August 23, 2017

Sack Martin Kobler and resettle Camp Liberty residents immediately, EP vice-president tell the UNSC

NCRI – Iranian dissidents must be moved out of Camp Liberty and Martin Kobler sacked and replaced with an ‘impartial’ representative in Iraq, a European Parliament’s vice-president has told the UN’s Security Council.

And pending the transfer, Iraq must return medical equipment and bullet proof vests, helmets and blast-proof T-walls to protect vulnerable Camp Liberty residents from further attacks, Dr Alejo Vidal Quadras demanded in a strongly-worded letter to world leaders at the United Nations.

He also blamed Martin Kobler’s collaboration with the Iranian regime through the Iraqi government for blocking a safe solution to the crisis, and for preventing all but a very few dissidents from being transferred to safety in Albania.

Mr Vidal Quadras also drew the council’s attention to a report by the International Committee of In Search of Justice (ISJ) – enjoying the support of over 4,000 parliamentarians from both sides of the Atlantic – which highlighted Kobler’s ‘bias’ in favour of the Iraqi government and the Iranian regime.

He said in his March 20 letter that the most crucial issue following the February 9 rocket attack on Camp Liberty – in which eight people were killed and more than 100 injured – was safety and security.

He wrote: “There are enough reasons to show that this attack was organised by the Iranian regime with the help of the Iraqi government.

“The crises inside Iraq and Prime Minister Maliki’s serious decrepitude have made him more than ever in need of the Iranian regime, making him the unwilling follower of Tehran. The result of this situation is that the probability of further attacks against Liberty is very high.

“According to the Secretary-General’s report dated 12th March 2013, to this day a very limited number of residents have been accepted by third countries and according to this very report, it is the Secretary-General’s wish that a few hundred residents would be accepted by various countries.

“Kobler’s propaganda trip to Albania and publishing the news of 210 people being accepted by the government of this country, which Prime Minister Berisha had already agreed to last year, has made fruitless the efforts for this country to accept all or at least half of the residents.

“Kobler’s actions have actually delivered a serious blow to the project of temporary transfer of residents to third countries,” he said.

Iraq’s removal of T-walls and other protective equipment had also made Camp Liberty resident much more vulnerable and the casualties in any further probable attack would be ‘very high’, Mr Vidal Quadras warned.

He added: “This is while in Ashraf in the face of such attacks due to the very large area, concrete buildings and equipped bunkers, the residents enjoyed relative protection and the casualties would be far lower.”

The dire lack of medical and sanitary equipment was also exposing residents to serious risk of disease and infection – a situation he described as ‘a continuous crime is taking place with Martin Kobler’s approval’.

He said: “Martin Kobler is a specific barrier to resolving the issue of Ashraf and Liberty. There are enough reasons to show he is the implementer of the policies of the Iranian regime and its proxies in the government in Iraq in relation to Ashraf and Liberty.

“He went to Iraq with the objective to close Ashraf at all costs, without taking into consideration the consequences. He has in a rogue manner inserted his purposes in the UN Secretary-General’s 12 March 2013 report to the Security Council in the sections regarding Ashraf and Liberty, which is very destructive and damaging.

“He must be held accountable for sending 3,100 refugees to Liberty prison and the February 9th massacre, and a fair court must see to his probable charges.”

Mr Vidal Quadras issued four key issues that the UN Security Council must now address.

Firstly, and ideally, the immediate transfer of all residents to the US or a European country, even on temporary terms, to then resettle in third countries.

Secondly, the transfer of all residents back to Ashraf where the refugee process should be finalised.

Thirdly, replace Martin Kobler with an unbiased representative, while and an impartial committee must be appointed to review the actions of Kobler and UNAMI.

And fourthly, Iraq must return 17,500 T-walls to their previous positions, transfer bullet-proof vests, helmets and medical equipment from Ashraf to Liberty, allow residents be to take up construction projects in Camp Liberty and expand the camp’s current area to 2.5 square kilometres.