February 19, 2018

One Thousand Women on the Verge of a Massacre in Camp Ashraf


More than 5 months have passed since Iraqi forces last carried out a brutal attack against a refugee camp in Iraq housing 3,400 Iranian dissidents – 1,000 of which are women. That attack left 36 people dead, including 8 women, and 375 other men and women were left injured. The residents of this camp are Iranian exiles, members of the resistance movement struggling against the theocratic dictatorship ruling Iran.

A female resident of Camp Ashraf is killed by the Iraqi forces' direct fire during the April 8, 2011 massacre at Camp Ashraf.

For the past 2 years they have been living under siege. Iraqi forces, stationed in and around the camp, have exposed the residents to all sorts of restrictions and psychological pressures. At behest of the mullahs in Tehran, the Iraqi Prime Minister has announced he is going to shut down the camp by year’s end; which could only mean that another massacre is in the making.

Based on requests submitted by the residents – for reconfirmation of their status – UNHCR has announced that under international law, Camp Ashraf residents are protected persons; urging the Iraqi Prime Minister postpone his deadline, giving the legal process a chance to take its due course which might lead to a long-standing resolution of the crisis. The Iranian regime and the Iraqi PM, however, are hurling stones in the way of this process and have begun preparations for an upcoming assault.

Is the world going to stand idly by and watch another massacre perpetrated against defenseless residents in Camp Ashraf who have no means of protecting themselves?

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi leads the Iranian resistance. While attending an international conference in Brussels last Wednesday October 19 she reproached EU governments and the U.S. for their negligence in addressing the deadline set by the Iraqi government for closure of Camp Ashraf which may very well lead to another massacre. She warned that should Iraq’s disobedience and its evasion of international laws – in its effort to obliterate camp Ashraf residents – not be contained today, tomorrow would be too late. She also revealed that based on information obtained by the Iranian resistance, the government of Iraq, having received orders from the Iranian supreme leader, Khamenei, using the ultimatum for closure of Camp Ashraf as a pretext, is making preparations for another attack. As such, the Iraqi government hinders efforts by UN organs aimed at finding a solution for Camp Ashraf; including pressure exerted on UNHCR and its efforts in affording the residents legal status.

For nearly 2 years, the 300 loudspeakers, erected by notorious Qods force and the Iranian intelligence agency around the camp, have been used to blare insults and threats at the residents – specially targeting female residents – around the clock and every day of the week. The Qods force is the same organization implicated, recently, by the U.S. Department of Justice for its role in the plot to kill the Saudi ambassador as well as Americans.

The negligence and indifference exhibited by western governments towards an atrocity that looms ahead of us cannot be overlooked. The extensive political, military, and economic ties which exist between Iraq and western governments, gives them great leverage which could be used in obliging Iraq into respecting international laws. The time has come for the UN secretary general and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to expedite efforts for stationing a UN monitoring team in Camp Ashraf to help save the lives of 3,400 Iranian immigrants. They must call for annulment of the unjust ultimatum set with the sole aim of obliterating opponents of the main state sponsor of terrorism in the world.

The policy of appeasing the mullahs and turning a blind eye on terrorist activities by the Qods in Iraq, resulting in the death of many American soldiers, has only emboldened the terrorists to extend their operations to Washington D.C. It’s high time President Obama listen to calls from across the globe and warnings from Camp Ashraf’s defenseless residents. If not, what is bound to happen in Camp Ashraf will never be forgiven.

Asefeh Immami was only 6 months old when, due to her parents’ opposition to the mullahs and because her father was on the death row, she had to leave Iran, along with her family, and come to Camp Ashraf – now home to 3,400 Iranian dissidents in Iraq.