UA: 242/13 Index: MDE 14/016/2013 Iraq Date: 11 September 2013


Seven iranians abducted from camp ashraf

Seven Iranian exiles, members of the People’s Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), were abducted from Camp Ashraf, northeast of Baghdad, on 1 September by armed men who had attacked the Camp and killed 52 residents. Unconfirmed reports have suggested that they are in the custody of the Iraqi authorities. They are at risk of torture or other ill-treatment and could be forcibly returned to Iran.

Six women, Fatemeh TahooriVajihe Karbalaey (aka Vajihe Karbalaey Fatah), Mahnaz Azizi (aka Mahbobeh Lashkari), Lila NabahatZahra Ramezani (aka Sedegh Ebrahimpour), Fatema Sakhie and a man, Mohammad Ratebi (aka Mohsen Nicknamei) were abducted on 1 September from Camp Ashraf, about 60km north-east of Baghdad in Diyala governorate, when the camp was raided by armed men who shot and killed 52 camp residents. All of the seven are members of the People’s Mojahedeen Organization of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group. Amnesty International condemns the killing of the 52 residents and has called for an independent and impartial investigation into the killings.

Eye witnesses from the Camp stated that they had seen the seven people in handcuffs, being beaten and thrown to the ground and then taken away in a white minibus. Their whereabouts remain unknown although unconfirmed reports have suggested that the seven were held in a detention facility at the former al-Muthanna airport in central Baghdad. The Iraqi government has denied responsibility for the attack although Iraqi forces have been responsible for previous attacks on the camp that resulted in dozens of resident deaths.

Please write immediately in Arabic or English or your own language:

Calling on the Iraqi authorities to immediately clarify the whereabouts and the legal status of Fatemeh Tahoori, Vajihe Karbalaey, Mahnaz Azizi, Lila Nabahat, Zahra Ramezani, Fatema Sakhie and Mohammad Ratebi;

Urging the authorities to ensure that, if held in Iraqi custody, the seven people are protected from torture and other ill-treatment and that they are released immediately unless they are charged with an internationally recognizable criminal offence.

Urging them not to forcibly return the seven individuals to Iran where they would be at risk of torture and possibly execution;

Reminding the Iraqi government of its obligations under international law not to forcibly return individuals to a country where they would be at risk of serious human rights violations, including torture.