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131 US Lawmakers urge Obama to halt relocation of Iranian dissidents in Iraq

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NCRI, 19 December 2009 - US lawmakers urged President Barack Obama on December 15 to stop the Iraqi government’s plan to relocate Ashraf residents within the country by force.
Congressman Bob Filner of California, who presented a resolution supporting the residents of Ashraf at the House of Representatives, drew attention to the PMOI’s plight at a press conference Tuesday.
"We are here to call on whoever will listen, the Iraqi government the US government, to halt the forcible relocation of the residents of Camp Ashraf," he told reporters.
The resolution supported by 131 members of the House;
- Deplores the ongoing violence by Iraqi security forces against the residents of Camp Ashraf,
- Calls on the Iraqi Government to live up to its commitment to the United States to ensure the continued well-being of those living in Camp Ashraf and prevent their involuntary return to Iran,
- And calls on the President to take all necessary and appropriate steps to support the commitments of the United States under international law and treaty obligations to ensure the physical security and protection of Camp Ashraf residents against inhumane treatment and involuntary deportation by Iraqi security forces.
Congressman Filner who also Co-Chairs the Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus in the Congress said, “Just yesterday Secretary Clinton was talking human rights of individuals around the world. Right now we have a human rights case that is an emergency and we expect the Secretary, we expect the President of the United States, and we expect all of the US government to protect the residents of Ashraf.
“These are Iranian dissidents; these are people who have provided us with some of the best information on what is going on in Iran. These are the people who we will be counting on and we must protect them. We have a resolution in the House of Representatives, which calls upon the president to take all necessary and appropriate steps to support the commitments of the United States government to ensure the physical security and protection of Camp Ashraf residents. We think this congress and this administration has to take all necessary steps to protect the safety of those who are in fact on our side in the struggle against the tyrannical Iranian government.”


Congressman Michael Coffman of Colorado
I appeal to the government of Iraq to respect the human rights of those in Camp Ashraf that they are political refugees and that forcibly evicting them from Camp Ashraf, I believe would cause them great harm. Iraq is a sovereign state but by forcibly evicting those in Camp Ashraf, it is subordinating itself to the will of Iran and not to being a sovereign state of its own. I think it’s important that it respects the rights of residents of Camp Ashraf as political refugees and that moving them would clearly harm them a great deal.


Congressman Dana Rohrabacher of California
We did not spend a trillion dollars nor sacrifice the blood and suffering of our young defenders in order to see that Iranian nationals who oppose the Iranian mullahs are being attacked by the government we put in place in Iraq. This is unacceptable. We are going to be looking very closely at what is happening there. These brave people, who are the only people I know who are in the field fighting the mullah dictatorship in Iran. If they are thrown to the wolves, if their human rights are being violated, if they are treated inhumanely, there will be a price to pay by the Iraqi government. This smells of a rotten deal between the Iraqi government and the Iranian mullah dictatorship.
The United States can’t just stand aside and just let this happen. We recognize that the government of Iraq is the sovereign power in that country, but that doesn’t mean that we will not be diligent in backing up the human rights of those people who are putting themselves on the line in order to bring democracy and freedom in Iran. This is a matter of high concern. We are watching very closely, the government of Iraq should understand they cannot violate the human rights of these people who are opposing the mullah dictatorship of Iran without serious consequences to themselves. So whatever happens, there, we will be watching and they are not just free to do whatever they want to these brave souls.


Congressman Ted Poe of Texas
It does not go unnoticed that the oppressive Iranian regime is trying to influence the Iraqi administration to relocate those good people in Camp Ashraf to unknown places. Many of us in Congress and other people in the United States are quiet aware of this tragedy, but we are going to watch what takes place.
We expect and demand that the Iraqi government secure the safety of these people in Camp Ashraf. If any harm comes to them, that harm will be on the backs and shoulders of the Iraqi government under the influence of the Iranian government. We hope that Iraq follows the Geneva Convections and secures the safety of these people, these good people that all they want is freedom.
The right to be left alone, the right not to be oppressed by any government, whether it is their own or some foreign government, so, to the people of Camp Ashraf and to the families of these folks throughout the world including those here in the United States, we are concerned. We are supportive of the freedom and of the liberty of these individuals at Camp Ashraf and we will be ever mindful, watchful to make sure their safety is secured.

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