{mosimage}BPCIF: Pro-democracy Iranian refugees were on Sunday (17 Oct) attacked by Iraqi forces in their camp 60 miles north of Baghdad. Ten members of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin (PMOI) were wounded.  PRESS RELEASE

{mosimage}Pro-democracy Iranian refugees were on Sunday (17 Oct) attacked by Iraqi forces in their camp 60 miles north of Baghdad. Ten members of the Iranian opposition People's Mojahedin (PMOI) were wounded.
 
Live ammunition was fired and defenceless residents were attacked with sticks and truncheons as they protested at the erection of a watch tower at Camp Ashraf. The attack comes on the eve of a visit by Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to Tehran which has demanded the forcible closure of the camp.
 
The Iraqi forces were under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Latif Abdul-Amir Hashim al-Anabi, Captain Ahmad Hassan Khodheir, and Lieutenant Heidar Azab Mashi.  Live ammunition was fired by a unit under the command of Lt. Heidar Azab, an agent of Iran who has assaulted Ashraf residents before.  Residents' vehicles were also damaged.
 
Lt Latif Abdul-Amir has acknowledged that his orders for the attack were from a committee within the Prime Minister's office tasked with suppression of Ashraf. This contradicts a statement by an unnamed source within security forces involved at Camp Ashraf that "his forces have no plan to attack the camp." (Alsowt al-Iraq radio, 13 October)
 
The attack again demonstrates that Iraqi forces cannot be trusted to protect Ashraf and that American troops and a permanent monitoring team of UNAMI are immediately needed inside the camp to ensure observance of international humanitarian laws.
 
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
18 October 2010
 
 
 
Background note for editors:
 
Camp Ashraf houses 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), who have lived there as refugees for more than 20 years.
 
 
Recent aggression against PMOI members in Ashraf by Iraqi forces:
 
On 1 October, Iraqi forces set up a new check point on the northern section of the camp and when the residents protested they were attacked and 10 were wounded.
 
On 12 October, while a judicial delegation from Khalis Court went to Ashraf, Iraqi forces denied the residents access to the delegation.
 
On 13 October, with the assistance of Iraqi officers, agents of the Iranian regime's Ministry of Intelligence installed 22 new powerful loudspeakers at the south side of Ashraf to chant daily threats and abuse at the residents. This is in addition to 40 loudspeakers previously installed at the camp entrance.