OMCT-Europe concerned over Camp Ashraf, calls on EU to make an Statement

1 10 2009

9/26/2009

Press Release – For immediate release
24 September 2009

OMCT-Europe concerned over continued detention of Iranian refugees at Camp Ashraf, calls on EU to make an Statement
OMCT-Europe is increasingly concerned over the continued detention of 36 Iranian refugees who were arrested at Camp Ashraf by Iraqi security forces during the raid on 28 July and have been on hunger strike for nearly 60 days.
On 28 July 2009, the Iraqi security forces entered Camp Ashraf by force with bulldozers, and used grenades, teargas, water canons and pepper spray against the unarmed residents. Camp Ashraf situated 60 km north east of Baghdad is home to 3400 Iranian dissidents of People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), who have lived there for more than two decades. At least 11 people were killed and several hundreds were injured during the raid. Furthermore, 36 residents were arrested and taken to a police station in the town of al-Khalis, outside Camp Ashraf.
Ever since the raid, the 36 detainees have been on hunger strike in protest to the inhuman conditions. Today is their 58th day without food and they are reported to be in extremely fragile heath conditions. Some of are have lost hearing and seeing abilities and are suffering from unbearable pains.
The Iraqi court at al-Khalis in two successive verdicts on 23 August and 17 September have ordered their release since no credible charges were brought against them but local police, reportedly under pressure from Prime Minister’s office, has refused to release them.
The OMCT / Europe calls for the immediate liberation of the 36 detainees in accordance with the court ruling and recalls that Ashraf residents are “Protected Persons” under the Geneva Conventions.
Recalling the resolution adopted by European Parliament on 24 April 2009 on the humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf, it calls on EU Council and the Swedish Presidency to take a firm position condemning the human rights abuses occurred in Ashraf in end of July and use all efforts for the unconditional release of the detainees before any more lives are lost.
It warns Iraq on any attempts of forcibly repatriation of the detainees to Iran or any forced displacement of Ashraf residents to other parts of Iraq which would set the stage for a human catastrophe.

Pierre Galand, President of OMCT-Europe 24 September 2009


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