Sunday, August 30, 2009


32nd day of hunger strike by 36 PMOI members taken hostage by Iraqi forces
National Council of Resistance of Iran said in a statement on Aug. 28, that the hunger strike by 36 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) who have been taken hostage by Iraqi forces continued in its 32nd day on Friday. They are suffering from severe pains and other complications due to wounds inflicted by Iraqi forces during the attack against Camp Ashraf on July 28 and prolonged hunger strike.
A number of them are in much more agonizing situation due to serious injuries they received at the time of their abduction. In the meantime, hunger strikes by Ashraf residents and Iranian exiles in Washington, London, Ottawa, Berlin, The Hague and Stockholm continue for the second month while they are suffering from the effects of prolonged hunger strike. The NCRI added: during the past 24 hours a number of Ashraf residents have been hospitalized for extreme weakness, acute headaches, severe chest pains, faints, drop in blood pressure, eyesight and hearing defects and spasm and muscular pains.
Today is the 33rd day of the hunger strike for a number of Iranian-Canadians in Ottawa in front of the US embassy. The hunger strikers suffer from weakness, pain in the joints, headaches and eyesight defects. The US officials in the embassy have not responded to the demands of the protesters as yet. The Iranian- Canadians want the 36 hostages to return to Ashraf, the Iraqi forces to leave Camp Ashraf and the perpetrators of the attack to be brought to justice and for the US to take a temporarily protection of Ashraf Camp until a permanent protector from the UN takes over this responsibility. Yesterday in the cold weather and severe rain, the protesters gathered once again in front of the US embassy.

German lawmakers act on behalf of Camp Ashraf
UPI, Berlin, August 28, 2009
A group of German lawmakers has urged Chancellor Angela Merkel to act on behalf of Iranian dissidents exiled in Iraq. Seventeen lawmakers from Merkel’s conservatives in a letter urged the chancellor to help 36 Iranians jailed and, according to Amnesty International, possibly tortured by Iraqi military. The dissidents were seized last month when Iraqi forces stormed Camp Ashraf, a city in Iraq where some 3,500 Iranian dissidents have been living for the past two decades. In the melee, Iraqi forces killed nine people, injuring some 450 more. The dissidents have been brought to an unknown location and could be extradited to Iran, where they would face torture or death sentences. The lawmakers also urged Merkel to convince the United States to take over the protection of Camp Ashraf, and called for an international monitoring presence in the dissident camp. Its citizens belong to the People’s Mujahedin of Iran, an Iranian opposition group Tehran says is composed of terrorists. The United States also considers the PMOI a terror organization. After a long legal battle, it was removed from the European Union’s terrorist list in January. The PMOI says that it has long focused on peaceful resistance. U.S. forces disarmed Ashraf residents after the Iraq war and from 2003 until the end of 2008 provided security for them because of their status as ’protected persons’ under the Geneva Conventions. The Iraqi military took over protection of Ashraf on Jan. 1, giving the Americans guarantees to protect Ashraf citizens. However, Baghdad is determined to close the camp and expel its residents to Iran or a third country. Observers say the planned closure of Ashraf is a deal between Baghdad and the clerical regime in Iran.

Iran’s top dissident cleric warns against regime ’fall’
AFP, Tehran, 27 August 2009
Top dissident cleric Grand Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri has renewed his criticism of Iranian authorities, warning their handling of the post-election unrest could lead to the fall of the regime. ’I hope the authorities wake up before it is too late and do not hurt the reputation of the Islamic republic further ... and cause their own fall and that of the system,’ Montazeri said in a statement carried on his website Wednesday. He called for an end to ’show trials’, which he said were a ’mockery of Islamic justice’ and urged the authorities ’not to continue down the wrong turn they are taking’. ’They should at least have the courage to declare that this government is neither a republic nor Islamic with nobody allowed to protest, comment or criticise,’ fumed Montazeri. The disputed re-election of President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has plunged Iran into its worst crisis since the establishment of the Islamic republic in 1979.