NGOs call on UN’s Pillay to probe massacre of Iranian opposition members in Camp Ashraf

The United Nations must conduct a full investigation into the massacre of 52 people at Camp Ashraf on September 1, and bring the killers to justice, three human rights non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in consultative status with the United Nations have demanded.

In a joint statement, the Danielle Mitterand Foundation and International Educational Development and MRAP told the UN Human Rights Council session: “On September 1, 2013, a group of 101 asylum-seekers, recognized as protected person under the IVth Geneva Convention, were attacked in Camp Ashraf, while the Camp was surrounded by the security forces of the Iraqi Government. 52 asylum-seekers were killed and 7, six of them women, were abducted.”

“On September 3 UNAMI declared, ‘Inside the camp, the delegation witnessed 52 bodies in a makeshift morgue. All the deceased appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, the majority of them in the head and the upper body, and several with their hands tied’.

“The victims of the massacre were members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), an Iranian opposition movement. At present these 3,200 unarmed people have been further subjected to five other attacks where patients lost their lives due to lack of proper access to medical treatment.

“Had her request for a first transparent inquiry made on April 15, 2013, been heeded these massacres would not have occurred.”

The statement added: “Moreover on 9 December 2013, a group of United Nations independent experts expressed serious concern about the lack of information from the Iraqi authorities regarding any investigations into the September 1 attack.

“They wrote in a joint statement, ‘The impunity with which these crimes have been committed is particularly flagrant given the severity of the offences and the alleged evidence of engagement by Iraqi forces in the commission of these crimes’.

“Five month after the massacre there is no evidence that any investigation has been conducted by the Government of Iraq as no report has been published on the issue.

“No one has been brought to justice regarding the September 1st massacre or previous attacks all of which have been described by independent jurists as crimes against humanity. Iraq has further failed to respond to inquiries from the UN Human Rights Special procedures.

“Therefore we call upon the relevant Human Rights Council’s Special procedures to conduct a complete and full investigation in to the September 1 massacre in Camp Ashraf.”

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