By John Lee.
The United Nations Secretary-General has condemned the attack last week on Camp Hurriya (Camp Liberty), near the Baghdad International Airport, which left at least 26 residents dead and many more wounded.
The attack reportedly also caused casualties among the Iraqi Security Forces in the vicinity of the Camp.
The Secretary-General called on the Government of Iraq to promptly investigate the incident and bring the perpetrators to justice. There can be no impunity for such attacks. He reminds the Government of Iraq of its responsibility to provide for the safety and security of the Camp’s residents.
The camp is home to around 2,250 unarmed Iranian exiles, mostly members and supporters of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), also known as the MEK.
Said Boumedouha, Deputy Director of Amnesty International’s Middle East and North Africa Programme, said: “This was a horrific act of violence against the residents of Camp Liberty, which cannot simply be ignored by the Iraqi authorities. They must ensure a prompt, independent and effective investigation into this attack and ensure that those responsible are brought to justice.”
The United States has similarly condemned what it described as a “brutal, senseless terrorist attack on Camp Hurriya that killed and injured camp residents“.
A statement continued, “Our condolences go out to the families of the victims, and we hope for the swift recovery of those injured. We have been in touch with senior Iraqi officials to ensure that the Government of Iraq renders all possible medical and emergency assistance to the victims. We also urge the Government of Iraq to provide additional security for the camp’s residents and to find the perpetrators and hold them accountable for the attack, consistent with its obligations under the December 25, 2011 agreement with the United Nations.”
A spokesperson for the European Union said “this attack on unarmed residents constitutes the gravest violation of the Camp’s security since October 2013. We send our condolences to the families and friends of the victims and wish a speedy recovery to those injured. It is crucial that the Iraqi government fully investigate the incident and immediately step up security at the camp in line with its duty of protection of the camp residents under the December 2011 agreement with the United Nations“.
(Sources: UN, EU, US, Amnesty International)