Attack on Camp Liberty, and Hypocracy in Our Media

Attack on Camp Liberty, and Hypocracy in Our Media

Published by on February 23, 2016

Attack on Camp Liberty, and Hypocracy in Our MediaAs our government is attempting to work with the clerical regime in Iran, Camp Liberty seldom hits the headlines, but this story has been covered by the BBC. Knowing how coloured the coverage of the Iranian opposition has been in the past, I clicked on the link with trepidation.

But we can make a diference

By Rosa Conrad

Yesterday there was a sustained missile attack on Camp Liberty, at the latest count were 23 dead and more than two dozen injured. This is frustrating and heart breaking news for so many of us who have been working hard to ensure their safety.

As our government is attempting to work with the clerical regime in Iran, Camp Liberty seldom hits the headlines, but this story has been covered by the BBC. Knowing how coloured the coverage of the Iranian opposition has been in the past, I clicked on the link with trepidation.

Since being involved with this cause and learning about the facts through talking to experts in the field while creating the website, I have seen how the BBC is not the ‘independent and impartial’ news broadcaster people like to think it is. It has to toe the line of the Foreign Office, which because of the government’s involvement with the Iranian regime will not allow anything anti-regime to be aired, and so any sympathy for the peaceful and considerable Iranian opposition remains unexpressed.

Here’s how this influences the BBC’s report of this totally unprovoked and devastating attack.

‘Mukhtar Army leader Wathiq al-Battat told Iran’s Fars news agency that his group had frequently warned the PMOI to “leave Iraqi soil as soon as possible”,’

To use this quote and not temper it with the truth, that these people are being held in prison camp conditions and being prevented from leaving by the Iran-led government in Iraq, is completely misleading.

‘The US designated the PMOI as a terrorist organisation in 1997 but took it off its blacklist in 2012 in view of its “public renunciation of violence”.’

As stated in History of Ashraf, the designation was attached to the organisation as part of a political deal with the clerical regime for the sake of ‘appeasement’. It was revoked by the UK in 2008 and the EU in 2009. So why should this piece of information be important enough to be included in this article?

‘The PMOI sided with Saddam Hussein during Iran’s war with Iraq in the 1980s but fell out with Baghdad after the Iraqi leader was overthrown by a US-led invasion in 2003.’

I had to go back over my correspondence with those knowledgeable about the history of the PMOI for this one. The truth is they never sided with Saddam Hussein in the Iran/Iraq war. They actually fought for Iran until it became clear that the mullahs were extending the war long after Iraq was ready to stop. The regime has continued to spread this lie, just because the PMOI were situated inside Iraq at the time of the war.

A spokesperson for Link for Freedom Foundation told me-

“The NCRI negotiated terms with Iraq in 1982 that meant they (the PMOI) would stay within their (Iraqi) borders, but the Iranian regime was hell bent on keeping the conflict going as under its banner they were able to consolidate control of the people of Iran – and send young people who opposed them to death on the front line. The Iranian propaganda machine still works overtime saying that the PMOI fought beside Saddam Hussein in the war, killed Kurds with him etc. all of which has long since been proved untrue.”

In any case, the PMOI members in Camp Liberty are comprised of people from the initial move to Iraq in 1986, but also many Iranian exiles who came later from around the world to join the cause for democracy and freedom in Iran. Many of them are too young to be implicated in this at all.

Also ‘fell out with Baghdad’ doesn’t make a lot of sense. After promising protection to the residents, the US handed power in Iraq to despotic dictator Al-Maliki, who was a puppet of the Iranian regime. This is when the unarmed PMOI began to be under attack.

So this information is what the BBC decides we need to know about this subject, in line with the foreign office, in line, in turn, with the mullah’s regime in Iran.

They opted to leave out that the residents of Camp Liberty were given refugee status in 2006.

They opted not to mention that each resident in Camp Liberty has a signed document promising protection from the US government.

How can the BBC possibly claim impartiality in their journalism?

The article finishes with the sentence, ‘Last year Islamic State militants fired rockets near the international airport as it sought to destabilise the capital.’

Why did they end with this statement? Isis has absolutely nothing to do with this story. Are they really trying to make us draw unconscious links? If anyone has any other theories let me know!

If you compare this report to the one from the US state department which they actually quote in the article, this misleading slant is entirely absent. Even though it has just signed a deal with Iran, the US seems much less closed on this issue than the UK. For instance, Maryam Rajavi was recently invited to give evidence to congress in a hearing about terrorism in the Middle East.

Maryam Rajavi is the leader of the Iranian opposition in exile, the NCRI. The clerical regime has labelled her a ‘cult leader’ and a ‘terrorist’. Have a look at her 10 point plan for Iran and decide for yourself.

Compare this to Amnesty International’s report on the ‘staggering’ number of executions this year by the regime.

Rajavi lives in France, and can travel throughout Europe unhindered. But our government, in deference to the bully boys, has banned her from setting foot on British soil.

However, there are members of our government who are prepared to stand up for what is right in this matter. We need as many of our MPs as possible to support the cross party British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, and present a united front against this hypocrisy.

Please consider writing to your MP to voice your concern, and ask them to support the committee. In the light of this attack, we also need to ask all MPs to call on the Foreign Office to support emergency removal of all remaining residents of Camp Liberty, as according to the Amnesty report, futher attacks have been threatened. Pressure like this does work. If enough of us speak out we can cut though the bullshit and persuade the powers that be to take seriously the human rights of those oppressed by the countries with which they do business, and encourage a better world for our children.

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
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