Iraq: UN Mission Voices Deep Concern at Recent Camp Deaths

NEW YORK–(ENEWSPF)–16 April 2011 – The United Nations mission in Iraq today voiced its deep concern at the recent events that led to the deaths of 34 people at a camp housing Iranian exiles, noting that it has repeatedly urged the Government to refrain from the use of force.

The Iraqi military operation on 8 April at Camp Ashraf, located north of Baghdad, also left dozens of people injured. The camp houses an Iranian exile group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran.

The mission (UNAMI) has been in close contact with the Iraqi Authorities regarding the incident and carried out a visit to the camp on 13 April, during which it confirmed the number of deaths and injuries.

It has noted the Government’s initiative to set up a commission of inquiry and said the commission should be independent and start its work without delay.

“UNAMI stands ready to provide documentation resulting from the mission to Ashraf,” the mission stated in a news release, adding that it will continue to assist the Government in the search for a permanent solution to the issues related to the camp in line with international humanitarian and human rights law.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, yesterday condemned the operation at Camp Ashraf, saying that there is “no possible excuse” for so many casualties.

“There must be a full, independent and transparent inquiry, and any person found responsible for use of excessive force should be prosecuted,” she stated.