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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 22

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Thursday, February 26, 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

 

 

Raids on homes of families of the Ashraf residents in Tehran
NCRI Press Release

February 22, 2009

On Friday February 20, 2009, the mullahs’ Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) conducted simultaneous raids of many homes across Tehran belonging to families of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) residing in Ashraf City, Iraq. While the families were resting in their homes, the regime’s suppressive forces broke doors and windows, entered the households while terrorizing the families and brutally beating them. A number of them were arrested and transferred to the notorious Evin prison without even being allowed to change into proper clothing. The regime’s suppressive forces also damaged or confiscated personal belongings such as CDs, books, family photos and satellite receivers...

Last December, the Iranian Resistance published the names of 87 relatives of Ashraf City residents who were arrested and imprisoned after visiting their children, and presented the list of names to international authorities.

The Iranian Resistance once again calls on the UN Secretary General and High Commissioner for Human Rights, as well as other international human rights organizations, to condemn the cruel suppression of PMOI and Ashraf resident families, and implement immediate measures to end these arbitrary arrests and free the detainees...  Read More

 

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Elaph meets with Iranian families near Camp Ashraf in Iraq
Elaph website

February 22, 2009
Following is a translation from Arabic text
The situation of Iranian families who wanted to see their relatives, members of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), is still unresolved with many complications and problems. They came in secret without the knowledge of the Iranian regime to see their children after spending arduous years apart. Less than 600 meters away from the entrance of Ashraf City, the bastion of the PMOI, these families eagerly await to be allowed to enter the city.

They are 6 families, altogether 19 individuals, brought into two units located in front of Ashraf City for inspection and security matters. These are two small units which cannot fit all the families inside. There are no facilities for personal hygiene, and it has been two weeks since they last had a chance to shower. They cannot exit the units and only have some basic goods sent from PMOI members in Ashraf City. The PMOI and the Iraqi government are locked in a war of words with one another regarding the entrance of these families to Ashraf. Authorities in Ashraf City vehemently deny the Iraqi government’s accusations and insist that they [the PMOI] will under no circumstances lower themselves to the level of playing games with the fate of these innocent families; Families whose only crime is to wish to see their children after spending years apart.

The Iranian opposition in Paris has revealed classified information about the pressures imposed by the Iranian government to its Iraqi counterpart in order to inflict damage to Ashraf City residents. Iranian opposition sources have told Elaph that they have emails and other relevant documents in this regard, which they can provide to any independent international organization or the UN fact-finding mission in Geneva. Witnesses are also ready to testify in court in case the need arises... Read More

 

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Al-Rubaie's "promises" to Tehran hurts Iraq
Al-Ghabas daily (Kuwaiti Arabic daily)
February 23, 2009
The above are excerpts from Arabic text

… After the EU court ruling it has become clearer for the world who the real victim is. The 27-member EU’s decision to take the PMOI off its list of terrorist organizations was only made possible by a realization of the PMOI’s innocence and the legitimacy. … The removal of the allegation from the organization automatically translates into the lack of legitimacy for the Iranian regime in Tehran.

At last the world woke up and adopted its decision in Europe, and now it stands with the PMOI and Ashraf City residents in Iraq. … This solidarity will continue to strengthen. While the world takes a stand for the PMOI’s rights and the suffering of its members in Ashraf City, we expected civilized political positions from countries in the region and especially neighboring Arab countries which have been burning in Tehran-inspired flames and fundamentalism...

But, Mr. [Muwaffaq] al-Rubaie continues to lead the campaign against these values and gets rather closer to the list and ideology of Tehran. Everyone must understand that the PMOI’s presence in Iraq in itself limits the Iranian regime’s role, hostile acts and pressures on the Iraqi government.

