Amnesty International: Iraq Should Cease Harassment of Iranian Exiles in Ashraf

Amnesty International

Amnesty InternationalStop Fundamentalism- World’s human rights body, Amnesty International, in a public statement released on 23 July, urged the government of Iraq to cease harassments of the residents in Camp Ashraf who are Iranian exiles and members of the Iran’s main opposition movement Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI).

The rights body also called on Iraq to ensure resident’s “unhindered access to medical care and humanitarian needs.”

“This new challenge to the existence of Camp Ashraf follows months in which the residents have come under increasing pressure from the Iraqi authorities,” says Amnesty in its statement.

Amnesty International, as the main international organization observing human rights abuses around world, has repeatedly called on Iraq’s government to respect the rights of Ashraf residents during the two years since the protection of the camp has been transferred from Americans to Iraqi forces in 2009.

“Earlier this year, on 8 April, Iraqi troops took up positions within the camp using excessive, including lethal, force against residents who tried to resist them. Troops used live ammunition and by the end of the operation some 36 residents, including eight women, were dead and more than 300 others had been wounded,” says Amnesty.

“Iraq has announced that it had appointed a committee to investigate the attack and the killings; however,” Amnesty says, “the authorities are yet to disclose the outcome, prompting questions whether any investigation is, in fact, being carried out.”

Amnesty also complains about restrictions on the camp residents for accessing needed medical care as several residents are in need of specialized treatment.  Camp residents also complain that Iraqi’s do not permit them to purchase the medicine they need and fuel entry into the camp is blocked.

Apparently Iraq is trying to make life increasingly difficult for the residents to point that “they would be forced to leave the camp.”

Amnesty International is seeking assurance from Iraqi authorities that “no action will be taken to forcibly return Camp Ashraf residents to Iran,” says the statement. The organization fears that many will face torture if they were sent to Iran.

for more information: Amnesty International