Monday, February 06, 2012

Camp Ashraf residents at new camp still in trouble

Fars News Agency reports that National Alliance MP Abbas al-Bayati appeared on al-Baghdadia TV. His statements were both explosive and embarrassing for the United Nations. According to al-Bayati, Iraq will be expelling the MEK (Iranian dissident group welcomed into Iraq decades ago). All will be expelled or sent to Iran, declares al-Bayati in direct conflict with what the United Nations has been stating in what will now be seen as stalling statements made by the international body as it attempted to buy time. This bad impression will take hold because al-Bayati denies that the UN has any supervision of Camp Liberty. He states, "No, the camp is under the control of Iraqi government and (the camp's control) has nothing to do with the United Nations. Iraq came to the decision to provide the UN with the reports of the camp and also let them visit the camp."

Though the US media has been ignoring it, you can't visit the US State Dept (I did last week) and not see the Camp Ashraf supporters gathered across from it. The MEK has Iranian-American relatives in this country (a large number in California -- many in US House Rep Bob Filner's district). Following the revolution in Iran, some members of the MEK went to Iraq. When the US invaded, the US military entered into negotiations with the approximately 3,400 residents of Camp Ashraf. The end result was that they became protected persons under international law and the Geneva Conventions. Though Nouri has given repeated promised to the US that he would protect the residents, that has not happened. He has twice launched attacks on the camp. They've now relocated to a new camp that some British MPs have described as a "concentration camp." The only defender the new camp (which has no medical facilities and Nouri al-Maliki is refusing to allow medical supplies in) had was the United Nations, which vouched for it so strongly. That vouching now appears incredibly misinformed.

December 23rd, Human Rights Watch noted:

Human Rights Watch sent letters on December 15 and 16, 2011, to the governments of the United States, United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, Denmark and Sweden seeking their support for the appeal by Martin Kobler, the United Nations special envoy for Iraq,to the Iraqi government to extend a December 31 deadline for closing Camp Ashraf. Human Rights Watch also urged the governments to helpensure the safe transfer of camp residents for individual refugee status interviews, and respond quickly and positively to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s call for UN member states to indicate their willingness to accept Camp Ashraf residents for resettlement.
“Resolution of the Camp Ashraf situation requires the active involvement by other major players like the United States and the EU who can play a critical role in resettling Camp Ashraf residents and monitoring to make sure they are safe and are treated fairly,” said Frelick.
The Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) was founded in 1965 as an armed group to challenge the Shah of Iran’s government. In 1981, two years after the Iranian revolution, the group went underground after trying to foment an armed uprising against Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, the former Supreme Leader of Iran. After a period of exile in France, most of the group’s leaders relocated to Iraq in 1986 and established Camp Ashraf, although its top leadership remains in France.
Human Rights Watch called on all parties to allow international diplomats, UN agencies, and independent observers to be present to monitor every step of the transfer of these residents to a protected transit site, such as the former Camp Liberty at Baghdad’s international airport. Human Rights Watch also urged the UN to continue monitoring the human rights and humanitarian situation after camp residents have been relocated to the transit site.
Human Rights Watch previously appealed to both the Iraqi government and the leadership of the MEK to cooperate fully with the UN to ensure the protection and safety of Camp Ashraf residents. Tension and mistrust between the MEK leadership and Iraqi security forces remain high following two violent incidents involving Iraqi security forces that led to the deaths of more than 40 Camp Ashraf residents, in July 2009 and April 2011. Human Rights Watch has repeatedly called on Iraqi authorities to refrain from using excessive force against Camp Ashraf residents, and for independent and transparent investigations to investigate the two incidents and any crimes committed during them.
The Iraqi government has not opened investigations into these incidents.
The UN Code of Conduct for Law Enforcement Officials states that “law enforcement officials may use force only when strictly necessary and to the extent required for the performance of their duty.” The UN Basic Principles on the Use of Force and Firearms provide that law enforcement officials “shall, as far as possible, apply non-violent means before resorting to the use of force” and may use force “only if other means remain ineffective.” When the use of force is unavoidable, law enforcement officials must “exercise restraint in such use and act in proportion to the seriousness of the offence.”
Human Rights Watch has also called on the Iraqi government not to return the exiles to Iran against their will, saying they may risk torture or other serious abuse. Human Rights Watch has documented the prevalent use of torture in Iran, particularly against opponents of the government.
As a state party to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, Iraq is bound to apply the principle of nonrefoulement. The UN’s Human Rights Committee, which interprets the covenant, has explained this obligation as: “States parties must not expose individuals to the danger of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment upon return to another country by way of their extradition, expulsion or refoulement.”
The Iraqi government has assured Washington that it would not forcibly transfer any member of the group to a country where they face a risk of torture.

