The inhumane siege on Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to 3,400 members of the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, has intensified in recent weeks. Criminal measures restricting access to medical services for the Camp’s residents have stepped up following a visit to Tehran last October by Nouri al-Maliki, Iraqi Prime Minister. These measures have outraged all democrats and freedom seeking people in Europe and across the world.
The residents of Ashraf are generally suffering from lack of medical services. Hundreds of them need attention by specialist doctors or must be looked after in specialized hospitals. Due to obstacles created by the Iraqi armed forces, dozens of terminally ill and cancer patients are in critical state.
The pain and anguish seen in faces of the patients, who still continue with their unwavering resistance to the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran despite their sufferings, reflect the destructive impact of inaction and silence by governments and relevant international organizations vis-à-vis the crimes of the Iranian regime and the Iraqi government under its influence. The faces of the patients are reminders of our human and political responsibilities in this respect.
The International Committee of In Search of Justice (ISJ), comprised of 4,000 parliamentarians from across the world, reiterates that the residents of Ashraf are Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention and nothing can change their status. Based on Article 45 of the convention, transfer of protection of Ashraf residents to Iraqi government was unlawful and according to this article the United States is obliged to reassume the responsibility of their protection.
Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament and President of ISJ, in a telephone conversation with Ashraf residents on November 1st obtained firsthand reports about the health situation in Ashraf and declared that medical restrictions imposed on the camp’s residents violate international law and are considered as crime against humanity.
ISJ declares its full support to a call by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, to remove siege on Ashraf, especially restrictions imposed on its residents’ access to medical services. It also calls on all parliaments, lawmakers, human rights organizations and philanthropist personalities to initiate urgent actions and take following steps:
1- Condemn Iraqi government for its crimes and underline its international obligations, particularly those concerning the rights of Ashraf residents under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and call for an end to inhumane siege on Ashraf.
2- Call on the United States and the United Nations to undertake the protection of Ashraf residents and remove criminal siege on the Camp,
3- Form ad hoc committees or groups in support of terminally ill patients in Ashraf.
The International Committee of In Search of Justice (ISJ)
16 November 2010