The committee task with suppression of Ashraf residents in the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister has intensified the inhumane blockade on the residents upon the request of the Iranian regime. To this end, access to medical services has been restricted for the residents.
Since June the committee has ordered the Iraqi battalion based in Ashraf and the director of the camp’s hospital not to allow translators to accompany Ashraf patients who are sent out to hospitals in Baghdad or other cities. Since most patients do not speak English or Arabic, they end up cancelling their appointments with specialist physicians with dire consequences for female patients or patients with terminal diseases.
On October 11, following a visit to camp’s hospital by Deputy Director of Diyala Health Department, where he listened to patients’ problems, he instructed the director of the camp’s hospital to allow Ashraf residents’ translators to accompany patients to outside hospitals. However, in past 10 days since his instruction, the director of the camp’s hospital, who takes his orders from the committee, continues to prevent translators from accompanying the patients.
Recently, Iraqi forces have stated that the patients can go to hospitals with Iraqi soldiers who speak Farsi, a matter that contravenes blatantly the standard medical moral code; especially in the case of women patients. In addition, the residents have no trust in the Iraqi forces; particularly those soldiers who speak Farsi and are direct agents of the Iranian regime’s Qods Force.
Among appointments of terminally ill patients cancelled in the past few months are appointments of three cancer patients on June 30, four cancer patients on July 11, two female patients on September 15, four cancer patients on September 23, two eye surgeries on September 20, one kidney patient and one heart patient on September 26, one eye surgery on September 13, two cancer patients on October 13, and five cancer patients on October 18. In addition, numerous appointments for medical examinations, CT scan, M.R.I., Cystoscopy, Colonoscopy, Angiography and Treadmill have also been cancelled in the same period.
These cruel restrictions are imposed while the residents had enjoyed free access to medical and specialist services throughout Iraq in accordance with international standards at their own expenses from 1986, when they went to live in Ashraf, until 2008.
These restrictions that lead to irreversible consequences for the patients, are flagrant violations of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, International Humanitarian Law, and International Human Rights Law and therefore, constitute crimes against humanity liable for prosecution in international tribunals.
The Iranian Resistance calls on the United States Government and its forces, the Secretary General of the United Nations, the Special Representative of the Secretary General for Iraq, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, and all relevant international bodies to urgently interfere to remove all restrictions imposed on Ashraf residents that deprive them of access to specialist physicians and hospitals or other medical services.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
October 21, 2010