The court invites Ad Melkert, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Iraq, and Struan Stevenson, President of Delegation for Relations with Iraq of the European Parliament, to stand as witnesses at the court
Maryam Rajavi: Maliki must now put an end to the siege on Ashraf and all suppressive measures against Ashraf must stop. According to the court ruling and based on Fourth Geneva Convention, the United States is obliged to stop torture and violence and must immediately take back the protection of Ashraf residents from the Iraqi government and the assailant forces in order to prevent another massacreThe Central Investigation Court Number Four of the Spanish National Court in its July 11, 2011 ruling accepted to investigate the complaint against those responsible for the massacre of Ashraf residents on April 8 that left 36 residents dead and 350 others wounded.
According to this court ruling, Nuri al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq, will be automatically summoned to the court as soon as he steps down as prime minister and judicial immunity is removed.
Lieutenant General Ali Geidan, Commander of the Iraqi Ground Forces who led the massacre against Ashraf residents on April 8 under Maliki’s orders, Lieutenant Colonel Abdul-Latif al-Annabi, commander of the Iraqi battalion in Ashraf; and Major Jassem al-Tamimi have been ordered to appear before the court on October 3, 2011. According to video clips and documents available, al-Tamimi is the same officer who personally targeted and killed a number of Ashraf residents by direct shooting at them on April 8.
The court also invited Ad Melkert, Special Representative of UN Secretary General for Iraq, and Struan Stevenson, President of Delegation for Relations with Iraq of the European Parliament, to attend the court as witness.
This is the third and most important ruling by the Spanish court in the past two years summoning criminals and killers of Ashraf residents to appear before the court. During attacks on Ashraf by Iraqi forces, 47 residents, protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, have been killed. 1,071 residents have been wounded by gunshots or hand grenades, or beaten by truncheons and batons, some ran down by armored vehicles. The Iraqi forces took 36 residents hostage in 2009 and kept them for 72 days. During the same period a number of Ashraf residents have died due to medical blockade of the camp.
On November 26, 2009, the Spainish Court agreed to investigate the first complaint by virtue of the principle of ‘universal jurisdiction’ to prosecute crime against humanity and war crimes under international conventions and laws.
Article 146 of the Fourth Geneva Convention specifies that state signatories to the Convention are under the obligation to investigate, prosecute and condemn individuals who have committed grave breaches of the Convention and “to search for persons alleged to have committed, or to have ordered to be committed, such grave breaches, and shall bring such persons, regardless of their nationality, before its own courts.”
Subsequently, the Spanish Court on December 27, 2010 and March 17, 2011 considered the murder, torture and inflicting damages to the Ashraf residents as examples of “crime against international community, war crime, and crime against International Human Rights”.
In its ruling of December 27, 2010 the court stipulated: “The Republic of Iraq granted extraterritorial status to the residents of Camp Ashraf, members of PMOI, in 1986, and on July 2, 2004 they were given the status of ‘protected persons’ under the IV Geneva Convention by the occupying power, the United States of America, acting under the mandate of Resolution No. 1546 of June 8, 2004, of the United Nations Security Council.” Drawing on Common Article Three of Geneva Conventions, the court described actions that are the subject of charges in the attack against Ashraf as “illegal behavior” of the type registered in year 2000 in the international court of the former Yugoslavia that needs to be judicially investigated and prosecuted to punish those perpetrating flagrant breaches of Geneva Conventions.
On May 31, 2010, in an unlawful reply to the court, the Iraqi Foreign Ministry claimed that the Iraqi government has conducted its own investigations! Hence, the criminals summoned refrained from appearing before the court on the assigned dates (March 8 and May 31, 2011).
Commenting on the third Spanish Court ruling, Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, said: Maliki must now put an end to the siege on Ashraf and all suppressive measures against Ashraf must stop. According to the court ruling and based on Fourth Geneva Convention, the United States is obliged to stop torture and violence and must immediately take back the protection of Ashraf residents from the Iraqi government and the assailant forces in order to prevent another massacre.
Mrs. Rajavi added: 300 loudspeakers around Ashraf are threatening, insulting and psychologically torturing Ashraf residents 24 hours a day with ear splitting noise. Close to one thousand Muslim women have no security or peace. It is six months that upon orders of Maliki not a drop of gasoline has entered the camp and it is two months that in disregard for all recommendations made by the United Nations, no kerosene or gas has been allowed into Ashraf. Obstruction of Ashraf residents’ free access to medical services has endangered the lives of hundreds of the wounded and the sick.
Independent and transparent investigation on the massacre requested by the international community, especially by Ms. Pillay and Baroness Ashton, has been forgotten. At a time that we have accepted and are following on the European Parliament solution for transfer of Ashraf residents to third countries, the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, face to face with this solution, calls Ashraf residents to an extremely perilous solution for an illegal relocation inside Iraq. This solution, in itself, paves the way for further massacres; while the United States, because of its undeniable responsibility to protect the lives of Ashraf residents, should be the first to investigate and answer for the crimes committed by Iraqi forces.
Mrs. Rajavi added: I repeat that the issue of Ashraf and preventing the massacre of its residents is the test of adherence of President Obama to universal values he has obligated himself to. Ashraf is an indicator by which the Iranian people judge on whose side the United States is standing.
Mrs. Rajavi expressly called on the United Nations Secretary General, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees to intervene and prevent another humanitarian catastrophe and to station UN monitoring teams in Ashraf without delay.
Secretariat of National Council of Resistance of Iran
July 14, 2011