By Nasreen Feizi
Specifying the time needed to go from A to B is always one of the most important parameters of mankind in pursuing their smallest to biggest objectives, and even in their routine daily lives. The reason is by specifying the time needed to span a distance man can calculate the time needed to reach his objective. Currently, scientists are using this parameter and they can easily say one can reach the moon in a period of two weeks.
This is a scientific example and it has nothing to do with people’s lives, spirituals or moral principles. However, we the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran stationed in Camp Liberty (adjacent to Baghdad International Airport) have been living in Iraq for nearly 30 years now in our struggle to free our country, Iran, from the grasps of the ruling religious fascism, have never been able to calculate the time period between the words and deeds of human rights organizations, especially the United Nations.
It would be much better if this shortage would have no effect on the lives of human beings. However, the developments of the past 8 years for us Camp Liberty residents have proven completely the opposite.
Following the transfer of Camp Ashraf’s protection to Iraqi forces and their commitment violations, the distance between words and deeds for the UN and US government have led to the murder of 116 individuals, 1,300 being injured and 7 others – including 6 women – being abducted.
The UN and US government pledged to follow up on these crimes and expose the perpetrators. However, the distances between these promises and the time these words will be put to action have not been calculated. I wish it would just end here. After all these crimes a comprehensive siege has been imposed on us in Camp Liberty that continues to this very day. 24 people have lost their lives so far due to these limitations, and again they promised to take action, but the timing to reach this action has yet to be calculated.
The tombstones of our martyrs resting in peace in Ashraf, which are an inspiration for all the Iranian people and especially the youth, were destroyed and insulted. However, to this day no legal action has been taken against the elements behind this atrocity.
All this aside, the promise that the UN specifically made on us being able to sell our property back in Ashraf, or their transfer to Liberty, is one of the most significant examples of distances between words and deeds for the UN. We had built Ashraf as a place only to pursue our just struggle against the ruling religious extremists, and we invested $550 million dollars through financial aid from our own people. Ashraf was known amongst the Iraqi people as the ‘Pearl in the Desert’, a city with sports facilities, a university and providing for its logistical needs such as heavy machinery and dozens of utility trucks, dozens of forklifts, hundreds of computers, personal items, home appliances, cooling/heating units and especially medical equipment…all this moveable and immovable property we left behind in September 2013 after the massacre of 52 Ashraf residents and seven others – including six women – being taken hostage. We evacuated Ashraf as a goodwill gesture and after receiving guarantees of a plan to be carried out about our property being transferred to Camp Liberty. In this joint plan presented by representatives of the UN and US government, including Ms. Beth Jones, then US assistant secretary of state for near eastern affairs. They specifically emphasized on two articles:
- The Iraqi government will allow Ashraf residents to sell their property at any time they wish
- The Iraqi government will guarantee and protect the residents’ property in Ashraf.
The UN and US were committed to implementing this plan. In the meantime a UK company was ready to purchase all our movable and immovable property, and Senator Robert Torricelli was introduced as the residents’ representative. This means we had gone through all the legal process; but what took place was another example of not calculating the distance between words and deeds on this yet another commitment made by the UN and US government.
And in a short period after the relocation of all residents from Ashraf to Liberty, the plundering of our property began by elements whose identities were very clear to everyone. Forces linked to the Quds Force and commanded by Hadi Ameri and Quds Force – the murderers of the Iraqi and Syrian people – were in Ashraf busy stealing our property and even taking pictures during the process. This is while the residents are in dire need of these assets – especially the medical equipment – to provide for decent living conditions in Liberty and their resettlement abroad. We say to the US government and UN that mankind in the 21st century easily measures the time needed to travel to the moon, and they make that possible by sticking to their words. However, with your commitment violations continuing against Ashraf and Liberty residents, and each leading to more and more lives being lost, please say to us that truly when will you put your words into action regarding your commitments about the lives and property of Liberty residents. Especially on your pledges to take urgent action on selling or transferring our property… will it be days, a few months, a few years or a few light years? Or will it ever be met at all? And will the Iranian people have to continue witnessing your injustice and inaction about the lives and property of their loved ones in Camp Liberty. Do not let the world think that the longest distances in the world are those between words and deeds of the UN and US.