News : Human rights
- Published: Friday, 03 January 2014
UA: 1/14 Index: MDE 14/001/2014 IraqDate: 2 January 2014 URGENT ACTION
Three iranian Men killed, more injured
Three Iranian exiles were killed and at least 70 others, all members of the People’s Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), were wounded on 26 December 2013 when Camp Liberty in Baghdad was attacked with rockets and mortars.
On the night of the 26 December three men, Mohammad Javad Saleh Tehrani, Mahmoud Bornafar and Abbas Namvar, were killed and at least 70 others injured during targeted rocket and mortar attacks of Camp Liberty in Baghdad. At least 3000 people, all members of the People’s Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group are living in Camp Liberty. An Iraqi Shi’a militia group, al-Mukhtar Army, claimed responsibility for the attack. Amnesty International strongly condemns this fourth and latest attack on Camp Liberty and calls on the International community to act urgently on the cases that have already been submitted for resettlement.
On 25 December 2011 the UN and the Iraqi government agreed that around 3,400 members of the PMOI were to be moved from Camp Ashraf, about 60 km north-east of Baghdad in Diyala governorate, to Camp Liberty. The relocation began on 18 February 2012 and ended by mid-September 2012. However about 100 people were allowed to stay behind in Camp Ashraf in order to resolve remaining property issues. On 1 September 2013 52 of them were killed, when the camp was raided by armed men and the survivors were taken to Camp Liberty.
The residents of Camp Liberty are members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedeen Organisation of Iran (PMOI), a political organization opposed to the Iranian government and outlawed in Iran which formerly engaged in armed action against the Iranian government. They were previously located in Camp Ashraf which housed some 3,400 Iranian exiles, mostly members and supporters of the PMOI, who were allowed to move to Iraq by Saddam Hussain’s government in the 1980s.
After the March 2003 US-led invasion of Iraq the camp and its residents were placed under US protection but this ended in mid-2009 following an agreement between the US authorities and the Iraqi government. Barely a month later, on 28-29 July, Iraqi security forces stormed the camp; at least nine residents were killed and many more were injured. Thirty-six residents who were detained were allegedly tortured and beaten.
Iraqi troops stormed Camp Ashraf again in April 2011. The troops used excessive force, including live ammunition, against residents who tried to resist. At least 36 people were killed and more than 300 injured. The government failed to conduct a prompt, thorough, independent, and impartial investigation into the incident, in breach of international standards, including the UN Principles on the Effective Prevention and Investigation of Extra-legal, Arbitrary and Summary Executions.
The Iraqi government announced in 2011 that they intended to close Camp Ashraf after relocating its residents to Camp Liberty in Baghdad. After most had been relocated about 100 people were allowed to stay behind in Camp Ashraf to resolve remaining property issues. Following the 1 September 2013 attack on the camp and the killing of 52 of its residents, seven people were abducted and they are now known to be held by the Iraqi security forces at an unofficial detention facility in central Baghdad. The remaining 41 residents were transferred to Camp Liberty under UN supervision. For further information please see UA; 242/13, Index: MDE 14/016/2013, http://amnesty.org/en/library/info/MDE14/016/2013/en and its follow-up.
According to a December 2011 memorandum of understanding between the UN and the government of Iraq, the UNHCR may process requests for international protection from residents of the camps. Those residents who apply for international protection are asylum-seekers under international law. So far around 2,000 residents have been interviewed by UNHCR. However, many residents have refused to be interviewed, citing security concerns. So far only around 210 residents have been resettled in third countries, most in Albania.
Name: Mohammad Javad Saleh Tehrani, Mahmoud Bornafar and Abbas Namvar
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