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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 25

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Thursday, March 26, 2009

 

 


"Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs.”

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention

 

“In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs.”

Article 45 of the Fourth Geneva Convention

 

 

A call for dispatching international fact finding missions to Ashraf
NCRI Press Release

March 22, 2009
NCRI - While the actions of Iraqi National Security Advisor Mowaffaq al-Rubaie against the residents of Camp Ashraf have caused widespread abhorrence among Iraqis and the international community, last night he once again appeared on the state television al-Iraqiya and spewed out a re-hash of a collection of lies against the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and the residents of Ashraf in order to please the religious dictatorship ruling Iran and justify the ongoing unlawful and suppressive measures against the residents of Ashraf...

Increase in suppressive restrictions and unlawful aggressions against Ashraf residents since February 20, the date al-Rubaie said that the transfer of protection of Ashraf to Iraqi government was completed, clearly indicates that the international assessments were accurate. The current aggression was triggered by Khamenei’s remarks at a meeting with the Iraqi President on February 28, only a week after the completion of transfer of protection to Iraqi forces...  Read More

 

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"Camp Ashraf" among Iraq's national interests
Al-Seyassah (Kuwaiti daily)

March 21, 2009
Following are excerpts from the Arabic text
Fearing further developments, Iran wants to close the case of “Mujahedin-e Khalq” [People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran – PMOI/MEK] in Iraq.

The Iraqi National Security Advisor’s insistence, with the personal supervision of the security advisor himself, Mr. Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, who is an American employee in the Iraqi government, to end the presence of the Iranian opposition PMOI which has been in Iraq for the past three decades, is absolutely not in Iraq’s national interests to the extent that it is in full acquiescence with the Iranian regime’s desires to end this case.

This case represents a very dangerous element for the Iranian regime’s security, even though the Iranian opposition group’s movement is currently curtailed due to numerous known reasons and factors. What is more, after its removal from the list of terrorist organizations [by the EU], the PMOI is currently enjoying widespread recognition in Europe. This renders European countries clearly responsible with respect to the moral duties of protecting and supporting this group, especially when it comes to purely humanitarian aspects or the presence and displacement of refugees or refugee status applicants, and other humanitarian aid such as family visits.

The increasingly aggressive tone of the Iranian regime’s Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, recently about ending the movement’s presence in Iraq and specifically closing “Camp Ashraf” along the border was very clear. Moreover, the visit to Iraq by the so-called Chair of the regime’s Expediency Council, Hashemi Rafsanjani, was an attempt in escalating pressure on the Iraqi government to force it to act on its decision to close the camp and city in its entirety. This would lead to the occurrence of a human catastrophe. The situation has become dangerously more intense following the attack of armed security forces against the camp with heavy fire, placing it under siege, and preventing family visits between the residents and relatives from Iran. Iraqis have also been forbidden to enter the camp while repeated statements are issued by Muwaffaq al-Rubaie, which camp leaders deny as utter fabrications...

In our view, there is absolutely no imaginable interests in sacrificing the Iranian opposition for the advantage of its enemy, especially when the Iranian regime continues to be an arms threat and bombs Iraqi territory from Basra in the south to Kurdistan in the north with heavy artillery. Moreover, intelligence and destructive activities by the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) are still being carried on at the highest level. Added to this is the military and non-military espionage activities of the Iranian regime. This was clearly demonstrated by the downing of a surveillance unmanned aerial vehicle in Balad city which was recently shot down by American forces. It shows that the Iranian regime is considered a serious threat for the future of security and peace in Iraq, and also that the regime has a harmful strategic agenda... Read More

 

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Abuse of Ashraf residents is an inhuman crime
March 20, 2009
Kuwaiti daily al-Seyassah
Following are excerpts from the Arabic text

Forces affiliated with National Security Advisor “Karim Shahpouri,” have resorted to a cruel and unprecedented act of surrounding one of the buildings in Camp Ashraf, which belongs to refugees.

These forces asked residents of the building to leave and informed them that the National Security Advisor has ordered the evacuation of the building, even though the building was built with the money and labor of Camp Ashraf residents. There is also a full surrounding of the camp preventing medial supplies, food, and fuel, to be transferred into it.

These simultaneous attempts are meant to impose pressure on Ashraf residents in order to make them bow down to Tehran’s demands. …

Attacking Camp Ashraf, where members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) reside, and prevention of entry of food, water and other basic human needs to the camp for the use of its residents, is an unjustifiable act. We fear that these actions would willingly or unwillingly lead to a sort of treachery. In the Iraqi lexicon, there is no good word for treachery toward guests or any other person taking refuge in the country…”... Read More

 

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Allawi wants Iraqi government to guarantee Ashraf residents' safety
Elaph (Arabic) website
March 21, 2009
Following are excerpts from the Arabic tex
t
The Iraqi National Accord Movement led by former prime minister Iyad Allawi called on the Iraqi government to guarantee the security and safety of residents of Camp Ashraf, which belongs to the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The National Accord Movement also made a plea to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to intervene with Baghdad in order to prevent measures which could threaten the lives of the camp’s residents.