It appears that Mr. al-Rubaie is alone in his decisions. He expresses enthusiasm towards a suppressive Tehran which even cracks down on him and his colleagues. In the inner circles, there are also those who oppose him. In this regard, we regard Massoud Barzani, the governor of the Iraqi Kurdistan and president of the Kurdish Democratic Party, as very clear, progressive and principled. A Kuwaiti reporter asked him “What is Kurdistan’s position regarding this issue especially since you as Kurds have tolerated pain and suffering like everyone else?” He said in response, “We oppose forced hand over of anyone (PMOI) or their forced expulsion to Iran. Finding a solution to their problem is within the purview of the federal government. We will certainly support whatever decision the federal government adopts in this regard, on the condition that it does not include forced extradition or forced displacement” (al-Ghabas and Kurdistan satellite TV, November 5, 2008).

But, we do not know how Mr. al-Rubaie, the Iraqi National Security Advisor, dared to go to Tehran and speak about the PMOI’s hand over to the Iranian government and closure of “Ashraf” as soon as possible…. Indeed, what is the motivation for all this kowtowing and flattering of the Iranian regime? Is it because of a previously agreed upon deal? Is it paying a debt? Or perhaps it is to create a common identity and fate, or something even beyond all these.

This position forced the Iraqi government spokesman, who is well aware of his government’s obligations towards the international community and the US, to announce that, “The government will not forcefully expel the Iranian opposition from Iraq” (The Associated Press, January 24, 2009). Moreover, President Talebani immediately intervened and announced that, “Brother Muwaffaq al-Rubaie has no authority to express this position since he is not a government spokesman. We have Dr. Ali al-Dabbagh who is the official spokesman” (al-Arabya TV, January 30, 2009)... Read More

 

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Iraqi Senior Parliamentarian Speaks of Ashraf in Interview with Lebanese TV
NCRI Website

February  21, 2009
Following are excerpts from an interview with Mr. Ayad Jamaluddin, a prominent member of Foreign Affairs Committee in Iraq's parliament on February 18.


Seyed Ayad Jamaluddin: ... One of the indications of Iranian influence in Iraq is the foolish campaign waged against the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) in Iraq, which is conducted by some Iraqi political forces. This is first and foremost a demonizing campaign. They say that the PMOI was involved in suppressing the people’s uprisings and its hands are tainted with Iraqi blood. This is a sheer lie. It is untrue, and amounts to nothing but an unfounded fabrication, which has no truth to it at all. The PMOI has never participated in the suppression of Iraqi revolts...

The burden of proof here is on those who make the allegations. Everyone is innocent until proven guilty. If Iranian agents in Iraq had even a shred of evidence against the PMOI, they must have presented it to the supreme criminal court, as they did with Saddam, Chemical Ali and others. Why have they not tried even a single PMOI member?... Read More

 

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Iran 'offered to halt attacks on UK troops' in nuclear pact
Iran offered to halt attacks on British soldiers deployed in Iraq in return for a secret pact that would enable it to continue its nuclear programme, a senior British diplomat has said.
London Daily Telegraph
February 21, 2009

Sir John Sawers, the British ambassador to the United Nations, revealed that Iranian officials openly acknowledged complicity in attacks that killed scores of British soldiers in southern Iraq.

In private talks in hotels around Europe, the unnamed Iranians floated a grand bargain that would have derailed efforts to impose sanctions on Iran to stop its covert nuclear programme.

"There were various Iranians who would come to London and suggest we had tea in some hotel or other," Sir John tells the final part of a BBC documentary on the Islamic Republic's relations with the West, to be broadcast on Saturday. "They'd do the same in Paris, they'd do the same in Berlin, and then we'd compare notes among the three of us.

"The Iranians wanted to be able to strike a deal whereby they stopped killing our forces in Iraq in return for them being allowed to carry on with their nuclear programme: 'We stop killing you in Iraq, stop undermining the political process there, you allow us to carry on with our nuclear programme without let or hindrance'."

Iran supplied arms, training and strategic direction to Shia Muslim militias that were battling British forces for control of Basra and other southern cities. Iran supplied the militias with a deadly bomb, the shaped-charge explosive device, that required precision engineering at its military factories... 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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