Nobel laureate deplores siege on Camp Ashraf

A prominent German-American biologist and Nobel Prize laureate has strongly condemned a siege on Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where 3,400 Iranian dissidents reside.

In a letter to Iraq’s Health Minister, Professor Günter Blobel said, “I am writing as the recipient of the 1999 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine to express my profound concern and dismay regarding the medical siege imposed by the Iraqi government against 3,400 residents of Camp Ashraf who reside in your country as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”

Dr. Blobel added, “It is deeply distressing and shocking that the ability to receive medical treatment, which is a legitimate right of any human being, is being exploited as leverage against these people.”

“Abusing medical issues for the purposes of suppression is considered to be a crime against humanity and anyone involved is subject to prosecution.”

Dr. Blobel urged the Iraqi Health Minister “to end such flagrant rights violations against the residents and secure free access to medical treatment for them.”

“I would also call on you to utilize all your resources to dismantle the loudspeakers around the camp which are being used to psychological torture the residents, especially patients at the hospital,” Professor Blobel added.

Copies of the letter were also sent to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, US ambassador to Iraq James Jeffrey, US forces commander in Iraq General Levid Austin, and the UN Secretary General’s special envoy to Iraq Ad Melkert.

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