Call for investigation into the September killings at Camp Ashraf

Camp Ashraf/Liberty: call for investigation of the 1 September killings and release of seven Iranians thought to be held in custody by the Iraqi authorities

On 1 September 2013, armed men raided Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which has been for many years a home for Iranian political dissidents exiled from their country. At least 52 residents were shot dead. There is credible evidence, including video footage and photographs, that many of the 52 had been shot in the head, some while handcuffed.

The Iraqi government denied responsibility for the attack but promised to investigate the killings. To date, no official results of such an investigation have been made public.

We are appalled that, almost 12 weeks after this deadly raid, the perpetrators of this atrocious crime have not yet been brought to justice. An independent international inquiry must be conducted as soon as possible.

During the same raid, seven Iranian dissidents, six women and one man, all belonging to the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, were abducted from Camp Ashraf.

There are indications that these seven people are being held by the Iraqi security forces at a secret detention facility in Baghdad. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and could be forcibly returned to Iran.

We urge the Iraqi authorities to release these seven Iranians, unless they are duly charged with an internationally recognisable criminal offence; to make sure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment; and not to forcibly return them to Iran where their lives would be in danger.

We call on the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide protection to the residents of Camp Liberty in accordance with its mandate.