Missile attacks on Iranian refugee camp in Iraq

February 13, 2013

liberty1Press Release, February 11, 2013

STOP THE BOMB demands the dismissal of the UN envoy to Iraq, Martin Kobler, and the protection of Iranian refugees by the Federal Government

On the morning of 9 February 2013, more than 30 rockets and mortars were fired at the Iranian refugee camp “Camp Liberty” in Iraq. At least 6 members of the Iranian opposition group MEK were killed in the attack. The Iraqi army attacked the Iranian refugees before with support from the regime in Tehran in 2009 and 2011 and killed several dozen people.

Martin Kobler has been UN Special Representative for Iraq since August 2011. He worked as bureau chief for Joschka Fischer before. Today he is responsible for the Iranian refugees in Iraq.Kobler and the Iraqi government pressured the Iranian refugees  to move from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty, a former facility of the U.S. Army. Allegedly this should facilitate a quick transfer to third countries. According to Tahar Boumedra, a former UN official, Kobler knew that the new location did not meet the humanitarian standards of a refugee camp. However, Kobler declared that all necessary preconditions for a transfer were met. (1)

Against strong protest of the refugees Kobler negotiated with Iranian authorities about the fate of the refugees, claiming against his better knowledge that a large number of the residents of Ashraf / Liberty was prepared to return voluntarily to the Islamic Republic of Iran. Kobler praised the Islamists in Tehran for the “creation of stable and secure conditions” in Iraq. (2)

STOP THE BOMB co-founder Andreas Benl says: “All the evidence of this brutal terrorist attack points to the responsibility of the regime in Tehran. Kobler has negotiated with this regime about the repatriation of the persecuted dissidents, although in Iran they would be in an imminent danger to life and limb. We are demanding the immediate dismissal of Kobler. Every gesture of appeasement towards the Iranian regime encourages the regime to more acts of terror. The victims of this terror are oppositional Iranians, Syrian freedom fighters and Israelis. Whoever acts as a stooge of the Mullahs like Kobler does cannot confront this terror. ”

STOP THE BOMB calls on the federal government to grant refugees from Camp Liberty residence permit in Germany and to support a dismissal of Martin Kobler. His responsibility for the deaths of refugees in Camp Liberty has to be investigated by an independent commission.

[1] “When Iraq was ready to start relocating the exiles to the new site at Camp Liberty in December 2011, I made several visits to inspect Camp Liberty, and told Kobler that it was not fit to accommodate 3,400 men and women. Kobler visited Camp Liberty and saw that I was right; yet when the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) hired a consultant to assess the conditions at Camp Liberty, Kobler pressured him to certify that the camp met all required humanitarian standards, which we knew was far from the truth. After the consultant declined, Kobler issued a report that misled the international community and the exiles alike into believing the standards were being met so the transfer process could proceed.  He also had UNAMI staff take around 500 photographs at Camp Liberty, of which 20-30 of the least offensive were selected, and sent to the exiles’ parent organization in Paris with the message that the new site would measure 40 square kilometers, reduced to 2.5 square kilometers. On that basis, the exiles agreed to move out of Camp Ashraf. In reality, the site at Camp Liberty measures 0.6 square kilometers and is surrounded by three-to four-meter concrete walls. It reminds me of the concentration camp I lived in as a child during Algeria’s war of liberation.” thehill.com/blogs/global-affairs/guest-commentary/244733-former-un-human-rights-chief-in-baghdad-tahar-boumedra-why-i-quit-the-un-in-iraq

[2] “I am in close contact with Iranian authorities that the people can go back to Iran on the basis of their free will. Iraq has stated his commitment not to expulse anybody against his will to Iran. However, I am confident that many will go back to Iran.” (FAZ 4.2.2012)

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One Response to Missile attacks on Iranian refugee camp in Iraq

  1. ALI
    February 13, 2013 at 9:20 pm

    Martin Kobler should be brought to justice for his role as a facilitator as he likes to call himself
    He even failed to condemn the attack speaking about Mortar explosions in the camp while his boss the ambassador of Iran to Iraq took the lead and said that the bombing was made by the residents themselves.
    This man is a criminal and should be brought to justice.

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