Camp Ashraf is resident to 3400 members of the PMOI, main opposition and threat to Iranian mullahs. The Camp has been attacked by the Maliki forces on several occasions. The last attack led to a bloodbath; 33 killed of direct precision shooting and US Humvees ramming residents, 325 wounded and 6 taken as hostages by Iraqi thugs.
This has triggered much reaction among Iraqi dignitaries and political movements, associations and the Iraqi public, defying Al-Maliki suppressive measures. Yet, Al Maliki is comfortable to continue the tragedy despite its blatant and vulgar standards in defying basic humanitarian standards. This vulgarity only promotes various questions for the International community. One such query is “How much is the US involved in this?”
“Last week, I was outraged and embarrassed to watch the United States forces stood by as the Iraqi invaded Camp Ashraf and we just read this in the film that we saw they are willing and injuring Iranian civilians that are living there.”
– General Shelton, Paris conference: “Stop occupation by Iraqi forces and guarantee protection in Camp Ashraf,” 13 April 2011.
“Nouri Maliki, the blood of those murdered (in Camp Ashraf) is on your hands you need to be prosecuted at the international criminal court against crime for humanity.”
– Patrick Kennedy, at conference “Stop occupation by Iraqi forces and guarantee protection in Camp Ashraf,” 13 April, 2011 –
“They are cowards, bullies and committed mass murder.”
“It is tragic in the fact that over a month ago the residents of the Camp appealed to the UN, to the US to provide them security and alerted the world about the coming attack. But no one did anything!”
– Tom Ridge – Berlin conference, Stop Massacre in Camp Ashraf, 12 April 2011
“Twice in the past 2 years military forces of the government of Iraq had attacked Camp Ashraf this is not even close to fulfilling their obligations. It is important of the political leadership of the United States on the president, Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, to say to the government of Iraq, we want your obligations which you undertook voluntarily to be upheld. Unfortunately we have not seen that yet.”
– John Bolton, Paris conference over camp Ashraf humanitarian crisis, 13 April 2011
Protestors in 35 cities worldwide have been objecting to the organized “silence” over Ashraf massacre. They chant “Support Humanity, Support Ashraf.”
One protestor in Berlin said: “How can there be such silence? Are they so stupid to think that Iranian regime will bow to their bent compromise. MEK in return for nukes? If so they are not fit to be policy makers and we should not give them the advantage of leading our lives into chaos and murder. The Iranian regime has proved in the past 32 years that it is a coward, better liar than Goebbels, and a crook. They cannot shake hands with a fist that has terrorism up its sleeves.”
Hekmat from Britain has a shop and has never involved himself with Iranian politics. He was extremely vocal and in tears while he spoke: “I had lost my conscience, I found it as I was watching the poor youth, men and women and children being shot to the ground one by one in Ashraf. They only had their hands and some placards to protect them against machine guns, armored vehicles and grenade launchers. The bastard Mailiki thugs in uniform kept shooting them one by one. One already wounded was beaten till he did not move any more. They even shot at those who were carrying the wounded away. I saw one girl, a camera woman, who was tracked down since she was taking shots of the scene and then she was just shot down! They are not Iraqis. Witnesses said, they heard them speak Farsi. We are sure they are thugs of the Quds’ force. How can the US stay silent over Iranian regime outburst of Quds’ activities in Iran like this?”
Sarah from Canada who has a brother in the Camp said: “Why is it that, when it comes to MEK and Iran, big powers suddenly change status and become “small countries,” coward of facing the tyrants? The Iraqis are still in the camp. They are testing International reaction to the massacre. Each and every county and policy maker is responsible for the situation in the camp. The US took away their arms that protected my brother and others in the camp; it is responsible to protect them. They cannot just leave them to be shot like sitting ducks! We all know that it is in US jurisprudence and power to pick the phone up and say “Maliki, STOP.” How many innocent lives innocent lives are they ready to sacrifice in the name of economic relationships? In what point of time in the US, do your values our reach your interests? In what way of time do your calls for Humanity match your actions? In What point of time do the Western Countries say “ENOUGH is ENOUGH”.
The words of condemnation now has to be followed with action, otherwise the worst enemy of mankind, which is the Iranian religious fascism will triumph over the long time quest to establish an Islamic fundamentalist empire.
The ongoing suppression and constant torture and bloodbath in Ashraf is an obvious message that Camp Ashraf is the main threat for the medieval mullahs. This reason alone is enough for the MEK to be delisted.
