525,000 people in Iraq – Diyala Province sign declaration condemning massacre at Ashraf, urging UN protection of residents

Press Release: National Council of Tribes in Iraq – Diyala Province
July 2011

The Mojahedin are the esteemed guests of Iraq and Diyala; their presence in Ashraf is a national imperative for Iraqis; their displacement inside Iraq would be a prelude to their massacre.

The secretariat of the National Council of Tribes in Iraq proudly announces that over 525,000 residents across Diyala province have signed a declaration in which they vehemently condemned the brutal attack by forces under Nouri al-Maliki’s command against Ashraf on April 8, 2011.

They declared that the presence of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Iraq and in Ashraf is in line with the national interests of Iraq. They also described pressures imposed on the residents of Ashraf, as they relate to either expulsion from Iraq or displacement inside Iraq, as measures that would serve the interests of the religious fascism ruling Iran, which is the enemy of both nations.

The signatories were all adults over the age of 18 and the declaration includes their names, along with specific and available addresses, which have been confirmed and validated by tribal sheiks, lawyers, jurists and locally trusted figures.

The declaration states:

For years, the Iranian regime has sent death squads, committed murder, smuggled in various weapons, ammunitions, and has sent radio and television equipment, creating a range of subservient media outlets, thereby intervening day and night in Iraq’s internal affairs.

In its bid to completely dominate Iraq, the Iranian regime has decided to destroy our society’s cultural, economic, and social foundations.

Through their chants of “Iran, leave, leave” during their persistent protests, the people of Iraq have vociferously announced to the entire world their hatred towards this regime and its meddling.

One of the most significant aspects of this meddling is the hysteric effort to annihilate the residents of Ashraf, who have been our guests for the past 25 years and who have brought us nothing but kindness and a sense of brotherhood.

By continuing such efforts, the Iranian regime seeks to cover up both its domestic crises and its international isolation. It also wants to remove the strongest political and cultural barrier which stands against its meddling in Iraq and its extremist religious expansionism.

The vicious attack on April 8 against Ashraf by forces under the command of al-Maliki on the orders of Tehran’s dictator left 36 martyrs, including 8 women, and over 350 wounded PMOI members. This attack provoked strong abhorrence and condemnation among all Iraqis from all tribes and groups.

For the Arab people, and the people of Iraq and Diyala, tolerating this crime would be tantamount to inviting shame and disgrace.

The Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad has used its agents in Diyala to try to threaten and entice Diyala residents, staging ridiculous theatrics, in order to portray Iraqi people as supportive of plans to expel the PMOI from Iraq. By doing this, it wants to wash off the blood from the hands of the government that it backs and pave the way for the perpetration of future crimes.

But the regime is greatly mistaken.

We, the people of Diyala, view the PMOI as our esteemed guests, and consider their presence in Iraq and in Ashraf as a national imperative against the Iranian regime’s meddling.

We, the undersigned:

1. Warn the Iraqi government to refrain from further bloodletting in Ashraf, and call on armed forces to avoid firing upon or attacking the PMOI.
2. Call upon all independent and nationalist parties, members of Parliament, and religious leaders, to vociferously condemn the crimes committed on April 8 and to prevent the current government from continuing its crimes against Ashraf as a way to get stronger backing from the Iranian regime.
3. Declare that the residents of Ashraf have had legal presence in Iraq for 25 years, and they are considered political refugees in accordance with the Fourth Geneva Convention. Their presence in Iraq is in line with the interests of the Iraqi people. Therefore, the Iraqi government’s decision about expelling them from Iraq violates international laws and conventions and seeks to implement the Iranian regime’s demands the annihilation of the residents of Ashraf.
4. Urge the United Nations and the United States to protect the PMOI in Ashraf so long as they remain there, and to strongly condemn the proposal to displace the residents inside Iraq, which is essentially a plot by the Iranian regime and its Iraqi proxies to murder the residents.
5. Strongly support the European Parliament’s proposed solution, as well as its conditions and requirements, and demand the immediate withdrawal of armed forces from Iraq, the residents’ free access to medical resources, an immediate end to the siege, prosecution of those responsible for the April 8 massacre, and the return of the assets stolen from Ashraf.

The Secretariat of the National Council of Tribes in Iraq – Diyala
July 2, 2011
The declaration of 525,000 Diyala residents, which was presented to reporters by the Secretariat of the National Council of Tribes in Iraq, includes signatures from members of over 100 tribes in Iraq’s Diyala province.

According to the High Commission for Elections, Diyala, where Ashraf is located, had a population of roughly 1.3 million at the end of 2009 immediately prior to the parliamentary elections. The Commission announced at the time that more than 813,000 people over 18 years of age were eligible to vote in the province.

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