Sunday, August 16, 2009

Amnesty International: Iraq authorities must investigate excessive use of force in Camp Ashraf
Amnesty international in its take action on its website has asked the people to sign and demand that the Iraqi authorities, investigate excessive use of force in Camp Ashraf. On Aug. 13 the Amnesty said: Since 1986, Camp Ashraf in Iraq has been home to around 3,500 members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group.Over the last year or so, several Iraqi government officials have publicly stated that Camp Ashraf residents must evacuate the camp and leave the country.Nine Camp Ashraf residents were killed and hundreds more were injured when Iraqi security forces stormed the camp on 28 July. Another 36 were detained and subjected to beatings and torture. Iraqi security forces used tear gas, water cannon and batons against camp residents who were trying to stop them. In video footage of the raid, Iraqi security forces can be seen beating people repeatedly on different parts of the body and, it would appear, deliberately driving military vehicles into crowds or protesting camp residents. Live ammunition is also said to have been used, resulting in some residents being shot dead or sustaining serious injuries.The 36 detainees are currently being held at a police station in the town of al-Khalis, about 25km south of Camp Ashraf. Some are in need of medical treatment due to injuries, including as a result of torture and gunshot wounds. The detainees are reported to have been told to sign documents in Arabic but to have refused. They have been denied access to lawyers of their choice and have launched a hunger strike in protest against their detention and ill-treatment. One of the 36 who had been shot in the legs and arm has been admitted to a hospital in the town of Baquba, north of Baghdad. He has undergone three surgical operations. Amnesty International is concerned that the 36 Camp Ashraf residents are at risk of being forcibly returned to Iran where they could face torture and execution. It is calling for the detainees to be released unless they are to be tried promptly and fairly on recognizable criminal charges.The organization has called on the Iraqi authorities to investigate the apparent use of excessive force by Iraqi security forces as well as all allegations of torture and beatings, and to bring perpetrators to justice.Click here to join the Appeal for Action

Camp Ashraf resident dies of wounds inflicted by Iraqi forces
Shaaban Souri, 44, wounded during the attack of the Iraqi forces on Camp Ashraf, died last night at 21:30 as he was being transferred to Balad hospital of the American forces. He spent 20 years of his life in struggle for freedom of Iranian people against the religious tyranny ruling Iran. He was badly beaten with batons and truncheons, especially on his head, by the Iraqi forces on July 28. He had been suffering from headaches following the attack. At 14:15 Thursday, he was in the state of convulsion and consequently went into coma. Considering his critical state, Ashraf residents informed the American forces of his state. At 20:20 an American doctor attended the patient and at 21:00, while he was on oxygen to help him with breathing he was taken to Balad hospital. He died on the way on the helicopter.

Yesterday (Aug.15) at the Parliament Hill, hundreds of Iranian-Canadians gathered for “Solidarity with 1000 brave women in Ashraf and women in Iran. Floralove Katz preformed “where all the flowers have gone?” for the crowed. Raymonde Folco MP from the Liberal Party spoke for the protection of the Ashraf residents especially of women of Ashraf. She said that with other members of parliament she would continue this political and civil fight. Homa Alizadeh, Iranian-Canadian activist shook the Parliament Hill as well as the heart of the people with her voice. A lot of Iranians were crying. Minoo Homaily, a women rights activist and defender of the rights of the refugees, in her speech condemned the attack on Ashraf residents by the Iraqi forces and said that the world’s responsibility is to protect the women of Ashraf. Honourable David Kilgour the defender of human rights and also the co-chair of the Canadian committee of the friends of Iran-democratic said that because of the lack of competence of the Iraqi government, the Americans must take the responsibility of Ashraf. The Iraqi forces must leave the camp immediately. The lawyers must be allowed to go to Ashraf. And the perpetrators of the attack must be brought to justice. Sara Hassani presented bouquets of flowers to the female guest of the event but Minoo Homaily offered the flowers to the people who’ve been on hunger strike for 18 days.
The protest of the Iranian-Canadians goes on every day in front of the US embassy in Ottawa. Today was the 19th day of the Hunger strike and the 20th day of hundreds of Iranian-Canadians who are protesting against the attack of Iraqi forces on unarmed residents of Ashraf camp. They are demanding an end to the siege of Ashraf Camp, the safe return of 36 hostages taken by the Iraqi forces and for American government to take temporary security of the camp and its residents.

Euro MPs calls on the UN to have a permanent representation inside Camp Ashraf
Source: Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament (FOFI)To prevent more atrocities by the Iraqi government, the Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament, consisting of many MEPs from different political tendencies, calls on the United Nations to set up a permanent representation inside Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to 3500 Iranian refugees from the democratic opposition movement of the PMOI (MEK). On 28 and 29 July 2009, the Iraqi police and army brutally attacked defenceless residents of Ashraf Camp in Iraq who were protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. 9 PMOI members were killed whose bodies have not yet been allowed by the Iraqis to be buried. Around 500 were wounded including women and 36 others were taken hostage by Iraqi forces.These atrocities were carried out at the behest of the Iranian regime and its supreme leader Ali Khamenei by the direct orders of the Iraqi prime minister, Nouri al-Maliki, who must be held responsible for crimes against humanity.Residents of Camp Ashraf are on day 15 of a hunger strike. In addition to Ashraf residents, supporters of the PMOI have gone on hunger strike in Washington DC outside the White House and opposite US embassies in London, Berlin and Ottawa. Many of the hunger-strikers, in particular the women, are in a poor state of health and some have been hospitalized.As far as the Iranian regime-sponsored government of Iraq is concerned, attacking Ashraf means that this Iraqi government has tied its political fate to that of a regime which in the midst of the Iranian people’s uprising has no future.In the months before transferring the protection of Ashraf we in the European Parliament repeatedly warned senior American officials about the consequences of such a transfer. This matter became so urgent that the European Parliament adopted a resolution on Ashraf on 24 April 2009 which should be the basis to solve the humanitarian case of Ashraf residents. Ashraf residents, their families and hundreds of Iranians who are on hunger strike in different countries have called on the United Nations Secretary General to set up a permanent mission in Ashraf. Hoisting the flag of the United Nations in Ashraf is the only recognized international scheme to protect its residents under the international law.Struan Stevenson MEPChair, Friends of a Free Iran in the European ParliamentAugust 13, 2009Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament (FoFI)Chair: Struan Stevenson (ECR)Vice Chairs: Steven Hughes (PSE Vice-President); Soren Sondergaard (GUE); Jan Zahradil (ECR); Tunne Kelam (EPP)