Rajavi: Prevent Camp Liberty from Becoming a Prison

Stop Fundamentalism – President-elect Maryam Rajavi, of the National Council of Resistance of Iran called on the United States, the European Union, and the United Nations, today, to step in and prevent the Iranian and Iraqi governments from turning Camp Liberty in to a prison for Camp Ashraf residents.

Rajavi who was speaking at a conference held in the European Parliament in Brussels while sitting alongside of number of European and American personalities such as Howard Dean and Patrick Kennedy, stated that the residents of the camp are “still committed to the relocation to Liberty, only demanding minimum assurances namely  a dignified and humane treatment at the new location.”

“Behind all the pressures is a regime that aspires to destroy its opposition,” warns Rajavi comparing the situation to the behavior of the regime in respect to its nuclear dossier, “mullahs are resorting to deception and delay tactics to commit a greater massacre.”

Residents of Camp Ashraf are members of the most important opposition moment to the theocratic rulers in Iran living in Ashraf, Iraq for the past 25 years.  Following the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in 2003, they turned in their weapons and received the ‘protected persons’ status under Fourth Geneva Conventions and went under the protection of American forces.  Later, the U.S. turned the protection duty to the government of Iraq in 2009.  Since then, due to close ties between the government of Nouri al-Maliki and Iranian mullahs, the residents of the camp have been going under increasing pressure and attacks. 

In April 2011, Iraq made an armed aggression against the residents of Camp Ashraf killing 36 unarmed residents including 8 women. Video clips of the attack, taken by the residents, have been published on the internet showing Iraqi soldiers directly aiming for unarmed residents and shooting them down. The incident, later to be known as the “Camp Ashraf Massacre,” has drawn considerable international attention calling for a peaceful solution to save the lives of almost 3400 residents at the camp.

Recently the residents agreed to an international call to move to a former American base in Baghdad, Camp Liberty.  But the camp has been looted after the Americans left last year and it seems the Iraqis are building tall walls and creating undignified conditions similar to a prison rather than a refugee camp for the residents

Rajavi called on the United States and the European Union to accept Camp Ashraf refugees in their countries as soon as possible to prevent another massacre of the camp residents.  She specially highlighted the need for those wounded and ill to be transfer abroad as soon as possible.  The camp has been under a blockade imposed by the government of Iran.  Medical aid and supply is not getting inside Camp Ashraf currently as the Iraqi government is preventing entry into the camp.

Other speakers at the conference included Jim Higgins, member of the European Parliament who moderated the meeting.  Also Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice President of the European parliament; Struan Stevenson, President of Delegation for Relations with Iraq of the European Parliament; Howard Dean, former Chairman of the U.S. Democratic Party; John Bruton, former Prime Minister of Ireland and former EU Ambassador to U.S.; Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Congressman (1995-2011); and Senator Robert Torricelli (1997-2003), were among speakers to this intercontinental conference.

Camp Ashraf is located 60 miles north of Baghdad. 

Camp Liberty is inside the green zone in Baghdad near Baghdad international airport.  It was formerly used by American soldiers as an on-the-go logging facility.