Meanwhile Norwegian Statoil Company and Russian LUKOIL were supposed to partner in exploration of Iraq's West Qurna Field; however, last week Ahmed Rahseed (Reuters) reported that Norway's oil company wanted out of the deal and was asking approval to sell it's 18.75 percent to LUKOIL which already held 56.25% (Iraqi Oil Company held 25%). Yulia Ashcheulova (Voice of Russia) reports, "The Iraqi Oil Ministry has endorsed the deal. After the contract is signed, LUKOIL will have a 75% stake in the West Qurna Field. The remaining 25% belongs to the Iraqi Oil Company. The volume of the oil reserves is estimated at 13 billion barrels. The pay for each produced barrel will amount to over one dollar. Given that LUKOIL will get a fixed sum for developing West Qurna-2, the company’s revenues will not be affected by fluctuations in global oil prices. Since the details of the deal have not been disclosed, it’s hard to predict how successful it could be."

In the US, Keith Morelli (Tampa Tribune) reports Gulf War veteran Jay Alexander has packed up his peace "vigil 11/2 miles north of MacDill Air Force Base's main gate" he'd been organizing since late 2002 due to a lack of support, stating in an e-mail, "Last month on the birthday of Martin Luther King, only one person showed up with her two grandkids."

Bonnie reminds that Isaiah's The World Today Just Nuts "The Softball & Footsie Interview" went up last night. On this week's Law and Disorder Radio -- a weekly hour long program that airs Monday mornings at 9:00 a.m. EST on WBAI and around the country throughout the week, hosted by attorneys Heidi Boghosian, Michael S. Smith and Michael Ratner (Center for Constitutional Rights) -- topics explored include Mumia Abu-Jamal being in General Population, Guantanamo, OWS, and, with professor William O. Beeman, Iran. We'll close with law professor and international law expert Francis A. Boyle's "Convene an All -- B.I.H. Constitutional Convention to Replace Holbrooke's Genocide Datyon Constiution:"

I served as Legal Advisor to the Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina Delegation to the Vance-Owen Negotiations in New York in March of 1993. The Vance-Owen Plan would have cantonized, paralyzed and dysfunctionalized R.B.I.H. along the lines of Lebanon, but would have kept the existence of R.B.I.H as a State under international law. When the genocidaire Radovan Karadžić rejected the V-O Plan, the Great Powers of the world decided to punish R.B.I.H. by terminating its existence as a State by means of the Owen-Stoltenberg Plan.

I was the Lawyer for the entire R.B.I.H Delegation to the Owen-Stoltenberg negotiations in Geneva during the summer of 1993. The Owen-Stoltenberg plan would have carved-up R.B.I.H into three little statelets that would have never survived, destroyed R.B.I.H as a state under international law, robbed R.B.I.H of its U.N. membership, and subjected 1.5 million to 2 million more Bosnians to ethnic cleansing. The genocidal O-S Lawyer Paul Szasz admitted to me that Karadžić was the real author of the O-S Plan, which was then approved by Owen representing the European Union and its member states as well as by Stoltenberg representing the United Nations Organization. Szasz then drafted the genocidal O-S documents accordingly. Genocide by word-processor. The Banality of Evil.
I made sure that the Karadžić-Owen-Stoltenberg-Szasz genocidal carve-up of R.B.I.H.and the Bosnians never happened! In addition, acting pursuant to my advice and under instructions from the R.B.I.H. government, I tried to negotiate with O-S for an internal reorganization of R.B.I.H. along the lines of the Constitution for the Swiss Confederation. O-S vigorously opposed the Swiss model because that would have saved B.I.H. as a state and the Bosnians as a People.

Over two years later in the Fall of 1995, and following directly in the footsteps of the genocidal Karadžić-Owen-Stoltenberg Plan, the first draft of the Dayton Agreement that Richard Holbrooke gave to the R.B.I.H. Delegation would have constituted a de jure carve-up and partition of R.B.I.H into two little statelets that were never designed to survive for very long: the Federation and Republika Srpska (R.S). When I pointed this out to the R.B.I.H. Delegation in Dayton, they rejected it. Instead, Holbrooke imposed upon R.B.I.H. a de facto carve-up and partition of R.B.I.H into these two little statelets that nevertheless did preserve B.I.H. as a State and B.I.H’s membership in the United Nations Organization. But R.I.P: R.B.I.H! In the process Holbrooke had already sacrificed Srebrenica and Žepa together with well over 8000 Bosnians in order to make his B.I.H. carve-up palatable to the genocidaire Slobodan Milošević who was at Dayton.

No thanks to the Butcher of the Balkans Holbrooke, B.I.H. was barely alive as a State and put on an emergency international life support apparatus, where it still remains today. Since then, the Great Powers have been plotting, planning, and scheming all along to pull the proverbial plug on B.I.H’s statehood under international law and eliminate B.I.H. once and for all time. Holbrooke’s genocidal Dayton Constitution was nothing more than a weigh station and a fig-leaf for the complete disintegration of B.I.H as a state under international law.

