Pour-Mohammadi said in the interview: “The handover of PMOI members to Iran does not need a request, but if the Iraqi Justice Minister has made such a suggestion, we will again lodge an official request to turn them over to our tribunals. These individuals are criminals and guilty and they must be handed over to our courts so that we would deal with their offenses and this matter does not need a special request by us … these PMOI members should be dealt their punishment.”
These PMOI members are not criminals as Pour-Mohammadi claims; they are guilty of nothing except political expression, a basic human right. Lawyers from the International Committee of Jurists in Defense of Ashraf (ICJDA), an 8,000 member organization based in the United States and Europe, represented Camp Ashraf and Liberty residents and responded to Pour-Mohammadi’s comments:
“These wholly unlawful statements are in blatant breach of international covenants, including the Geneva Conventions, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), the Convention Against Torture, and many other provisions of the International Humanitarian Law (IHL) and the International Human Rights Law. These statements are also in flagrant breach of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between Government of Iraq and the United Nations on 25 December 2011 that guarantees the safety and security of Ashraf and Camp Liberty residents until their transfer to third countries.” This warning underlined that these remarks are “a serious offense liable to prosecution by international bodies” and stipulated that “the residents of Camp Liberty are all protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As accentuated by numerous statements by the High Commissioner for Refugees, they are all refugees or asylum-seekers that enjoy international protection.”
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) also criticized Pour-Mohammadi’s comments, citing international law as a reason Ashraf and Liberty residents should not have to face extradition to Iran, where they face torture or execution. BPCIF called for the international community to step in and protect the lives of Camp Liberty residents, urging the United Nations that it is its duty to secure the rights of humans worldwide.