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ASHRAF MONITOR

Issue 56

News about the Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Tuesday, April 26, 2010

 

 


"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

 

USCCAR Condemns Iraqi Forces' Attack on Camp Ashraf, Demands UN Protection and US Guarantee

Statement by the U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents
Friday, April 16, 2010

WASHINGTON – Around midnight Thursday, the Iraqi forces attacked residents of Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of Iran's main opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Threatening to occupy a number of buildings by force, they used electric batons, daggers and iron bars in beating up the residents, wounding five. They also tried to abduct a female resident but were thwarted when she resisted.

The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR) deplores this barbaric attack, clearly carried out at the behest of the Tehran regime and with the approval of the Iraqi Prime Minister.

The residents of Camp Ashraf were recognized as “Protected Persons” by the United States in 2004. Since the US transfer of Ashraf’s protection to the Iraqi government in 2009, the human rights of Ashraf residents have been systematically breached in violation of international law and Iraq’s written assurances to the United States.

Still dumbfounded by the strategic defeat during Iraq’s recent parliamentary elections, Tehran and its Iraqi surrogates have been bent on destroying Ashraf. USCCAR demands that the United Nations must assume the protection of Ashraf residents before another humanitarian tragedy occurs. The Committee also urges President Obama to guarantee the protection of Ashraf residents consistent with the US government's signed agreement to this effect with Ashraf residents in 2004... Read More

 

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Five members of an Ashraf resident family sentenced to death as "Mohareb"
NCRI Press Release

Thursday, April 19, 2010

Iranian Resistance calls for actions to save the lives of the prisoners
NCRI - In an unprecedented and inhumane decision, the Iranian regime has sentenced five members of an Ashraf resident family to death charged with Mohareb. Mr. Mohsen Daneshpour-Moghadam, 67, a bazaar merchant along with his wife Mrs. Motahareh (Simin) Bahrami, 55; their son Ahmad Daneshpour; Mrs. Bahrami's niece Ms. Reyhaneh Haj-Ibrahim; and Mr. Hadi Ghaemi, a family friend, had been arrested and transferred to Evin Prison on Ashura day (December 27, 2009).

The family was arrested for their visit to Camp Ashraf last year to see their son and a relative. Mr. Daneshpour, a political prisoner of the 1960's had already spent five years in Iranian regime's prisons on the charges of sympathizing with the People's Mohjahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)... Read More

 

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IRAQ: Civilians Under Fire

Amnesty International
April 27, 2010
VIOLENCE AGAINST REFUGEES
In addition to internally displaced Iraqis, there are about 35,000 refugees from other countries registered by the UNHCR in Iraq. The largest groups are Palestinians as well as Turkish and Iranian nationals…

Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group, who are living in Camp Ashraf in Diyala governorate. Following months of rising tension, Iraqi security forces forcibly entered and took control of the camp, which had been under US military control until June 2009, on 28 and 29 July 2009. Video footage taken as Iraqi security forces entered the camp showed them deliberately driving military vehicles into crowds of protesting residents.

 

They used live ammunition, apparently killing at least nine refugees, and detained 36 others who they subsequently tortured. The 36 were taken to al-Khalis police station in Diyala, where they mounted a hunger strike, and were then moved to Baghdad despite repeated judicial orders for their release. They were freed and allowed to return to Camp Ashraf in October after an international campaign for their release. However, in early 2010 the authorities were reported to be insisting that the camp residents move to another location in southern Iraq... Read More

 

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Cruel treatment of Ali Saremi, an Ashraf Resident's Family on death row
NCRI Press Release

Monday, April 26, 2010
NCRI - In a cruel and inhumane act, on Monday, April 20, the clerical regime’s henchmen put on trial on fresh charges a political prisoner already sentenced to death. Ali Saremi is the father of one of the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The 62 year old was inhumanly taken to the regime’s court while in chains just two short days after undergoing a serious surgery. The show trial came to an end without any rulings and was ordered to resume at a later date.

The presiding judge, Mohammad Moqisseh, is a former member of the “Death Committee” responsible for the massacre of political prisoners in 1988. The subject of the proceedings was a brutal attack in September 2008 which was carried out against political prisoners by a number of dangerous inmates organized by Evin prison officials. During the show trial, Mr. Saremi protested against the new plot of prison officials and the creation of a phony case against him, as well as his exile to Karaj’s Gohardasht prison. He also stressed on his rights as a Muslim and a PMOI supporter in the face of Moqisseh’s insults and accusations...  Read More

 

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Understanding the Mujahedin-e Khalq: Resistance Against Tyranny
The Huffington Post

April 22, 2010
By Ali Safavi, Member of Iran's Parliament in Exile; President of Near East Policy Research

Aside from the clearly false allegations against the MEK, which have been addressed in previous posts, some of the MEK's activities inside Iran prior to 2001 have been cited by the US Department of State and others as providing ostensible justification for the terrorist label against the organization. The MEK's activities have been painted with an unjustified brush of terrorism, thereby conflating instances of otherwise legitimate resistance against a tyrannical system with horrid acts of blind terrorism.

... Therefore, armed resistance against the clerical regime, and especially its specific application by the MEK (carried out prior to 2001), was completely justifiable and legitimate, at least according to the universally-established international democratic norms and legal criteria.

Aside from all this, although the end does not always justify the means, in this particular case, too much focus and emphasis on the methods of resistance obscures the noble end and takes the spotlight off the regime's inhumane crimes. The main issue and the reason for the MEK's activities revolve around democracy and popular sovereignty in their home country since day one. That is why, even prior to voluntarily handing over all its weapons in 2003 to Coalition Forces in Iraq, and in fact since the early 1980s, the MEK has repeatedly declared its readiness to take park in a free and fair election under the auspices of the United Nations and fully accept the results of a genuinely democratic plebiscite in Iran.

This explains why before 2001, when the MEK ceased its military actions in Iran, a majority in the US House of Representatives and 32 Senators as well as majorities in the UK House of Commons and in several European parliaments, including Italy, Luxembourg, Belgium and Norway, voiced support for the MEK as a "legitimate opposition [movement]," that is "working to establish a democratic and pluralistic system in the country.”...  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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U.S. COMMITTEE FOR CAMP ASHRAF RESIDENTS

2020 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, # 195, Washington, DC 20006-1811

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