USCCAR: Tehran’s Plot Against Ashraf Residents Foiled: 36 Abducted Residents Return to Ashraf

8 10 2009

WASHINGTON, Oct. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The 36 Camp Ashraf residents, taken hostage by Iraqi security forces 71 days ago and subjected to inhumane and degrading treatment at the hands of their captors, triumphantly returned to Ashraf earlier today, thereby foiling a plot, designed by the Iranian regime and implemented by its Iraqi proxies, to destroy Ashraf and slaughter its residents.

The Iraqi Government, which attacked Ashraf on July 28 & 29 at the behest of Tehran, finally bowed to the unflinching resolve of the 36 hostages, hundreds of Ashraf residents, their supporters and families – on hunger strike outside the White House, in Ottawa and in several European capitals – and to the universal condemnation of the deadly and unprovoked assault on Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition group, the PMOI/MEK.

Following this major victory and upon the appeal by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, those in Ashraf and around the world have decided to end their hunger strike and pursue other peaceful means at their disposal until clear, effective and practical guarantees concerning the protection of the residents of Ashraf and their non-displacement within the territory of Iraq as mandated by International Humanitarian Law are put in place. The 10-month siege of Ashraf by Iraqi forces must also end and families, lawyers and friends of Ashraf residents must be allowed to visit the Camp. If these justified demands are not met, the hunger strikers vowed to resume their fast.

The deadly July attack has made it abundantly clear that the Iraqi Government’s assurances to treat the residents of Ashraf humanely and consistent with international and Iraqi laws were hallow. Therefore, a permanent UN representation must be established at Ashraf to ensure their well-being.

The 36 had been ordered released three times by Judge Ghadhanfar Jassim Mohammad. Iraq’s Chief Prosecutor had also issued a blanket order to release them. The Interior Ministry, acting on dictates from Tehran, however, mocked that country’s judiciary and refused to let them return to Ashraf.

Following the attack which left 11 dead, nearly 500 wounded, and 36 abducted, Iranians in and out of Iran, members of the U.S. Congress, hundreds of parliamentarians in Iraq, Europe, Canada and the Middle East, human rights advocates and organizations, such as Amnesty International, and distinguished religious leaders, including Archbishop of Canterbury and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, unequivocally condemned the actions of the Iraqi Government and demanded that the United States and the United Nations guarantee the safety and security of “protected persons” of Ashraf.

The U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents extends its sincere gratitude to all those who joined this valiant campaign and calls on the U.S. and the UN to initiate a thorough investigation into the July raid on Ashraf and the subsequent illegal detention of 36 residents, so that those responsible for this humanitarian tragedy are held to account.

SOURCE U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents


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