WASHINGTON (USCCAR) – On February 23, the US House Representatives Bob Filner (D-CA), Ranking Member of Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, and Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), Chairman of the Oversight and Investigation Subcommittee of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, wrote to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, to urge her to use her good offices to ensure safety and security of 397 Iranian dissidents who this month were transferred to Camp Liberty in Iraq.
The copies of the letter were also sent to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and Ambassador Martin Kobler, the Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq.
The co-chairs of the House’s Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus noted that “reports from Camp Liberty indicate that the Camp and its infrastructure fail to meet the minimum human rights standards. Apart from the unacceptable facilities and infrastructure, there is a lack of freedom of movement and of access to lawyers, journalists, and visitors. The on-site presence of armed Iraqi forces indicates that the minimum assurances of protection against harassment promised by the UN and US are not being met.”
The lawmakers urged Secretary Clinton to ensure that:
1. The Iraqi police station at Camp Liberty is moved to outside the facility, otherwise other residents will not agree to go to Camp Liberty. Iraqi sovereignty is not in question. Iraq has full sovereignty because it is controlling access to the Camp.
2. The residents have access to their lawyer, and families should be allowed to visit them in Camp Liberty. This would normalize volatile situation.
3. The agents and proxies of the Iranian regime should not be allowed either inside or around the camp where UNHCR will hold its interviews of Ashraf residents.
4. Immediate action needs to be taken in order to resettle the first group of residents in third countries since Camp Liberty is not appropriate for all the residents to set up residence.