British parliamentary committee urges protection of Camp Ashraf residents

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, which enjoys the support of a majority in Britain’s House of Commons and more than 200 members in the House of Lords, has released a statement condemning the Iranian regime’s unlawful pressures against Camp Ashraf, where 3,400 Iranian dissidents reside.

The committee, chaired by Lord Robin Corbett, called on US forces to protect the residents of Ashraf and demanded the posting of a permanent monitoring team by the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) in Camp Ashraf.

Unlawful pressures on Iranian opposition in Iraq

Iran is increasing its pressure on Iraq to expel 3,400 pro-democracy Iranian Resistance refugees from their home at Camp Ashraf, 60 miles north-east of Baghdad.

Ashraf has been under virtual siege for 20 months since the US handed responsibility for the safety and security of its residents to Iraq, which undertook to respect their rights as refugees.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom accuses Mr Odei Khadhran, governor of al-Khalis, of acting as an agent of Tehran’s Ministry of Intelligence in staging an exhibition falsely accusing the Resistance of murdering Iraqis and calling for its expulsion from Iraq.

The city is in Diyala province where 480,000 residents have signed a statement of support for Ashraf and the Resistance.

The Committee believes Iran is paying for the propaganda stunt and it is part of moves for a fresh attack on Ashraf. In July last year 11 Resistance members were killed when Iraqi security forces used live ammunition to overcome peaceful resistance by refugees. Hundreds were wounded, many of them severely.

“The Iraqi government has taken no action to charge and prosecute those responsible for its actions, according to Amnesty International,” says the Committee. “There are signs now that a fresh assault is now in preparation.”

“There is an urgent duty upon the US and UN to ensure the proper protection of these refugees under international humanitarian law. The UN monitoring team should be stationed at Ashraf to monitor events permanently.”

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
20 September 2010

Background for editors:
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom is supported by a majority of MPs of all Parties and 200 Members of the House of Lords.

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