Sunday, April 26, 2009


Important resolution of European Parliament in support of Ashraf Residents European Parliament on Friday adopted a resolution, calling on the Iraqi authorities “to protect the lives and the physical and moral integrity of the residents of Camp Ashraf”-home to the members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI) in Iraq- and “to treat them in accordance with obligations under the Geneva Conventions, notably not to forcibly displace, deport, expel or repatriate them in violation of the principle of non-refoulement.
Humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf ResidentsTEXT ADOPTEDat the sitting ofFriday24 April 2009

P6_TA-PROV (2009)04-24 FINAL EDITION PE 425.401
European Parliament resolution pursuant to Rule 115 of the Rules of Procedure on the humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residentsThe European Parliament,- having regard to the Geneva Conventions and notably Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention on the legal status of Protected Persons,- having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Additional Protocol,- having regard to the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) signed between the US and Iraqi Governments in November 2008,- having regard to its resolutions of 12 July 2007 and of 4 September 2008 including references to Camp Ashraf residents having legal status as Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention,- having regard to Rule 115 of its Rules of Procedure,A. whereas Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq was established during the 1980s for members of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), B. whereas in 2003 US forces in Iraq disarmed Camp Ashraf’s residents and provided them with protection, having been designated ’protected persons’ under the Geneva Conventions,C. whereas the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights in a letter dated 15 October 2008 urged the Iraqi Government to protect Ashraf residents from forcible deportation, expulsion or repatriation in violation of the non-refoulement principle, and to refrain from any action that would endanger their life or security,D. whereas after the US/Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement Camp Ashraf has been returned to the control of Iraqi security forces as of 1 January 2009,E. whereas according to recent statements reportedly made by the Iraqi National Security Advisor the authorities intend gradually to make the continued presence of the Camp Ashraf residents ’intolerable’ and whereas he reportedly also referred to their expulsion/extradition and/or their forcible displacement inside Iraq, 1. Urges the Iraqi Prime Minister to ensure that no action is taken by the Iraqi authorities which violates the human rights of the Camp Ashraf residents and to clarify the government’s intentions towards them; calls on the Iraqi authorities to protect the lives, and the physical and moral integrity of the Camp Ashraf residents and to treat them in accordance with the obligations under the Geneva Conventions, notably not to forcibly displace, deport, expel or repatriate them in violation of the principle of non-refoulement;2. Respecting the individual wishes of anyone living in Camp Ashraf as regards to their future; considers that those living in Camp Ashraf and other Iranian nationals who currently reside in Iraq having left Iran for political reasons could be at risk of serious human rights violations if they were to be returned involuntarily to Iran, and insists that no person should be returned, either directly or via a third country, to a situation where they would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights abuses; 3. Calls on the Iraqi government to end its blockade of the camp and respect the legal status of the Camp Ashraf residents as ’protected persons’ under the Geneva Conventions, and to refrain from any action that would endanger their life or security, namely full access to food, water, medical care and supplies, fuel, family members and international humanitarian organisations; 4. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States together with the Iraqi and US Governments and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee for the Red Cross to work towards finding a satisfactory long-term legal status for Camp Ashraf residents; 5. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member states, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee for the Red Cross, the Government of the United States and the Governments and Parliaments of Iraq.

