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ASHRAF MONITOR

Issue 57

News about the Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Thursday, May 27, 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

 

Calls for Urgent Action for Six on Death Row for Links with PMOI
Amnesty International
May 21, 2010

Ja’far Kazemi is now known to be among six men facing execution in Iran for their alleged links to the banned group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI). In some cases, these links may amount to no more than having contact with family members linked to the PMOI. The six could be executed at any time.
Tehran’s prosecutor announced on 15 May that the death sentences of Ja’far Kazemi, Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei, Mohammad Ali Saremi (or Sarami), Abdolreza Ghanbari (or Qanbari) and father and son, Ahmad and Mohsen Daneshpour Moghaddam, were upheld by the Appeal Court after they were found guilty of moharebeh(enmity against God) in relation to their alleged links to the PMOI. He also stated that the three had asked for a pardon. Two women, Motahareh (Simin) Bahrami and Rayhaneh Haj Ebrahim, and one other man, Hadi Gha’emi have had their death sentences commuted to prison terms. Mohammad Amin Valian was acquitted of moharebeh on appeal and his sentence commuted to imprisonment and payment of a fine.

Ja’far Kazemi is also believed to have been convicted of "propaganda against the system". He was accused of participating in mass anti-government protests in September 2009, but not of committing any violent acts. Mohammad Ali Haj Aghaei is thought to have faced similar charges. Mohammad Ali Saremi is believed to have been held since 2007 after speaking at an event commemorating the summary executions of thousands of people in Iranian prisons in 1988. He was sentenced to death in December 2009 for allegedly being a member of the PMOI... Read More

 

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Human rights group condemns political executions in Iran
Iran Focus

May 21, 2010
London, May 21 - The international community should support independent voices in Iran and "strongly condemn" the execution of political activists there, a leading international human rights group said.

"The Iranian judiciary is a tool in the hands of Ayatollah Khamenei and President Ahmadinejad to repress harshly peaceful protesters and political opponents", the International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH) said in a statement posted on its website Thursday.

The Tehran prosecutor-general Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi announced on 15 May that death sentences pronounced against three out of 10 post-election protesters charged with “moharebeh” (waging war on God) had been upheld by the Court of Appeal.

Abdolreza Ghanbari, Mohsen Daneshpour Moghadam and his son Ahmad Daneshpour Moghadam were convicted of "moharebeh" for supporting the opposition People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran and taking part in anti-government protests last year.

Dolatabadi confirmed that three other Mojahedin supporters - Mohammad Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghai - also had their death sentences upheld by the appeal court. In all, he said, 217 sentences against post-election protesters have been confirmed by the appeal courts...

The International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI) earlier this week published online the text of an open letter by Ali Saremi, 62, who said: "My arrest in 2007 was for going to Khavaran cemetery, the place of burial of victims of mass executions of 1988. But is presence at a cemetery to honour the fallen, or supporting an organisation, or a father's visit with his son in your view Moharebeh and worthy of the punishment of execution?"

"I say that even with my execution or hanging they cannot sow fear in my heart or that of my noble countrymen. The only reason for such a sentence is their fear for their shaky rule and not fairness or justice", he said... Read More

 

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Death row political prisoner's son unveils mullahs' deception
NCRI Website

May 22, 2010
May 19 - Voice of America interviews son of Jafar Kazemi, a political prisoner on death row.
Voice of America (VOA) - One of the people on death row is Jafar Kazemi whose son resides in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Camp Ashraf residents face many problems and we have reported on this in the past. But today, this is not our discussion. We will now go to Mr. Behrouz Kazemi (Jafar Kazemi’s son).

 

VOA: Mr. Kazemi, as an Iranian who lives outside Iran and who lives in a place like Camp Ashraf, with whatever beliefs and opinions you have, which is not what our discussion is about, as a human being who has heard the news of your father’s sentence, what are your feelings?

Behrouz Kazemi: When I heard of my father’s death sentence, for me as his son, it was extremely difficult to hear that he was arrested and sentenced to death after visiting me in Camp Ashraf. The news was very difficult for me to hear.

VOA: What is he being accused of? We hear that one of his ‘crimes’ is that he visited you.

BK: Yes. As you know, the regime has sentenced six people to death and one of them is Jafar Kazemi.

My father was arrested on Qods Day demonstrations. For two weeks, we did not have any news of his situation. Eventually we found out that my father was held in Evin prison. Approximately four months after that, in a show trial, my father was sentenced to death. We learnt about it through his lawyer, but the sentence was confirmed without the knowledge of his lawyer. During this time, the regime made every effort to sentence my father to death by referring to a false case. The only reason for my father’s death sentence is because he visited me in Camp Ashraf two years ago. This means that the regime cannot tolerate the basic rights of a person to visit family. For this reason, he was arrested, accused of being Mohareb, and they issued him a death sentence. It is ridiculous that the regime doesn’t tolerate family members visiting us in Camp Ashraf. Additionally, it has been for more than 100 days that with the help of the Iraqi government, the regime has brought family members of Ashraf residents [from Iran] to the camp to psychologically torture them... Read More

 

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UN Secretary General's quarterly report to Security Council stresses on Ashraf residents rights
NCRI Website

May 23, 2010
NCRI – UN Secretary General in his quarterly report to the Security Council pursuant to Resolution 1883, Ban Ki-moon, stressed the rights of residents of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, for protection against arbitrary displacement in Iraq or forced extradition to Iran.

In this quarterly report to the Security Council, which provides an update on UN activities in Iraq during the months of March, April, and May 2010, the UNSG states:

“UNAMI continues to monitor the situation in Camp Ashraf in Diyala Governorate. … Although no significant outbreaks of violence have occurred during the reporting period, distrust and tensions between both sides remained, with limited cooperation regarding access to services and supplies in the camp. UNAMI, while reiterating the right of the Government of Iraq to exercise its authority over Camp Ashraf and the obligation of the camp’s residents to fully respect the law and the authority of the Government of Iraq, has continued to advocate for the residents’ unhindered access to goods and services of a humanitarian nature, as well as for their right to be protected from arbitrary mass displacement or forced repatriation against their will in violation of the universally accepted principle of non-refoulement. UNAMI remains committed to assisting both parties find an acceptable resolution to this problem.”...  Read More

 

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Pressures on incarcerated PMOI supporters and families of Ashraf residents continue to mount
NCRI Press Release

May 23, 2010
NCRI - On Wednesday, May 19, the clerical regime, during a kangaroo court, tried Mr. Hamid Haeri, a 60-year-old political prisoner, on charges of “moharebeh” (waging war against God), supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), persistent political activity and propaganda against the regime. He was arrested in a raid on his house by the regime’s intelligence agents on December 6, 2009 on charges of visiting his child and brother in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. The raid took place while he was in bed recovering from a serious car accident.

He was then transferred to Ward 209 of Evin prison.

The regime’s interrogators and torturers have placed Mr. Haeri under continual physical and psychological torture, threatening him that if he refuses to comply with their demands, they will also arrest his wife and daughter and place them under torture.

The regime’s show trial took place even as Mr. Haeri was in critical condition and could hardly walk. There were signs of torture evident on his face, and he looked to be suffering from malnutrition and hunger. Having been a prisoner in the 1980s, he is also suffering from the remaining effects of tortures from that period as well as heart problems. He has had two heart attacks so far...  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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