EFE – April 27, 2011 – Nobel Laureate Elie Wiesel and a former presidential candidate in Colombia and FARC hostage Ingrid Betancourt today joined the voices calling for an investigation into an attack on the Iranian refugee camp of Ashraf in April by Iraqi forces.
At a conference in Paris, attended by the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), Maryam Rajavi, Wiesel and Betancourt supported calls for an investigation along with other attendees, who asked that there should be a probe into what happened in that camp where 3,400 refugees reside.
The former presidential candidate of Colombia admitted that she “was not aware of the tragedy in Ashraf” until a few weeks ago. She pointed to the media’s inattention to the events there.
Wiesel asked, “How is it possible that the world did not know what was happening in Ashraf?”
“We cannot go on with our lives as if we have not seen those pictures,” he added, recalling that the attack on the refugee camp “is not a transitory event.”
Rajavi used the conference, held on the outskirts of Paris and attended by about 600 people, to reveal that another attack on the refugee camp is being planned, after an earlier one on April 8 that left 34 dead and hundreds more injured.
Rajavi also revealed documents obtained by the Iranian resistance that proved “the assault on Ashraf was a military plan.”
She said that the Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri Al-Maliki should be tried before an international criminal court “because he personally gave the order” for the attack.
On April 8 at dawn, a number of armored vehicles and more than two thousand Iraqi soldiers raided Camp Ashraf, where opponents of the Iranian regime and members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) reside. The NCRI is its political arm.
The attack was not the first. In July 2009, Iraqi forces also raided Ashraf killing 11 and injuring 500.
Rajavi said that the attacks occur with the collusion of Tehran, which has resorted to a “defensive reaction” in the face of “the progress of the democratic alternative.”
She also called on the United States to follow the European Union’s lead and remove the PMOI from its list of terrorist organizations, adding that the Iranian regime uses the listing to justify the execution of opponents of the regime of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
Also in attendance at the conference was former NATO supreme commander Wesley Clark, who said the UN “should intervene to ensure the protection of Ashraf residents.”
He also issued a thinly veiled threat to Ahmadinejad: “I am a soldier, and I know what the Iranian regime could expect if it continues with its nuclear ambitions.”