Letter by an Iraqi MP to the UNSG on Camp Ashraf (massacre and hostage)

Honorable UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, 

In utter astonishment and regret I have been informed that after 5.5 months of intentional and unjustifiable obstruction in handing over the bodies of the 52 martyrs of the horrific September 1, 2103 massacre in Ashraf to their families and friends, finally, the Iraqi government, in an illegal act and without the knowledge of even the representatives of UN in Iraq, has secretly buried the bodies in an undisclosed location. Further, the Iraqi government pays no heed to repeated requests of the families of the deceased.

In my opinion, this heinous act that is contrary to all legal, moral, humanitarian, Islamic and Arabic standards only goes to prove one reality and that is the fact that Government of Iraq is attempting to destroy the most authentic evidence in the crime that it has committed in Ashraf to complete its own scenario of removing all charges against it in this crime.

However, my principal astonishment concerns the incomprehensible silence and inaction of the United Nations, from UNAMI to the UNHCHR and UNHCR, and also the U.S. government in this regard.

A great number of Iraqi parliamentarians and me, in the recent months, have numerously addressed you through private or collective letters on the matter of the unjust inaction and turning of a blind eye to the extensive tyranny that is being commissioned against the refugees in Camp Liberty, including the issue of the bodies of the 52 martyrs. Nevertheless, we have received no replies. This is while the UN has a clear and unambiguous responsibility in this regard. 

We are well aware that in the first two days of this massacre, an official UNAMI delegation, headed by Deputy SRSG, as well as the Chair of the UNAMI Human Rights Office have visited the crime scene and ultimately signed an official paper in receiving the corpses that were then transferred by state ambulances to the coroner’s office. Further, it had been agreed that once the bodies were checked by an international inquiry delegation, autopsy be performed and legal burial be carried out.

Unfortunately though, despite international calls for the dispatch of an impartial international inquiry delegation to Iraq, not only these calls went unheeded in utter disregard and no effective measure was taken, but in an arbitrary and illegal measure that is contrary to moral, human, Islamic and Arabic standards, the bodies were not given to their families. Moreover, no objections were raised by the United Nations or the U.S. government.

Therefore, once again, on behalf of dozens of my colleagues and me, we insistently call on you not to allow the power of UN as the highest international human rights body to be damaged because of its silence and inaction and giving a free hand to the Iraqi government to commit whatever tyranny it wishes against the Camp Liberty residents. The announcement of the secret place of burial of the 52 martyrs and the dispatch of an international investigative board from the International Criminal Court to find out the facts on the September 1 massacre and the hostage-taking of seven that there is no news on them after six month, is the least measure expected on your honor’s behalf.

Member of Iraqi Parliament

Talal Hussein Muhsen Alzobai’e