19 August 2011
MOHSEN ANSARI – An Appreciation
The death from multiple sclerosis of Mohsen Ansari, a member of the PMOI in Camp Ashraf and a former political prisoner in Iran under the brutal dictatorship of Ayatollah Khomeini, is a stark reminder of the lethal siege still being endured by the 3400 unarmed civilians in that camp. I send my heartfelt condolences to the family and friends of Mr Ansari. Sadly, they know only too well that his life could have been saved if the Iraqi authorities had permitted access to proper medical care or allowed him to be transferred to a proper hospital. Their refusal to do so has caused his untimely death and marked yet another indictment of the Iraqi authorities for their blatant abuse of human rights and disregard for even the most basic concepts of decent behaviour.
The continuing psychological torture applied to the residents of Ashraf from hundreds of loudspeakers blaring endless threats and propaganda 24 hours a day around the camp’s perimeter, must have made the final hours of Mr Ansari unbearable. The restrictions of access to the camp for medical supplies, fuel, food and even water, are a crime against humanity. The two massacres perpetrated by the Iraqi military, causing the deaths of over 50 unarmed residents of Ashraf and the injury of 1000 others, are barbaric examples of a government apparently only too keen to take its orders from Tehran. Those involved in the planning and execution of these massacres will surely be brought to trial.
The passing of Mohsen Ansari marks the closing of another sad chapter in the recent history of Ashraf. But rest assured, his death will not be in vain. His opposition to injustice and political oppression stands as a monument to the victory of good over evil. Good will always prevail. The people of Ashraf, the people of Iraq and the people of Iran will one day be free. Justice and democracy will be the victors.
STRUAN STEVENSON, MEP
President of the European Parliament’s Delegation for Relations with Iraq