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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 35

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

 

 


DC March & Concert for Iran Freedom and Democratic Change

July 11, 2009, 11:00 a.m.

Assembly for March at 1st & Penn. Ave., NW

Followed by Rally & Concert at Lafayette Park Across from the White House

 

The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents will join other supporters of freedom and democracy in Iran for a march from Capitol Hill to the White House in solidarity with the pro-democracy nationwide uprising in Iran. The rally will denounce the ongoing barbaric crackdown of the uprising and will demand immediate U.N. action to stop the bloodshed. Since June 20, 2009, at least 200 protesters have been killed by government security forces. Thousands more have been arrested and are subjected to savage torture in Tehran and other cities. The march is organized by the Human Rights and Democracy International, Pedia; and nationwide network of Iranian-American communities and NGOs. For more information, please visit: http://www.hrdip.com/

 

 

 

Camp Ashraf: Workers, food, & maintenance equipment prevented from entering Camp Ashraf
NCRI Press Release

Tuesday, 07 July 2009
NCRI - The cruel and inhumane siege of Camp Ashraf has entered its fifth month. Even as constant sandstorms are having much negative effect, workers, food and maintenance equipment for water and electricity systems are still being prevented from entering. Over the past week, from July 1-7, Iraqi army and police forces prevented 10 trucks carrying food, consisting of flour, sugar, vegetables and fruit, and fuel as well as vehicles carrying essential items for Ashraf’s water and electricity systems from entering...

The intense heat of the Iraqi summer, perpetual sand-storms and the restrictions on entry of appliances and food are putting additional pressure on the residents of Ashraf. Water is now being rationed. It is anticipated that the water pump may stop working altogether...

The Iranian Resistance calls on the US President, the UN Secretary General, the Security Council and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to intervene immediately to end the siege of Ashraf and compel the Iraqi government to comply with international law and the April 24 European Parliament resolution on the humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residents. The mullahs’ brutal religious dictatorship should not be allowed to continue with its crimes against the Iranian people and the opposition inside and outside the country...  Read More

 

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Gathering of 90 thousand Iranians in solidarity with the Iranian people's uprising and in Support of Ashraf Residents
NCRI Press Release

June 20,  2009
NCRI - Ninety thousand Iranians gathered at the Villepinte Convention Center, north of Paris, in the largest gathering of exiled Iranians in a sign of solidarity with the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people and in support of Ashraf residents, members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)...

The keynote speaker, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, hailed the nationwide uprising of the Iranian people and paid homage to the martyrs, those wounded and detained. She said that this uprising was the real choice and vote of the Iranian people and not the illegitimate and rigged election of the mullahs' regime. The echoes of "death to the dictator" and "Khamenei shame on you, let go of absolute rule" during this uprising reached every corner of the world. This uprising represents the beginning of the end for the religious dictatorship...

Addressing those who had not yet acknowledged the legal status of the residents of Ashraf and had continued to besiege them, Mrs. Rajavi said: Do not give priority to the interests of the faltering regime in Iran over the interests of Iraq.

She added, if the Iraqi Government lacks the capacity, the capability and the independence to respect international law and to comply with the European Parliament resolution adopted on April 24, then the United States, which disarmed the residents of Ashraf rendering them defenseless and singed an agreement with each of them, must assume responsibility for their protection under the supervision of the United Nations... Read More

 

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Ashraf is a symbol of hope for a better future - Congressman Bob Filner
NCRI Website

July 03, 2009
The following are excerpts from a solidarity message by Congressman Bob Filner, Senior member of Democratic Party and co –chairs of the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus:

Dear Friends and Supporters of Democracy in Iran, It is with great pleasure that I address you tonight, as we stand in solidarity with the Iranian people in their struggle for freedom and democracy. I would also like to take this opportunity to send my warmest greetings to the brave men and women of Ashraf City.

Ashraf is not only a symbol of resistance and opposition to the Iranian regime, it is a symbol of hope for a better future, of dedication for an ideal, and solidarity for a common goal.

Ashraf city is more than just a compound occupied by members of the Iranian resistance. It is flame that represents the light and energy of this movement. And today, by reiterating my support for this great city, I would like to remind all those who would wish to put out this flame that Ashraf will stand firm, and we will stand with them... Read More

 

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Tehran's worst nightmare
The National Post

June 30, 2009
By Terry Glavin
Terry Glavin is an author, journalist and adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia.

With their uprising now staggering under the weight of increasingly brutal and bloody repression, Iran's brave democrats are facing a rapidly narrowing range of choices. It's come down to either carrying on, somehow, with firm demands for reform, or girding for revolution.

The decision is theirs alone, but one key thing Ottawa can do to help block the narrowing of the protest movement's options is to lift the bogus "terrorist" designation applied to the Mojahedin-e-Khalq (MEK). This organization is Tehran's worst nightmare.

Delisting the MEK would clear the way for the Paris based National Council of the Resistance of Iran (NCRI), arguably the most dedicated and resourceful Iranian opposition group in the world, to operate openly in Canada. The MEK is the largest of the NCRI's 15 constituent organizations...

In reality, the MEK is a sort of refugee camp of about 3,000 former guerillas and their families at Ashraf, in Iraq. They are now classified as "protected persons" under Article 4 of the Geneva Convention. And the U. S. military considers the MEK a co-operative and useful intelligence asset. The European Union gave the NCRI and the MEK a clean bill of health in January of this year...

