About Ashraf City

Three days after the massacre in Camp Ashraf by the Iraqi Army on the orders of Prime Minster Nouri al-Maliki, the number of defenseless residents murdered in cold blood has now reached 34, including eight women. More than 300 are wounded, with the majority suffering from major gunshot wounds.

After numerous calls by families of Camp Ashraf residents, humanitarian and human rights personalities and organizations, a U.S. medical team finally went to Ashraf to treat the wounded.

As a result of the delay in providing medical assistance, however, several of those wounded died in the past two days. This dire situation is also a result of United States‘ patent refusal to compel the Iraqi government to end its all out siege and medical blockade of Camp Ashraf since 2009.

Meanwhile, several injured residents who were abducted from the scene by the Iraqi Army during the massacre have died due to lack of medical care. Six other injured abductees have begun a hunger strike.

As anticipated, the Iranian regime has jubilantly praised the al-Maliki’s regime for the massacre at Camp Ashraf. Iranian Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told a Tehran press conference Saturday the Iraqi army was right to storm Camp Ashraf. And the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps urged Iraq to finish the job and destroy Camp Ashraf altogether, “otherwise the attack would backfire on Iraq.”

Currently, the Iraqi forces are occupying, desecrating and looting Camp Ashraf’s Pearl cemetery and are preventing the burial of the martyred residents.

At present, some 1,500 forces along with 50 armored vehicles remain inside the perimeter of Camp Ashraf and the possibility of another bloodbath looms.

The Iraqi forces have denied the United National Assistance Mission to Iraq (UNAMI) monitoring team entry to the camp since Wednesday night.

Iraqi forces have also prevented journalists from entering Ashraf and, at least in one case, a journalist trying to interview a resident was beaten by the Iraqi forces according to CNN.

The U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents demands immediate intervention by the Obama’s administration to ensure the release of those taken hostage by the Iraqi regime as well as the withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Ashraf, and to guarantee the protection of the camp by facilitating the permanent presence of UNAMI there.

SOURCE U.S. Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR)

 

 


About Camp Ashraf

Camp Ashraf is home to some 3,400 members and sympathizers of Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and their families. Camp Ashraf is in Iraq’s Diyala Province, 60 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and about 44 miles from Iran’s Western border.

 

When in 1986 the PMOI resettled its leadership and rank and file in Camp Ashraf, it was a 14 square mile barren land with only a handful of deserted buildings and no facilities, paved roads, or running water. Today, however, Ashraf is a made up of a complex of roads and buildings with many educational, social and sports facilities.

 

About People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran

People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) is the largest and best organized opposition in Iran. Since 1965, it has strived for freedom and human rights against despotic reign of Shah and theocratic tyranny of ayatollahs. Tens of thousands of its members and sympathizers have been killed by the clerical regime since 1979.

 

The PMOI is an anti-fundamentalist Muslim organization which believes in a democratic, progressive, and tolerant interpretation of Islam, according to which elections and public suffrage are the sole indicators of political legitimacy.  The PMOI endeavors for a secular, democratic, and non-nuclear republic, and is committed to free elections, gender equality, and abolition of all discrimination against national and religious minorities.

 

PMOI and the 2003 Iraq War

Long before the 2003 war began, the PMOI publicly declared its neutrality and played no part in the ensuing conflict. In the early part of the 2003 US invasion, as a result of quid pro quo between Washington and Tehran, PMOI bases were repeatedly bombed by Coalition forces, inflicting  dozens of casualties and enormous structural damage.

 

In April 2003, the US forces signed a cease-fire agreement of “mutual understanding and coordination” with the PMOI. Finally in May 2003, as a result of negotiations between the PMOI and the US forces led by General Ray Odierno, the PMOI agreed to a “voluntary consolidation” and disarming of its forces in exchange for US protection of Camp Ashraf and its residents.

 

Protected Persons Status under the 4th Geneva Convention

After an extensive 16-months investigation of every member of the PMOI in Camp Ashraf by seven different US government agencies, including the Department of State,  PMOI members were found clear of any violation of US law . In addition, the US Government declared them “non-combatant” during the 2003 war.