In a conference in Paris, Gen. Dell daily said: “What point of time would the US stand up on its delayed principles and say” we will commit to our obligations, to the promise we made to those defenseless people in the Camp. We turned our backs to those who gave us all the help we needed and trusted us.”
It is Time to Take Action
The EU Council statement on the Massacre well describes the present mood over the Humanitarian Catastrophe in Camp Ashraf:
Doc. 12510 28 January 2011 Camp Ashraf Written Declaration No 472 On 7 January 2011, the assault on Camp Ashraf, in which Iraqi forces participated, left 176 residents, including 91 women, injured. Iraqi forces denied medical treatment to the injured and expelled them from the hospital. Some 180 loudspeakers have been used to psychologically torture the residents since February 2010. On 5 January, Iran’s foreign minister urged the Iraqi Prime Minister to increase practical measures against Ashraf. Under the supervision of the Committee to Close Ashraf in the Prime Minister’s office, the siege of Ashraf over the past two years, including medical restrictions, has led to the death of two residents.
The raid on 28-29 July 2009 left 11 residents killed and 500 injured. The recent measures seriously violate the 4th Geneva Convention which applies to Ashraf residents, and accordingly to the 27 December 2010 ruling by a Spanish court and the statute of the International Criminal Court are considered “war crimes.” The United Nations and the United States must guarantee the protection of Ashraf. We urge the Parliamentary Assembly member states to: convince the Iraqi Government to dissolve the Ashraf Closure Committee and place Ashraf’s dossier under the supervision of the Iraqi Parliament; – to end immediately the psychological torture of the residents by Iranian intelligence agents using 180 loudspeakers.
What Happened At Camp Ashraf?
General Ali Gheidan who was present at Camp Ashraf since April 8th and personally commanded the attack on Ashraf residents spoke from the occupied camp on Saturday April 9th and said: “We had two goals. One was to return the northeastern part of Ashraf to its owners and the other issue was to reduce the number of protecting units. Instead of being spread over 50 kilometers, I will control only 30 kilometers.”
A Reuters reporter wrote that heavily armed Iraqi forces held the residents back from the media and pushed them behind a metal gate. Journalists were not allowed to speak to them. Reporters could only view the main camp from a distance. Little was visible apart from a mosque, whose minarets rose above the camp.
From the New York Times on April 9; A spokesman for U.S. forces in Iraq said on Saturday “the Iraqi government continues to block U.S. humanitarian medical assistance to the Iranian exiles of Camp Ashraf”; it also wrote that “anyone who attempts to take a picture of the clashes is being systematically attacked (by the Iraqi forces.)”
Gheidan’s stab was to reduce al-Maliki’s crimes, and to avoid the consequences of his own atrocities against Camp Ashraf residents which are considered war crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes against the international community.
These are propaganda manoevers, reminiscent of Hitler’s and Goebbels’ tactics. The compounds of Camp Ashraf is established and has a peremeter of approximately 36 square kilometers and therfore the surrounding land has nothing to do with the Camp.
On the fabricated scenarios of “settling land disputes
On January 12th of this year, in a letter to the special representative of the UN Secretary General in Iraq and U.S. and Iraqi officials, the International Committee of Jurists in Defense of Ashraf exposed this plot. As stated in that letter, the regional residents were under extensive pressure by al-Maliki forces to claim that their farmland was part of Ashraf. The majority of residents in the region vehemently resisted such pressures.
According to available documents, since long before Camp Ashraf has been under control of The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), it was a military zone and there had been no claims on that land. The farmers who had part of their land in that area had been given equivalent land elsewhere.
It is notable that the al-Iraqia TV channel which belongs to al-Maliki and his group, after showing Gheidan’s smokescreen show of cover-up, broadcasted statements of an unknown individual who said: “This land was taken from us in 1947”, that is 74 years, i.e., during the royal Iraqi era and 21 years prior to coming to power of the former Iraqi government.
On numerous occasions, including on Wednesday April 6th, two days before the April 8th attack, Camp Ashraf representatives had told the UN and U.S. representatives that whoever had a claim on Camp Ashraf, the residents were prepared to review such claims in the presence of UN and U.S. representatives and were willing to accept arbitration of these two entities for solving the problem, and were even prepared to pay any damages or rent, or purchase it and register it as a UN property. This offer was highly welcomed by the UN and U.S. representatives as a practical and realistic solution
For further information : Link to pictures of Iraqi forces attacking Ashraf residents http://www.flickr.com/photos/28353822@N07/
Euronews : Iranian exiles killed at Camp Ashraf: reports
Chronology of events:
1.On March 2011, commanders of Iraq’s 3rd Battalion of the 21st Brigade of the 9th Division and officials of the Ashraf Committee with blood in their hands in the July 28-29, 2009 massacre of Ashraf residents were summoned by the Spanish National Court under the principle of universal jurisdiction established in Geneva Conventions, for their crimes in the July 2009 massacre of Ashraf.
