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ASHRAF MONITOR

Issue 55

News about the Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Friday, April 16, 2010

 

In this Issue:

 


"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 forces attack Ashraf residents in support of Iranian regime's agents
NCRI Press Release

Friday, April 16, 2010
Iranian Resistance warns against mullahs’ plots and demands protection of Ashraf residents by the United Nations and guarantees of the United States
NCRI - On Thursday evening, at about 23:30 local time, in a failed attempt, Iraqi forces attacked Ashraf residents and tried to overtake some of installations inside the camp. The assault took place in support of the agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the terrorist Quds Force stationed at the entrance of Ashraf for the past 66 days.

The agents, with full support of the Iraqi army battalion and the clerical regime’s embassy in Baghdad, have been psychologically torturing the residents of Ashraf. Using high powered amplifiers and loudspeakers they have been threatening to “set fire” and “close down” Ashraf and “kill” PMOI members residing in the camp and to “pull their tongues out of their throats.” The agents have been disrupting peace for the camp residents. Video clips and pictures of these agents have been regularly provided to the international bodies as well as the American forces and relevant US authorities...

Five Ashraf residents were wounded in the attack. Their names are: Karim Gomasai, Mehdi Abdulrahimi, Azim Mish Mast, Rahim Sohrabi and Khaled Shah Karami. They were taken to hospital for treatment...

The Iranian Resistance reiterates that the events of last night showed once again that the Iranian regime and the Iraqi government are determined to suppress and destroy Ashraf and draws the attention of the United Nations Secretary General, Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq and the US officials and military commanders to the ongoing tragedy in Ashraf. It also strongly demands the United Nations to assume protection of Ashraf residents and calls on the US forces to guarantee the protection as it had committed itself to at the time when it disarmed the residents...  Read More

 

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Iraqi battalion collaborates with Iranian regime in psychological torture of Camp Ashraf residents
NCRI Press Release

Thursday, 15 April 2010
NCRI - Reports sent by the Iranian regime's embassy in Baghdad to the terrorist Quds Force and the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) reveal that Iraqi Prime Minister’s office and the Iraqi Army battalion stationed at Ashraf are cooperating fully with the MOIS agents camped out at Ashraf’s main gate.

According to these reports, the Commander of the 3rd Battalion of the 37th Brigade of the 9th Division of the Iraqi Army and the battalion's chain of command, supposedly responsible for protection of Ashraf residents, are providing logistical support to the MOIS agents posing as families of Ashraf residents ever since they were brought to the gates of Ashraf on February 8, 2010.

In the past two months, the battalion commander Colonel Latif Abdol-Amir Hashem Al-Enavi, has been assisting the MOIS agents, personally arranging for everything they need. His deputy, two officers of the Iraqi Army's intelligence branch and two other army officers are also helping them. Col. Al-Enavi has assigned two officers to ensure that these agents are fully satisfied and have everything at their disposal.

The battalion provides them with loudspeakers, drums and cymbals among other things. It also arranges the agents' transportation between their residence, the regime's embassy in Baghdad, and Camp Ashraf as well as their trips to and from Iran. Three of the battalion's vehicles and their drivers are allocated to these agents. Under the instructions of the battalion commander, these vehicles are well maintained... Read More

 

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Tehran's strategic defeat in Iraq
The Huffington Post

Tuesday, April 6, 2010
By Alireza Jafarzadeh, Author of The Iran Threat
The March 7 parliamentary elections have heralded a new era for Iraq, pushing aside the incumbent Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki and officials with ties to Iran while opening way for a new slate of politicians hoping to mend serious sectarian divides. But, as a U.S. military official in Iraq told the Washington Post, Maliki and his allies "have no intention of giving up their regime," something that could threaten the hard earned post-election gains for progress and stability and harm US troops withdrawal timetable.

"These are people who were exiled and who've risen to power almost overnight because we brought them back to power," the official was quoted as saying. "Now they're going to lose that relative lock on power through these elections," which explains the Maliki bloc's frantic reaction to its defeat.

With the Iraqiya coalition declared as the winner of the March 7 vote, arduous talks are now under way to form a new government. The triumph of the cross-sectarian and nationalist Iraqiya list, headed by former PM Ayad Allawi, represents a major threat to the ambitious agenda of the regime in neighboring Iran.

