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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 33

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Friday, June 5, 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

 

 

Iraqi police intensifies Camp Ashraf siege, threats resident with arrest and death
NCRI Press Release

Friday, June 5, 2009
NCRI - Since 5:30 am (local time - Iraq) on Friday, June 5, rapid deployment forces of the Iraqi police at the entrance of Ashraf, blocked the road and entrance to Ashraf. They blocked entry of goods and people to the Camp and intensified the suppressive siege of Ashraf. Eight members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who were at the entry point of the Camp were threatened by arrest and death.

At 9:30 am a fully equipped anti-riot unit entered the scene and some units of Special Operations Brigade of the Ministry of Interior moved towards Ashraf around noon. Ashraf residents have gathered behind the entrance gates since 6:00 am. The weather in the Camp was around 50 degrees Celsius at 11:00 am. The entrance to Ashraf as of 13:00 remains to be closed with police vehicles equipped with heavy machine guns.

"International Committee of Jurists in Defense of Ashraf", and "International Committee in Search of Justice" announced that the US Forces should assume the responsibility of protection of Ashraf residents and the Government of Iraq should declare its compliance with the European Parliament resolution of April 24 on the "Humanitarian Situation of Ashraf Residents." Siege of Ashraf is an illegal act. It is in violation of written guarantees given by the Iraqi Government to the U.S. on the humanitarian treatment of Ashraf residents and its adherence to international treaties and conventions. The White House announced Iraqi Government’s commitments last December...  Read More

 

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U.K. lawmakers urge U.S. to protect Iranian dissidents in Iraq
Bloomberg News

May 29, 2009
May 29 (Bloomberg) - British lawmakers urged the U.S. to take control of a camp in Iraq filled with Iranian opponents of the government in Tehran after Iraqi police raided the site.

Forty-four members of the all-party Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom said they wrote to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, asking for U.S. forces, under United Nations monitoring, to take over security at Camp Ashraf. The British lawmakers also condemned Iraq for ignoring a European Union resolution in support of the Iranian dissidents, some of whom have been in the camp since they fled Iran in 1986.

“Iraq has refused to acknowledge the rights of Ashraf residents,” the group said. “U.S. intervention is therefore imperative both to prevent the entry of Iraqi police forces inside Ashraf and to stop this crisis in its tracks.”

The U.K. lawmakers said the Iraqi actions are being taken at the behest of Iran, and that the raid today is linked to Iran’s June 12 election, according to the statement, which was e-mailed from the office of lawmaker Robin Corbett.

“To have Mahmoud Ahmadinejad re-appointed to the presidency, Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is increasing pressure on the opposition to the theocratic regime,” the group said... Read More

 

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Iraqi MPs call for UN intervention to secure rights of Camp Ashraf residents
NCRI Website

June 2, 2009
NCRI –In a letter to the United Nations Secretary General on behalf of 35 Iraqi parliamentarians from various political groups, Dr. Saleh al-Mutlaq, Chairman of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front called for his intervention and implementation of international guarantees to secure the rights of Ashraf residents...

Dr. al-Mutlaq, the leader of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front at the Iraqi Parliament, wrote to the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-Moon, saying: “Many of my colleagues and I at the Iraqi parliament have made every effort to ensure that the rights of Ashraf residents are recognized, that international law and the European Parliament resolution, which was adopted on 24 April 2009 concerning the people of Ashraf, will be implemented, and that the siege imposed on them is lifted.

“However, we were shocked on Thursday, May 28, when a large number of Iraqi police forces entered Ashraf to further reinforce its blockade and harass the residents of an essentially disarmed camp... 99.7% of residents of Ashraf have decided to stay in Iraq as opposed to leaving the country voluntarily, according to figures obtained from individual private interviews conducted by the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry in a free and open environment. Therefore, according to various international humanitarian laws and the principle of non-refoulement, they should not be subjected to any harassment.”... Read More

 

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Iraqi National Dialogue Council condemns sudden police intrusion at Ashraf City
NCRI Website

June 3, 2009
NCRI - The Iraqi National Dialogue Council, led by Sheikh Khalaf al-Alyan, released a statement on June 2, in which it strongly condemned the police intrusion and siege on Ashraf City, Iraq, home to some 3,500 members of the main Iranian opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Last week the Iraqi police suddenly entered Ashraf City with no justification prompting international protest.

The council also urged ensuring of the rights of Ashraf residents in accordance with a European Parliament resolution to the same effect passed on April 24, 2009.

The Iraqi National Dialogue Council’s statement reads as follows:

We have seen that in a total disregard to previous efforts for settling the issues in a friendly manner and reach agreements with the Ashraf City’s residents to guarantee their rights and comply with international laws and customs, the Iraqi police has intensified its blockade of Ashraf on Thursday, May 28, 2009.

This happens despite calls by the Iraqi National Dialogue Council and some national forces [in Iraq] demanding a fair treatment of Ashraf residents, who are the Iraqi people’s guests and more importantly are designated protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. It also occurs despite the fact that the PMOI is an opposition organization, which has been removed from the terrorist list. The European Parliament on April 24 urged the Iraqi government to lift the blockade of Camp Ashraf and treat its residents humanely... Read More

 

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Iraqi tribal leaders and NGOs condemn police intrusion at Ashraf City
NCRI Website

June 4, 2009
NCRI- Various Iraqi associations and tribal leaders have condemned the tightening of a siege by Iraqi police forces on Ashraf City, Iraq, where some 3,500 members of the main Iranian opposition, People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), reside. They urged compliance with a European Parliament resolution calling for respect for the legal rights of Ashraf residents.

The parties involved include Sheikh Talal Abdoljabbar Aydan, the leader of the al-Jahishi tribe in Iraq’s Diyala province, the Central Council of Sheikhs in Baghdad, the Society of Shiite Tribal Leaders in Iraq, the Intellectual Society of Diyala, the Freedom-loving Youth Association of the City of Khales, the Gulf Humanitarian Aid in Neynawa province, and the charity organization of New Era.

In letters to the American ambassador in Iraq, the US forces commander in the country, and other responsible authorities, the Iraqi associations and tribal sheikhs wrote: We were shocked after hearing about the sudden intrusion of Iraqi police forces at Camp Ashraf. This suppressive act occurs despite the fact that Ashraf residents have fully cooperated with the Iraqi government. During this time, Iraqi government representatives have interviewed every single Ashraf resident and have subjected every inch of the camp to inspections, in the course of which even a single bullet was not found... Read More

 

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Canadian Council for Refugees calls for international monitor of Camp Ashraf in Iraq
NCRI Website

June 2, 2009
NCRI – The Canadian Council for Refugees, the umbrella organization on rights and protection of refugees worldwide, in a resolution called on the “Government of Canada to oppose forcible relocation or any other mistreatment of the residents of Camp Ashraf in violation of international standards.”

“The protection and humane treatment of the residents of Camp Ashraf is a matter of international concern which justifies monitoring by the Multinational Forces while they remain in Iraq and afterwards by the international community once the Multinational Forces leave,” the resolution reiterates... 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