Lawmakers question U.S. government failure to protect Iranian dissidents in Iraq, continued funding for Iraq government, says Iranian American Community of Northern California
Apr 26, 2013, 06:59 ET
WASHINGTON, April 26, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In a briefing on Capitol Hill, senior House Foreign Affairs, Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees members voiced dismay over what they described was the State Department's failure to secure the safety and protection of thousands of Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty Iraq and questioned U.S. government's continued funding of Iraq in view of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki's refusal to treat the 3,100 residents at Liberty humanely.
"We should make sure that we as a nation secure the liberty of Camp Liberty. One thing we can do is... to put them back into Camp Ashraf, which is at least a decent place for them... Unfortunately, Camp Liberty was not a place of safety for those folks in Camp Ashraf. So we need to allow them to return to Camp Ashraf," emphasized Terrorism, Non-proliferation and Trade Subcommittee Chair Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX).
Pointing to the Iraqi government's refusal to heed the call for the safety and security of Camp Liberty residents, the Judiciary and Homeland Security Committees member, the Texas Democrat, Sheila Jackson Lee said, "Why do we keep funding Iraq when they can't deal with the human rights of the people in Camp Liberty? ... If they will not listen, then we have to make sure that they listen... Why we are continuing to give comfort to Iraq that continues to participate in the events that result in this devastation and loss of life? ... I'd vote for any amendment that would question, diminish, and cut Iraq's funding ... "
Referring to the February 9th rocket attack that left eight Liberty residents dead and dozens wounded, Foreign Affairs Committee member Rep. Randy Weber (R-TX) added, "[Due to] the Iranian government's efforts to tear down your people, they've moved them from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty, which is not as protected, as fortified; people are losing their lives, we need to send a strong message, my hope is that Congress will send a strong message that these people need a fortified place to live... We will continue to push the State Department and this administration to not let you down... We need to send the Iranian government a strong signal that this will not be tolerated anymore."
House Judiciary Committee Member, Rep. Steve Cohen (D-TN) added, "The folks at Camp Liberty are commendable, [They are] fighting for liberty and in Iran... [They] need to be protected from attacks such as those that occurred in February."
SOURCE Iranian-American Community of Northern California
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