Pursuant to that end, ten years later in the Fall of 2005, S.D.A asked me to give them a Legal Opinion on the advisability of agreeing to the so-called Hays Plan, which was later called the April Package. The S.D.A sent me the draft Hays Plan, which was then under negotiations among all the B.I.H parties at the U.S. State Department, together with their notes on these negotiations. It was clear to me from reading these materials that the U.S. State Department fully intended to accommodate the wishes of the R.S. Delegation that the Hays/April Package further consolidate and cement the permanent existence of R.S. as a statelet as the next step towards its complete and independent statehood and thus the final dissolution of B.I.H. as a state. I recommended to S.D.A. in the strongest terms possible that they reject the Hays/April Package.

Immediately thereafter I appeared on a panel sponsored by S.D.A. North America in the Chicago Metropolitan Area on the occasion of the B.I.H Statehood Day celebrations as their guest. On that S.D.A. panel I publicly recommended against the Hays/April Package in the strongest terms possible in front of many powerful S.D.A. leaders. Appearing on that same S.D.A. panel with me was B.I.H.’s former Foreign Minister Muhamed Sacirbey who publicly agreed with my assessment that the Hays/April Package could prove fatal for the continued existence of B.I.H as a state.
Needless to say, I was shocked and stunned to learn that Mr. Tihic had agreed to the Hays/April Package despite my negative Opinion after S.D.A. had asked me for it and after prominent S.D.A. member Sacirbey had publicly agreed with me before S.D.A. North America. Because of the fatal dangers that the Hays/April Package posed to the very existence of B.I.H. as a state, I proceeded to launch my Campaign against the ratification of the Hays/April Package by the B.I.H. parliament. In this Campaign I was joined by many loyal and patriotic Bosnians with whom I had fought during the war and genocide against us in order to preserve the existence of B.I.H as a state and all Bosnians as a People. When I went to bed the night before the vote by the B.I.H. parliament on the Hays/April package, I had assumed we were going to lose the vote and that the final disintegration of B.I.H as a state would be only a matter of time. I woke up the next morning to the wonderful news that two loyal and patriotic S.D.A. members had voted against the Hays/April Package despite Tihic’s orders and therefore the Hays/April Package was dead. Bosnia and Herzegovina would live to fight another day!

Under no circumstances must we accept any so-called “amendments” to the fatally flawed and genocidal Holbrooke/Dayton Constitution such as a renewed April Package or any of its successors or modifications. That would be the equivalent of painting whitewash on the hull of the good Ship of State B.I.H. Titanic as it slowly sinks to the bottom of the Adriatic Sea. In this regard, I stopped Owen-Stoltenberg-Szasz and Franjo Tuđjman from stealing Neum from us for Croatia in order to render R.B.I.H. permanently landlocked and thus to better strangulate B.I.H. to death. Someday I shall swim in the Adriatic at Neum!

We must hold out for and insist upon the complete replacement—not amendment—of the genocidal Holbrooke/Dayton Constitution. This replacement Constitution must be freely negotiated by the representatives of Bosnian civil society along the lines of the Philadelphia Convention that gave the United States of America its Constitution in 1787. We must convene an All–B.I.H. Constitutional Convention! We need a fully effective and functional Constitution for B.I.H. that will give us a B.I.H. government that will actually work for the benefit of all of the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina irrespective of their ethnic and religious affiliations, and thus guarantee the existence of B.I.H. as a state for the historical future.

Time is not on our side. The Great Powers of the world still want to put B.I.H out of existence as a state. It is up to us stop them. I am willing to be of whatever assistance I can. In the first World Court order I won for R.B.I.H on 8 April 1993, I convinced the International Court of Justice overwhelmingly to act to protect all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina no matter what were their national, ethnical, racial, or religious affiliations by means of the following order:

(2) by 13 votes to 1[only the Russian Judge dissenting],

The Government of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia and Montenegro) should in particular ensure that any military, paramilitary or irregular armed units which may be directed or supported by it, as well as any organizations and persons which may be subject to its control, direction or influence, do not commit any acts of genocide, of conspiracy to commit genocide, of direct, and public incitement to commit genocide, or of complicity in genocide, whether directed against the Muslim population of Bosnia and Herzegovina or against any other national, ethnical, racial or religious group.

The World Court overwhelmingly re-affirmed and repeated this order in the Second World Court Order that I won for R.B.I.H on 13 September 1993, and ordered that it be immediately and effectively implemented by a vote of 13 to 2 (only the Russian Judge and the Serbian Judge ad hoc dissenting).

I am fully prepared to help out once again to protect B.I.H. as well as all the citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina no matter what their national, ethnical, racial or religious affiliations from these Machiavellian machinations by the Great Powers. Toward accomplishing that objective, I have written this recommendation for convening an All–B.I.H Constitutional Convention in honor of the Twentieth Anniversary of our Declaration of Independence on March 6, 1992. Long live Bosnia and Herzegovina!

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