Senior Iraqi official urges an end to “psychological torture” of Ashraf residents

A senior official of the Iraqiya list led by former Prime Minister Ayad Allawi is calling for lifting of restrictions and an end to the psychological torture of Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, by the Iraqi government, which is under the influence of the Iranian regime.

In a statement released this week, Zafer al-Ani, the Secretary General of the National Future Front, also voiced solidarity with the legitimate demands of Iraqis who in recent weeks have taken to the streets to demonstrate against the Nouri al-Maliki government.

He added that Iraqi security forces should refrain from using force against protestors.

With regards to Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of the main opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, Dr. al-Ani voiced “serious concern” about the persistent reports revealing suppressive tactics employed against Ashraf residents by militias tied to the Iraqi government.

He also pointed to the “astronomical increases in Ashraf’s electricity bill, and blocking of foodstuffs and medicine to Ashraf, as well as medical restrictions.”

He said the hospital at Ashraf has turned into a place of torture with Iraqi authorities refusing care to severely ill and cancer patients.

Dr. al-Ani also underscored the “psychological torture” of Ashraf residents using 210 loudspeakers placed around the camp premises, blaring insults and threats round-the-clock against the residents.

He added that the regime’s agents are periodically sent to camp premises to attack the residents with stones and knives. “Iraqi forces,” he said, “fully cooperate with these agents on the orders of some officials in Baghdad known to serve the clerical regime in Iran. They are provided with all the required logistics.”

Dr. al-Ani urged the United Nations to immediately intervene in the Ashraf situation to end the Iraqi government’s illegal measures, and to “especially dismantle the loudspeakers.”

He added that the UN should provide protection to the residents through a permanent monitoring team because the Iraqi government, which is under the Iranian regime’s influence, does not have the competency to protect the camp.

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