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Iraqi forces block entry of air conditioning units to Iranian refugee Camp as hot season begins

For the past two weeks, Iraqi forces stationed at Camp Liberty have been blocking the entry of fans and air conditioning units for residents who live in containerized housing units that can reach up to 60C inside in hot summer weather. The residents has purchased the items at their own expense.

The Iraqi forces affiliated to the country’s prime minister’s office have officially told the Iranian refugees in the camp, located near Baghdad International Airport, that the entry of fans and evaporative coolers is prohibited. Iraqi forces also forbade residents to transfer their coolers from Camp Ashraf when they were forcibly transferred to Camp Liberty.

Preventing the entry of air conditioning units for use in over-heated housing trailers made of metal sheets serves no purpose other than the physical and psychological torture of the residents, and is therefore for a crime that merits prosecution.

In addition, the Iraqi forces also prevent the entry of carpets for covering the housing trailer floors, and spare parts for a limited number of vehicles that the residents have brought with them from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty.

When the residents were transferred from Camp Ashraf, the Iraqi government did not allow them to transfer more than 95% their vehicles, and now by preventing the entry of the spare parts it plans to put their limited number vehicles at Camp Liberty out of service.

In yet another criminal act – and despite a prior agreement – the Iraqi forces have also barred the entry of 50,000 sand bags purchased by the residents to be used to complete the building of bunkers to reduce the casualties in case of another rocket attack.

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Background:

Camp Liberty in Iraq houses some 2,900 Iranian opposition members affiliated with the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who were forcibly transferred from their 26 year-old home in Camp Ashraf.

The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention on 23 November 2012 described conditions at Camp Liberty as synonymous with that of a detention center and in violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. This was the second opinion adopted by the Working Group detailing abuses at the camp. Another opinion issued on 17 July 2012 found similar abuses taking place.

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