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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 37

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Tuesday, July 28, 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

 

 

Statement by Maryam Rajavi on return of residents of Camp Ashraf to Iran under specific condition
NCRI Statement
July 27, 2009
NCRI - In step with the Iranian people’s uprising for freedom, the residents of Camp Ashraf, members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Iraq, whose seven-year perseverance has served as an example of steadfastness and resistance for the Iranian people and youth in the face of religious dictatorship, have advised US and Iraqi officials that, like other Iranian exiles and volunteers, they are prepared to return to their homeland under the following conditions:

1. The Iranian regime, in an official letter addressed to the United Nations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and the Governments of the United States and Iraq, the contents of which should be verified and guaranteed by the said parties, make the commitment that if the residents of Ashraf, whose names are on a list available to the US and Iraqi authorities, return to Iran, they will enjoy immunity from arrest, prosecution, torture, execution, and formation of any criminal record and that they will enjoy freedom of speech.

2. The ICRC and the United Nations must undertake to closely monitor the implementation of the regime’s commitment inside Iran, and be continuously accessible to the volunteers who would return to Iran from Ashraf in successive groups. The second and subsequent groups will return to Iran after sufficient time intervals to test the regime’s commitment to any pledge regarding the first group.

3. The Iraqi Government must immediately allow the lawyers of Ashraf residents who have not had access to their clients for the past seven months to go to Ashraf and meet with them. The Iraqi Government must give written assurances that the residents of Ashraf may sell their real property, and may take their personal property with them.

4. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees must recognize as refugees and make arrangements for the transfer to third countries of those not willing to go back to Iran.
5. The Iranian regime’s letter must be verified and approved by the four above-mentioned bodies and notified to the residents of Ashraf.

If the Iranian regime were to accept these conditions, members of the PMOI and their supporters across the world would return to Iran under the supervision of and registration with the United Nations and the ICRC.

However, if the Iranian regime does not accept these conditions and refuses to provide such a letter to the said parties, it will become clear that all the previous claims by this regime not to harm the residents of Ashraf and other members and sympathizers of the PMOI if they return to Iran were merely political and propaganda ploys. In that case, the Government of Iraq must abide by and implement the April 24, 2009 resolution of the European Parliament.

Until now, the Iraqi Government had insisted that the residents of Ashraf must leave Iraq and go to Iran or an unspecified third country. The proposal for the return of volunteers to Iran completely neutralizes the Iranian regime's pressures on the nascent Iraqi Government about the residents of Ashraf. Accordingly, the residents of Ashraf no longer require the Iraqi government to acknowledge their legal status. Moreover, there is no basis for their displacement inside Iraq or for the Iraqi police to enter Ashraf.

I call on the international community, especially the United States of America, to ask the Iraqi Government to implement the European Parliament resolution and end the siege of Ashraf until the Iranian regime accepts these conditions. Otherwise, the United States Government must take responsibility for the protection of the residents of Ashraf. The current plight of Ashraf is the outcome of the war, the bombing, and the disarming of its residents by the US forces. An agreement was signed between each and every resident of Ashraf and the US forces governing their status until their final disposition. I call upon the United States to honor that agreement...  Read More

 

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NCRI official asks the Iraqi government to comply with international law regarding Ashraf residents
NCRI Website

July 26, 2009
The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Mohammad Mohaddessin, has asked the Iraqi government to comply with international law and a European Parliament resolution when it comes to Camp Ashraf residents. His remarks were published in an opinion piece on Wednesday by the al-Sharq al-Awsat daily.
"On February 28, Khamenei asked the Iraqi President using an authoritarian tone to implement a bilateral agreement regarding the expulsion of residents of Ashraf. After that, a number of Iranian regime officials visited Iraq to implement the bilateral agreement under the supervision of Muwaffaq al-Rubaie. Later, Ahmadinejad and the Secretary of the regime’s Supreme National Security Council, Jalili, demanded the implementation of an agreement signed in May.

"The legal rights of Ashraf residents are very clear and this is something that the international community acknowledged in an April 24 resolution passed by the European Parliament. The resolution stressed ensuring prevention of any action that would amount to human rights abuses by Iraqi authorities against Ashraf residents. It has also clearly asked Iraqi officials to protect the lives and physical and psychological health of Ashraf residents and to treat them in accordance with the principles of the Geneva conventions. It especially said that displacement, expulsion, or repatriation of the residents to their country of origin would count as a violation of the principle of non-refoulement...

