Maliki’s representative’s ignominious fabrications, escaping consequences of crime against humanity in Ashraf and preparing ground for a greater atrocity
Iranian Resistance’s renewed call for independent investigation by United Nations into the September 1 massacre
On Tuesday, November 26, Haidar al-Akailli, a member of the so-called Maliki’s investigative committee into the September 1 massacre, in a series of brazen lies attempted to ward off the international abhorrence and escalating condemnations as well as international calls for the release of seven hostages and the bringing to justice of the perpetrators and masterminds of this atrocity and to pave the way for future crimes. Quoting Akailli who belongs to the so-called Ministry of Human Rights of Maliki, Reuters writes:
• “The main thing that the investigations have revealed so far is that the Iraqi security forces were not involved in that attack and an unknown militant group was behind it.”
• Denying that the seven Ashraf hostages are in the hands of Iraqi forces, Akailli said: “Pictures of the alleged missing persons have been circulated to airports and checkpoints and we have not received any news about any of them.”
• He raised the possibility that there had been a dispute within the camp and some of the attackers had come from inside it. Another scenario was that the seven missing people were behind the assault¡ he said.
• MEK members who had seen the attack had shown a ‘serious lack’ of cooperation with investigating authorities.
• Publishing statements by Akailli, Reuters added: “Iraqi authorities have issued 148 arrest warrants for MEK members for crimes against Iraqis since 1991…, according to officials.”
Iranian Resistance finds it necessary to remind the following points regarding the above fabrications:
1. In its previous statements, including statement no. 86 of November 1, 2013, the National Council of Resistance disclosed Maliki’s vulgar investigations to cloak the atrocities and wrote: “the outcome of ‘Maliki’s investigation’ is replete of Goebbels-like lies with the sole objective to wash Maliki’s bloody hands. Through demagoguery, he plans to change the place of henchman and the victim and to drive home the ludicrous scenario of Ghassem Soleimani, commander of the terrorist Qods Force, to Americans; presenting the hostages and the 42 PMOI members who are the survivors of the massacre as the perpetrators of September 1 assault.”
2. The claimed investigation of Government of Iraq (GOI) in void of least legal and political value; no place in the world does the convict carry out the investigations. Remarks made by Akailli itself well proves this stance of the Iranian Resistance. If the Iraqi government continues this investigation for 50 years, it would still get nowhere because this government itself has been the principal perpetrator of this atrocity. The sole solution lies in independent international investigation that in letters to UN and U.S. officials the Iranian Resistance has repeatedly called for.
3. In a letter to the UN Secretary-General, the U.S. Secretary of State, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, and other U.S. and UN officials dated September 30, the representative of Liberty residents wrote: “If the objective of an inquiry into a great crime such as that of September 1 is to identify the perpetrators and bring them to justice so as to prevent recurrence of crime, then how do you expect GOI to be responsible for such an investigation? Trusting the investigation to GOI will result in closing of the file, allowing criminals to get away with their crime, washing the bloody hands of Maliki, and finally to embolden GOI to repeat the crime. Investigators of GOI are the same people who on September 1 declared that there had been a clash between Ashraf residents themselves and they themselves have killed each other!” He then requested for UN to assume “the responsibility for investigation into the massacre and mass execution of September 1 and refuse to allow this great crime against humanity to be forgotten and the principal culprits to escape; hence paving the way for a larger massacre in Camp Liberty.”
4. Speaking of the seven hostages, there is scarcely any need to distribute their pictures to the airports and checkpoints; it merely suffices for the Iraqi government to open the doors of its secret detention centers and clandestine safe houses affiliated with the Prime Ministry.
Amnesty International, in an Urgent Action on November 19th, stated: “The seven Iranian exiles abducted on 1 September are now known to be held by the Iraqi security forces at an unofficial detention facility in central Baghdad. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and could be forcibly returned to Iran. According to reliable sources, the seven were transferred under tight security to an unofficial detention facility in the former al-Muthanna airport in central Baghdad at the end of September.”
5. Several times and lastly on November 19, the UNHCR announced in a statement:
UNHCR and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI) also call upon the Government of Iraq to take all possible measures to ensure the safety of the residents. UNHCR and UNAMI remain gravely concerned about the fate of seven missing individuals formerly residing in Camp New Iraq who disappeared on 1 September and call on the authorities to locate them, ensure their wellbeing and safeguard them against any forcible return.
6. In the first independent investigation on the Ashraf massacre, after conducting interviews with all witnesses of the massacre and the U.S. military officers previously in charge of protection of Ashraf, Perseus Strategies, a Washington institute, announced on October 30 that the Government of Iraq was directly involved in the massacre. This report was compiled after exhaustive research, including interviews with all of the 42 surviving residents of Camp Ashraf who had escaped this crime against humanity.
7. Despite the fact that UNHCR explicitly states in its November 19, 2013 statement that from the onset (i.e. 2011) just 300 have been transferred to third countries, Akailli says that up till now 1000 have been resettled by UN. The purpose of this big lie is to have it followed by the next where he states that 1600 residents are refusing to have interviews with UNHCR. Through this demagoguery, he attempts to lay the blame for the defeated resettlement project on Camp Liberty residents and the PMOI. This is while UNHCR writes in its November 19 update:
Encouraged by the willingness of camp residents to cooperate with the interview process, UNHCR has scaled up the staffing of its operation in an effort to complete the remaining assessments for those whose cases have not yet been prepared.
According to UN reports, over 2100 residents or 75% of them have been interviewed so far and the rest are in the process of being interviewed.
