USCCAR Demands US and UN Intervention as Iraq Sabotages Efforts to Resolve Camp Ashraf Humanitarian Crisis

WASHINGTON, Oct. 18, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR) deplores Iraqi government’s nefarious actions which pave the way for another massacre at Camp Ashraf through sabotaging the efforts of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which seeks to ensure the safe and secure resettlement of the residents of Camp Ashraf in third countries.

USCCAR calls on President Obama to intervene immediately and compel the Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki to end the barbaric siege of Camp Ashraf and cooperate with the UNHCR.

Similarly, USCCAR calls on the UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to declare and void the December 2011 deadline set by Maliki to close down Camp Ashraf. The arbitrary deadline serves as a prelude to another deadly assault on Camp Ashraf.

Maliki’s goal is to carry out an all-out crackdown at the camp before the year’s end by creating a deadlock through impeding UNHCR’s efforts and ensuring that the residents have no other place to go. The planned assault entails the occupation of another part of Ashraf.

Last month, UNHCR announced it had officially recognized the residents as “asylum seekers” and that it intended to interview each applicant as the first step to determine their refugee status. It called on the Iraqi government to extend the December 2011 deadline so that the interview process could be completed in accordance with UNHCR standards.

Alarming information, however, indicates that the Maliki’s government, in collusion with the Iranian regime, is working to obstruct the UNHCR’s humanitarian efforts. Instructed by Qassem Soleimani, Iran’s notorious Quds Force commander, and Hassan Danaifar, Tehran’s ambassador to Iraq, Maliki has refused to grant the extension demanded by UNHCR. It has also brazenly and publicly rebuffed all attempts by the European Union’s Special Envoy on Ashraf, Jean de Ruyt, to travel to Iraq and visit Camp Ashraf.

With the arbitrary deadline looming, President Obama and Secretary Ban Ki-moon must publicly call on Maliki to extend the December 31 deadline in order to allow UNHCR to complete its task.

Camp Ashraf is home to 3,400 unarmed members of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) and their families who were recognized by the United States as “Protected Persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention in 2004.

SOURCE US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR)

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