Amnesty International on Camp Ashraf Situation
August 28, 2008
"Those living in Camp Ashraf would be at grave risk of torture or
other serious human rights violations if they were to be returned
involuntarily to Iran, whether by the Iraqi authorities or by the
US-led Multi-National Force (MNF).
"PMOI members living in the Camp, which is managed by the MNF, have
been designated as "protected persons" under Article 27 of the Fourth
Geneva Convention which prevents extradition or forced repatriation to
Iran as long as the US-led Multinational Force (MNF) is present in
Catastrophe on Horizon for Camp Ashraf Refugees
By HON. DAVID KILGOUR, J.D.
The Middle East Times, October 08, 2008
About 3,500 refugees in Camp Ashraf, in Iraq close to an hour's drive
from both Baghdad and the Iranian border, are at serious risk. They
are members and supporters of the main Iranian opposition, the
People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), formed in the 1960s in
opposition to the shah's absolute monarchy and currently seeking to
replace the Iranian regime with a secular and democratic government...
This includes pressuring the outgoing George W. Bush administration to
turn the protection of Ashraf over to the government of Nouri
al-Maliki in Baghdad, whose ministers' comments have created no
confidence whatsoever in their willingness to provide continuing
adequate protection to Ashraf residents...
There are terrible examples in recent years of what can happen when
the international community and the United Nations fail to protect
vulnerable communities, including Rwanda, Bosnia (Srebrenica), Kosovo
and Darfur. The residents of Ashraf must not be added to this "list of
Iran's liquidation sale?
By James Zumwalt
The Washington Times, Sunday, October 5, 2008
... MEK is in a precarious position with its future survival directly
tied to the U.S. occupation - the status of which is now being
negotiated by Baghdad and Washington. On Sept. 4, Gen. David Petraeus
said, "U.S. forces still are responsible for the security of ... MEK,"
but the United States has "begun the process of transition of security
to Iraqi security forces."
... Knowing ongoing U.S./Iraq negotiations on a future presence of
U.S. forces in Iraq provides Tehran an opportunity to finally
liquidate MEK, Mr. Ahmadinejad has pressured Baghdad to disband MEK's
camp and turn members over to Tehran. While Baghdad may not bend to
this pressure, Iranian influence within Iraq's rank and file -
entrusted to protect MEK as U.S. forces reduce their visibility - may
well sound MEK's deathknell.
MEK has repeatedly shown it wishes to strengthen democracy in Iraq and
counter Iranian influence. Mr. Ahmadinejad salivates over the
opportunity to participate in an MEK liquidation sale - a mission
given him three decades earlier. The only question remaining is
whether the United States, again, will play into Iranian hands by
Massacre feared if Iranians in Iraq handed over
Reuters, September 5, 2008
GENEVA (Reuters) - The United States risks a Srebrenica-style massacre
if its forces in Iraq hand over responsibility for more than 3,000
exiled opposition Iranians to Iraqi authorities, an international
lawyers' group has said. The International Committee of Jurists in
Defence of Ashraf said the Iranians would be in danger as pro-Shi'ite
elements of Iraq's government close to Tehran could expel them to
Camp Ashraf, 70 km (40 miles) north of Baghdad, has housed Iranian
refugees and the exiled opposition People's Mujahideen Organisation of
Iran (PMOI) for two decades. U.S. forces who toppled President Saddam
Hussein have protected it since 2003. But the residents' fate hangs in
the balance as U.S. forces negotiate the transfer of territory to
Iraq's government, which says PMOI is a terrorist group, the
Paris-based committee said.
"We fear we will end up with a situation like Srebrenica," said Marc
Henzelin, a committee member who visited Ashraf last month, told a
news briefing on Thursday. "It is like putting foxes in charge of
protecting the chicken coop. We don't want to have a massacre which is
foretold," the Swiss lawyer added.
Hundreds protest Ahmadinejad in NYC
Newsday, September 23, 2008
… The lunchtime rally at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza attracted throngs of
local high school students, and Iranian Americans also demonstrated,
holding large photographs of political prisoners who were tortured and
executed under the Ahmadinejad's regime.
Mitra Samani, 45, of West Hills, Calif., who is staying with family in
Long Beach, said she made the cross-country trip to protest American
plans to turn over Camp Ashraf, a refugee camp near Baghdad, to the
Protesters said they worried Ahmadinejad would then attack the camp,
where 3,500 Iranian dissident refugees live. "We are asking the
General Assembly not to let Iraqi forces take over the refugee camp.
Ahmadinejad will kill the refugees because they are political
dissidents," said Samani, who was imprisoned for five years after
attending women's rights demonstrations.