New Internationalist

The shame of Camp Ashraf

A press release from the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom:

MPs and Peers on Wednesday accused Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki of committing a ‘Gestapo-style massacre’ at Camp Ashraf which led to the death of 35 Iranian dissidents and caused hundreds to be injured.

At a press conference, the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom disclosed new video footage of the 8 April attack, showing direct shooting at camp residents and the various military weaponry used.

Committee chair Lord Corbett of Castle Vale (Labour Peer), said: ‘The attack on Camp Ashraf was an organized military massacre on the orders of Nuri al-Maliki who is publicly committed to erasing the camp from the face of the earth.’

Medical practitioner Hoda Hosseini pointed to photographic evidence of the injuries sustained by the wounded which clearly indicated that a targeted shoot-to-kill policy was used by Iraqi forces. ‘Traces left in the bodies of those killed and the wounded, and a study of the wounds and x-rays show that the Iraqi forces used automatic Kalashnikov machine guns with live, tracer and armour-piercing bullets as well as firing sonic grenades directly at the heads and chests of the civilian population at Camp Ashraf.’

Former Home Secretary Lord Waddington demanded a UN investigation into the attack to bring the perpetrators of this crime to justice, while Lord Maginnis of Drumglass said: ‘Prime Minister Cameron and President Barack Obama must use the appropriate language in describing this attack as a massacre.’

Mark Williams MP (Liberal Democrat) demanded that Iraqi forces immediately withdraw from Camp Ashraf and that the United Nations take over protection of the camp as part of their mandate.

Malcolm Fowler, a solicitor and member of the Law Society’s human rights committee, said that the Law Society, which represented more than 130,000 solicitors, had issued a statement urging the UN to help protect the residents.

Pointing to video footage evidencing the continued menacing presence of Iraqi armed forces in and around Camp Ashraf, on behalf of the Committee Lord Corbett urged the UN to establish a permanent monitoring team at the camp and take over responsibility for protection of the residents to prevent a further such ‘Gestapo-style massacre’.

Camp Ashraf, 60 kilometres northeast of Baghdad, is home to 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), who are ‘protected persons’ under the 4th Geneva Convention.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
27 April 2011

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  1. #1 Hamid 28 Apr 11

    Ashraf camp

    I agree with Lord Corbett that the UN must urgently go to Ashraf camp and take over the protection there.

  2. #2 Laila 29 Apr 11

    Camp Ashraf people are members of Iran's major opposition movement, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). This organisation and its 3,400 members including 1,000 heroic women in Camp Ashraf have strong support in the British parliament and in both houses who represent British public.
    But does the British Government listen to the voices of the British people's representatives? No! Has the Foreign Office done any action to protect the residents of Camp Ashraf who are all UN ’Protected People’? No! Why is it that they send troops to Libya to protect civilians there but are completely silent, blind and deaf to the atrocities in Camp Ashraf?
    The answer for all these questions is that our government is still pursing the destructive policy of Appeasement and softly softly approach towards the religious dictators in Iran.
    This wrong policy must end and end now.

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