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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf

Tahar Boumedra – Following Rocket Attack on Camp Liberty

In this, I would like to go back to Camp Liberty, I'll take you and visit Camp Liberty, because so far we've been talking about the policy of the United Nations, about the conditions of living at Camp Liberty. But we have never spoken about the security assessment of Camp Liberty. A security assessment was made differently, separately from the conditions of living in Liberty. I was the first to lead the mission to Camp Liberty with the security personell of the UNAMI. And the first thing we pointed out is that the T-walls – For those that are not familiar with T-walls they are very solid concrete walls in the shape of a T, but put upside down so that the base is up. This is a T-wall. - The T-walls were designed, the way they were put up around the camp to restrict the movements of the residents.


On top of the T-walls you have these cameras. But why? And listening devices. I'm not a security expert, but my team was there, security experts were there, and they said this is designed in order to control, crowd control. Crowd control means that there are plans to be executed in the future, but it is a question of when.

I don't want go further on this; I will come back to it in a minute. But let me just remind you what Kobler said to the Ashrafis. Well he said that I signed on your behalf to save lives. And we did warn him that what he's doing is not saving lives. In fact around the table, with UNAMI leadership, we were discussing how to cut the head of the body. Relocation, which is not a relocation it is forcible eviction. The real aim is to disband the Ashrafis, but there is no way to disband them, so you had to take the leadership away from the population at Camp Liberty. In that sense, and this is the language that we used, that the rest of the population will go each and every one their own way, they will disappear in the world. But the leadership will be arrested. And from this platform I warned again that there will be further attacks. There will be further attacks and there will be arrests. But why is the United Nations keeping quiet on this? These are plans, we know them. We put them.

So why is the United Nations keeping quiet? In fact, a lot of people asked the question why Kobler is more enthusiastic about closing down Camp Ashraf and moving people to Camp Liberty more than anybody else, more than the Iraqis themselves. Why? And let me tell you, ladies and gentlemen, that he is a man who is in charge of a mission. The mission is to establish some love relationship between UNAMI and Prime Minister al-Malaki. This is clear and so far so good for the Prime Minister al-Malaki because he actually holds UNAMI as a hostage. In another forum I put it: UNAMI has been mortgaged and Kobler is paying this mortgage. This is absolutely the reality and the United Nations in New York is approving this. All they care about is ... that they have. The war took place and the United Nations cleaned the place, helped setting up a government, democratically, a government that respects human rights. And now, here is the United Nations helping this government.

Let me remind you that Ashrafis, the 36 who have detained, were actually taken to a detention centre, a secret prison run by the 56th brigade. This notorious brigade that belongs to the Prime Minister directly, doesn't belong to any corps of the army, it belongs to the Prime Minister. The 56th brigade. This place, this detention centre, or secret prison is called Sharaf (not Ashraf). Sharaf prison. Again here it is so ironic that such a secret prison should be calles Sharaf, “dignity”. The 36 were held there, just a few minutes away from the villa of the SRSG.

And yet the SRSG, today, goes to Camp Liberty and says to them: “Listen, I live in a place exactly like yours.” This man is not stopping misleading the international community. He tells them: “I live in a place like yours with T-walls”. But let me tell you exactly what this place is like. The UN compound in the Green Zone          ... The Green Zone itself has huge security arrangements put in place, but the residents of the UN... You have, first, the roofings which are very important because the missiles that come from above usually penetrate the roof and explode and cause damage. The roofs in the UNAMI compound is impossible to penetrate. You have one meter sandbanks on the roofs, then you have steel coverings, then one meter emptiness, then another layer of sandbags which makes it impossible for any missile to penetrate and reach in. The walls of the containers we lived in; There is one meter high sandbag walls protecting the container. Again, an RPG cannot penetrate the walls of it. And then I hear that the SRSG is comparing his residence to Camp Liberty. Camp liberty have containers with soft skin. Some soldier could hit it with one hand and just break it.

But the worst is the high density of the population in half a square kilometre. The high density makes it so vulnerable to the extent that if you threw a stone from outside the wall you will be bound to touch somebody. It's so crowded, so dense.

So, these are not secrets to the United Nations, these have been reported to New York, and yet we are telling the Ashrafis that we'll take you to a place in order to save your life. If this is safe, it defeats me. It also makes it difficult to see the American tax-payer, the French tax-payer, the German tax-payer, contributing to establishing such a system to persecute the Ashrafis and commit such atrocities in Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

I want out say that as long as the people in charge of the Ashraf case are misleading the international community and the international community is taking seriously what they are saying, there will be again serious crimes taking place in Camp Liberty. It is time to stop it! How to stop it? To me it is very obvious while the prison format of UNAMI is even in place there will be massacres and there will be cover-ups.

The human right reports, and I said it before Congress, have been doctored. We prepare reports with the intention not to upset al-Malaki. These reports, before they are made public, are revised in Geneva and in New York and the have the last word. Anything that is likely to upset al-Malaki is deleted. This is how we functioned in UNAMI.

I'll add another point about the media and the counterattack of the MEK propaganda. The Public Information Office of UNAMI made its task to, on a daily basis, collect all the information published, whether in Iraq or outside Iraq, that reports negative things about Ashrafis. We put them in a report and present them to all United Nations quarters to show how the press reports about the Ashrafis. And this is done intentionally to harm Ashrafis.

I have lots of very important issues to bring to the attention, not of this public, but to New York. I would like to just mention very briefly, Madam President Rajavi, a little comparison when we look around for solutions. I'd like to look into a similar camp, in Iraq, called Camp Mahmour. Camp Mahmour is a place were 11000 members of PKK, the Kurdistan Workers' Party. They live in Camp Mahmour and they are armed. It is an armed group that are fighting Turkey. This group walks around the camp with arms in their hands openly. Nobody bothers them. But when the United Nations wanted to take care of them within three months the UNHCR registered them, regularised their situation and gave them travelling documents. They gave them the right to move around in Iraq, they gave them the right to undertake income generating activities. They also have travel documents to go abroad for those who want to study or those who want to go as tourists, or whatever. This is in Camp Mahmour. And I personally raised this isssue with UNHCR. I said: why the double standard?

Here we have in Ashraf a population that has been disarmed years ago, verified by the Americans and the Iraqis, and now is a civilian population, disarmed civilian population. Here we have on the other hand an armed group, carrying arms openly. These ones benefit from the protection and Mahmoud is declared as a refugee camp. So we asked, why this double standard? I never got any answer to my question.

I say this and I take responsibility for what I'm saying, aimed at New York. They should dispatch immediately a commission of enquiry not only to look into the circumstances of this massacre but also to look into how UNAMI and Kobler are handling this situation. This is an option. The second option is to take what I'm saying as defamation of the United Nations and take me to court. So, keeping quiet is not a solution, not an answer. I am a witness and I'm saying what I'm saying, taking responsibility. Take me to court or dispatch a commission of enquiry, but to keep quiet is unacceptable.