UK lawmakers denounce fuel blockade at Camp Liberty

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Iran Focus

London, 16 Jul – British politicians on Thursday condemned a food and fuel blockade on a camp of Iranian dissidents in Iraq and called on the United States government and the United Nations to urgently press Baghdad to lift the blockade.

Iran’s main opposition coalition, the Paris-based National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), said on Wednesday that despite Iraq’s scorching 50°C weather, which forced the country to declare Thursday as a national holiday, Iraq’s government had since Tuesday barred the entry of food and fuel into Camp Liberty, near Baghdad International Airport.

The camp houses thousands of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), the main group within the NCRI coalition. PMOI (MEK) members in Camp Liberty have been recognised by the UN Refugee Agency as “refugees” and “persons of concern”.

The NCRI said on Thursday that for a third straight day, Iraq’s National Security Advisor Faleh Fayaz had issued a blanket ban on the entry of food, fuel and septic trucks to Camp Liberty “at the behest of the Iranian regime”.

“Depriving the camp from food, fuel and medicine for the third consecutive day has created a serious crisis in the camp and brought tremendous pressure on the residents. The blockade of fuel has created serious problems for the generators that supply electricity for the camp’s needs”, it said in a statement.

Cross-Party MPs and members of the House of Lords and Middle East experts on Thursday took part in the a conference in the House of Commons organised by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) to raise the issue of human rights in Iran and more specifically in Camp Liberty.

Panellists included Rt. Hon. David Jones MP, a former Secretary of State for Wales; Steve McCabe MP; Sir Roger Gale MP; Keir Starmer MP; Lord Clarke of Hampstead CBE; Lord Maginnis of Drumglass; Lord Cotter; Struan Stevenson, President of the European Iraqi Freedom Association (EIFA) and a former chairman of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq, and Sabah al-Mukhtar, President of the London-based Arab Lawyers Association.

Keynote speaker, Struan Stevenson, presented his new book “SELF-SACRIFICE” regarding the PMOI (MEK).

“Whoever takes on the challenge of countering Iran should be certain of one thing; there is a credible opposition movement waiting in the wings to take over power from the evil mullahs, the PMOI and their inspirational leader Mrs Maryam Rajavi … Theirs is a vision of freedom and liberty for the oppressed millions in Iran. It is a vision that they have fought and died for”, Stevenson said.

The speakers strongly condemned Iraq’s National Security Advisor for ordering Iraqi forces to prevent the entry of food, fuel and septic tankers into Camp Liberty. They warned that the camp is “currently on the verge of a humanitarian catastrophe” and they urged “the US, EU and the UN to take immediate measures in order to lift the repressive restrictions on the members of the Iranian opposition residing in the camp”.