PMOI Member Dies Due To Blockade in Liberty

Mr. Jalal Abedini is the 25th PMOI member that lost his life due to the medical blockade perpetrated by the Government of Iraq. Numerous requests for his transfer had been sent in the list of patients to various countries, including Finland and Britain, as well as the lists of patients sent to Ms. Jane Lute, representative of the UN Secretary-General.

Mrs. Rajavi called on the United States and the United Nations to initiate swift action to end the medical blockade which is a clear case of crime against humanity.

On Friday afternoon, 17 April 2015, Mr. Jalal Abedini, a Camp Liberty resident, lost his life following a 6-hour-long surgery in a hospital in Baghdad due to an anti-human medical blockade and lack of free access to hospital and medical services and delays in treatment and surgery.

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Mr. Abedini underwent urgent surgery on April 15 for a 20 cm tumor of the intestine. He was also suffering from eye and ear diseases for a long time and was living on just one kidney for many years. Due to this, for a long time, his name appeared in the lists of patients in need of swift transfer abroad for medical treatment and his name had been numerously given to the United Nations and the pertinent countries for that purpose.

Mr. Abedini’s name, for example, was on the list of individuals to be transferred to Finland 16 months ago (January 2014 – No. 65) and subsequently his name appeared in the list of patients presented to Ms. Jane Lute, Special Adviser to UN Secretary-General for Relocation of Camp Hurriya Residents Outside of Iraq (April 2014 – No. 38). His name was also passed on for transfer to Britain, where he had refugee status (February 2014 – No. 33), however, none of these attempts bore fruit.

Mr. Abedini was a senior student studying electrical and electronic engineering in Britain who joined the ranks of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) three decades ago. He is the 25th PMOI member who has passed away due to the medical blockade after the transfer of protection for Ashraf to the Iraqi forces in 2009. Still, other PMOI members suffering from refractory diseases are also in critical condition due to this criminal siege and their lives are all in danger.

Much like other PMOI members in Camp Liberty, Mr. Jalal Abedini was a “Protected Person” under the Fourth Geneva Convention and an individual of concern to the High Commissioner for Refugees. He also should have enjoyed protections offered by the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the United Nations and Government of Iraq on 25 December 2011.

The U.S. government has time and again committed itself to the security and wellbeing of Camp Liberty residents, including in the quadripartite agreement of August 2012, the joint plan of UNAMI and U.S. Embassy on 5 September 2013, and in the letter of the U.S. Assistant Secretary of State dated 6 September 2013.

Had the United States and the United Nations, based on these commitments, compelled the Iraqi government to end the medical siege and transfer the PMOI medical equipment from Ashraf to Liberty, these losses could have been avoided.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi offered her condolences to Camp Liberty residents for the loss of Mr. Jalal Abedini and by reminding the written and repeated commitments of the U.S. government and the United Nations regarding the security and wellbeing of Liberty residents. She also urged immediate action be taken to end this criminal siege that is a clear case of crime against humanity.

Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.