Some say the NCRI has no credibility inside Iran because the MEK sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s. But Toronto-based security analyst Dan Rabkin, Iran editor for the private think-tank World Security Network, says that claim is overblown.

Rabkin contends that the NCRI and its affiliates are clearly well-connected inside Iran. The ruling ayatollahs routinely blame the MEK for fomenting dissent in the country, and Iran's Revolutionary Guards are now blaming the group for the country's pro-democracy convulsions. Tehran has even gone so far as to portray the MEK as an ally of al-Qaeda.

"The regime is obsessed with this group," Rabkin says. "Clearly, there is real dedication with these NCRI people, real discipline. They produce real results, and they have real intelligence resources in Iran."

Last year, Rabkin visited the MEK's base in Ashraf, which is routinely depicted as a spooky commune filled with wild-eyed revolutionary nutcases. "It's actually an incredible place. It's beautiful," Rabkin explains. "These people do not pose a threat to Western interests, that's for certain."... Read More

 

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Arrested, beaten and raped: an Iran protester's tale
Guardian
July 1, 2009
By Esfandiar Poorgiv (Esfandiar Poorgiv is a pseudonym.)

Afshin, a shopkeeper from south-west Iran, alleges that one of his friends was beaten and repeatedly raped after being arrested at an opposition rally after last month's disputed election. He gave this account to Esfandiar Poorgiv, a journalist and academic. It is published here as part of the Guardian's project to trace those killed and detained during the unrest. The Guardian has been unable to independently verify the account.
He came to my shop around 10.30am. You could tell straight away that he had just been released. His face was bruised all over. His teeth were broken and he could hardly open his eyes.

He was not even into politics. He was just an ordinary 18-year-old in the last year of school. Before the election he came to me and asked how he should vote. He looks up to me. His father is an Ahmadinejad supporter.

He had gone home directly after his release, but his father did not let him in. He didn't mention he had been raped. At first, he didn't tell me either. It was the doctor who first noticed it and told me.

When he came to my shop he collapsed in a chair. He said he had nowhere to go and asked if he could stay with me. I called a friend of mine who is a doctor to come home and see him. Then I brought him home.

His shoulder blades and arms were wounded. There were some slashes on the face. No bone fractures, but he was bruised all over the body. I wanted to take some photos but he did not let me. The doctor said only four of his teeth were intact, the rest were broken. You could hardly understand what he said.

Then the doctor told me what had happened. He had suffered rupture of the rectum and the doctor feared colonic bleeding. He suggested we take him to the hospital immediately.

They registered him under a false name and with somebody else's insurance. The nurses were crying. Two of them asked what sort of beast had beaten him up like that. He was a broken man. He told us not to waste our money on him, and that he would kill himself.

He was arrested in Shiraz on 15 June, the Monday after the election. Some sturdy young men made a human shield around the demonstrators. He was among them. He said he managed to hit some of the anti-riot police. But then they caught him and beat him up.... Read More

 

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Iran: doctors denounce terror in hospitals
French daily Le Figaro

July 6, 2009
Excerpts from English translation of original article in French

They have seen too many. For fear of reprisals, they kept silent. But passing through France for a few days, they want to break the wall of fear, at any price. "In Tehran, we are the powerless witnesses of real crimes against humanity," says one of two Iranian doctors, met this weekend in Paris, and who prefers to remain anonymous for security reasons.

 

"Since the beginning of the anti-Ahmadinejad protests, he said, militiamen and security agents in civilian clothing have established a policy of terror in the hospitals. They are conducting a hunt without mercy against the injured. "It all started on Saturday 13 June - the first day of protest against the election results. They began to ask for a list of admitted wounded from the hospitals that were located close to the events," says the doctor. Objective barely veiled: "identify the protesters injured, and then take them to court, accusing them of disturbing public order," he says.

Over 92 dead
According to several testimonies that circulate among the medical staff, Rasoul Akram Hospital, not far from Tehran University, received 38 corps, including 28 wounded and 10 dead from the "Black Monday" (June 15). "We found that the bullets had passed through the torsos diagonally, which means they were fired from above - i.e. a roof," says the second doctor.

According to an official report, at least 17 people have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. However, a list quietly made by the nursing staff from different hospitals showed that to date more than 92 people died in Tehran and its suburbs. A woman eight months pregnant is one of the victims. Shot and killed, near the presidential palace, she was then transported to the hospital. Other disturbing stories are beginning to emerge in broad daylight, as one of the six corpses of young men found last week in Shahriar, on the outskirts of the capital. "They all died from wounds in the neck. Their skulls had been smashed and their brains had been opened, presumably to retrieve the bullet to erase the trace of the crime," says the second doctor informed of this terrible massacre by a trusted colleague.

To cover this kind of attack, the doctors have been asked to certify that the persons whose bodies have been transferred to their hospitals died during surgery. "In several hospitals - including Rasoul Akram and Imam Khomeini - we have organized a sit-in protest. But state television said it was a strike for better wages. That's terribly shocking," says the second doctor. One of his friends, doctor on call for emergencies Erfan Hospital, has been "punished" for having stood up to the militia. "After missing for thirty-six hours, he was found half-conscious and disfigured on the sidewalk of the hospital," he says... 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

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, # 105, Washington, DC 20006-1811

Web: www.USCCAR.org
E-Mail: info@USCCAR.org
Phone: 202-640-1947