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Trapped in Camp Ashraf- Warning and an appeal

Trapped in Camp Ashraf- Warning and an appeal to the int’l community

We are approaching the end of year 2011; the deadline announced by the Iraqi government to evacuate Camp Ashraf. Over the past few months the USG’s diplomatic representative in Iraq Mr. Lawrence Butler has met seven times with the leaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation in the garrison to talk about the future of the group. His efforts have failed due to the stubborn resistance and rejection on the part of the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Some European countries have also have attempted to start a dialogue with the leaders of the group to convince them to allow the people inside to be sent individually to other countries under the supervision of the United Nations. But their efforts have also faced absolute intransigence on the part of the leaders of the group.

In addition, we have witnessed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealing to the international community to help the Iraqi government in this case. But no meaningful action has been offered.

The Government of the United States of America also in a clear and transparent way has warned the leaders in the camp that if they do not respond positively to the suggestions put forward, then the USG will no longer be able to act as a negotiator and that the consequences of such action would be entirely attributable to the leaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq .

The people inside the camp are described as “non status” and they are not accepted as refugees or even asylum seekers. The Iraqi government is adamant it will carry out the decision to close the camp – which is one of the last remains of the Saddam regime – and on the other hand the leaders of the Mojahedin inside the camp insist on keeping the status quo without any logical, legitimate, legal or other reasons.

And in this situation, as advocates of human rights and as ex-members of this organisation, we are deeply concerned about how this camp will be dismantled and especially about the misuse of the people inside the camp by the leaders of the group.

According to witnesses inside camp Ashraf it is said that Massoud and Maryam Rajavi have ordered all the leaders of the MEK to arrange meetings for everybody and give the order to them that “We will go along with the American army to the point that there is no physical interaction but when it comes to the Iraqi government we will become physical and we will make them pay the highest price.”

Considering what the Rajavis have said, although we believe that the imposition of Iraqi sovereignty over this illegally occupied territory at this time is an indisputable right of the government of Iraq, we urge the government and the committee in charge of dismantlement of the camp to try, as they have done over the last past 8 years, to only use non-violent solutions to solve this problem.

Although we know that the existence of this camp in this country of Iraq has no logical or legal basis but we are concerned that the heads of the MEK cult will use the 3400+ people stranded there as human shields to pursue their illogical and illegal demands.

We are deeply concerned that, according to much evidence and many documents, not least the report by the RAND Institute, about 70% of the people inside the camp are kept there against their will, and if we add to this their loss of hope due to the grim and uncertain future they face, the lack of access to media and information and the resulting ignorance this brings, and the existence of never ending barriers and security provisions across the camp, if we add all these then the reasons behind the existence of such an isolated island can become clear.

We are deeply concerned that in a situation where the dismantlement of the camp has begun, the leader of the group would force the low level members and the ordinary people trapped inside to fight the security and law enforcement agencies of Iraq.

On top of our concern over the human rights as an indisputable right for every individual inside the camp we remind you that many of the signatories of this letter have a family member, father, mother, spouse, sibling or friend inside the camp as a hostage. Therefore the primary aim of the MEK in keeping the members trapped inside is nothing except using them as a tool and human shield to save the neck of the leader Massoud Rajavi who remains in Iraq.

We warn that considering that the leaders of the group have already rejected the intervention of the Americans and insist on the relocation of the whole organisation as a group to another country, while it is clear that according to international law, asylum can only be given to individuals, the leaders are placing this kind of suggestion on the table only to further reject any non-violent solution and therefore exploit the members and endanger their lives.

We must warn the international community and humanitarian organisations across the globe, time is running out. And we are witnessing that the US proposal is the only feasible and realistic solution during the remaining time. Therefore while we condemn the leaders of the group for their lack of cooperation with the American and Iraqi officials, we warn that the responsibility for any resistance to the decision of the Iraqi government and endangering the lives of the people is primarily on the shoulders of Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi and the other high ranking leaders of the group.

We also believe that dialogue can be the solution to dismantle camp Ashraf and there should be no need for violence. We ask the leaders of the group to stop their ridiculous behaviour and obduracy and return to the dialogue and negotiation table

The government of Iraq has repeatedly announced that, respecting international humanitarian laws, these people will not be deported to countries where they may face problems and it has shown its commitment to this day. Accommodating and facilitating the voluntary exit from the camp of nearly 100 individuals who have given themselves up to the Iraqi forces from 2009 to the present is clear evidence of this commitment.

Therefore we ask the international community and humanitarian organisations and all the people who are worried about the future of these people to use whatever communication and/or other tools at their disposal to convince the leaders of the group that after the fall of Saddam Hussein Iraq is no longer a place for them to stay and it is their responsibility to seek assistance from international bodies such as the ICRC and UNHCR to get themselves out of there.

We the signatories of this letter would like to bring this issue to the attention of the following:

– The office of the Prime Minister of Iraq (Committee in charge of dismantlement of Camp Ashraf, Baghdad)
– Lady Catherine Ashton and relevant MEPs in European Parliament
– US State Department
– Human Rights Watch, New York
– Amnesty International, London
– United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms Navi Pilay, Geneva

The signatories:
Ariaee Milad (Germany)
Abbassloo Mohsen (Austria)
Abdollahi N (Netherlands)
Ahmadi Ali (Sweden)
Alishahi Behzad (Netherlands)
Behboodi Nasrin (Netherlands)
Barati Farideh (Netherlands)
Barati Mahboobeh (Netherlands)
Ebrahimi Jafar (France)
Fatahian Ghafoor (France)
Ghashghavi Ali (Germany)
Ghiabi Fatemeh (Germany)
Gholami Karim (Germany)
Haghi Karim (Netherlands)
Haji Mahrokh (Canada)
Hoseinin Kazem (Netherlands)
Jabani Massoud (Netherlands)
Jahani Ali (Germany)
Kalani Visha (France)
Karami Mohammad (France)
Kazemi Fereshteh (Netherlands)
Khodabandeh Massoud (United Kingdom)
Khoshal Mehdi (Germany)
Kohzadi Homayoon (France)
Kord Rostami Amirhossain (Canada)
Maleki Batool (Switzerland)
Mirasgari Alireza (Germay)
Mirzaee Zahra (Netherlands)
Mohammadi Mona (Denmark)
Mohammadi Mostafa (Canada)
Mohammadi Zahra (Netherlands)
Mohammadi Mahboobeh (Canada)
Movasaghi Amir (Germany)
Naderi Nader (France)
Naghashzadeh Alireza (Austria)
Nasrollahi Alireza (France)
Naseri Saeed (France)
Nazari Mansoor (France)
Noroozi Elham (Canada)
Noroozi Simin (Canada)
Noroozi Soheila (Canada)
Noroozi soosan (Canada)
Piransar Hassan (France)
Rastgoo Ali Akbar (Germany)
Razaghi Mohammad (France)
Rezvani Naser (Sweden)
Roodgar Khodabakhsh (Canada)
Roohi Majid (Denmark)
Sadeghi nejad Abbass (Germany)
Sagharchi Merhdad (Germany)
Sajoodi Mehdi (Germany)
Sarafpoor Hamed (France)
Sepahi Mahmood (France)
Sepher Minoo (Netherlands)
Shahrokhi Robabeh (Sweden)
Shams Hayeri Hadi (Netherlands)
Singleton Anne (United Kingdom)
Sobhani Mohammad Hussein (Germany)
Soltani Batool (Germany)
Termado Edward (Germany)
Thomasini Nelly (Netherlands)
Yousefi Mitra (Sweden)

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