The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom described the decision by Iraqi forces to prevent Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf suffering from cancer from having proper access to medical treatment as “shocking” and “disgraceful”.
Iraqi forces, taking orders from a Committee in the Prime Minister’s Office, on Wednesday blocked a trip by Elham Fardipour, 44, to a Baghdad hospital to undergo iodine therapy for thyroid cancer. Ms Fardipour was told that she could not be accompanied by a nurse or translator and would have to be in the custody of Iraqi armed forces.
The actions of the Iraqi forces in denying Camp Ashraf residents access to medical doctors is shocking and disgraceful. The Iraqi forces which seek to accompany Ms Fardipour are the same soldiers who carried out the callous attack on Ashraf last year leaving scores killed or maimed. They cannot be trusted to have a female patient in their custody while denying her the right to be accompanied by a nurse or translator.
There have been dozens of similar cases to that of Ms Fardipour whereby Iraqi forces have prevented patients from traveling outside Ashraf, accompanied by an aide, to get proper medical treatment.
These actions by the Iraqi forces, under orders from Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki, are in breach of the rights of these Iranian refugees under international humanitarian law.
We seek an immediate lifting of the siege of Ashraf by Iraq and for the UN Assistance Mission in Iraq to station a permanent monitoring team in the camp under the protection of US forces.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
11 November 2010
Note to editors:
Camp Ashraf houses 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), who have lived there as refugees for more than 20 years.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, made up of 120 cross-Party members of both Houses, is supported by a majority of MPs of all Parties and 200 Members of the House of Lords.