35 Iranian dissidents sent to Baghdad for questioning

Thirty-five Iranian dissidents arrested by Iraqi security forces during a takeover of their base were transferred to Baghdad for questioning on Sunday, a senior Iraqi official told AFP.Thirty-five Iranian dissidents arrested by Iraqi security forces during a takeover of their base

"Today, 35 of the people arrested at Camp Ashraf were moved to Baghdad for questioning," said the official in Diyala province’s security operations centre.

A spokesman for the People’s Mujahedeen group, whose Camp Ashraf base was stormed by Iraqi security forces on Tuesday, said 36 residents had been arrested, of whom 32 had been sent to provincial capital Baquba, with the whereabouts of four still unknown.

Mujahedeen spokesman Shahriar Kia in a statement repeated allegations that Baghdad’s actions were being carried out at Tehran’s behest.

Eleven residents of Camp Ashraf have died since Iraqi forces stormed the site on Tuesday, an Iraqi security official has said, although the Mujahedeen say 12 have been killed. Camp Ashraf, in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad, is home to 3,500 People’s Mujahedeen members and their families.

The People’s Mujahedeen, a Marxist and Islamic movement, was founded in 1965 in opposition to the shah of Iran and has subsequently fought to oust the clerical regime which took power in the 1979 Islamic revolution.

The group set up Camp Ashraf in the 1980s — when former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was at war with the Islamic republic — as a base to operate against the Tehran government. Amnesty International, meanwhile, has "called on the Iraqi government to investigate the excessive use of force by its security forces."


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