Saturday, 24 March 2012

Washington’s Smear Campaign Against MEK Vs. Death In Camp Liberty

Council of Europe Siding With The MEK And Its US Supporters
by Fabian Mahmoudi

As Washington’s smear campaign fires away at MEK, Bardia Amir-Mostofian, a 44 year old engineer and resident of Ashraf, dies of cardiac arrest due to fatigue following a 48-hour-long transit inspection after entering Camp Liberty.

Bardia was one of 700 residents who volunteered to go to the Camp described to be a “prison” by a recent statement by the Council of Europe. (Full statement of Council of Europe)

International pleas by the opposition (MEK) alerting the US,UNAMI and international community of a plot to fail the relocation and blame it on the opposition has not been heeded when most needed.

The statement released by the opposition blames Baridas’ death on his extreme fatigue and stress cause by the rush imposed by Iraq and UNAMI to relocate before the Iranian New year.

The MoU does not allow residents the freedom to transfer their movable belongings.

Experts believe this violates customary law of human rights, the covenant on civil and political rights, and principles of internally displaced persons, which guarantees humane treatment of the concerned party and are non-negotiable during political disputes.

Bearing in mind the Iraqi government’s role in the killings of Ashraf residents during two violent assaults in 2009 and 2011, the implementation of the MoU without any independent supervision would be catastrophic, as demonstrated in the recent death at Liberty.

Reports of harassments, attacks, and physical threats by Iraqi SWAT teams (who speak Iranian) on the residents at Liberty have caused serious concerns on the “good will” of the Iraqi side. The presence of numerous Iraqi police forces, their invasion in the “women’s quarters”, deliberate sabotage on the sewage system, and spying instruments improvised around the camp all point to this necessity.

As reported by the opposition, Bardia’s death was caused by prolonged inspection and harassment:

Advertise with OfficialWire“The inspection of belongings began at 8 am on Sunday March 18 and went on until midday on Monday March 19, following which inspections of individuals began. At one point during this offensive inspection, the Special Forces known as SWAT attacked the residents and beat them with electric batons.

The legal representative of the residents has released a report by Professor Guy Goodwin-Gill in a statement that points the blame on Iraqi forces;

“After arriving at Camp Liberty, Iraqi officials under the command of Sadeq Mohammad Kazim (one of the commanders of the July 2009 and April 2011 massacres), sought to conduct yet a further thorough search. During the 48 hour process of search and transfer to Liberty, the residents were constantly subjected to insults. Many of their items were confiscated with no justification. All these matters were reported to representatives of UNAMI at the scene.” (read report)

One resident has informed us of mistreatment of the Iraqi team under the supervisor of the same commander who participated in the 2011 attack on Camp Ashraf:

“During the search they constantly abused the residents by saying among others: you should all be killed, you are terrorists, we should get rid of you all, you are hypocrites.” (term used by the Iranian regime for the MEK)

The source stressed that “Some of the Iraqis doing the search were abusing the residents in Persian , they broke the our properties such as desks, chairs, frames, lamps, smashing cupboards, fridge and sockets of electrical items, tearing bags of sugar and other food stuff.”

The legal council representing the residents in this unfair deal has reported in detail of the reasons for which according to International basic standards they see a threat posed by Iraqi forces on the residents. (read complete report)

Mahin Saremi, relative of the Camp residents, former political prisoner and leading activist in the 2009 protests in Iran, reacted to allegations that the Camp leadership and residents are over exaggerating the harassments. While blaming the US FTO list as a pretext for such violations of rights by Iraqi forces she said:

“Hawks will not pick out hawks' eyes.” Some pro-Ayatollah pundits have gone further than this, and are accusing the MEK of imposing all the hardships it is suffering on its self. At the same time they have started a smear campaign against those noble US former officials who have met the truth and are confirming the innocence of the victims. At least they are defending values promised by Washington, only to keep a good face on their behalf.

Accusing the victim of torturing itself is not a new tactic. The first to use this against the Mujahedeen in Iran was Khomeini himself during the 80s. When MEK supporters were knifed in public at meetings and in bookstores and shops, when their meetings were attacked by Bassijis and they were axed by plain clothed RGC, Khomeini would turn the blame on the MEK in a speech. Recently one family member of Ashraf residents announced in a cleric Court in Iran that she was tortured by interrogators of the same court and her nails were pulled out. The so called Judge “Salavati” told her: you Hypocrites; you did it yourself and question our hospitality and accuse us of torture?”

When asked if there is some truth about the MEK using the press releases to highlight issues Mrs Saremi said:

“What is amazing is how Washington is following footsteps of a totalitarian theocracy in axing and knifing the main opposition to the tyrants in Iran and then blaming the dirty work on the victim. The ferocity of it all is that they tread on the same values that Americans used to believe in. Was it not President Obama who spoke of “change” and who said will support those who defend “freedom”? Is this the Administrations’ way of proving “Democratic values” by driving away any sympathy Iranians may have towards it by smearing noble men and women who defend these values?”

“In this case, Washington is doing a better job than the mullahs in condemning the victim to a gradual death. The remaining victims of the 120 000 massacred in 1988 by Khomeini’s fatwa are now hostages to an illegal FTO list. This is the best New Year gift for the Ayatollahs.”

“All the fuss made in the recent propaganda blitz by pro-cleric loudspeakers is only paving the way for another Humanitarian crisis, simply because they are condemning those who are speaking out against the ayatollahs. Why question loyalty to Freedom and democracy and legitimize the “devils” work against it? Lets not forget “Charity begins at home” and “Only those who themselves have not committed a crime can throw the first stone”. As far as the Iranian people are concerned, all those who speak the tongue of the Ayatollahs under pretexts of “preventing war” or “combating terrorism” are legalizing the beheading of the Iranian resistance. They are worst than the ayatollahs.”

She concluded: “Speak the truth and shame the devil.”

The truth at the moment is “The first unfortunate death in camp Liberty” to undermine humanitarian standards of treatment of the residents by Iraqi authorities.

This tragedy leaves the ball in the US courtyard.

Keeping the MEK in the black list despite a local US court jurisdiction and fouling the groups supporters would not resolve the problem but embolden a thorn in the election process.


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