Iranian-American Community of Northern California Joins DC Rally Demanding Continued Protection of Iranian Refugees in Iraq
SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Some 3500 members and affiliates of Iran's largest democratic movement, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) are currently residing in a camp in Iraq, named Ashraf. This group of refugees, many of whom have been in Iraq since 1986, voluntarily surrendered its weapons to U.S. forces in 2003. Since the residents of Ashraf remained neutral during the invasion of Iraq and were not involved in hostilities that followed, all of them have been designated as "Protected Persons" under the "Fourth Geneva Convention." Now, as the UN Mandate covering the Multi-National Forces' occupation of Iraq is nearing its end; U.S. and Iraqi officials are trying to get new agreements in place to formalize the status of military forces that will stay in Iraq past the 2008 deadline. In the last few weeks, there have been scores of media reports, in Persian and Arabic, in which Iranian sources have claimed that "an agreement has been reached where camp Ashraf's protection is going to be transferred to the Iraqi government," and that "they will then be expelled from Iraq." If this transfer of protection happens, it would pave the way for Tehran to massacre the dissidents in Ashraf. The Ayatollahs in Tehran have no fear or shame in undertaking the mass execution of political opponents. These weeks mark the anniversary of Iran's 1988 "Prison Massacre," when over the span of a few months, according to Amnesty International, "between 4,500 and 5,000 prisoners are believed to have been killed, including women." As part of the nationwide network of Iranian American Communities, we are joining our colleagues from all over the United States on Monday September 8, 2008, in front of The White House (in Lafayette Park, at 11 AM), to demand the continued protection of unarmed camp Ashraf residents in Iraq. We also stand in solidarity with our fellow Iranians in exile, who have since August 25, 2008 staged an open ended sit-in in front of UN's European Headquarters in Geneva, asking the International Committee of Red Cress (ICRC) to intervene to prevent the transfer of 3,500 Iranian dissidents, threatened with expulsion. Contact: Iranian-American Community of Northern California Phone: (925)361-8279 e-mail: info@iacNorCal.com
SOURCE Iranian-American Community of Northern California
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