Yesterday, February 22, agents of the Iraqi Prime Ministry committee tasked to suppress Ashraf residents posted on the wall of the Iraqi forces headquarters a letter signed by “Nofel Fazel Javad, officer of headquarters” of Camp Ashraf Police addressing “Camp Hurriya residents” which partially read: “in order to implement the decree of Baquba Investigative Judge on February 20, 2014, we inform you that ‘the bodies of Hurriya Base residents’ were buried in Najaf Province according to the letter of coroner’s office dated 11 September 2013…”
Had there been an iota of the rule of law in Iraq, this letter would have been a judicial and political scandal since it vividly demonstrates that Maliki is using all administrative, political and security levers and is influencing the judicial system to destroy the evidence of this great crime against humanity of September 1, 2013 in Ashraf in order to escape its political and international consequences and to save the criminals from trial and punishment.
1. This letter speaks of a decision by Baquba’s Investigative Judge on February 20 but offers no details of the decision. This fact supports this probability that in essence this decision, much like many other decrees used by Iraq’s suppressive organs, is either fictitious altogether or that Maliki’s elements have extracted this decree from the judge by pressuring the judicial system and the judge. However, details of such a decision would expose contradictions of the Iraqi government’s cover ups and therefore, these details have been withheld.
2. This letter fails to indicate the time of the martyrs’ burial. If the decision of the judge is to inform Camp Liberty residents, then how is it that he fails to give the time of the burial which is the primary information that needs to be given to the families of residents? This letter is so hastily and unprofessionally written that instead of stating Ashraf Base it has written “bodies of Hurriya Base residents”.
3. The letter also fails to state the place of burial and just states that the martyrs are buried in Najaf Province that has many cities, townships, villages and hundreds of cemeteries. Meanwhile, it is unclear why people who have been killed in Diyala Province and according to documents published by the Iranian Resistance were autopsied in Baghdad’s Coroner’s Office should be buried in Najaf Province.
4. What is the letter dated September 11 of the coroner’s office and who is it addressed to that based on this letter, the bodies of the martyrs are buried? Has it issued the permit for burial? Has it offered the results of the autopsies? Why there is no reference to the content of this letter? Moreover, the crime was committed 175 days ago and the coroner’s office has given a letter on September 11 on the burial of these martyrs. Then how is it that after 165 days this letter is being brought to the attention of Camp Liberty residents and the judiciary system that has been referred to numerously by residents and their lawyers in this time span has taken no action and has offered no replies?
5. The families of martyrs and their official and legal representatives, in 150 letters, 69 Camp Liberty Daily Reports, and in hundreds of referrals, contacts and meetings with Iraqi, American and UN officials in Camp Liberty, Washington, Geneva, New York, Brussels, etc. had requested the handover of the bodies of the martyrs to their families and friends in Camp Liberty for burial.
6. Moreover, last October, the families of the martyrs, in their complaints filed with the Iraqi judiciary, requested to receive the bodies of the martyrs and called for the prosecution of the perpetrators of the massacre. Forty-three residents of Camp Liberty are fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers or close relatives of the September 1 martyrs of Ashraf and the Iraqi government and judiciary, as well as the UN and U.S. officials are informed of this fact.
7. Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General, visited the corpses of the 52 martyrs on September 1 and at the end of this visit he received a list of the names of the martyrs. In the prelude to this list that is also signed by Mr. Busztin, it is stipulated that the list attached belongs to the 52 people who were murdered on September 1, 2013 in Ashraf and they have been shot at close range and that the hands of most of them had been tied and then they were shot in the head or the face.
8. In the evening of September 2, at the request of Mr. Gyorgy Busztin, the bodies of the 52 martyrs were handed over to Mr. Francesco Motta, Chief of UNAMI Human Rights Office. In the document to receive the bodies of the martyrs that was signed by Mr. Motta, it is written: “Based on agreement between the representative of the residents of Ashraf and UNAMI, on Sep 2, 2013, fifty two bodies of martyrs who were killed by bullet shots in the massacre of September 1, 2013, were delivered in the presence of Mr. Francesco Motta, Chief of UNAMI Human Rights Office, to be kept in the Baquba Hospital until an impartial international observer will be present for autopsy.”
9. In the December 26 statement, the Iranian Resistance drew on documents and credible evidence from inside Iran to disclose that Maliki is obstructing the announcement of the coroner’s office reports and the handover of the martyrs’ corpses to their families in Camp Liberty for burial in fear of the consequences of crime against humanity. According to these documents: “Autopsy on all bodies was performed on September 8 and 9 by the responsible physician at Baghdad Coroner’s Office… In part of the autopsy reports that were accessible, details of the wounds and reason of death of each person has been put in ink with most stating ‘cause of death’ as ‘bullet wound’ to the head. In numerous cases in the coroner’s office reports… it is explicitly stated that ‘hands were tied in the back by metal handcuffs’.”
By reiterating that these histrionics work to pave the way for greater crimes; and considering that the United Nations and the U.S. government have numerously committed themselves in writing to the safety and security of residents of Ashraf and Camp Liberty; and by underscoring this reality that it was the representative of the United Nations that received the bodies of the martyrs; the Iranian Resistance calls for the following immediate measures:
-The referral of the dossier of massacre and mass execution and hostage-taking in Ashraf by the UN Security Council to the International Criminal Court to conduct an investigation on this crime and to prosecute and try its perpetrators.
-The United Nations to specify the place and date of the martyrs’ burial and identify them one by one at their grave site.
-The United Nations to arrange for the relatives of the September 1 martyrs in Ashraf to go to the graves of their fathers, brothers, sisters, children or other loved ones.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
February 23, 2013