 

In July 2004, the US granted residents of Ashraf “protected persons” status under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, the US forces took up the protection of Camp Ashraf based on a mutual agreement with the PMOI. The US protection of Ashraf continued until January 2009 when the camp’s security was transferred to Iraq.

 

 

  • At 15:00 local time on Tuesday, Iraqi police forces attacked Camp Ashraf. In the course of the attacks Iraqi forces fired directly at the residents of Ashraf with the intention to kill, used pepper gas, tear gas, sonic grenades, and boiling water. Hanif Emami and Mehrdad Niksiar were both killed by snipers. Bullets struck their hearts.

 

  • The Iraqi force also used batons, axe, iron bars, hoop iron, and sticks, severely beating residents of Ashraf to death. Amir Khayyeri was beaten on the head by iron bars. He had been in a coma after suffering from a cerebral traumatism caused by the attack of Iraqi forces, lost his life on Wednesday at about 4:30 local time. He needed urgent medical attention, but since doctors were prevented from visiting Ashraf and with the required medical supplies lacking, he died.

 

  • Siavosh Nezamolmolki who was in coma since Tuesday, died on Wednesday evening due to lack of medical care.

 

  • Another inhuman method was to use Humvee armored vehicles to run over the people.

 

  • They prevented the crossing of vehicles carrying the injured and beat passengers with the intention of killing them. Some of the wounded are in critical condition and suffer from respiratory problems. The condition of some of those wounded on Tuesday has deteriorated. They are in need of urgent medical attention by eye surgeons, neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons and ophthalmologists.

 

  • Carbon copying the conduct of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and plainclothes agents in Iran, Iraqi forces began to break the windows of vehicles belonging to Ashraf residents, slashed their tires with knives and daggers, and smashed trees and stone pavements in the middle and sides of roads. They stole vehicles and everything they could get their hands on.

 

 

The US position

  • The attack started at 3pm local time. Some of those killed and wounded in the first few hours of attack. The US troops were present right from the beginning. Patrolling with Humvees they fully observed what was happening.

 

  • Official at Camp Ashraf immediately after the attack started informing the US officials at Camp Ashraf and US Embassy and asked US intervention to demand from Iraqi government to stop this criminal action. Their response was that we cannot intervene.

 

  • Strangely, the attack occurred on the day Maliki returned from US. Informed observers say Maliki issued the order to attack as he landed in Baghdad. Furthermore, the attack occurred at the time that Defense Secretary was in Iraq.

 

  • The Iraqis started shooting at around 19:30 (four hours later), when they were confident that US has no objection to their attack. They also opened fired on residents of Ashraf the following day with the intention to kill. Yet, there was no reaction from the US.

 

  • US officers who went to Ashraf after 48 hours could confirm that most of those killed were had been shot and those critically injured were also shot. The Iraqis had targeted heart or abdomen with the intention to kill.

 

  • In the first few hours when two Ashraf residents (Amir Khayyeri and Siavosh Nezam Molki) suffered brain damage after being hit by an axe or an iron bar, residents of Ashraf informed the US forces present at Ashraf and the US embassy that they were unable to treat those critically wounded and requested help. They emphasized that their condition is very critical. The response was that senior leadership in Baghdad had not given them permission to intervene. They said they were not even allowed to see the people who were injured.

 

  • At 22:00 (European time) on the same day, the National Council of Resistance of Iran issued a press release asking US to transfer those critically wounded, but the call was ignored. At that time more than 10 persons were in critical condition.

 

  • Finally, in the afternoon of July 30, 2009 (48 hours later) a US medical team went to Ashraf. The delay, however, had caused the deaths of Siavosh Nezam Molki and Amir Khayyeri. Alireza Ahmadkhoh who was transferred on July 30, died in a US hospital in Balad.

 

  • Some 2,000 soldiers participated in attack against Camp Ashraf residents. a large number of criminals from the 9th Badr Brigade and members of the terrorist Qods Force of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), are among Iraqi forces attacking Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

 

The situation of those kidnapped

  • So far 36 persons have been kidnapped and taken hostage. Some were wounded at the time they were taken away.

