Call for Ashraf protection at press conference at the UN

A number of prominent US politicians and legal experts called for a permanent monitoring team to be posted at Camp Ashraf, Iraq, at a press conference on Thursday at the United Nations headquarters in New York.

The press conference took place on the invitation of the UN Correspondents Association. Former US Attorney General Michael Mukasey, former US Senator Robert Torricelli, former senior counsel to the US mission to the UN during the Reagan administration Dr. Allan Gerson, John Hopkins University law professor Steven Schneebaum, and former director of Freedom House Bruce McColm, spoke at the event and answered questions from journalists.

The conference was chaired by the Vice President of the UN Correspondents Association.

Aljazeera TV aired a report about the event, saying, “Michael Mukasey hopes that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) will be taken off the US terrorist list.”

Speakers at the conference, organized by Near East Human Rights Initiative, said that the April 8 attack on PMOI members at Camp Ashraf by Iraqi government forces was carried out under the pretext of the US listing, Aljazeera said.

Judge Mukasey said, “We know that what has enabled this to happen, what has emboldened the Iraqi government to act in this way, is the continued and unjustified designation of the MEK on the Secretary of State’s list of foreign terrorist organizations.”

“That allows Iran and Iraq to brutalize the residents of Ashraf and other members of the MEK, and to claim sanctimoniously that it is simply acting in accordance with the designation that the United States itself affixes to the MEK.”

“The European Union and the United Kingdom have long since ended that designation for the MEK. Secretary of State Clinton has been directed by a United States court to reconsider that designation. She should do so immediately.”

Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki’s forces are preventing the residents to even bury their dead 12 days after the deadly attacks, which is clearly a violation of all humanitarian and Islamic principles.

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