Monday, May 09, 2011

Camp Ashraf

Iran's Fars News Agency reports, "Head of Iran-Iraq Friendship Committee in Iraq's Northern Salahuddin province Nafeh Eissa underlined his country's deterimnation to expel the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Oranization (MKO) from Iraq's soil." An expulsion would conflict with the effort the US is attempting to coordinate, moving the residents of Camp Ashraf to a section of Iraq further from its shared border with Iran.

The residents of Camp Ashraf hail from Iran. They were in Iraq before the start of the Iraq War and, following the US invasion, the US made these MEK residents of Camp Ashraf -- these Iranian refuees who had been in Iraq for decades -- surrender weapons and also put them under US protection. They also extracted a 'promise' from Nouri that he would not move against them. July 28, 2009 the world saw what Nouri's word was actually worth. Since that Nouri-ordered assault in which at least 11 residents died, he's continued to bully the residents. April 4th, Iran's Fars News Agency reported that the Iraqi military denied allegations that it entered the camp and assaulted residents. Specifically, Camp Ashraf residents state, "The forces of Iraq's Fifth Division invaded Camp Ashraf with columns of armored vehicles, occupying areas inside the camp, since midnight on Saturday." Friday April 8th saw another attack which the Iraqi government again denied. Thursday April 14th, the United Nations confirmed that 34 people were killed in the April 8th assault on Camp Ashraf. Barbara Grady (San Jose Mercury News) reported that the dead included journalist Asieh Rakhshani who has family in California. The assault hasn't really registered in the US. By comparison, several British MPs have expressed their outrage.

The Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran notes this statement from France's Socialist Party:

Since the control of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, home to People’s Mojahedin refugees, was transferred to Iraqi authorities, the residents of this camp have been subjected to a persistent and bloody repression.
After the intervention of the Iraqi security forces on April 8, the UN confirmed the death of 34 people. The unacceptable acts of violence have been criticized by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and condemned by the international community, but no effective protection measure has been taken since.
In unison with human rights organizations, the Socialist Party condemns the violent repression against the inhabitants of Camp Ashraf and calls for ensuring of the protection of the Ashraf population.
International humanitarian law requires that the Iraqi regime ensures the security of refugees and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The protection of civilians must be a priority in all circumstances and France and the European Union must demand that this (protection) is ensured.

And there are problems with Kuwait as well, at least with a cell phone company located there. AFP reports that Iraqis are gearing up to boycott Zain due to the company's alleged gaps in service throughout Iraq.

Bonnie notes that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "Family Affair" and Kat's "Kat's Korner: The vision and authenticity of Stevie Nicks" went up yesterday. Today on Law and Disorder Radio (begins broadcasting at 9:00 am EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week), Michael Ratner, Heidi Boghosian and Michael S. Smith explore with attorney Shane Kadidal the issue of Guantanamo -- the never ending hell -- and what was done to children, the mentally ill and the elderly; and with journalist Will Potter they explore the efforts to demonize eco-activists.

Noam Chomsky has a brief piece entitled "My Reaction to Osama bin Laden's Death" (ICH) and we'll close with an excerpt from it:

We might ask ourselves how we would be reacting if Iraqi commandos landed at George W. Bush’s compound, assassinated him, and dumped his body in the Atlantic. Uncontroversially, his crimes vastly exceed bin Laden’s, and he is not a “suspect” but uncontroversially the “decider” who gave the orders to commit the “supreme international crime differing only from other war crimes in that it contains within itself the accumulated evil of the whole” (quoting the Nuremberg Tribunal) for which Nazi criminals were hanged: the hundreds of thousands of deaths, millions of refugees, destruction of much of the country, the bitter sectarian conflict that has now spread to the rest of the region.

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