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Iraq: Asylum

Volume 488: debated on Tuesday 24 February 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will take steps to seek to ensure the recognition of international humanitarian requirements in respect of the inhabitants of Ashraf city. (256110)

[holding answer 10 February 2009]: Responsibility for the camp was handed to the Iraqi authorities from 1 January 2009 by the US. The US will retain a presence at the camp in an advisory/monitoring capacity. We understand that the International Committee of the Red Cross is following developments at the camp closely and that the Iraqi authorities have undertaken to continue to provide access to such bodies as well as to the US authorities.

The US received assurances from the Iraqi authorities making clear their commitment to the humane treatment and continued wellbeing of the camp residents. We understand the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights also visited the camp and delivered these assurances to a representative body of the residents.

We are naturally concerned that the rights of all those involved are observed and that they continue to be treated humanely and their human rights respected. We understand that the US remains satisfied that the Iraqi authorities are fully aware of their responsibilities with regard to Camp Ashraf and its residents.