2.With mounting international pressure, the Iraqi government informed its interlocutors on Ashraf camp that the Ashraf Committee in the Iraqi Prime Ministry has been dissolved.
3.In the Late evening of 2 April 2011, commanders of the Iraqi 3rd Battalion of the 21st Brigade of the 9th Division informed the residents that the battalion is going to be replaced by a battalion from Iraq’s 5th Division.
4.At midnight of 3 April 2011, forces of the Iraqi 5th Division entered Ashraf with 30 BMP1 armored personnel carriers and HUMVEEs under the pretext that they are the replacing force; thereby occupying sections of Ashraf while the previous battalion kept its positions as intact.
5.Two Stryker platoons of the USF-I were stationed inside and outside of Ashraf to monitor the situation in the camp.
6.Lieutenant General Tariq al-Azzawi, commander of Operations of the Diyala province, where Ashraf is located, told AFP on April 3rd that we have not even advanced one meter.
7.On 4 April, Ahmad Chalabi, from the Iraqi National Congress Party affiliated with the Iranian regime which shares power with the Maliki’s government, confirmed in a statement that a third of Ashraf’s soil has been occupied by the Iraqi government.
8.Since April 3rd, representatives of Ashraf residents, in their letters to international organizations, the UNAMI, and the U.S. government warned that according to information received, upon orders from the Iranian regime, Maliki has decided to create another bloodbath in Ashraf and that they should urgently interfere.
9.On April 4th and 5th, the commander of the USF-I monitoring team in Ashraf tried to arrange a meeting between the representatives of Ashraf residents and the commanders of the Iraqi forces. However, the Iraqi commanders stated that they have been ordered by the PM office to refrain from any dialogue with the residents.
10.In the afternoon of April 7th, numerous convoys composed of Iraqi forces, including engineering vehicles entered Ashraf.
11.A number of Iraqi generals including the commander of the Iraqi Army Ali Gheidan, commander of the Diyala Operations Tareq al-Azzawi, and commander of the 5th Division General Zia, came to Ashraf.
12.Upon orders from Maliki, General Ali Gheidan expelled the USF-I monitoring force from Ashraf at 7 pm on April 7, 2011.
13.The Build- up of the Iraqi forces reached 2,500 by 1 a.m. of April 8th with at least 140 army armored vehicles and armored personnel carriers inside and around Ashraf put on alert adopting an offensive formation.
14.The attack began at 4:45 am of Friday (Baghdad time) using armored, commando, infantry, mechanized infantry, engineering, rapid deployment, and anti-riot battalions.
15.In the beginning, the invading force used sound and smoke grenades and teargas against the residents; however, they immediately resorted to fire arms and opened fire at residents.
16.General Ali Gheidan was personally present at the scene. His forces targeted the residents with BMP1 machinegun and antitank guns. In addition, certain elements in the Iraqi forces shot the residents with sniper fire. There were many scenes where Iraqi forces drove into clusters of residents running them over with their HUMVEEs.
17.After 7 hours of shooting and hunting the residents, running them over with their HUMVEEs, and occupying sections of Ashraf, including residential areas, the Iraqi forces ended their first phase of operation.
18.Until noon of the next day (April 9), the number of residents killed had reached 33 with 30 dead from gunshot wounds and the rest run over by HUMVEEs.
19.Until noon of April 9th, the number of injured had reached over three hundred. Of these, 178 suffered gunshot wounds. A number of the injured who had been run over by HUMVEEs were seriously injured. Others were suffering wounds from sonic grenades exploding on their bodies or suffered shrapnel wounds from anti-tank shells. Dozens of the wounded were abducted by the Iraqi forces.
20.Since noon of April 8th, the second phase of Iraqi government’s operation began which was the plundering of residents’ belongings in the occupied buildings. The Iraqi forces entered the occupied buildings and plundered all belongings of the residents including their vehicles while destroying the buildings.
21.Residents either died or were wounded protesting the occupation of their buildings of residence by direct and close range gunfire of the Iraqi forces, or left their residence to save their lives.
22.In this operation, forces of Maliki’s army occupied 10 square kilometers of northern Ashraf through a bloodbath and evicted the defenseless residents there to other sections of the camp