MEFD condemns missile attack on Camp Liberty

 
 
Camp Liberty attack

Damage from missile attack 26 Dec. 2013

London, Dec. 29 (MEFD)

On Thursday 26 December 2013, Camp Liberty, which houses some 3000 Iranian refugees near Baghdad airport in Iraq, was subjected to a missile attack which, according to the United Nations, killed a number of residents and wounded many others.  According to the information received, the attack took place on 26 December at 9:15 pm Baghdad local time. Dozens of missiles of different types were fired upon the camp which killed three residents and injured 71 others of whom several are in critical condition.

Thursday’s brutal attack against the residents of Camp Liberty is the fourth of its kind and it constitutes the eighth deadly assault on Iranian dissidents in Iraq since January 2009 after the U.S. handed the protection of Camp Ashraf, former camp of the Iranian exiles north of Baghdad, over to Iraqi authorities.

The latest brutal attack on Camp Ashraf on 1st September 2013 left 52 residents dead and several injured. UNAMI reported that “all the deceased appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, the majority of them in the head and the upper body, and several with their hands tied”. During that raid, seven residents were abducted, of whom one reportedly died whilst in Iraqi custody, under circumstances that remain to be determined by an independent international investigative body; click here to view more.

The government of Iraq has been called upon by the UN and the EU and their Member States to launch a full-scale independent investigation into atrocities against the Iranian exiles in Iraq on numerous occasions. Until now, the government of Iraq has failed to do this to a satisfactory end, while attacks, such as the latest missile attack on Camp Liberty, continue. According to the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, Christof Heyns, “International law clearly requires Governments to ensure that all allegations of killings are investigated in a prompt, effective and impartial manner… Failure to do so is a violation of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights”.

Middle East Forum for Development (MEFD) condemns the missile attack of 26 December on Camp Liberty in the strongest terms and remains deeply concerned for the safety of its residents who have been designated by the UNHCR as “people of concern” and who should enjoy international protection according to international law. We call on the Government of Iraq to increase security measures in Camp Liberty in order to ensure the safety and security of its residents. MEFD underscores that the attacks against Iranian exiles in Iraq must be investigated promptly and independently according to international standards and the culprits of these crimes must face justice. We therefore urge the UN to launch an independent investigation into the attacks against Iranian exiles in Iraq and to speed up their resettlement process out of Iraq.

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