The Iraq/Iran axis steps up its attack on Iranian dissidents

3 11 2009
Friday, 2nd October 2009

I wrote here and here about the attack by Iraqi forces — at the behest of the Iranian regime — upon the Iranian opposition group, the PMOI, at its headquarters in Ashraf, as a result of which 36 of its members were taken prisoner. In recent days, the situation has got far worse. According to the National Council of Resistance of Iran, yesterday afternoon the 36 prisoners — who are on hunger-strike — were beaten up and tortured for more than two hours before being bundled into vans and transferred from Khalis city prison to Baghdad. The NCRI say this took place on the orders of Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, despite three Iraqi court rulings ordering the prisoners’ release.

Members of the Iraqi parliament have accordingly expressed their deep concern at this ‘arbitrary action, a violation of law, a clear violation of individual rights of citizens…’ In Britain, a group of 47 cross-party MPs and peers led by Lord Corbett wrote to Maliki three days ago demanding that Iraq release the prisoners. They protested:

The attack on the civilian population in Camp Ashraf by Iraq’s armed forces, in which these 36 were arbitrarily detained, was illegal. It has greatly tarnished Iraq’s image in the eyes of the international community… In the quest for establishing democracy and freedom in Iraq, our country did not put its soldiers’ lives on the line and use taxpayers’ money so that the current Iraqi government would end up violating human rights and international laws and standards.

The PMOI is not uncontroversial. There are other members of the Iranian resistance who view it with some suspicion. Nevertheless, what is happening should deeply concern the west for these reasons.

  • The PMOI are a significant part of the Iranian resistance to the terrorist regime in Tehran.
  • What has happened to its members is a gross abuse of human rights and the rule of law by an Iraqi administration which was put in place by the west.
  • America has a duty under the Geneva Conventions to honour its obligation to protect the PMOI in Iraq, an obligation which it is ignoring.
  • These events demonstrate the extent to which Prime Minister Maliki is under the thumb of the Iranian regime.

Since Iran poses the principal terrorist threat to the region, the west and the world, and since the west toppled Saddam Hussein to make the world safer from such terrorism, the implications of the Iraqi forces’ attack on Ashraf and subsequent developments are alarming in the extreme.



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