The father that was not around long enough to see his daughter on her wedding day, the mother who was never allowed to kiss her children goodbye for the last time, the sister who has to only live with the memories of her siblings because they are no longer alive, the child who was robbed of a mother's warm embrace, and the list goes on...What is the common factor in all of these cases? Innocent lives which were taken in the vicious hands of the Iranian regime for wanting a free and democratic Iran. More than 120,000 innocent young and old, men and women, and even children as young as 13 were brutally murdered because they were either members of the PMOI (People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran), Iran's main opposition group, or supported their cause.
Iran under the fanatic mullahs is very well-known for its human rights violations, its' crimes against humanity inside and outside of Iran, as well as the export of terrorism to other countries. Although these records have been condemned by different heads of estates as well as many human rights organisations, Iran continues to suppress its people and destroy anyone who stands as its opposition or speak out against the mullahs' crimes. To the barbaric rulers of Iran, there is no difference between a 70 year old man, a 13 year old girl or a pregnant woman, if they dare to speak against the regime they will be sentenced to death without a fair trial and tortured and killed in the most gruesome way imaginable.
On 8th April 2011, Iraq's government which has become a puppet in the hands of the Iranian dictators, carried out an inhumane and illegal attack on the defenceless residents of Camp Ashraf, which consists of 3400 Iranian dissidents whom resided in the camp over 2 decades ago. The residents were forced to relocate to Iraq after the Islamic revolution in Iran, in order to escape death in the hands of the mullahs and continue to expose their crimes from a safer zone. They were given protected persons status under the 4th Geneva Convention and were told that if they hand over all of their weapons, they would be protected by the U.S. following the invasion of Iraq in 2001. However the protection was not there and as a result, the camp came under a series of attacks with the most fatal of all being the 8th April last year.
The attack resulted in 36 deaths and more than 300 wounded. And why you might ask? As explained before, the Iranian regime feels threatened by anyone who stands against them. The residents of Ashraf have dedicated most of their lives to stand against the injustice which has been brought upon the Iranian nation. They only have one aim, a free and democratic Iran and no matter how many of them are murdered in cold blood, they continue to stand firmer and stronger against these brutalities and the bullies of the Iranian regime.
Now one must ask himself, just how many people do we really know that gave up on everything in this life, all the little "joys" in order to set another human being or a nation free? In a world full of lies, bad politics, and greed and over consumption, full of selfish people who would hurt others in order to get to their "society-defined-success", there actually are people who care about humanity and stand for something more than the need to have a couple of houses and be in a position of power at some big named company! Such people are in Ashraf, or at least they were until they were told by the Iraqi government that after almost 30 years, they will be forced out of their homes and the camp will be closed by the end of 2011. Fortunately, due to months and months of consistent effort by the international community, the closure of the camp did not take place.
Instead, as a goodwill gesture and to show their co-operation with the United Nations as well as the UNHCR to carry out its process of transferring the residents to third democratic countries, the residents of Camp Ashraf agreed to move to a "temporary" camp called Camp Liberty. This was followed by assurances from the Secretary of State and the stationing of the UN monitors to act as observers and protect the residents from further attacks by the Iraqi forces. Contrary to its name, Camp Liberty represents anything but freedom and liberty. The camp is an abandoned American base, looted by the Iraqis and lacking any form of basic facilities such as water and electricity. It is also highly patrolled by the same Iraqi forces which took part in the 8th April attacks against the Ashraf residents.
So far, five groups of 400, have left Camp Ashraf and moved to Camp Liberty with the latest group arriving at the new camp on Friday the 4th May 2012. The transfer of each group has been severely delayed due to the security controls that are undertaken by the Iraqi forces. These security checks are proving to be lengthy and tiresome for the residents as they last days and days of unnecessary interrogation and provocation. On the early hours of Tuesday 20th March 2012, these time consuming procedures were the exact cause of one resident's death, Mr. Bardia Amir-Mostofian, a member of the PMOI who was among the third group to be transferred to Camp Liberty. Soon after entering the camp, Mr. Amir-Mostofian had a cardiac arrest due to intense fatigue and lost his life. Many of the other residents' health have also been severely affected.
Furthermore, the residents are deprived of taking many of their personal belongings which are branded as possible security threats including laptops and sportswear!! The transfer of essential equipments and medical supplies needed for many of the injured, ill and disabled residents have also been forbidden in the new camp. As a result of such restrictions and poor living conditions in the new camp, there have been many harassments of the residents by the Iraqi forces. T-walls surrounding the residents' trailers, which are protective shields against explosions and sand storms, have been removed by Iraqi armoured vehicles. The trailers were all in extremely unhygienic conditions on the arrival of the residents and the sewage system is not functioning properly. When the conditions of Camp "Liberty" became known to the residents, the camp was described as a prison or a concentration camp. However as time passed, it became clear that even a prison has more facilities and better living conditions than what the residents are faced with!
The transfer of the residents to third democratic countries is being delayed by the fact that the PMOI is still on the US FTO list and this makes it harder to find countries that will accept the residents and give them residency. All European countries including the United Kingdom have de-listed the PMOI as there was not sufficient proof of any terrorist activity carried out by the organisation. The U.S. will eventually have to de-list the PMOI and it is a matter of time until they do so. The real question is, how long more will the U.S. keep the PMOI in the FTO list, play with the faith of 3400 innocent and freedom loving men and women and allow them to be psychologically tortured by the same Iraqi officials that carried out the 8th April massacre and killed their sisters and brothers. How long more will the U.S. keep silent as an act of appeasement towards the regime of Iran? When will it become clear that the current regime of Iran is a terrorist state and appeasement and "soft talks" will only provide them with the opportunity to become stronger and more dangerous, not only in Iran or the Middle East, but an international threat that may be unstoppable in a few years from now!
The truth will not be hidden for long and history has a special way of unfolding it. The responsible bodies and organisations, who are delaying the safeguard of the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, will be held accountable for every life lost and every sick person whose condition deteriorates due to the siege of medical supply and equipment that the residents are under. Iranians and freedom loving people all around the world are watching and will not forget nor forgive any more negligence that takes place in regards to the brave people of Iran's resistance.