Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Plea from SLLU member, Irah Anatine

Forget all your opinions about what is going on in Iraq. There are great chances that you are wrong, lacking vital information or, at least, that the information you have is only one small part of the huge caos that Iraq is today.

How do I know this? First of all, I apply this rule to myself. Second, one of the most important lessons I've learned when I was in Iraq is really need to be there in order to understand how little we know about it.

But let's forget all about this too, I'm not trying to start a debate, more urgent things are happening. In Iraq, there is a "city" called Ashraf. It's the headquarters of the PMOI, iranian resistance, protected under the Geneva Agreement by american forces. 4800 people live there, including young men and women, educated in the best western schools, who decided to join Ashraf in order to "make a difference and fight for freedom." The difference is...they have no guns, so they fight with the same persistent activism then many of the western movements: words, campaigns, concrete actions of support to iraqi civilians. What do they fight against? Torture, terror, violence against women, dictatorship. But forget about all this, it doesn't matter one bit at this point. First of all because you don't know if I'm telling the truth. Second because, even if it's true, it would be only a small portion of the great chaos that Iraq is today.

The facts are: the american government has agreed to transfer the responsibility of protecting Ashraf citizens from America to the Iraqi Government, under Iraqi Government request. The Iraqi Government wants to close Ashraf camp and send citizens back to Iran or a third country.

Facts are: 4800 people risk death, torture and displacement, right now, while we wrap Christmas presents.

Facts are: Iranian prisons are far worst then any Guantanamo, the shameful prison we fight so much against.

Facts are: you can make a difference, by signing the following letter to Obama and send it back to At this ponit I am still trying to find a delivery adress, but all your help is necessary. Best wishes,


NOTE: You will need to put your name, position and the name of the organization you belong to. If you don't belong to any, please put your name, email and hometown.


Dear President Obama

Following the singing of the agreement between the USA and Iraq on the status of the US forces in Iraq the anxiety and fear over the situation of the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to the members of the People's Mojahedin organization of Iran (PMOI), the main opposition to the Iranian regime, has extremely increased.

The residents of Ashraf were recognized as "protected persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention in 2004 by the US government. Recently the US authorities in Iraq have announced that the protection of the Camp and its residents will be transferred to the Iraqi forces.

Concerning the influence of the Iranian regime in Iraq since the war in 2003 and an Iranian official collective death sentence on the PMOI members, the said transfer will put the lives of the residents of Ashraf at great risks. Many world leading human rights organizations and personalities, as well as members of the US Congress have expressed their concern over the situation. Amnesty International warned on December 27 that, "The Iraqi government is reported to have told the PMOI that those at Camp Ashraf must leave Iraq by 31 December 2008. Some Iraqi officials have suggested that they will be forcibly expelled if they fail to comply. According to Amnesty International, the Iranians would be at risk of serious human rights violations if they were forcibly returned to Iran."

The Parliamentary Assembly of Council Europe (Written Declaration No 415) announced on 2 October 2008 that: "Transferring protection of Ashraf under the present circumstances violates the principle of non-refoulement, the Fourth Geneva Convention, the Refugee Convention, the Convention Against Torture, IHL and International Law and would result in a humanitarian catastrophe, thus we urge U.S. forces for as long as they remain in Iraq to continue to protect Ashraf residents and uphold their judicial protection under international law."

We urge you that the US protection of Camp Ashraf is continued until the government of Iraq provides secure and viable guarantees for protection of Ashraf residents. We are sure such guarantees under the auspices of international community will help to safeguard the independence and security of the government of Iraq vis-a-vie the pressures and interferences by Iran.

Yours sincerely,

(Views addressed are not necessarily the views of SLLU as an organisation. Members are free to comment).

Add to del.icio.usAdd to Technorati Faves♦ ♦Stumble ThisRedditSlashdot it

No comments: