Iranian Refugees Massacred At Camp Ashraf
Iranian Refugees Massacred At Camp
Call For International Condemnation and Investigation
Camp Ashraf, 60 miles northeast of Baghdad, which has been home to Iranian opposition members for three decades, was attacked by Iraqi military forces yesterday. The death toll so far has been reported to 52.
Nearly 100 unarmed and defenceless refugees, members of the main Iranian opposition movement, PMOI had remained in Ashraf according to a quadripartite agreement signed between US, UN, Iraq and PMOI on 17 August 2012. They were tasked with supervising the property of the 3000 others who were moved from Ashraf to Liberty near Baghdad last year until the property could be sold or compensated.
Yesterday’s attack included use of Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPG), direct gunshots and use of mortars, according to the witnesses. Five of the residents were executed on the spot after being arrested and handcuffed by the Iraqi forces. Iraqi authorities have prevented parliamentarians, lawyers or the media to have access to the camp.
Since 2009 when US forces handed over the protection of Ashraf to the Iraqi forces, the camp has been attacked several times by Iraqi forces leading to nearly 100 innocent deaths and hundreds of injuries.
Yesterday’s massacre of defenceless refugees, who all had the status of “protected persons” under the 4th Geneva Convention and were also declared “people of concern” by the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, is tantamount to a crime against humanity.
We call on the Belgian Government, the EU and the US to immediately condemn this attack in the strongest possible terms and send a fact-finding mission to immediately investigate this crime and bring those responsible to justice. The UN should immediately deploy a peace-keeping force to protect the remaining refugees or to move them to safe countries outside Iraq.
Dirk Claes, Leader of
Flemish Christian Democratic Group in Senate and President
of Belgian Committee of Parliamentarians for a Democratic
Sabine de Bethune, President of the Senate
Nele Lijnen, President of Equal Rights Committee of Senate (Open VLD)
Karl Vanlouwe, President of Foreign Affairs Committee of Senate (NV-A)
Gérard Deprez, Ministre d’État, Senator from French-speaking Liberal party (MR)
David Clarinval, MP from French-speaking Liberal Party (MR)
Gerald Kindermans, Member of the Bureau of Parliament (CD&V)