Protect Iran’s Freedom Fighters in Camp Ashraf

In the early hours of Friday, April 8, while Washington and the media focused on a possible government shutdown, the Iraqi army assaulted a camp of Iranian civilians, called Camp Ashraf, murdering at least 28 residents and wounding hundreds more. Though the Iraqi government has claimed that only three people were killed and describes the events as an attempt to reclaim farmland, a U.N. inspection team found 28 bodies, including those of women, and determined that most were shot to death. Iraqi officials have not allowed journalists to visit the camp.

Located in northwestern Iraq, 120 km (75 miles) from the Iranian border, Camp Ashraf has for more than 20 years been the home of 3,400 members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK, also known as the PMOI), a key opposition group working against the Iranian regime. Camp Ashraf residents were promised legally protected status under the Fourth Geneva Convention in 2003 by senior U.S. commanders in Iraq. General David Petraeus, who served as deputy commander of allied coalition forces, has stated that the turnover of responsibility for Camp Ashraf to the Iraqi government was conditioned on a direct Iraqi assurance that the protected status of its residents would continue. Yet the brazen assault mounted by 2,500 heavily armed Iraqi soldiers on April 8 was not the first unprovoked assault against Camp Ashraf civilians. In July 2009, during a visit by U.S. Defense Secretary Robert Gates to th…

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