ISJ Condemns Iraqi Minister Remarks Against Iranians in Camp LibertyPublished by International Liberty on January 2, 2015
International Committee In Search of Justice has issued the following press release:
(ISJ) – Iraqi “Human Rights Minister” Mohammad Mahdi al-Bayati said on 24 November 2014 in a meeting with Mrs. Jane Holl-Lute, Special Advisor to the UN Secretary-General on Resettlement of Liberty Residents, “The PMOI lack refugee status and their stay in Iraq is illegal because they supported the former dictatorial regime in the most hideous crimes against the Iraqi people.”
On 16 November, in a meeting with Mr. György Busztin, UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Iraq, al-Bayati also said, “The presence of this organization in Iraq is illegal and as a result their expulsion must be accelerated”. (Iraq Human Rights Ministry Website, 16 & 24 November 2014)
By raising such lies and false allegations, al-Bayati is preparing the grounds to repress the Liberty residents and carry out the Iranian regime’s agenda in Iraq. He is a member of the terrorist Badr Organization associated to the Quds Force, and has been on the payroll of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards (IRGC).
The Badr organization and its commander, Hadi al-Ameri, have said time and again, including on 17 September 2014, “We obey the orders of Iran’s supreme leader. From day one our policy has been taking part in battlefronts under sharia orders from the leader of the Islamic revolution Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. And prior to the fatwa issued by senior religious leader Mr. Ali Sistani we were fighting in the two fronts of Syria and al-Anbar in Iraq.”
Al-Bayati’s allegations are of no value after rulings issued by dozens of courts in the European Union, United States, United Kingdom, France and other countries that cleared the PMOI of any such accusations and its removal from all terrorist lists. Twelve years after the fall of previous regime in Iraq there is no evidence for such allegations. Mr. Zebari, the current Iraqi Finance Minister, who was this country’s foreign minister for a decade, had issued a written testimony to a Dutch court in 1999 as a member of the Political Bureau and representative of the Kurdistan Democratic Party saying, “We have not come across any evidence to suggest that the Mujahedin have exercised any hostility towards the people of Iraqi Kurdistan. The Mujahedin-E Khalq has its own political agenda in Iran and its members do not interfere in Iraqi internal affairs.”
We call on the Iraqi Prime Minister to not allow ministers of his cabinet, linked to parties associated with the Iranian regime, to raise such lies, criminal aspersions and provoking remarks against Liberty residents who are refugees and ‘protected persons’ under the 4th Geneva Convention. The UNHCR has time and again described Liberty residents as ‘people of concern’ enjoying international protection. Such behaviour will lead the efforts made by Mr. al-Abadi aimed at improving Iraq’s image into a failure.
ISJ also strongly condemns remarks attributed to UN envoy Mrs. Holl-Lute. According to a report posted on the Iraqi Human Rights Ministry Website, Mrs. Holl-Lute said, “UNAMI is seeking to arrange family meetings for the members of this organization to relieve their problems and persuade them to return to their country.” She added in her visit to the Islamic Republic of Iran she met with a number of Iranian officials and discussed the issue of these family meetings with them, and she is going to inform her colleagues in the UNHCR about the talks in this regard.”
There is no justification to involve Iranian regime officials with the fate of their opponents. Arranging “family visits” by “Iranian officials” is only a reminder of the psychological torture against the residents from February 2010 to December 2011 by agents of the Iranian Intelligence under the guise of the residents’ family members. We have been informed that Liberty residents had already written to Mrs Lute on 28 October 2014, asking her not to engage Iran in this sensitive issue.
Agents, who inflicted psychological torture on Ashraf residents during 2010 and 2011, were routinely transferred to Baghdad by Iran and the embassy in Baghdad sorted out their political and logistical issues for their stationing outside Ashraf.
We were alarmed to learn that on 22 November the websites affiliated to the Intelligence Ministry of Iran had quoted the regime’s ambassador to Iraq who has been a commander of the Quds force, talking on the same lines as the UN envoy: “Hassan Danaifar, Islamic Republic of Iran ambassador to Iraq, visited Camp Ashraf in the Diyala Province… and he expressed hope that soon the pained and aggrieved families of the PMOI members will meet their loved ones in Camp Liberty and their frustrating separation will be ended… Mr. Danaifar promised that he would use all of the Islamic Republic of Iran capacities in Iraq.”
The Liberty residents and their representatives have time and again in the past years justly announced that they will refrain from any meeting, cooperation and relations with any side that involves the Iranian regime in the dossier of Liberty residents.
We call on the UN Secretary-General, US Secretary of State, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and the High Commissioner for Refugees, who have responsibility over the safety and security of Liberty residents, to strongly urge Mrs. Holl-Lute and other UN officials to refrain from engaging Tehran in the dossier of its dissidents. This will seriously endanger their safety and security and would put their families at great risk.
Vice-President of the European Parliament (1999-2014)
President of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ)
International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) was initially formed in 2008 as an informal group of EU parliamentarians to seek justice for the Iranian democratic opposition. In 2014 it was registered as a non-profit NGO in Brussels expanding its membership beyond elected parliamentarians to former officials and other dignitaries with an interest to promote human rights, freedom, democracy, peace and stability. ISJ has produced regular reports to the UN Security Council on the situation of Iranian opposition refugees in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. It has also produced a comprehensive report on the nuclear weapon program of Iran. ISJ’s campaigns have enjoyed the support of over 4000 parliamentarians on both sides of the Atlantic.