USCCAR Condemns Iraq’s Military Deployment into Camp Ashraf, Urges US and UN Intervention to Secure  Urgent Withdrawal


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Sunday, April 3, 2011

CONTACT: Majid Roshan
PHONE: (202) 640-1947
E-MAIL: info@usccar.org


WASHINGTON  -- The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR) deplores the intrusion by columns of Iraqi Humvees and armored vehicles into Camp Ashraf midnight Saturday and the subsequent deployment of BMP armored personnel carriers and Humvees inside the camp.

USCCAR calls on the United States, the United Nations Secretary General and his Special Representative to Iraq to immediately intervene to compel the Iraqi forces end this blatant violation of international law as well as the Fourth Geneva Convention and withdraw from Camp Ashraf, which is a civilian and de-militarized area.

Acting at the behest of the Iranian regime, the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki ordered the deployment of units from the forces of Iraq's Fifth Division. It is designed to fulfill the clerical regime’s three-decade long goal of “uprooting” the principal opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The provocative deployment is also a vivid reminder of the looming humanitarian crisis for Camp Ashraf residents absent US protection and UN monitoring.

The incursion into Camp Ashraf, a day after paid-agents of Iran’s terrorist Qod Force attempted to tear own the protective fences around the camp for a planned assault on the residents, occurs despite repeated assurances given by the US officials to the a growing group of bi-partisan lawmakers in the US Congress who are concerned with the safety and security of 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf.

As was the case during the Iraqi forces’ deadly July 2009 assault on Camp Ashraf residents, the United Sates continues to fall short of its responsibilities toward the “Protected Persons” of Camp Ashraf, further emboldening Maliki and Tehran’s other Iraqi surrogates in their nefarious plots to destroy Camp Ashraf.

USCCAR urges the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, consistent with the US international and treaty obligations and in the spirit of sentiments expressed in the US Senate and a bi-partisan majority in the House of Representatives (H.Res.704, 111th Congress), to personally intervene urgently to ensure that our loved ones in Camp Ashraf are protected.

 

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About Humanitarian Crisis for Residents of 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 Obligates 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

 

 

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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