The goal of the Iranian regime for closing Ashraf is not only limited to annihilating its opposition. Rather, the Iranian regime wants to do this to pave the way to completely dominate Iraq and impose its complete hegemony over the region.”... Read More

 

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Clumsy misinformation campaign to prepare grounds for terrorist attacks against rival candidates and to step up pressure on Ashraf
NCRI Statement

July 20, 2009
Mullahs' ploy to
NCRI - In a clumsy and discredited misinformation campaign, the clerical regime’s websites and media such as Press TV, an English language TV channel, and Jahan News, a website affiliated to the regime’s Revolutionary Guards, claimed on Sunday, July 19, “With the vigilance of the intelligence and security bodies, the ominous plot to assassinate Mehdi Karroubi and Mir-Hossein Mousavi was foiled,” and added, “the assassins were from the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) and had entered the country from the southwestern province of Khuzestan, bordering Iraq and the Persian Gulf.” According to the same sources, “They were reported to have received training at the MKO-run Camp Ashraf in Iraq.” The reports added, “They were captured by the security forces before carrying out their plan and sent to jail… The main intention of the operation was to attribute the assassination of Mousavi and Karroubi to the revolutionary institutions.”

A day before, the regime’s Minister of Intelligence made the ridiculous claim that, “To assassinate Mr. Ahmadinejad, the Zionist regime (i.e., Israel) met with Monafeqin (Mojahedin) grouplet on the fringes of Sharm al-Sheikh in Egypt and these meetings also took place in Paris.”

To prove its claim, the regime referred to a false report previously fabricated by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) claiming, “In the run-up to the June 12 presidential election, a number of anti-revolutionary groups had intended to carry out a similar plan by placing a bomb in the aircraft carrying [former President] Seyed Mohammad Khatami, which was foiled by the flight security forces.”

In yet another similar report released on June 20, the clerical regime claimed, “During a series of widespread intelligence operations several members of the Monafeqin grouplet who had received different types of training in Camp Ashraf in Iraq were identified and arrested. They had entered the country with the intention of carrying out terrorist operations.” The continued, “The individuals who were arrested admitted that they were guided and backed by the Monafeqin’s operations room in Britain after they received training and entered Iran.” (Official news agency IRNA, June 20).

The preposterous claims by the clerical regime are part of a discredited and wishful attempt to accomplish three objectives: 1) to conspire against candidates of the rival factions, 2) to justify the crackdown and killings inside Iran and 3) step up pressure on the residents of Camp Ashraf... Read More

 

 

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Women Fight for Freedom in the Iranian Resistance
The Women's International Perspective

 ‎Jul 23, 2009
by Rokhsareh

As an Iranian woman living in exile, I am interested in sharing the history and experiences of the women's movement against the Mullah regime in Iran. Educated in Germany, I now live in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to 3,400 Iranian dissidents including 1,000 women. I hope to share more information about the lives and activities of Iranian women inside Iran and also those who are living currently in Camp Ashraf. I hope to give a voice to the brave men and women in Iran who are struggling against the religious dictatorship and who cry for freedom.

Women have occupied a significant leading role in our movement against the religious fundamentalism in Iran and the misogyny that it perpetuates. The difficult circumstances, the traditional environment in Iranian society and the mullahs' vehement and misogynistic savagery has served as an obstacle for women to stay active, but by virtue of their successful struggle in the past decades, Iranian women of all ages and backgrounds have found their place at the forefront of the resistance.

Tens of thousands of these women were killed and many more tortured in the clerical regime's prisons. Some who survived are now among the women residing in Camp Ashraf, full of energy and experience for bringing freedom and equality to the people of Iran.

Besides their crucial role in the organized resistance, women also became indispensable to most expressions of anti-government protest across the nation. The recent Iranian people's uprising clearly showed the tremendous potential of Iranian women as leaders in the fight against the country’s fundamentalism. Not only do they enjoy absolute equal rights in the resistance, but they have also overturned the male dominated value system by taking on key positions of leadership and management. Women account for more than half the members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the parliament in exile, and all of the Iranian Democratic Opposition's (PMOI) leadership council... 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
E-Mail: info@USCCAR.org
Phone: 202-640-1947