Mr. Allawi and his allies managed to win the most votes, overcoming monumental political and security obstacles and thwarting Iran's bag of dirty tricks, while displaying surprising resilience and strength. Tehran will no doubt heighten its already extensive interference in a bid to rob Iraqis of their electoral choices and engineer a surrogate government in Baghdad.

Still, regardless of which political blocks will ultimately succeed in forming the next government, the Iranian regime and its Iraqi allies have been dealt a strategic blow as Iraq takes small and fragile steps toward a pluralistic democracy. Iran's state-run media are lamenting the "lost opportunity," launching a disinformation campaign to tarnish the historic electoral performance of the nationalist and non-sectarian political forces... Read More

 

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Reality Check: Mujahedin-e Khalq, Kurds and Shiites in Iraq
The Huffington Post

Thursday, April 8, 2010
By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran's Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research

One of the unsubstantiated allegations against the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) is that it was involved in the suppression of Iraqi Kurds and Shiites in the aftermath of Operation Desert Storm in 1991. The source of this allegation, which later found its way into a 1994 Department of State report on the MEK,[1] and subsequently in the Department's Country Reports on Terrorism, is none other than the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

The fact is that in the aftermath of the 1991 Persian Gulf War, the Iranian regime launched an extensive propaganda campaign alleging that the MEK had played a role in putting down the Kurdish uprising in northern Iraq. The propaganda blitz specifically meant to overshadow Tehran's dispatching of thousands of troops into Iraq in March and April 1991 to destroy MEK bases close to the Iran-Iraq border.

Surprisingly, despite a palpable dearth of factual and evidential basis, this accusation also acted as one of the justifications for the MEK's terror listing in the United States. Not only is there not the slightest bit of evidence supporting this accusation, in fact, a plethora of documents and evidence exist, at times offered by prominent Iraqi Kurds and Shiites themselves, that definitively dismiss the allegation...  Read More

 

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1,000 Women in Camp Ashraf Under Siege
The Women's International Perspective
April 2, 2010

By Maryam Zoljalal
Camp Ashraf, 50 miles north of Baghdad, is home to 3,400 Iranian dissidents, including 1,000 women, all members of the Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization (PPO) of Iran, living as political refugees for nearly 3 decades and under the Fourth Geneva Convention after 2003. My name is Maryam Zoljalal, 28, and I am one of these women. Due to the oppression of my people in Iran by the ruling mullahs’ regime, I left my life and education in Sweden and relocated to camp Ashraf in Iraq. I have lived in Ashraf for the last 10 years for the freedom of my people, being the voice of the oppressed women of my country. Currently I spend part of my time as a nurse in the Camp Ashraf clinic.

Camp Ashraf is a small city in Iraq and its residents are mainly Iranian intellectuals - educated in various Iranian universities, as well as U.S. and European countries, all opposing the religious fascism ruling Iran. While cherishing life and family, they devoted themselves to bringing freedom and democracy to Iran, and by coming to Ashraf, joined a resistance for a better future and democracy for their country. Ashraf is a small democratic society where women have key leadership roles. They have become the mainstay for Iran’s new generation to resist and persevere and also confront the mullahs’ dictatorship and oppression.

The Iranian regime has used every opportunity to terrorize and oppress Ashraf residents, especially in the past two decades. My mother, Efat, was gunned down in an Iranian regime’s Quds Force terrorist attack in Baghdad on May 17, 1995. I loved her very much...  Read More

 

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

More than 3,400 members of Iran’s main opposition, the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI/MEK) and their families, among them nearly 1,000 Muslim women, reside in Camp Ashraf in Iraq.  The PMOI was the source of ground breaking revelation in the United States in 2002 about Iran’s two until-then secret nuclear sites at Natanz and Arak.

 

On July 28-29, 2009, Iraqi forces ordered directly by Iraq's Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki acting at the behest of Iran rulers, carried out a violent, unprovoked raid on Camp Ashraf, killing 11 residents, wounding 500, and abducting 36.

 

The brutal raid on Ashraf was a blatant violation of the solemn commitment Iraq had given to the United States that it would provide "humane treatment of the Camp Ashraf residents in accordance with Iraq’s Constitution, laws, and international obligations."

The assault took place while U.S. service members on the scene were observing the situation closely. Regrettably they took no action to prevent the premeditated violence despite direct appeals by Ashraf residents at the outset and during the attack.

 

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.“

 

United States had legal and moral obligations and responsibilities under international humanitarian law to protect these Iranian exiles.
 

 

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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