8. The 148 arrest warrants for Camp Liberty residents are fictitious decrees void of least legal value and have been raised merely to whitewash atrocities of Government of Iraq and abduction of Ashraf residents who are all protected persons according to international conventions. Each and every one of Camp Liberty residents have been screened by nine U.S. agencies for sixteen months and subsequently senior U.S. officials announced that there are no allegations against them. Moreover, in a document dated July 2, 2004, they confirmed that all of them are citizens covered by the Fourth Geneva Convention. Residents, their representatives and lawyers have numerously declared that if indeed the Iraqi government has credible documents and evidence on the interference of PMOI members in the suppression of Iraqi people, then it can readily open a file in international courts or bodies, including the Court of Spain that has summoned Maliki, commander of the ground forces, and Maliki’s other criminal collaborators for crimes against humanity and crime against the international community. However, GOI never did such a thing because such documents and evidence are non-existent. To the contrary, documents and evidence of the Iranian Resistance, whether concerning the file of PMOI’s 27 years of presence in Iraq, or with respect to the crimes of Government of Iraq against PMOI members in Ashraf is so strong that would easily lead to the condemnation of GOI’s officials and their masters in the religious fascism ruling Iran.
9. Lack of cooperation of witnesses with the investigations is a sheer lie. As stated in NCRI statement no. 65, “a delegation of three persons on behalf of Jamil Shemri (Commander of Diyala Police and the commander on the ground of the September 1 assault on Ashraf) went to Camp Liberty on September 25 in order to make investigations in talks with the 42 witnesses of the attack on September 1, who were relocated from Ashraf to Liberty. Two members of the delegation colonel Abdolamir Shemri and brigadier general Khalis Al-Tamimi were both deputies of Jamil Shemri, both of them were among commanders of the attack on September 1.
“Although the residents’ lawyers rejected this illegal investigation, one of the witnesses explained his observations of the scene for 4 and half hours in order to prevent further excuses and allegations of lack of cooperation. But in the end, the Iraqi delegation even refused to give a copy of the testimony to the witness. The residents’ representatives stated to the delegation that as long as a copy of the testimonies were given to the witnesses so that they would not be altered later, all the 42 residents were prepared to give testimony in presence of an envoy of the UN or the US embassy.”
10. In the assault of July 2009 and April 2011, the Iraqi government attempted to portray PMOI as responsible for the slaughter. Tahar Boumedra, Head of UNAMI’s Human Rights Office and UNAMI’s Advisor on Ashraf between 2009 and 2012 stated in a testimony in the British parliament on December 11, 2012: “(after the April 8 assault) I went to Ashraf, I did the body count and went back to Baghdad. Together with the US Ambassador Butler, we went to the Chief of Staff of Al-Maliki, together with his National Security Advisor and Political Advisor plus the Office of Human Rights within the Prime Minister’s Office. I showed them the file and I said to them there are 36 bodies, 36 people killed, and they looked at each other as if I’m fabricating the story. … They didn’t want to see it. I requested an inquiry; they said to me we will do the inquiry our way. What is their way of inquiry? I sat down with them in the Prime Minister’s office and they showed me a number of grenades pictures and some light weapons, pistols and Kalashnikovs. They showed me that picture as evidence that there are weapons in Camp Ashraf and those weapons have been used to kill the Ashrafis themselves. Those pictures, I know that they were not properly done, it was just a picture you could collect from any resource, but never mind. Those pictures were used and distributed to the embassies in Baghdad, together with some statements, those statements were the statements of security forces who were involved in the incident, in the attack and that was the investigation made by of the Government of Iraq.”
11. Mrs. Maryam Rajavi announced on September 19 at the UN Headquarter in Geneva: “Hours of video footage taken with mobile phones and cameras of Maliki’s forces and Iranian regime’s agents storming of Ashraf is available. I have personally talked with survivors and witnesses by phone. Iraqi forces confiscated cameras from the hands of those who were executed. We demand the Iraqi government release these mobile phones and cameras that it confiscated from martyrs and wounded persons.” Obviously, such evidence is utterly essential to any impartial probe.
12. On September 11, 35 senior U.S. officials, including 10 Generals, five military officers who were responsible for the protection of Camp Ashraf, Congressional leaders, former presidential candidates, cabinet secretaries, and ambassadors wrote in an open letter to Secretary of State John Kerry: “Asking the Iraqi government, which committed these atrocities, to perform an impartial investigation and make those results public is absolutely ludicrous. But we do not even have that pretense of objectivity. Prime Minister Maliki simply ignores the requests and accepts weak U.S. and UN responses as a green light to commit further atrocities.”
13. EU’s High Representative on Foreign Policy and Security Affairs said in a statement on September 2, “…The circumstances in which this brutal incident took place must be clarified and those found to be responsible must be held fully accountable… I fully support UNAMI’s decision, under its humanitarian mandate, to conduct an independent and transparent assessment of this tragic event. I call on all parties and particularly the Government of Iraq to facilitate UNAMI’s fact-finding efforts.”
14. On September 6, Assistant Secretary of State Beth Jones wrote on behalf of Secretary Kerry to Mrs. Rajavi, “We support the United Nations Assistance Mission (UNAMI) and its efforts to conduct an independent fact finding investigation of this terrible event and document what happened… We have called on the Government of Iraq to fully support those efforts”.
Stressing on repeated and written commitments by United Nations and U.S. government to ensure safety and security of Camp Liberty residents until transfer of the last resident to outside Iraq, the Iranian Resistance once again calls on Secretary Kerry and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to initiate an independent UN probe in order to deprive the religious fascism ruling Iran and its subordinate prime minister in Iraq the opportunity to justify the September 1 crime against humanity and their preparations for the next and greater crime. Yesterday’s fabrications by representative of Government of Iraq Akailli have sounded the warning bells that exact special attention of the international community.