Wednesday, July 22, 2009

UEGENT APPEAL: Human rights situation in Camp Ashraf-Iraq

Ms. Navi Pillay

High Commissioner for Human Rights

United Nations

Geneva/ Switzerland

Subject: Human rights situation in Camp Ashraf-Iraq

Dear Ms. Pillay

Since January 1st, 2009, when the protection of Camp Ashraf in Iraq has been transferred from US forces to the Iraqi government, the international community is faced with an increasing anxiety over the violation of the most basic rights of 3500 people in Camp Ashraf who 1000 of them are women. Ashraf is home to the members of the Iranian opposition, People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI).

Following the Iranian regime's supreme leader called imperatively on 28 February 2009, on Iraqi government to implement their bilateral agreement to expel PMOI members from Iraq as quickly as possible, the concerns and worries have escalated. In this regard, the Iraqi authorities have threatened to attack buildings in Ashraf and are insisting to displace residents of Ashraf to remote locations in Iraq against international law. Amnesty International has in particular expressed its concern over the statement by Iraqi National Security Advisor who confessed," The authorities are planning to make their presence in Iraq gradually intolerable ".

Currently, Camp Ashraf is under a total logistical blockade. On 24 April 2009, the European Parliament resolution called on the Iraqi government end the blockade of Ashraf, refrain from displacing the Camp residents and " to respect the legal status of the Camp Ashraf residents as protected persons under the Geneva Conventions, and to refrain from any action that would endanger their life or security, i.e. to afford them full access to food, water, medical care and supplies, fuel, family members and international humanitarian organizations"

We urge you as the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to reiterate your previous humanitarian position concerning Camp Ashraf residents to the Iraqi government, and in particular condemn their forced displacement. We also demand you to ask USA through UN Security Council, base on global principle of "responsibility to Protect" (R to P) for vulnerable population, to protect Ashraf residents who left unprotected by US against Iranian regime's threats. This should continue until the Iraqi government in line with its international commitments is capable and willing to stand against the Iranian regime's pressure against Ashraf.

Sincerely,

1- Bangladesh Institute of Human Rights (BIHR)

2- European Association of Lawyers for World Human Rights

3- Human Rights Without Frontiers

4- Ukrainian Helsinki Human Rights Union

5- International Jurist Organization

6- National Integration Assembly-India

7- International Educational Development-USA

8- Association of Humanitarian Lawyers-USA

9- Citizens' Watch- Russia

10- Japanese Lawyers International Solidarity Associations

11- Taiwan Association for Human Rights

12- Italian association of democratic lawyers

13- Haldane Society of Socialist Lawyers-Britain

14- Arabic Network for Human Rights

15- Human Rights Society of Uzbekistan

16- The Kyrgyz Committee for Human Rights

17- Bulgarian Helsinki CommitteeJananeethi Institute for Justice, Education, Research and Development-IINDIA

18- Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom- Finnish Section

19- World Maronite Union

20- Programme Against Custodial Torture & Impunity

21- Banglar Manabadhikar Suraksha Mancha(MASUM)

22- International Society for Human Rights –Kenya

23- International Society for Human Rights- Armenia national group

24- Peace Makers Society- Cameroon

25- The International Sakharov Committee

26- Human Rights Center of Azerbaijan

27- Institute of Peace and Democracy- Azerbaijan

28- Mechric Committee- USA

29- Karen Parker, JD, Specializing in Humanitarian Law

30- Italian Helsinki Committee

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