The French daily Temoignage Chretien has run a report about the large gathering of Iranians in support of Ashraf on June 18, saying that Camp Ashraf is the great symbol of resistance against the clerical regime.
“The videos of the April 8 attack [against Ashraf] which have been published on the internet are shocking. The videos show how the residents of Ashraf withstand attacks by Iraqi soldiers using their bare hands. They are being fired upon from all sides, women and men fall to the ground, while some others are overrun by vehicles,” the paper wrote.
It added, “There are 3,400 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in the camp, which is one of the main organizations of the Iranian resistance against the mullahs. The residents are besieged in the southern part of the camp.”
Referring to the background on Ashraf, the daily wrote, “Camp Ashraf was built in 1986 by the PMOI at the height of the Iran-Iraq war. In 2003, when Americans attacked Iraq, Ashraf residents disarmed and were given protection by the US military.”
Temoignage Chretien adds, “In January 2009, the protection of Ashraf was transferred to Iraqi officials. The situation of the residents of Ashraf has deteriorated in less than two years. The Iraqi government is pressuring Ashraf residents to leave the camp by continuously provoking the residents. The Iraqi government has imposed heinous restrictions on the inflow of basic products and is preventing the entry of journalists, foreign officials and relatives of Ashraf residents. While the residents are being fired upon, their relatives inside Iran are being arrested.”
“Ashraf has turned into an obstacle for relations between Iraq and the Iranian regime. The Iraqi government is weak politically and has extensive relations with the Shiite forces tied to Iranian officials. Pressure on Ashraf residents is part of this complicated game.”
“Baghdad seeks to impose a transfer of the residents of Ashraf to the western part of the country and away from the Iran border, but the residents of Ashraf oppose the move. The camp has become a great symbol for the PMOI’s struggle, even inside Iran.”