{mosimage}BPCIF: Armed Iraqi police have killed seven members of the main Iranian opposition group PMOI and injured over 400 others in an attack on the civilian population residing in Camp Ashraf in Diyala Province.

{mosimage}Armed Iraqi police have killed seven members of the main Iranian opposition group PMOI and injured over 400 others in an attack on the civilian population residing in Camp Ashraf in Diyala Province.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom condemns in the strongest manner the criminal attack on the camp’s unarmed population which has led to a bloodbath in Ashraf.

Several hours after the raid began on Tuesday, Iraqi police opened fire on the unarmed and defenceless residents of the camp. Dozens have been seriously injured and many are in a state of coma. Over 50 of the residents have been arrested, in some cases after they became unconscious. Ms. Zohreh Qaemi, a deputy Secretary General of the PMOI, was shot by Iraqi forces.

The attack is in breach of international law and comes against a background of Baghdad recently claiming that Ashraf residents have no legal status despite having lived in Iraq lawfully for the past 23 years and having been recognized by the US as "Protected Persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention.

The attack goes against the European Parliament's 24 April 2009 resolution on the humanitarian situation in Ashraf which urged Baghdad to make clear it would not expel or displace the residents, and would instead end its siege of the camp and recognise the residents' status as "Protected Persons" under the 4th Geneva Convention. It violates the written assurances by the government of Iraq to the US administration that Baghdad would treat the residents of Ashraf humanely and consistent with international law.

On behalf of a majority of MPs and over 200 Members of the House of Lord, the Committee condemns in the strongest manner the unlawful Iraqi attack on the PMOI members in Ashraf.

The committee calls on the US government to urgently intervene to compel the Iraqis to move out of Ashraf. Washington has an obligation under international law and the "Responsibility to Protect (RtoP)" mandate to guarantee the safety and security of the residents of the camp, not least since it signed individual agreements with each and every Ashraf resident guaranteeing that it would protect them in return for their disarmament.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
29 July 2009


Note to editors:
The Iranian regime’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei told Iraq’s President in February to implement a bilateral agreement to expel Ashraf residents.

Some 5.2 million Iraqis and 3 million Iraqi Shiites have voiced support for the PMOI's presence in Iraq. Iraq's Sunni Vice-President Dr. Tariq al-Hashemi on 6 April said the PMOI's presence fell within the articles of international law.

The all-party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, comprised of 120 MPs and Peers in the House of Lords, is chaired by Labour peer Lord Corbett of Castle Vale. It has the backing of a majority of MPs and over 200 Peers.

Its members include: former Home Secretary Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington QC, former Solicitor-General Rt. Hon. Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, Liberal Democrat Party deputy leader Lord Dholakia, Brian Binley MP, and Andrew Mackinlay MP of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee.