STRASBOURG, Jan. 28, 2011 (AFP) – Parliamentarians from the Council of Europe on Friday asked the United Nations and the United States to guarantee the protection of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which came under an attack on January 7 leading to 176 injuries, according to the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
In a written statement, the 150 parliamentarians (out of 318) were also asked “to immediately cease the psychological torture by agents of the Iranian intelligence services that have deployed 180 loudspeakers around the camp.”
Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the NCRI, the main Iranian opposition movement in exile, welcomed the declaration as “a strong international acknowledgement of the rights of Ashraf residents.”
In a statement published in Strasbourg, she demanded “the resumption of protection” of the camp by the United States and asked for “the installation of a team of UN observers in Ashraf.”
Iraq now directly controls the camp since the expiry of a UN mandate in January which assigned the responsibility of the camp at the U.S. Army.
Some 3,500 supporters of the NCRI, are gathered in this camp, located 80 km north of Baghdad.
In 2003, after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the dissidents were disarmed by U.S. forces. The United States then transferred control of the camp to Iraqi security forces, whose leaders maintain amicable relations with Tehran.
In late July 2009, clashes between Iraqi security forces and residents of the camp left 11 dead and 500 wounded, according to the People’s Mujahedeen. The Iraqi security forces said they had entered the camp to install a police station.