British MPs and Peers condemn unprovoked attack
British MPs and Peers condemn unprovoked attack on Camp Liberty
At 21:15 Baghdad local time on 26 December 2013, Camp Liberty was the target of dozens of missiles. This attack has taken place a matter of months after Iraqi forces massacred 52 residents at their previous home in Camp Ashraf. The shamefully weak response to that attack by the EU Governments, the US administration and the United Nations has given the Iraqi authorities the green light to continue killing at will.
In total, Iraqi assaults on the two camps have left some 115 unarmed and defenceless civilians murdered. These are Iranian dissidents to whom the US authorities guaranteed protection and who are recognised as Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Today the whereabouts of seven hostages taken by the Iraqi authorities in the 1 September 2013 attack remain unknown and the latest murders are an indication of the Iraqi authorities’ intentions in relation to Camp Liberty. It is in this Committee’s view no coincidence that such an attack occurs shortly after Nuri Al-Maliki returns from a visit to Tehran.
The British government and other member states of the United Nations must immediately condemn this latest attack. Further UNHCR must immediately recognise Camp Liberty as a refugee camp and grant all the members of the camp group refugee status. It is clear that their current recognition as persons of interest under international law is insufficient and has hindered their safe return to third party states.
Lord Carlile of Berriew CBE QC, Co-Chair of the Committee said:
“This Committee has repeatedly warned the British Government and the United Nations that these assaults will continue until such time as an armed UN presence is stationed at Camp Liberty. Today’s deaths were avoidable had that UN presence been in operation. The British Government must today publicly show its support for an armed UN presence at Camp Liberty while calling for the immediate release of the hostages.
This attack and the uninterrupted executions happening in Iran each and every day have resulted from the international community’s weak stance towards the Iranian regime in recent months.
Unfortunately the UK Government has been weak in expressing its protests, and has done little to ensure that both Iraq and Iran understand that these attacks on unarmed people are wholly unacceptable.”
Parliamentary Committee for Iran
26 December 2013