UNHCR moves to protect Iranian refugees in Iraq
The UN. High commissioner for Human rights has recently received a significant number of individual requests for the determination of refugee status from residents in what it called Camp New Iraq or Camp Ashraf. Camp residents who have submitted requests are accordingly now formally asylum seekers under international law whose claims require adjudication. International law requires that they must be able to benefit from basic protection of their security and well-being. This includes protection against any expulsion or return to the frontiers of territories where their lives or freedom would be threatened (the non-refoulement principle).
UNHCR has requested the Government of Iraq to consider extending the deadline for the closure of the Camp and to provide the necessary facilities so that these requests for refugee status can be heard in a timely and proper manner. There is no formal requirement for individuals to disassociate themselves from the PMOI/MEK in order to apply for refugee status. Each individual case will be judged on its merits and in accordance with international law. The Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf were attacked by the Iraqi forces on April 8, 2011 killing more than 30 people and injuring hundreds.
Baha’i student expelled from University
According to Harana, Ava Tavakoli, a student of Hormozgan University and a Baha’i resident of Bandar-Abbas has been expelled because of her faith after 4 semesters.
Khodadad Rashidi hanged in Urumieh for Moharebeh
According to a report by Mukrian News Agency, Khodadad Rashidi was arrested five years ago, charged with the crime of Enmity with God (Moharebeh) and sentenced to death which was carried out yesterday Sept. 17.
According to a report by HRANA on August 24, a group of 30 activists regarding the Lake Urumieh were arrested by the regime’s Intelligence and security forces. Currently, fifteen individuals who were amongst those detained have been tried without being presented by counsel and sentenced to 2 years and 4 months in prison with 2 years of this prison term suspended. Fifteen others are still in a legal state of limbo. According to reports some of the detainee activists are on hunger strike.
Lake Urumieh has lost half of its water thus far. In some parts of the lake, water has receded as much as 10 Kilometers. It has been estimated that Lake Urumieh will dry out completely in three years if the current trend continues.
Five Christians Sentenced to Prison
Last week, five Iranian Christians were sentenced to a total of 5 years in prison despite the fact that they were exonerated of all charges by a lower court. They were retried because the prosecutor had objected to the initial verdicts.