Man to be stoned to death in northern Iran
A man was secretly stoned to death in northern Iran in February and another man is only days away from facing a similar fate, a Tehran-based online daily reported on Wednesday.The report by Rooz, which is run by former officials, said that in the case of the man who was stoned in the city of Rasht in February, judicial sources did not hand over the body to his family for burial to keep details of his execution from leaking to the press. The main opposition coalition, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, citing ‘reliable sources’, had on 11 March said a man, identified as Vali Azad, 30, was ’secretly’ stoned to death in a prison in Rasht. It said that the stoning sentence, handed down by Judge Kashani was carried out in a remote part of the yard of Lakan Prison in the presence of a few prison officials.Rooz reported that another stoning sentence will be carried out in the coming days in Rasht. The judiciary in Gilan Province (northern Iran) is getting ready to carry out the sentence, which is a serious cause for concern among human rights activists, the report said. It identified the man awaiting the sentence as Mohammad Ali Navid Khamami. Under Iran’s Islamic Penal Code, adultery by a married woman is punishable by stoning. The law is very specific about the manner of execution and types of stones which should be used. Article 102 states that men will be buried up to their waists and women up to their breasts for the purpose of execution by stoning. Article 104 states, with reference to the penalty for adultery, that the stones used should “not be large enough to kill the person by one or two strikes, nor should they be so small that they could not be defined as stones”
Iran’s state-run daily urges for a rise in violence in Iraq
The State-run daily Jomhouri-e-Eslami explicitly called for expansion of military attacks and violence in Iraq and wrote: 'The trend of developments in Iraq shows that Iraqis are insisting as before on their demand for withdrawal of occupiers and foreigners reckless and are not impressed by the occupiers’ pledges and promises. These events have pushed Iraqis to the conclusion that the Americans will never leave Iraq willingly and continuation and increase of attacks against the American forces should be evaluated in this regard”.

Amnesty urges immediate release for US reporter in Iran
Associated France Press reported; Amnesty International said Monday that Iran was looking for ’any excuse’ to detain US reporter Roxana Saberi , adding it seemed she was being held for ’solely political reasons’.Saberi, 31, was convicted in Iran last week of spying for the United States, a charge which carries the death sentence. Iran has denied she is being used as a bargaining chip in talks with Washington. ’The fact that Roxana Saberi faced a shifting tide of accusations from the time of her arrest until her trial is an indication that the Iranian authorities were looking for any excuse to detain her,’ said Hassiba Hadj Sahraoui deputy director of Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa programme. ’There is no reason for holding Roxana Saberi, unless the Iranian authorities can provide convincing evidence that she committed a recognisable criminal offence.’ She added: ’If, as appears to be the case, Roxana Saberi is held solely for political reasons in connection to Iran’s relations with the USA... then she is a prisoner of conscience who should be released immediately and unconditionally. ’We trust that in this case at least, justice will be served during the appeals process.’

1000 plus students rallied in Tehran against beating of a student by SSF agents
More than a thousand students of Teachers’ Training School in Tehran rallied in protest to entry of the suppressive State Security Force (SSF) agents into the university and beating the students; the SSF agents shot at the air and used pepper gas to disperse the students.On Sunday, April 19, the SSF agents had entered the university and arrested a student who had protested their entry to the university and while beating him threw him in the back trunk of a car and sought to leave the university when they faced with angry students. The SSF agents aimed their guns at the students and by shooting at air threatened the students and ultimately threw the injured student off the car and escaped.Following that incident, more than 1,000 students staged a demonstration and asked for punishment of orders and agents of that suppressive incident and official apology by SSF commander; they threatened, otherwise, they would resume their protests on Saturday.

Ban says Ahamdinejad’s behaviour ’unexpected’
AFP, Valletta, April 21, 2009 - Iranian President Mahmoud Ahamdinejad’s fiery speech at the UN conference on racism was unexpected and outside the remit of the talks, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said Tuesday.’While I appreciate his participation, what he did was out of the purpose of the conference and what we expected, what the international community expected,’ said Ban during a visit to Malta. Ban said -- as he did Monday following the outburst in Geneva in which Ahamdinejad slammed Israel as a ’cruel and racist regime’ -- that he had met with the Iranian leader beforehand and asked him to maintain a ’balanced and constructive position’.Ahamdinejad’s remarks prompted 23 European Union delegations to walk out of the conference room in protest. ’It was very regrettable and deplorable that this conference to deal with racism... was misused for a political purpose,’ said Ban, who was in Malta to discuss immigration issues. ’We have suffered enough because of racial discrimination and racism,’ Ban said after talks with Maltese Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi. ’It was regrettable that some countries decided to remain outside the conference.’He added: ’I know that there are differences of opinions and positions. Whatever opinion aInd position one country may have, it is always better to come inside and express the positions so that we can coordinate ... and have good results.’Ban said conference participants reached a consensus text that is far better than the one adopted in Durban, South Africa in 2001, where the United States and Israel walked out over a proposal to link Zionism with racism.