AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE
STRASBOURG, September 30, 2009 (AFP) – Council of Europe parliament members on Wednesday called on the United Nations and the United States to guarantee the safety of Iranian dissidents at a camp in Iraq following clashes in July.
Iraqi forces launched a deadly raid on Camp Ashraf, in Diyala province near the Iranian border, in July, killing 11 people and raising concerns about residents’ safety.
Seventy-three Council of Europe parliamentarians called on US military forces in Iraq to guarantee the rights of camp residents and protect them against violence.
The parliament members from about 15 countries also called for UN observers to be stationed at the camp and for the release of those detained in the raid and still held despite a court decision saying they should be freed.
Iraqi authorities have refused to allow 36 of the Iranian dissidents seized in the July raid to return to their base despite a court ruling they must be released, an Iraqi judicial official has said.
Iraq gained sovereignty over the camp on January 1 following the expiry of a UN mandate that had given US forces responsibility for it.