In remembrance of the lost heroes of Camp Ashraf

Two years ago a horrible atrocity occurred at Camp Ashraf where residents who were members of the Peoples Mojahedn Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were massacred. Col. Wesley Martin who served as both a senior operations office for Task Force 134 and later as Base Commander of Camp Ashraf said: “Two years ago, across thousands of miles, goodbyes had to be said to fifty-two very special friends. Having worked with the residents of Camp Ashraf [members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK)] while serving both as senior operations officer for Task Force 134 (Detention Operations) and later as Base Commander of Camp Ashraf, I was fortunate to work with some of the finest people I have ever known. Two people who will always stand out in my memory are Zohreh Ghaemi and Hossein Madani. Respect for Zohreh’s leadership was reflected by all Americans who admiringly called her Commander Zohreh. Even though she had no authority over the American soldiers, she had earned their respect.” “Hossein also had won American hearts. An extremely brilliant man with a most dignified presence, Hossein took time to treat everyone with respect. In meetings I continually watched him shift between Farsi, Arabic, and English with perfect rhythm. Our conversations were not always business; they were frequently friendly discussions about the world and our own lives. I found Hossein knew as much as I about Washington D.C. That is understandable considering the many years he lived and worked there.” “I had the same respect for all the residents of Camp Ashraf. Some evenings when I wished to get away from the details of my own work, I would go to sentry post located near one of my own. In the quiet desert air, when coolness had replaced blistering heat, we would relax and enjoy each other’s company. Visits to the residents’ main camp were always special events whether it was a business meeting or a social event.” The then Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri Maliki’s military forces had executed many residents with their hands tied behind their backs, taking their lives execution style during the September 1 2013 massacre. Wounded residents all of whom were given the status of “protected persons” under the fourth Geneva Convention and were “guaranteed” protection by the U.S and the U.N were shot dead in the camps clinic. On September 1st 2013 these fifty lives were snuffed out and seven others were taken hostage by the brutal corrupt government. They may have lost their lives but their memories will never be lost as long as the resistance lives and the democracy live within us. Their sacrifice will not be forgotten and their goals of striving to bring peace and stability to the world will carry on in future generations.