Iraq: PMOI demands release of 36 members

7 09 2009

Source: London based Arabic daily al-Sharq al-Awsat, September 4, 2009 – Excerpts
Sources inside Camp Ashraf, home to members of Iranian opposition group the People’s Mojahedin Organization (PMOI/MEK) in Iraqi Diyala province, northeast of Baghdad, said that their 36 members who have been detained last July by Iraqi forces are in critical condition.

A man from Camp Ashraf holds a sign that states their demands as they go on a hunger strike during a protest against Iraqi forces in Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad August 24, 2009. They will be on the hunger strike until the Iraqi government agree to their demands, which are, releasing 36 prisoners captured by Iraqi forces, the withdrawal of Iraqi forces and the addition of U.S. forces to the camp.

Mohammad Iqbal of the Camp Ashraf told al-Sharq al-Awsat:“A Judge at Khalis city court has ordered to release them on August 24, but they are not freed yet. Iqbal on behalf of Camp Ashraf residents urged the U.S. Government , the Multi-National Forces- Iraq, United Nation’s  Secretary General, the United Nations Security Council and the human rights organization to act quickly to free the 36 hostages taken by Iraqi forces….”

Mr. Iqbal said the 36 have entered Iraq lawfully and their presence in Iraq for the last 23 years has been with legal permissions from the previous Iraqi government. In addition, in 2004 every one of them were designated and recognized as Protected Persons under the fourth Geneva Convention by the American forces and Multi-National Forces-Iraq.

“Taking hostage and illegal detention of Protected Persons are considered war crimes. The Iraqi Prime Minister is responsible for these illegal acts and any harm or injury done to the hostages. Their case can be taken to international courts,” he added.



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