UN Report: Iraqi Government violating Rights of the Residents of Ashraf City, Iraq

NCRI – In a report to the United Nations Human Rights Council, the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the right to food, expressed concern that the Iraqi government had suspended food, fuel and medicine rations to the residents of Ashraf City, Iraq, where 3800 Iranian dissidents are residing.The U.N. Special Rapporteur warned the Iraqi authorities that their actions amount to the violation of the obligation to respect the right to food and water in a non-discriminatory manner.

The following is the text of the segment dealing with the situation of the residents of Ashraf City:

On 17 October 2006 the Special Rapporteur wrote to the Government about allegations that access to subsidized food for the residents of Camp Ashraf is no longer available, thus affecting people’s right to sufficient food and means for its procurement.

According to these allegations, more than a year ago the relevant authorities introduced the practice of denying on a discriminatory basis to current and former family members and associates of the Mujahideen-e Khalq residing at Camp Ashraf food allocations at a level and price commensurate  with what is supplied to other citizens living in Diyala Province, to which they were formerly entitled.

As a result, the people concerned have to buy at the market those food items which they cannot produce or grow locally, including sugar, which is very important in their diet, at prices which continue to increase due to inflation. In addition, when traders cannot reach Camp Ashraf to bring in the necessary food items, its residents have to go to Baghdad to buy food, a journey that carries great security risks despite being escorted by the Multinational Force.

On 17 July 2006 the water pipeline that stretches 26 km from the pumping station near the Tigris River to Camp Ashraf was damaged by a series of explosions. This allegedly affected the access of the residents and nearby villages to water for drinking, cooking and hygiene purposes for around two weeks. Irrigation was also reportedly disrupted by the explosions.

On 22 July 2006 the relevant authorities decided to suspend all fuel and oil supplies to Camp Ashraf, including hospitals, which could potentially affect the diet of its residents due to limited fuel for cooking and access to water.

In the Special Rapporteur’s view, these facts could lead to a violation of the obligation to respect the right to food and water in a non-discriminatory manner if the relevant authorities do not take appropriate measures to restore the food and fuel allocations for the residents of Camp Ashraf.

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