PARIS, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- A French human-rights group called on U.S. forces in Iraq to maintain security operations around the enclave of an Iranian dissident group in Diyala province.
The French International Human Rights League, or FIDH, called on the U.S. military to "commit publicly" to securing the People's Mujahedin of Iran in their safe haven in Ashraf City or pledge not to forcibly expel the group to another country where they may face prosecution.
The PMOI is labeled a terrorist organization by several countries, including the United States, for its activity in Iraq under the previous regime. It seeks the overthrow of the current Iranian leadership.
"FIDH calls on the Iraqi authorities and the U.S.A. to commit publicly that they will not forcibly send the (PMOI) back to Iran, where their security and their life would be in danger, and where they would hardly benefit from the right to a fair trial," the statement said.
FIDH President Souhayr Belhassen said the human-rights record in Iran puts residents of Ashraf at a significant risk if they were deported to Iran. The PMOI is the main organization of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which was founded in Tehran in 1981.
"A long-term solution must be found to ensure their protection," she added.