Iranian-Americans in NY & NJ express outrage over the remarks by UNAMI Chief Ambassador Martin Kobler and Ambassador Daniel Fried regarding Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, Iraq
NEW YORK, July 27, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Association of Iranian-Americans in NY & NJ expresses utmost outrage over the remarks made at the UN Security Council on July 19 by Martin Kobler, UNSGSR, as well as those of US Ambassador Daniel Fried with regards to Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, Iraq. It is our strong belief that these lopsided statements encourage the Iraqi government to carry out a third barbaric massacre against our families and loved ones residing in these camps.
Mr. Kobler showered the Iraqi government with lavish praises while knowing that it has systematically violated its commitments under the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) it has signed with the UN. He turned a blind eye to the harsh realities on the ground at Camp Liberty undermining the rights of asylum-seekers under international laws and standards.
The GoI has unjustifiably refused to accept over two thirds of the minimum humanitarian requirements of the residents of Camp Liberty. Under the scorching summer heat in Iraq, the residents’ calls for better access to water and electricity have gone unheeded. And disturbingly, the GoI has refused to accept minimum arrangements to be made for the disabled residents.
All this comes after the residents have endured two brutal massacres at the hands of the Iraqi government. Still, Mr. Kobler finds it necessary to blame the defenseless and unarmed residents, calling on them to avoid “provocations” leading to violence. Has he forgotten that 49 residents (including 8 women) have been savagely murdered in unprovoked attacks by Iraqi forces and over 1,000 injured?
Mr. Kobler suddenly blames the residents for the stalling of negotiations (after thanking them as early as last month for their cooperation). The residents have consistently welcomed dialogue with both UNAMI and GoI. In fact, as a testament to their willingness to cooperate, 2,000 of them agreed to move to Liberty even in the face of GoI’s attempts to stonewall the peaceful process. The residents have only refused to take parts in meetings slated to be chaired by a nefarious individual complicit in massacring and torturing the residents on tow infamous occasions of July 2009 and April 2011.
Mr. Kobler says that Camp Liberty “meets acceptable humanitarian standards” as a Temporary Transit Location, but immediately adds that no government has stepped forward to accept the refugees. How can he justify this blatant contradiction? He is fully aware that the relocation is not within reach any time soon, but yet insists on referring to “Camp Liberty” as a Temporary Transit Location to find an easy way to build a case for the violation of basic humanitarian needs in the camp.
At the same time, according to press reports, the US Secretary of State’s special representative for Camp Ashraf, Daniel Fried, has also praised the Iraqi government for “even going above and beyond Washington’s expectations” to accommodate the residents’ demands. Interestingly, in yet another contradiction, Ambassador Fried admitted that the conditions at Liberty are, of course, not comparable to those of a “city” like Ashraf, thereby implicitly acknowledging the horrid situation at Liberty.
We believe that the minimalist humanitarian demands of residents are reasonable and easily achievable. Sadly, however, Martin Kobler and Amb. Fried’s one-sided positions have proven to be instrumental in Iraqi government’s refusal to meet these requirements.
Martin Kobler’s nearly seven month tenure demonstrates that he does not possess the integrity to protect the rights of the innocent and the defenseless. In light of these repeated infractions of his duty, The Association of Iranian-Americans in NY & NJ, supported by the Iranian communities around the United States, sees a real need for the appointment of an objective and competent personal envoy by the UN Secretary General to Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, so that all issues could be addressed in fair and unbiased manner. We further reiterate that the humanitarian needs and demands of the residents of both camps have to be addressed in an expeditious manner and without delay.
SOURCE Association of Iranian-Americans in New York & New Jersey