Thursday, 27 August 2009


 The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom


The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom is seriously concerned that Iraqi police have refused to release 36 Iranian refugees kidnapped from Camp Ashraf despite a Court ruling ordering their freedom on Monday, August 24. We are also worried about the physical state of these Iranian refugees, as they have been on hunger strike for the past 30 days in protest to their unlawful detention by armed forces acting on the orders of Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

"These 36 residents of Ashraf were last month arbitrarily beaten to the point of unconsciousness and then randomly kidnapped by the Iraqi forces during the attack on Camp Ashraf which took place at the request of the Iranian regime", said Lord Corbett who chairs the all-party committee of MPs and Peers. "Following the ruling by the judge in al-Khalis there can be no justification for the security forces refusing to release them".

"Iraqi authorities must bring an end to this injustice", Lord Corbett said.

One refugee, Mehdi Abdolrahimi, suffered what seems to be an epileptic attack on Wednesday and was belatedly taken to al-Khalis hospital but there were no facilities to treat him. He remains in a very critical situation. We are concerned that the extended unlawful detention of the refugees could result in their loss of life or irreversible physical damage.

"The violent attack on the civilian population in Camp Ashraf by Iraq's armed forces in July, which left 11 killed, over 500 wounded and a further 36 detained facing torture shows Nuri al-Maliki's government is incapable and unwilling to protect the residents. It is critical that an international UN-designated force replaces the armed forces currently at Ashraf. In the meantime, the US has a duty under article 45 of the 4th Geneva Convention to temporarily take back protection of the camp's residents until a UN force is found", said Lord Corbett. We believe that this would help to calm tensions at Ashraf and globally until a long-term solution is found.

Refugees at Camp Ashraf were recognised as 'protected persons' under the Fourth Geneva Convention in July 2004 after individually undertaking to reject the use of any form of violence.

"Our Committee insists that the US calls on UNAMI to immediately set up a permanent monitoring presence inside Camp Ashraf.  This, coupled with interventions by the US, will deter the Iraqi security forces from further savage attacks against Ashraf and its residents".

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
27 August 2009

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