By Alan Gray
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) has issued a press release concerning recent baseless misleading remarks by Iraq’s minister of Human Rights, Mahdi al-Bayati, after his meeting with the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Resettlement of Liberty Residents, Mrs Jane Holl-Lute.
The Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty, Iraq, designated as Protected Persons by the United Nations, were made promises by the United Nations and United States, in return for disarming.
The residents of the camp were originally in Camp Ashraf, but they were tricked into relocating to Camp Liberty by UN Special Representative Martin Kobler, who promised them safe passage and protection. Hundreds of the residents have been killed by Iraqi and Iranian operatives over the past few years in attacks inside their camps.
The US withdrew from Iraq and left the refugees to their own devices, under the control of Nuri al-Maliki, the puppet of Iran. Even with al-Maliki gone from power, Iran and the Iraqi military are still causing problems for these people, withholding medical attention, causing many of them to die or exacerbating their medical conditions.
Iraq’s minister of Human Rights, Mahdi al-Bayati, has now said, on several occasions, that these people are not refugees, and that they are in Iraq illegally. Iraq is using the same strategy as politicians all over the world. Repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth, at least to the people who want to believe it and those who do not know better.
Iraq is now repeating this lie back to the United Nations.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) has condemned what they say is “these mistaken and worrying remarks by the Iraqi Human Rights minister, which jeopardise the life of defenceless Camp Liberty residents, who for their protection, rely on the UN and the international community.”
It is reported that Mrs Jane Holl-Lute, the UN Secretary-General on Resettlement of Liberty Residents has discussed the refugees with the authorities of Iran, the regime from which the refugees escaped.
BPCIF suspects Mrs Holl-Lute may have breached international law, if this is true. The Iranian regime may use her statements to take advantage of the UN Bodies in Iraq to advance its murderous plots against the Camp Liberty residents. It would not be the first time that the UN has given the advantage to Iran, in the case of these refugees. Former UN Special Representative of Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr Martin Kobler did so, with disastrous results for the residents.
Iran and Iraq have a long history of saying one thing and doing something else, of twisting the words of others for their own ends, and of schmoozing to deceive.
The press release from the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom indicates that the committee expects the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies to use the UN office as a tool to advance their psychological, medical and physical attacks on their opposition.
If Mrs Holl-Lute is as pliable as Mr. Kobler was in the hands of Iran, it may not take long to see if the advantage has been passed to Iran.
The Iranian regime’s meddling in the Camp Liberty dossier must be rejected
Allowing the Iranian regime to meddle in the Camp Liberty dossier will set the stage for another deadly attack on the 3000 defenceless Iranian refugees in the camp.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) expresses its alarm over recent remarks made by Iraq’s minister of Human Rights, Mahdi al-Bayati, with regard to the situation of Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty. They are members of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), and are entitled by law to protected status in Iraq.
Despite much evidence to the contrary including statements by the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) and legal opinions on the status of Camp Liberty residents, Mr al-Bayati claimed in a meeting with the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Resettlement of Liberty Residents, Mrs Jane Holl-Lute, on 24 November 2014 that “The PMOI lack refugee status and their stay in Iraq is illegal.”
According to the website of Iraq’s Human Rights Ministry, the Iraqi minister reiterated similar remarks in a meeting with the UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr Busztin, on November 16.
Mr al-Bayati’s baseless and misleading remarks deliberately ignore the fact that the residents of Camp Liberty are recognised as Protected Persons under fourth Geneva Convention as well as Persons of Concern and Asylum seekers by the UNHCR entitled to protection under international law. It also ignores the court rulings in Europe and United State rejecting the terror labelling of the Iranian opposition as unjust and perverse.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) firmly condemns these mistaken and worrying remarks by the Iraqi Human Rights minister, which jeopardise the life of defenceless Camp Liberty residents, who for their protection rely on the UN and the international community.
We therefore reiterate our call on the Iraqi Prime Minister, Mr Al Abadi, to take immediate action to make sure that his cabinet refrains from provocative comments endangering the life of Liberty residents and rejects any involvement of the Iranian regime in the Liberty dossier, since any attack on these defenceless refugees tarnishes the reputation of entire Government of Iraq.
We also urge the Iraqi Prime Minister to publicly declare Camp Liberty as a UN refugee camp and to cooperate with the residents and the UNHCR to ensure the safety and security of the people in Camp Liberty.
The Iraqi human rights Ministry’s website has posted a report attributing the following remarks to the Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Resettlement of Liberty Residents, Mrs Jane Holl-Lute: “UNAMI is seeking to arrange family meetings for the members of this organization to relieve their problems and persuade them to return to their country.”
The report adds that during her visit to Iran, Mrs Jane Holl-Lute “met with a number of Iranian officials and discussed the issue of these family meetings with them – she is going to inform her colleagues in the UNHCR about the talks in this regard.”
If this report is true, by involving the authorities of a regime which these refugees have escaped, Mrs Holl-Lute’s conduct clearly breaches international laws and conventions adopted in order to guarantee the safety and security of defenceless refugees and asylum seekers. Such statements by a senior UN Official will allow the Iranian regime to take advantage of the different UN Bodies in Iraq to advance its murderous plots against the residents in Camp Liberty, as was the case during the office of the former UN Special Representative of Secretary-General for Iraq, Mr Martin Kobler.
We strongly urge Mrs Jane Holl-Lute publicly to distance herself from these remarks and make it absolutely clear that the involvement of the Iranian regime or any of its officials in the Camp Liberty dossier is not only unacceptable but also unlawful given the status of the residents and the Iranian regime’s appalling Human Rights records.
Her failure to do so will allow the Iranian regime and its proxies in Iraq to use her office as a tool to promote their malign plan of exerting psychological pressure on these Iranian refugees in order to set the stage for future attacks to eliminate the legitimate opposition to the theocracy in Tehran.
Ultimately, the final responsibility for implementing the above steps towards a peaceful solution to this Iran-created humanitarian crisis lies with the United States and its allies as well as the United Nations. Consequently, we once again call on them to take firm actions to make sure that the above demands – vital to the safety and well-being of the refugees in Camp Liberty – are being respected and implemented.