Sunday, March 22, 2009


’Friends of a Free Iran’ condemns the abuse of Ashraf residents ordered by Iraq’s National Security Advisor
Press release Brussels,
16 March 2009
Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament (FOFI) strongly condemns the abuse of Ashraf residents ordered by the Iraqi National Security Adviser Mr Mowaffaq al-Rubaie. Ashraf City is the historic home of 3500 members of the main Iranian democratic opposition, PMOI (MEK). On Sunday 15 March 2009, a group of Iraqi forces at the gates of Ashraf, without any justification, attacked two of the residents, Abdol-Ali Mohammadi and Noureddin Navid, with electric batons and attempted to handcuff them, but with the arrival of US forces at the scene, were forced to release them.This is the latest in a spate of occurrences following a week-long trip to Iraq by the regime’s former President and the head of the Expediency Council, Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani who demanded the expulsion of the PMOI from Iraq and the closure of Camp Ashraf.Following Rafsanjani’s trip, the Iraqi National Security Adviser Mowaffaq al-Rubaie told the regime’s Arabic-language television station al-Alam on 8 March: ’We have a clear and precise policy regarding the expulsion of this terrorist organisation from Iraq and returning the residents of Camp Ashraf to Iran and or a third country. ... These individuals have been brainwashed and we must liberate them from this poison. When we carry out a process of detoxification, if this assumption is correct, this act will at first be painful. There is no alternative than to begin this painful act.” These remarks are an affirmation of a war crime and crimes against humanity which clearly jeopardise the lives of the 3,500 residents of Ashraf. Iraqi forces on 13 March, using force and aggression, surrounded one of the buildings in Ashraf, demanding the evacuation of hundreds of its mainly-female residents. Iraqi forces have openly told the people in Ashraf that even if 40 of the residents are killed, they will take over this building.

Rallies in support of Ashraf residents
Iranians in London, Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Geneva, Washington and Ottawa staged protests in front of Iraqi embassies condemning the surrounding of Ashraf City, and imposition of restrictions and pressures dictated by the clerical regime in Tehran. Last week in Ottawa tens of Iranians gathered in front of the Iraqi embassy to show their outrage at Iraqi National Security Adviser Mr Mowaffaq al-Rubaie who ordered the attack on the Ashraf residents in Iraq. They chanted Rubaie is a agent of Iran, take him to justice. On Monday the organizers will stage another protest in front of the Iraqi embassy for the second time.

Iran blogger jailed for Khamenei insult dies
A young Iranian blogger jailed in Tehran's notorious Evin prison for insulting supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei has died, his lawyer told Associated France Press on Thursday. Mohammad Ali Dadkhah said that although there is not yet an official report about the death on Wednesday of Omid Mir Sayafi, "officials in the prison said that he committed suicide."He demanded "an immediate inquiry and an autopsy into why he died." The blogger, aged around 25, was sentenced in February to 30 months in jail for insulting Khamenei and Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic. Sayafi was first arrested in April last year and released on bail after 41 days before being detained again this year. Iran has launched a crackdown on bloggers and Internet users deemed to be hostile to the authorities and their Islamic values.