Target: His Excellency Nuri Kamil al-Maliki, Prime Minister of Iraq
Goal: Ascertain the whereabouts of seven abducted Iranian exiles and ensure that they are treated in accordance with international human rights standards
A recent attack on Camp Ashraf, a settlement about forty miles from Baghdad, left over fifty people dead and has led to concerns that seven people who remain unaccounted for–Fatemeh Tahoori, Vajihe Karbalaey, Mahnaz Azizi, Lila Nabahat, Zahra Ramezani, Fatema Sakhie, and Mohammad Ratebi–have been kidnapped by Iraqi forces. Sign the petition and urge the Iraqi government to investigate the attack on the camp, disclose the whereabouts of the abductees, and ensure that they will be treated in accordance with international human rights laws.
Camp Ashraf has been home to Iranian exiles since the 1980s, when about 3,400 members or supporters of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) were allowed to seek refuge in Iraq. The PMOI, according to Amnesty International, is “a political organization opposed to the Iranian government and outlawed in Iran.” The group had also “formerly engaged in armed action against the Iranian government.”
The recent attack on the camp, which resulted in the both the kidnappings and the deaths of fifty-two other people, is simply the latest in a long string of violent actions against the camp. The Iraqi government denies involvement in this attack, but it has been the source of two previous assaults on the camp, one in 2009 and another in 2011. Although the current location of the seven abductees is unknown, there are reports that they were taken to a detention facility in Baghdad.
The seven abducted residents of the camp are at great risk of torture and ill-treatment whether they are held incommunicado in Iraq or deported–against UN regulations–back to Iran. Sign the petition and demand that the Iraqi government address this tragic, senseless act of violence.
The recent attack on Camp Ashraf is a senseless, violent tragedy. The loss of life–fifty-two people–is enormous and must be formally addressed by the Iraqi government. Even more pressing is the location of seven people–Fatemeh Tahoori, Vajihe Karbalaey, Mahnaz Azizi, Lila Nabahat, Zahra Ramezani, Fatema Sakhie, and Mohammad Ratebi–kidnapped from the site. I urge you to immediately disclose the whereabouts of the seven abductees, and I demand that they receive fair treatment in accordance with international human rights standards.
All seven victims of the kidnapping are members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), an outlawed Iranian political group. If they are deported back to Iran–as many human rights groups fear–they are at great risk of torture and ill-treatment. Please recall that international regulations forbid Iraq from forcibly returning refugees to a country where they are at risk for human rights violations.
In the event that the seven remain in Iraq, however, I demand that the government immediately disclose their whereabouts and legal status. Furthermore, I demand that each of the seven either be immediately charged with a legitimate, internationally-recognizable crime or be freed immediately and unconditionally. And finally, I demand that the abductees be guaranteed safety from torture and ill-treatment, in accordance with international human rights laws.
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Photo credit: AlborzTaha via Wikimedia Commons