The Iraqi National Accord said that Ashraf residents (located in Diyala province, northern Iraq) have lived in Iraq for 20 years and there are a set of international laws, such as humanitarian and human rights laws in addition to refugee laws based on the Fourth Geneva Convention, all of which are directly relevant to the situation of Ashraf City residents. These laws also endow those who would be at risk if expelled or repatriated to their home country with rights of residence and protection, said the movement’s press release a copy of which was provided to Elaph. There are 3,418 Iranian opponents residing in Camp Ashraf.

The statement pointed out that for these reasons and in view of the humanitarian principles, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees in Iraq must rise up to its responsibilities and intervene with Iraqi officials to prevent the adoption of a measure seriously threatening the lives and security of Ashraf City residents through forced displacement from Iraq.

The Iraqi National Accord demanded safety and security guarantees for Ashraf residents from the Iraqi government and requested providing protection to them for humanitarian reasons and compliance with international laws and human rights principles... Read More

 

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An Iranian opposition figure: The Iranian regime imposes pressures to expel Ashraf residents
Elaph website

March 18, 2009
Mohammad Mohaddessin asks for assistance from the Arab and Islamic world

Bonn – Sources close to the Iraqi government stress that officials are pursuing policy of expelling the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). Mohammad Mohaddessin, Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), responds to Elaph’s questions on relations between the two sides from Paris.

Reports from Iraq show more tensions between Iraqi authorities and Ashraf City. Each side has its own reasons and claims. What is the reality?

There are no tensions on the part of Ashraf residents. They are still acting the same way they have been during the past six years and have done nothing illegal. Tensions, very briefly, consist of the pressures the Iranian regime imposes on the Iraqi government to expel the PMOI from Iraq, hand them over to the regime, and create a human catastrophe. The Iranian regime has always wanted to eliminate its opponents. However, at the present its insistence on this has become more intense than in the past for several reasons. These include: Social upheavals especially by university students inside Iran who are inspired by the Iranian Resistance; The significant defeat of the regime’s proxies during the Iraqi provincial council elections; And the removal of the PMOI from the European Union terrorist list. In such circumstances, the Iranian regime wants to reduce the crises it faces by removing Ashraf from the scene.

What is transpiring here is the Iranian regime’s desire to implement its plots and pressures against Ashraf through its proxies in Iraq. As Mr. Ayyad Jamaluddin said in this regard in an interview with al-Baghdadieh TV, “There is one litmus test for identifying Iraqi political forces, and that is, any group that attempts to expel the PMOI demonstrates that it has organic relations with Iran.”... Read More

 

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About Humanitarian Crisis for Iranian Dissidents and their Families In Camp Ashraf

Nearly 3,500 members of Iran’s main opposition, the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK), residing in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, are faced with a humanitarian crisis. 

 

Tehran has put the Iraqi government under tremendous pressure to take over the protection of Camp Ashraf from the US-led Multinational Force-Iraq.  Under current circumstance in Iraq, such action would be in violation of the 4th Geneva Convention and International Humanitarian Law. Since 2004, Ashraf residents have been formally recognized as “Protected Persons“ under the Fourth Geneva Convention.

 

Ashraf Residents are expatriates holding dual nationality or refugee status of various Western countries. Their families and relatives are greatly worried for their loved ones in Ashraf.

 

 

International Humanitarian Law Obligate U.S. to Provide Continued Protection for Camp Ashraf Residents in Iraq
On July 2, 2004, the  United States formally recognized members of the PMOI in Camp Ashraf as “protected persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention. 

 

Both the U.S. and Iraq are parties to all four 1949 Geneva Conventions.

Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifies that:

“Protected persons are entitled, in all circumstances, to respect for their persons, their honour, their family rights, their religious convictions and practices, and their manners and customs […]”.

Article 45 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifies that:

“In no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs.“

 

Under the present circumstances in Iraq, the U.S. is the only party qualified and capable of ensuring Camp Ashraf residents’ safety and security under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The U.S. forces must continue to protect Ashraf residents as long as US forces are in Iraq.
 

 

About the U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents:

The U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR) was established in December of 2003 by families and relatives of residents of Camp Ashraf. The purpose of the Committee is to ensure the safety and security of those Iranians and others living in Camp Ashraf. The Committee will defend the proposition that the protections of the Fourth Geneva Convention, as well as of other treaties and customary international law, must be applied to the Iranians in Iraq. For more information please visit: www.usccar.org

 

About Ashraf Monitor

Ashraf Monitor newsletter is a compilation of  news and commentaries about the developing humanitarian crisis for nearly 3,500 members of Iran's main opposition, the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.  Ashraf Monitor is compiled and distributed by the US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR).

 


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U.S. COMMITTEE FOR CAMP ASHRAF RESIDENTS

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Web: www.USCCAR.org
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Phone: 202-640-1947