 

  • According to eyewitnesses, after they were taken to Iraqi facilities, next to Ashraf, they were tortured including being severely beaten by the Iraqi guards. They were held for several days in a 3×4 room with no air conditioning while the temperature reached 57 Centigrade.

 

  • Six days after having been kidnapped, the US forces did nothing to bring them back to Ashraf. On Sunday evening they were transferred to an unknown location. According to eye witnesses they were being beaten at the time of transfer. It is feared that the terrorist Qods Force and 9th Bader Corps would kill them or take them to Iran.

 

What does Iraq say?

  • Iraqi officials have been making ridiculous and contradictory statements to cover up their crimes. First they claimed that they have not used any force to enter the Camp. Then they said they did not fire. Another ridiculous claim was that the PMOI has killed two persons and writing on their body traitor and that PMOI now blame Iraqi for their death. Iraqi officials also acknowledged that they tried to run over the residents of Ashraf with Humvee by saying residents of Ashraf throw themselves in front of the Iraqi Vehicle. There are so many films and photographs which prove beyond any doubt the falsity of these claims and prove the crimes committed by Iraqi forces.

 

  • Iraqi government claims that its intention was to extend its sovereignty in Iraq and intended to set up a police station in Ashraf. This is a big lie and deception. Ashraf residents were in discussion with the Iraqi officials since almost a year ago. US officers and officials were present during these negotiations. The PMOI cooperated in all aspects. PMOI also handed over to Iraqis the facilities built by Ashraf residents at the main entrance to the Camp. Even on the day of attack in discussion with one of Iraqi officials, in the presence of US officers, Ashraf officials proposed to provide more facilities at the entrance to the Iraqi police.

 

  • On the same day, before the attack, while PMOI officials were trying to resolve the matter by offering new suggestions to the Iraqis. On a number of occasions, Iraqi delegation received phone calls from Baghdad that attack is underway. The Iraqi Prime Minister had already decided to meet the demands of the mullahs’ regime to kill all residents of Ashraf.

 

  • Therefore, if they really were interested in having a police station, the entrance of the Camp was the best location to have it. Why did they want to be in the Camp and the privacy of Ashraf residents? Particularly, bearing in mind that 1,000 Muslim women reside in the Camp.

 

  • All indications are that setting up a police station was an excuse. An Iraqi official, Mouwaffaq al-Rubaiee, had already said that the Iraqis intend to get into the Camp and make the life unbearable for its residents.

 

  • Moreover, Camp Ashraf is a private property owned by the PMOI. The land was legally given to the PMOI in 1986 and everything within the Camp has been built its residents. If the Iraqi government had any claim on the land, it should have taken legal action in a relevant court, surely not in Iraq where the judicial system is controlled by the government.

 

  • Maliki acknowledged on 31 July that his true intention of setting up a police station in the Camp was to arrest 55 residents of Ashraf (Al-Hurrah TV, Al-Iraqiya TV, both 31 July 2009)

 

US responsibility

  • In 2003 the PMOI handed over its arm to the US and in return the US provided protection to residents of Ashraf.
  • Each member of the PMOI residing in Camp Ashraf signed an agreement with the US which said that until the final determination of the status of the Ashraf residence, they will be under the protection of US.
  • In 2004 all residents of Ashraf were provided a special ID card as “protected person” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
  • In August 2008 US officers conducted a census. Almost all residents, including those who killed by the Iraqis, told United States that if their protection is transferred to Iraq, their lives and safety would be in serious danger. This is exactly what happened on 28 July 2009.
  • Lawyers, jurists and expert on international law warned that transferring protection of Ashraf would violate fundamental rights of Ashraf residents as well as the principle of non-refoulement and International Humanitarian Law.
  • The new US administration relying on Iraqi government assurances handed over the full protection to Iraq on 20 February 2009, a month after coming to office. The US did not even carry out its obligation to monitor and make sure Iraq respects the rights of Ashraf residents.
  • In short, the US was under no doubt that transferring the protection contains serious danger. Therefore, the US has its share in crimes committed and will be responsible for anything that might happen in the future.

 

What do we do?

  • Residents of Ashraf and supporters of the Resistance in 16 different locations have begun their hunger strikes. They intend to continue until their demands are met.

 

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s




<span>%d</span> bloggers like this: