Iraqi city officials demand disbanding of committee suppressing Camp Ashraf

Officials in the Iraqi city of Sulaiman Beg have called for the disbanding of a government committee charged with suppressing Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf.

Camp Ashraf, in northern Iraq, is home to 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The so-called “Committee to Close Ashraf” operating out of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office has been imposing severe restrictions on the residents since early 2009, when Iraq took over the camp’s control from American forces.

Sulaiman Beg is situated in Iraq’s Salahuddin province. In a statement on Thursday, officials at the city council called on relevant Iraqi authorities to disband the suppressive committee because it is illegal in the new coalition government.

“Treatment of Ashraf residents should be in accordance with Common Article 3 of the Geneva Conventions and standards that were agreed to with American forces between 2003 and 2009.”

The council members also called for the withdrawal of Iraqi security forces from inside Camp Ashraf’s premises and their retreat to a location previously provided to them in 2009.

“A UNAMI monitoring team and American forces should be stationed in Ashraf, and the unjust siege on the camp, which includes restrictions on medicine, must be lifted,” the statement said.

It also referred to the psychological torture of the residents by Iranian regime intelligence agents who have camped out in front of Ashraf for almost a year, and use 180 powerful loudspeakers to harass the residents.

“The psychological torture of the residents which has continued for the past 11 months by the Iranian regime’s agents must be ended,” Sulaiman Beg city officials said in their statement.

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