"Whereas there are grounds for concern that members and associates of the
Iranian opposition who are regrouped and protected in Camp Ashraf in Northern
Iraq by US-led multinational forces under Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva
Convention may be under threat of being expelled or forcibly returned to Iran,
where they could face heavy persecution and possibly even the death penalty;
(European Parliament) Calls on the Iraqi and US authorities not to forcibly
return to Iran any Iranian opposition members, refugees and asylum seekers who
would be at serious risk of persecution and, in particular, to work together
with the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and others to find a satisfactory
long-term solution to the situation of those currently in Camp Ashraf.
European Parliament, Resolution on Iran and Camp Ashraf
September 4, 2008
Iranians seek U.S. help for dissidents in Iraq The San Diego Union-Tribune,
September 9, 2008 Iranian immigrants from San Diego County joined others from
across the nation yesterday, taking to the streets of Washington, D.C., to warn
of a humanitarian catastrophe if the United States gives up protection of
Iranian dissidents in Iraq.
San Diego residents such as Amir Emadi fear that a deal is in the works to
transfer control of Camp Ashraf, a protected enclave near Baghdad, from the U.S.
military to the Iraqi government. "If that were to happen, considering the
presence of and influence of agents of the Iranian regime in Iraq, our loved
ones will not see the light of day," he said. Emadi, a legal U.S. resident who
is studying at San Diego State University, has parents and other relatives
living in the camp...
As demonstrators waved MEK flags, held up signs and marched yesterday, Homa
Salehi pulled out her wallet. Salehi, a floral designer in San Diego, showed a
picture of a nephew who lives in Camp Ashraf. "We are asking the United States
to continue the protection of Ashraf," she said.
Several congressmen have taken up the group's cause, including Rep. Bob
Filner, D-San Diego. Last month, Filner warned Gen. David Petraeus, commander of
U.S. forces in Iraq, that transferring control of the camp to the Iraqi
government "would be an obvious breach of U.S. obligations under international
law." He said if governance changed hands, residents of the camp "would become a
target of Iranian-sponsored aggression, violence and slaughter."
Rep. Duncan Hunter, R-Alpine, also has expressed concern. Hunter "will
encourage U.S. negotiators from the executive branch to address the status of
those dissidents with their Iraqi counterparts," his spokesman said. Read More
United Press International, October 27, 2008
WASHINGTON, Oct. 27 (UPI) -- ... When the U.S. military led the invasion of
Iraq in 2003, the PMOI voluntarily surrendered its weapons to the Americans.
Since then, its members have been under the protection of the U.S. military in
Iraq. Under the 4th Geneva Convention they remain the responsibility of the
United States. But the international community has a history of closing its eyes
to such dilemmas. There will always be time later on to pass U.N. resolutions
and to decry and condemn the injustices after the fact. Of course, by then it
will be too late.
The Bush administration, it would appear, is buying itself an "honorable"
escape clause from this debacle by planning to hand responsibility for Camp
Ashraf to the Iraqis.
"It has already begun," [Alireza] Jafarzadeh said. According to the Iranian
dissident, an Iraqi battalion is already on site.
"There is a human catastrophe waiting to happen," said Jafarzadeh. Read More
The Next U.S. President and the Iranian Dilemma
The American Chronicle, October, 27, 2008 Professor Kazerounian teaches at
the University of Connecticut In two weeks Americans will elect their next
president. The whole world is watching the U.S. elections with a great deal of
interest. In particular the international community is anxiously waiting to see
how the United States will deal with Iran.
Another issue on the plate of the next U.S. president is the matter of the
protection of Camp Ashraf, where more than 3,700 of the MEK members reside in
Iraq. After the occupation of Iraq, The residents of Ashraf were given the
status of the "protected persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention.
The U.S. president should be mindful of the humanitarian catastrophic outcome
should Iran gets its wish and remove protection of Ashraf from coalition forces
to less prepared and reliable entities. Coalition forces are responsible for the
protection of Ashraf, as long as one American soldier remains in Iraq. It is a
legal obligation. It is a moral obligation. It is the only thing that makes
strategic sense for the interests of the civilized world. Read