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Tahar Boumedra: Camp Liberty a Trap not a Safe Haven

Tahar BoumedraGeneva, February 27, 2013 - Thank you Madame President.   In fact, I was not expected to talk to you because I have not prepared a paper.

But I just want to read today what has been said by everybody and I want to underline the fact that everything that happened in Ashraf and Liberty, they’re not secret to the United Nations.

We have planned very carefully the procedure of evicting Ashraf, which is there for 26 years to a prison-like which is camp Liberty.  In doing so, the United Nations, UNAMI in particular, knows exactly the consequences.  But I could tell you that the consequences were premeditated and the clans that took place, particularly recently in camp Liberty were, premeditated under the person who should be held accountable, is quite well-known.


You know that we drafted an MLU and ….. were ….. which has not committed the United Nations to anything.  Look at the four pages of the MLU, you don’t find any single commitment to UNAMI or to the UNHCR.  It’s all a responsibility given to the government of Iraq. So from article 1 until article 7, the government of Iraq does this, does that.  What does that mean? It means that we have given the Ashrafis right to the government of Iraq to do exactly as they were told by the Iranians – by the Tehran Regime.  Now that what happened, we know that it was all built on lies and misleading. We know that lots of warnings were made: that camp Liberty is dangerous and yet I was personally told that I have to try to be positive.  Positive means ‘approved’ and ‘don’t be an obstacle to the process of United Nations’.  So there was a day I said, ‘no, I cannot approve this’.  And then I assume you all know what happened.  But now that I have been vindicated by the events, I want an investigation to be undertaken so that we hold those responsible of what happened accountable.  I did warn them personally.  And believe me before I spoke publicly and openly, I did discretely, confidentially warn about the procedure and about the process. It hasn’t been taken seriously and now we see the consequences.  We need an independent investigation in this situation, but not just this situation, not the 9th of February.  You all know that another attack will take place.  UNAMI and UNHCR know very well that there will be further attacks.  And I ask what are they doing to prevent a further attack? Here again, an independent investigation is necessary to point out the weaknesses of the system and to put in place some preventative measures that would protect and in my experience going back to Ashraf is the only real protection that Ashrafis could afford.  Ashraf is a place what we refer to as ‘safe haven’ because camp Liberty is not safe haven.  Camp liberty has been a trap and we know what happened now time to go back to Ashraf and thank you very much.


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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf