The inhumane siege on Ashraf on the orders of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office committee tasked to suppress Ashraf residents that started early 2009 continues. In a recent incident, on Wednesday, September 22, the Iraqi forces prevented the entry of two cargo containers carrying necessary items such as cooking equipment, Freon gas and spare parts for cooling devices for preserving food stuff, as well as various types of pipes for supplying water to different parts of Ashraf, electric cables, bulbs, fuses, chairs for patients and stationary.
Another part of this cruel siege is the hindrance made by the Committee against Ashraf residents in having access to medical services and taking patients to specialist hospitals that has led to deterioration of the state of many patients where some of them can no longer be cured.
In parallel to this brutal siege, it is eight months now that a number of agents of Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) have camped at the main gate of Ashraf in the guise of families of Ashraf residents and are psychologically torturing the residents particularly the patients in nearby hospital. With the full backing of the Iraqi forces, they are using powerful loudspeakers to create deafening and disturbing sounds aimed at provoking and preparing the grounds for massacre of residents.
Since September 18, the MOIS agents with the help of Iraqi forces have increased the number of powerful loudspeakers by 10, adding up to 40 in total, in order to deprive larger number of the residents of their peace. In the meantime, the MOIS has dispatched more agents to Iraq and has stationed them at Ashraf’s entrance to replace the previous agents.
Prominent international jurists consider these acts, especially against protected persons under Fourth Geneva Convention, as crime against humanity according to Article 1 of Convention Against Torture, Geneva conventions, International Humanitarian Law and International Human Rights Law, and those who instruct and perpetrate these crimes are liable for prosecution by international tribunals.
This campaign is carried out while the government of Iraq has refrained from issuing visas for hundreds of families in Europe and the United State to visit Ashraf. It also prevents those who have managed to go to Iraq with high risks from entering Ashraf. At the same time, a number of families who have gone to Ashraf between 2003 and 2008 to meet their loved ones have been arrested by the regime’s suppressive forces, some sentenced to death.
The Iranian Resistance draws the attention of the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Iraq, the UNAMI and the US embassy and US forces in Iraq, who are strictly responsible for Ashraf residents’ protection, to take urgent measures to put an end to dirty campaign of psychological torture of Ashraf residents and to remove cruel siege on Ashraf. It also urges the UNAMI monitoring team and the American forces to be stationed inside Ashraf to guarantee protection of Ashraf residents.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
September 24, 2010