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ASHRAF MONITOR

Volume 1, Issue 23

News about the Looming Humanitarian Crisis for Camp Ashraf Residents

Thursday, March 6, 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

 

 

Mullahs' Supreme Leader's frustration over Ashraf residents' perseverance
NCRI Press Release

March 01, 2009
NCRI - The clerical regime’s Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, frustrated by persistence of Ashraf residents, members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), acknowledged for the first time that there was a mutual agreement between the Iranian regime and the Iraqi government to expel the PMOI members from Iraq. In a meeting with the Iraqi President in Tehran, Khamenei said, “The mutual agreement regarding the expulsion of the Mojahedin from Iraq…must be implemented and we are waiting for it.”...

The Iranian Resistance considers pressures on the Iraqi government to expel the PMOI from Iraq as a flagrant and shameful interference in the affairs of this country and a violation of international rules and conventions which requires international condemnations.

 

It also calls on the President of the United States, the United Nations Secretary General and the Security Council as well as all international human rights organizations to take immediate measures to guarantee Ashraf residents’ protection and fundamental rights...  Read More

 

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Iranians rally in front of the White House
NCRI Press Release

March 02, 2009
NCRI – Iranians residing in Washington D.C. rallied in front of the White House calling on the new U.S. government to protect the rights of the members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) residing in Ashraf City, Iraq.

The participants condemned the barbaric attacks on the houses of PMOI families and suppression of the students in Iran.

Three prominent international figures Mr. Struan Stevenson, MEP and Vice President EPP-ED Group, Mr. David Kilgour, former member of Canadian parliament and a human right activist and Mr. David Matas, renowned Canadian jurists, spoke at the rally.

Mr. Kilgour said that 3,500 political refugees reside in Ashraf City since 1981. They have been the constant target of the mullahs' regime and have chosen to seek refuge in the neighboring Iraq in the 1980s. He warned against the restrictions imposed on Ashraf residents and said "the PMOI is the largest opposition group in Iran." The Mojahedin call for separation of church and state and advocate a nuclear free Iran...

Next speaker at the Washington rally was Mr. Stevenson. He said that Ashraf residents' security and protection must be guaranteed. Ashraf is at the same time a symbol of democracy and resistance against the mullahs' inhuman regime in Iran. We have to exhaust all the remedies available to resist against the Iranian regime...

Mr. Matas emphasized on the U.S. forces obligations to provide adequate protection for the Ashraf City residents. He added that this is the responsibility of the U.S. forces and as long as they remain in Iraq, they should continue to monitor the situation... Read More

 

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MPs urge Iraq to respect rights of Ashraf residents
RightSideNews

February 26, 2009
The Fourth Geneva Convention Should be Upheld in Iraq

Members of Parliament from all three major political parties in the UK on Thursday urged the government of Iraq to resist pressures by the Iranian regime to expel members of the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) from their base in Camp Ashraf in Iraq's Diyala Province

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, said: "Following the 2003 war in Iraq, the American forces spent 16 months interviewing every resident of Ashraf to see if any one of them was involved in terrorism. Not a single resident of Camp Ashraf was charged with anything.

Lord Corbett said that the status of Ashraf residents as "protected persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention "lays an obligation on all those who have signed up to that convention to respect what it laid out in that convention and to ensure that it is respected and enforced, especially in the case of Ashraf residents".

"We expect the Iraqi government to fulfil its obligation to the residents of Ashraf. We expect them to resist any pressure from the Iranian government to forcibly expel them", Lord Corbett added.

Former UK Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington QC said: "Much of what has now occurred was foreseen by us. It was risky, indeed, for the American authorities to hand over protection of Ashraf residents to the Iraqis... Read More

 

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Arabic Organization for Human Rights supports Ashraf residents
NCRI Website

March 03, 2009
NCRI - The Arabic Organization for Human Rights (AOHR) has issued a statement demanding the rights of Ashraf residents be guaranteed on the basis of the principle of non-refoulement, the International Humanitarian Law, and the Geneva Conventions. It also requested the UN to verify and monitor that these rights are respected.
 

The AOHR is headquartered in Cairo, Egypt, and has a consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC). The organization’s statement condemns the Iranian regime’s pressures and plots against Ashraf residents, adding:

Ashraf residents are political refugees and are being protected on the basis of the International Refugee Convention. Their return to Iran would expose them to the threat of torture and would endanger their lives. This is especially serious since the sentence of hanging has been implemented at the Evin prison with respect to a number of arrested members of the [PMOI]. Moreover, exiled Iranian opposition sources report that a number of their relatives have been arrested in Iran.

The AOHR notes: Displacement of Ashraf residents violates the principle of non-refoulement, the International Refugees Convention, the Convention Against Torture, and International Humanitarian Law (IHL).

 

The AOHR calls on the governments of Iraq and the US to respect the rights of Ashraf residents. It also urged the UN Secretary General and the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General for Iraq to adopt necessary measures to guarantee respect for the rights of Ashraf residents... Read More

 

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Iraqis protest visit of Rafsanjani
Agence France Presse

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

RAMADI, Iraq (AFP) — Hundreds of Iraqis demonstrated in Ramadi, capital of the Sunni Arab province of Anbar, on Wednesday to condemn former Iranian president Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani's official visit to Iraq.

Waving Iraqi flags and banners that criticised the influential Iranian Shiite cleric, Sunni tribal and religious leaders marched for an hour in the city, 100 kilometres (60 miles) west of Baghdad.

"The criminal Rafsanjani is a symbol of aggression and evil in Iraq," read one banner. "Rafsanjani's visit is inauspicious, a humiliation and a stain on the soil of Iraqi," said another.

The former president arrived in Baghdad on Monday on a three-day visit focused on a series of issues between the former foes as well as world political and economic developments... 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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U.S. COMMITTEE FOR CAMP ASHRAF RESIDENTS

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Web: www.USCCAR.org
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Phone: 202-640-1947