The Bar Human Rights Committee of England and Wales (BHRC) have today issued a statement expressing their deep concern and shock at the 4 July rocket attack on Camp Liberty in Baghdad, which is home to large numbers of Iranian exiles.

This attack led to some 50 injuries and material damage, according to residents. Five injured residents were transferred to Baghdad hospitals, while the remainder were treated at the camp clinic. A spokesman for the Ministry of the Interior has confirmed that Camp Liberty was “hit by rockets”.

Residents of Camp Liberty had previously complained about their desperate living conditions, in particular that Iraqi security forces had prevented the delivery of food, medicine and fuel in the eight days preceding the attack.

BHRC has called upon the Iraqi authorities to set up an independent, impartial and prompt investigation, and to ensure that electricity and other essential services to the camp are restored, that access to basic necessities is not impeded, and that those whose homes were destroyed in the attack are provided with adequate temporary shelter without delay.

Kirsty Brimelow QC, Chairwoman of the Bar Human Rights Committee said:

“BHRC condemns the missile attacks upon the defenceless people of Camp Liberty. BHRC reiterates its request to the UN that Camp Liberty be recognised as a refugee camp under the supervision of the UN High Commission for Refugees. The UN Human Rights Council already considers these refugees “persons of concern”.

Practical steps must now be taken by the UN and by the Iraqi government to protect these vulnerable people. Whilst statements are welcomes, as a permanent member of the UN Security Council and member of the Human Rights Council, the UK must actually act to hold the Iraqi authorities to account over this latest attacks.”

Read the Bar Human Rights Committee’s full statement here

(Image credit: AFP Photo/Ali al-Saadi via Yahoo)