The letter was published on April 26 on the website Sout-al-Iraq (Voice of Iraq), and argues that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki has followed the directions of the Iranian mullahs in essentially turning the refuge encampment into a prison. The signatories particularly highlight the pressure being exerted by the denial of access to medical treatment and other essential services.
The letter reads in part: “In unison with thousands of our colleagues around the world and based on our conscientious, humanitarian and ethical commitment against any violation of human rights and refugee rights, and in order not to harm Iraq’s international reputation, we call for your urgent intervention to improve conditions in the camp.”
“While the security situation across Iraq is on the verge of collapse,” the letter continues, “these refugees, who are members of the main Iranian opposition, are more at risk than ever for revenge and bloody attacks masterminded and led by the Iranian regime ‘s terrorist Quds Force.” As one example of such attacks, the letter referred to the missile attack that took place on December 26 of last year, killing four refugees and wounded dozens of others.
The residents of Camp Liberty had previously inhabited a more developed community in eastern Iraq. It was built and maintained over a period of approximately 30 years by Iranian dissidents who took up residence in Iraq after being exiled from Iran in the 1980s.
Camp Ashraf was shuttered in 2012 under increasing pressure from the Maliki government in the form of violent raids and attacks against its residents. Under an agreement brokered by the US and UN, 100 residents remained behind to settle property issues, but on September 1 a final attack killed roughly half of these individuals. The incident has never been formally investigated by international bodies.
The Iraqi lawmakers who attached their names to the April 26 letter to Secretary General Ban have also called for the establishment an independent committee tasked with uncovering what took place during the Camp Ashraf Massacre of September 1, 2013.