Another 400 Move to Liberty from Camp Ashraf

Stop Fundamentalism – Another group of 400 residents of Camp Ashraf, arrived at Camp Liberty in Baghdad Monday, said a statement from National Council of Resistance of Iran.  Ashraf residents are transferred to Liberty in order to be interviewed by the United Nation High Commissioner for Refugees to qualify for resettlement in countries other than Iran and Iraq.

The process of transfer from Ashraf to Liberty, while it is hardly a two hour drive, is specially long and tedious for the residents due to the exhaustive searches and inspections performed by the Iraqi forces, both when leaving Camp Ashraf and also when entering Camp Liberty.  During the last move, one of the residents lost his life due to heart failure which was later attributed to exhaustion by physicians.

The group that reached Liberty brings the number of residents that have relocated to Liberty to 1600, about half the original population of Camp Ashraf.

Camp Ashraf residents are Iranian dissidents, members of the main Iranian opposition movement, Mujahedin-e Khalq, MEK, who have been living in Iraq for the past 25 years due to being subject to inhuman persecutions by the Iranian theocratic regime due to their political beliefs.

Camp Ashraf has been under the international spot light since April 8, 2011 when Iraqi forces raided the camp, killing 36 residents including 8 women. 

The residents of Camp Ashraf have been unarmed since the occupation of Iraq by the coalition forces in 2003, when the MEK reached a pact with the American military to voluntarily turn in their weapons in replacement for protection by the Americans.

The residents subsequently received the “protected persons” status under the Fourth Geneva Conventions.  The Convention makes it a crime against humanity and a war crime to kill or make aggressions against a designated protected person.

But the protection duty of the residents was later turned into the hands of Iraqi forces in 2009.  The residents realized soon after that their new protectors, are in reality their jail keepers and murderers.  An assault on the camp in July 2009, only a month after the turnover of protection duty, left 11 residents dead and hundreds wounded.  Between the periods of July 2009 until April 2011, the two big attacks that left a number of residents dead, many aggressions against the camp residents resulted in many injuries among them.

Supporters of MEK in Europe have posted video clips of the Iraqi assault on April 8 on YouTube and internet showing Iraqi army officers deliberately aiming at and shooting down unarmed residents.