Outgoing Iraqi PM Blamed for September 1 Massacre in Camp Ashraf
By Shahriar Kia
Maliki Responsible For The Massacre
An independent report on the 1 September 2013 massacre at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, published on the one-year anniversary of the attack, has confirmed the suspected involvement of the government of outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.
The report foreword opens with this statement "There are few predictions one can accurately make about the Middle East. Today's certainties become tomorrow's chaos. Alliances turn into feuds, cities into rubble, and peoples into dust. Often, it seems the only assurance we do have is the inevitability of further bloodshed."
The report incorporates the testimonies of the 42 surviving eyewitnesses to the massacre. It was compiled by the Human Security Centre (HSC), a London-based global foreign policy think tank; and the Ashraf Campaign (ASHCAM), a human rights group set up last year to advocate for Iranian refugees living in Iraq.
Formerly home to 100 Iranian refugees, Camp Ashraf was attacked on 1 September 2013, killing 52 residents. Seven residents were also abducted during the attack. The joint HSC-ASHCAM report identifies Iraqi security forces, acting under orders given by the Iraqi government at the behest of the Iranian regime, as the perpetrators of the massacre.
"This was a highly professional and effective attack planned and coordinated at the highest levels of Maliki's administration, and carried out by Iraqi forces loyal to the outgoing Prime Minister," said Curtis Sinclair, Co-Chairman of ASHCAM and the report's lead author.
"The significance of this is huge," he said. "Our report shows quite clearly that Maliki and his government are guilty of gross abuses of international law not seen since the days of Saddam Hussein. They must be held to account."
While the Obama administration belatedly was pushed into assisting the Yazidis after many were killed, nothing, other than verbal expressions of outrage, has been done for the residents of the ironically named Camp Liberty.
Julie Lenarz, the Executive Director of the Human Security Centre, added: "This report fits into the broader framework of the examination of the abhorrent situation in Iraq today. Maliki's politics of sectarianism have created a climate of fear and hatred in which groups, such as ISIS, can flourish. We must not fall victim to the Iranian trap and maneuver ourselves into a grotesque position where Iran expands its sphere of influence under US drone cover in Iraq."
Since the 1 September massacre, the survivors of Camp Asfraf have all been relocated to Camp Liberty, a former US military base where 2,800 Iranian refugees are held in conditions described by the UN Human Rights Council as "synonymous with those in a detention centre."
The report establishes a detailed chronology of the events in Camp Ashraf on 1 September 2013, identifies the perpetrators of the attack, and makes recommendations for Western policymakers.
Curtis Sinclair is contactable at: E: firstname.lastname@example.org; T: +44 7539 307419
Shahriar Kia is a political analyst and spokesman for the residents of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where he resides. Shahriar was educated in the United States, graduating from the University of Texas, in computer science. Contact him through NewsBlaze or Twitter: @shahriarkia. Read more stories by Shahriar Kia.
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