Iraq Continues Clampdown on Camp Ashraf Residents

In the aftermath of the 8 April massacre at Camp Ashraf by the Iraqi forces, and swarms of international condemnations, the residents of the camp continue to complain about the repressive measures by the Iraqi forces surrounding the camp.

On 19 May 2011, at a meeting with European Union ambassadors, the Iraqi Foreign Minister, Hoshyar Zebari said, “Iraqi officials have initiated a series of measures to guarantee and provide humanitarian services, medical treatment and food supplies in Ashraf.”

Despite these promises, the siege on the camp has not stopped and for that reason, the health condition at the camp is rapidly declining, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

In a statement released on 1 June, the NCRI said that Iraqi forces are preventing sewage dumps, causing increased hygiene problems and endangering health of the residents. The sewage dump area of the camp is located in sections that were occupied by Iraqi forces on the 8 April attack which caused 35 deaths among the civilian residents. Iraqi forces are baring the residents from enter the section.

Iraqi forces are also preventing fuel tankers, paid for by Camp Ashraf residents, from entering the camp, says NCRI in the same statement.

While about 350 camp residents were badly injured during the Iraqi assault, a medical blockade on Camp Ashraf continues by the Iraqi authorities and that puts some of the residents in a life threatening danger. One of the residents died recently due to lack of proper care.

NCRI considers the measures to be an attempt to escalate pressure on the camp residents.

After the 8 April assault on Camp Ashraf, an initiative introduced by the European Parliament is proposing the removal of the residents from Iraq to be relocated in other countries in Europe or North America.

Iraqis on the other hand press for the displacement of the residents to another location inside Iraq. The plan was categorically rejected by the residents and their supporters across the world as a pretext to another massacre in much larger scale.

A European Delegation visited Iraq late April was denied access to the camp by the Iraqi government. Hoshyar Zebari told the delegation that a visit to the camp is “out of the questions.”

While the European plan has received considerable attention, an immediate international intervention is necessary to prevent further loss of life.