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Ashraf Monitor, Issue 13

December 09, 2008

White House Rally Seeks Continued U.S. Protection for Iranian Refugees in Camp Ashraf, Iraq
US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents

December 6, 2008
WASHINGTON -- On Friday, December 5, 2008, families and friends of Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, rallied across from the White House to prevent a looming humanitarian crisis. Protestors sought the United States' continued commitment to protection of Ashraf unarmed residents following the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) which provides a basis for continued presence of U.S. troops in Iraq by December 31, 2011. Nearly 3,500 members of the main opposition group, the People's Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and their families are in Camp Ashraf.

The rally coincided with the 85th day of the open-ended vigil, held for 67 days at the U.N. Headquarters in New York and moved across from the White House after UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon addressed the humanitarian rights of Ashraf refugees in his report to the Security Council.

Ashraf residents are formally recognized "Protected Persons" under the Fourth Geneva Convention. Furthermore, under the Iraq Asylum Act of 1971, the status of the PMOI members was recognized as refugees because their freedom and rights have been infringed in Iran. The recognition in the 1971 Act is binding on the new Government of Iraq.

Congressman Tom Tancredo (R-CO), member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, addressed the rally via phone expressing his support for Camp Ashraf. He said the road for democracy was fraught with many ups and downs but one should not give up the fight. Bruce McCulm, former head of the Freedom House addressed the rally calling on the administration to uphold its humanitarian obligations and continue its protection of Camp Asharf...  Read More



Advocates seek safety for Iranians in Iraq
U.S. asked to protect Camp Ashraf
The Washington Times
Saturday, December 6, 2008

Family members and supporters of Iranian dissidents living in Iraq demonstrated in front of the White House on Friday, seeking assurances that the United States will continue to protect the refugees.

About 3,500 members of Iran's main opposition group, the People's Mujahideen of Iran, designated by the State Department as a terrorist organization, reside in Camp Ashraf, about 60 miles northeast of Baghdad. The demonstrators said the Iraqi government is poised to take control of the camp and has ordered that all those living in the compound leave Iraq by Dec. 31.

"I am scared to death. If the Iraqis hand over the residents to Iran, the Iranians will execute them all," said Robab Barain, 60, a native of Tehran who's brother Jabid and sister in-law Maria live in Ashraf. Miss Barain stood among about 50 other supporters of the Ashraf residents at Lafayette Park, holding signs and chanting.

Miss Barain said that in the 1980s she was imprisoned and tortured by the Iranian government for seven months before she was allowed to leave the country for medical treatment.  "I have experienced the jails of Iran. I will do anything to make sure no one else does," she said…

Advocates for the group say that without the protection of the U.S., it is highly likely the Iranian regime would pressure the Iraqi government to forcibly expel Ashraf residents, exposing the refugees to arrest, torture and execution by the Iranian government.

"The people of Ashraf have the right to oppose the barbaric regime in Iran, and given their status as protected persons, the U.S. is obligated to ensure their safety," said Majid Roshan, spokesman for the U.S Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents.

"It will be a disaster. The Iranian regime wants the Iraqis to take control of the camp, because they know the Iraqis will do what they tell them," said Moslem Filabi, a former wrestler on the Iranian national team. As a declared national hero, Mr. Filabi said it was his duty to speak for the residents...   Read More



Particulars of Arrested Relatives of PMOI Members Released to International Bodies
National Council of Resistance of Iran

Thursday, December 04, 2008
PARIS - The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) submitted details of 54 family members of the Iranian main opposition, People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), to the international bodies.

They have been arrested by the mullahs' regime on the charges of being connected to the PMOI. The individuals were generally arrested by the ruling religious fascism when returning from their visits to Camp Ashraf. A number have been sentenced to prison terms.

Some have had heart failures and were sick because of their incarcerations. A number of others were released on bonds. However, the families are under constant surveillance by the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS).

Aside from those arrested and imprisoned, families of PMOI members in the country are often summoned to the MOIS for questioning about their contacts with their loved ones in Camp Ashraf.

A list of names and particulars of PMOI family members arrested by the Iranian regime have been provided to the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, UNHCR and the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment. Among them are elderly and juveniles... Read More



Iran-backed insurgents captured in Iraq - U.S.

December 01, 2008
BAGHDAD, Dec 1 (Reuters) - The U.S. military in Iraq captured four suspected members of an Iranian-backed insurgent network on Monday, it said.

The four detained belong to an insurgent group called Katai'b Hezbollah, the U.S. military said in a statement.

"Katai'b Hezbollah is assessed to be a surrogate of Iran. Its members are believed to be responsible for recent attacks against Iraqi citizens and coalition forces," the U.S. military said.

U.S. troops have caught 33 Iranian-sponsored criminals in the last month, the military said. It was not clear whether Monday's detentions were included in that figure... Read More

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