few days ago, and this concern about what is happening in camp Liberty was very much in our mind in terms of security, we are working with them now in terms of interviews."
Representative from California Mr Brad Sherman asked that his voice to be added to that of "Ileana Ros-Lehtinen when it comes to MEK residents of Camp Liberty and the importance of us using our efforts with Iraq to make sure that they comply with international law and restore the protective barriers that had been there."
Representative Dana Rohrabacher asked the secretary "Are we going to hold the Maliki government responsible for their safety and if there is another attack and more of them are murdered?"
Mr Rohrabacher add that will the U.S. Government withdraws request for aids to "a regime that is murdering innocent refugees in a camp that we have put them there?"
"Are we going to put any pressure on Maliki regime on this issue," he added.
Secretary Kerry said that he has raised the issue directly with Nouri al-Maliki in his latest visit to Iraq.
"I raised this issue directly with the Prime Minister when I was there a couple of weeks ago. We are deeply engaged in this."
The U.S. Secretary of state added: "I am very concerned about the potential of another attack. We are trying very hard to find a place to resettle everybody. The answer is yes, we are looking for accountability and we are working very hard…"
"It is the Iranian government that I believe needs to be held accountable. We need the Iraqi government to provide security."
Responding to concerns raised by Representative Randy Weber, Secretary Kerry said that he is very concerned about the "with respect to security" and "that’s why raised the issue with Prime Minister Maliki" in his last visit to Iraq.
"I am worried about the security situation there," Secretary John Kerry added.