ITF EU representative Dr. Hassan Aydinli and MEP Struan Stevenson, Chair of the Iraq Delegation at the EU Parliament
ITF EU representative showing the Chair Mr. Struan Stevenson some documents in preparation of the next meeting.
ITF EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli and Mr Tahar Boumedra, former senior official with
UNAMI in Iraq
The meeting was chaired by MEP Struan Stevenson and was attended by several MEPs. namely Ms. Ana Gomez, Mr. Vytautas Landsbergis and Mr.Tunne Kelam.
About 50 people attended the meeting.
Mr. Vladimir Janecek, Desk Officer Iraq, European External Action Service (EEAS).
Mr. Tahar Boumedra, former advisor to Mr. Martin Kobler
Colonel Wes Martin of the U.S. Army and former commander of Camp Ashraf
Mrs. Elham Zanjani, former resident of Camp Ashraf
Representatives of the Iraqi Embassy in Brussels
Iraqi Turkmen Front (ITF) EU representative Dr Hassan Aydinli
Mrs. Merry Fitzgerald of Europe-Turkmen Friendships
Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) representatives
Assistants of several MEPs
The situation in Camp Liberty was discussed in the shadow of the recent attack on the Camp on 9th February 2013.
The Chair Struan Stevenson strongly condemned the missile attack on Camp Liberty on 9th February 2013, saying that the Iraqi government had failed in ensuring the security of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) residents. He deplored the fact that Mr. Martin Kobler, Special Representative for the United Nations Secretary General for Iraq, and United Nations Assistance for Iraq (UNAMI) have not fulfilled their role in Iraq.
A former resident of Camp Ashraf, Mrs. Elham Zanjani, of Canadian nationality, who had been seriously wounded during the Iraqi military attack in 2011 was invited to the meeting to testify, she explained how 8 residents were killed and how she and 90 residents had been injured during the attack. As she had suffered grave wounds she had to be repatriated to Canada to get proper medical treatment.
Mr. Vladimir Janecek, said that half of the residents of Camp Ashraf have already been recognized as refugees, they are now waiting to be resettled outside Iraq. He reminded that the EU has already provided 12 million Euros as help to the camp Ashraf residents.
Mr. Tahar Boumedra, former advisor to Mr. Martin Kobler, explained why he resigned from his post in protest of the handling of the situation by Mr. Kobler.
Colonel Wes Martin of the U.S. Army and former commander of Camp Ashraf, said that Al-Maliki has become a dictator, he blamed the attack on Camp Liberty on the Iraqi government, saying that Al-Maliki and Ahmadinejad had coordinated the attack. He said that a lot of things have been said about MeK being terrorists but that the Ashraf people did not shoot US soldiers and that they had surrendered their weapons.
MEP Ana Gomez intervened and put the following question to Mrs. Elham Zanjani: "As a Canadian and Canadian educated, when did you go to Iraq, and what was the relationship of the Mujahedin with Saddam Hussein, didn't the MeK work with him?"
Mrs. Elham Zanjani replied that the MeK were completely independent from Saddam Hussein.
MEP Ana Gomez then addressed to Mr. Boumedra, asking him: "who is employing you today?"
To which Mr. Boumedra replied that he had resigned and that Martin Kobler was happy to see him go, he said that nobody is employing him, that he is self-sufficient.
MEP Ana Gomez said, addressing to the Chair Mr. Stevenson: 'very serious indictments have been made here about the U.N., the UNHCR, Mr. Martin Kobler and Ms. Jana Hybášková, did you invite these people to give their facts?
The Chair answered that he had invited Baroness Ashton, but that she could not come.
The representative of the Iraqi Embassy commented that Prime Minister Al-Maliki had condemned the attack on Camp Liberty and that it is the UN's responsibility to relocate the residents outside Iraq. He also commented that the Iraq Delegation Meetings should not be a forum for criticising the Iraqi government only.
The Chair insisted on the urgency to move the residents of Camp Ashraf outside Iraq, either to the U.S. or to Albania while they are waiting to obtain refugee status. He said that in the meantime the MeK people should be moved back to Camp Ashraf, where they will be safer than in Camp Liberty.
At the end of the meeting ITF EU representative spoke to the Chair Mr. Struan Stevenson about the problems the Turkmen are still facing in Iraq today and he showed him some documents in preparation of the next meeting.