Iran General NewsThousands of Iran dissidents in Iraq reject “slanderous” report

Thousands of Iran dissidents in Iraq reject “slanderous” report

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Iran Focus: Baghdad, May 27 – Some 3,446 Iranian dissidents belonging to Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI), declared in a statement entitled “Human Rights Betrayed”, “The May 18 report by Human Rights Watch on the [PMOI”> is a travesty of human rights”. “As a distorted report, it flagrantly violated all basic legal and international standards. In short, HRW has auctioned away and degraded human rights”, they said. Iran Focus

Baghdad, May 27 – Some 3,446 Iranian dissidents belonging to Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin (PMOI), declared in a statement entitled “Human Rights Betrayed”, “The May 18 report by Human Rights Watch on the [PMOI”> is a travesty of human rights”.

“As a distorted report, it flagrantly violated all basic legal and international standards. In short, HRW has auctioned away and degraded human rights”, they said.

The statement came in response to a 28-page report published by the U.S.-based rights group which claimed that members of the Mojahedin were held in their main base Camp Ashraf against their will and were subjected to torture by the organization.

The dissidents said in their statement that the report was hastily put together and “based in its entirety on telephone interviews with the operatives of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS), dispatched from Iran to Europe for use in a disinformation campaign”.

They said that the regime wants nothing more than victimizing its main opposition force, “On the eve of their presidential elections sham, the mullahs needed help badly to turn the spotlights away from their human rights record in Iran, their nuclear weapons program and their increasing meddling in Iraq”.

The residents of Camp Ashraf added that the campaign began in February, shortly after President Bush told the Iranian people in his State of the Union address, “As you stand for your own liberty, America stands with you”.

The statement read in part, “We, members and supporters of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran residing in Ashraf City, declare … that Human Right Watch’s rehashing of the clerical regime’s lies puts a dagger in the heart of human conscience and human rights principles and is an insult to freedom lovers who are the main victims of terrorism and rights abuses in Iran”.

“Slandering the democratic opposition is a transparent ploy by the mullahs to whitewash their own atrocities, including the execution of 120,000 political prisoners. The religious, terrorist dictatorship ruling Iran has been condemned 51 times by different United Nations agencies for its gross violation of human rights. Ironically, HRW has not felt the need to refer to the accused to corroborate the claims of a regime with ‘a dreadful record on human rights’”.

“All of us have been screened several times in the past two years by U.S. government agencies and the Coalition Forces. We were ultimately recognized as ‘protected persons’ under the Fourth Geneva Convention, leaving no room for the lies contained in HRW’s report. That any one has been mistreated or harassed because of political or ideological differences with the PMOI, deprived of living accommodation which others enjoyed, kept here against his/her own will, or forced into divorcing his/her espouse, are sheer lies and are designed to misrepresent the sacrifice and humane values admired by the people of Iran”, they added.

Referring to previous allegations levelled against the PMOI by Iran’s MOIS, the statement read, “Official Iranian government spokesmen had previously claimed that the PMOI was hiding WMD in its camps, had sent thousands of disaffected members over to Iraqi prisons, had received joint training with Al-Qaeda for chemical and biological weapons in Salmanpak, Iraq, guarded Kirkuk’s oil wells, and took part in joint interrogations with Iraqi security agents”. It added that following the U.S.-led war in Iraq no proof was found to corroborate such claims.

The Ashraf residents said that the individuals interviewed by HRW who claim “coercion”, “torture”, and “killing” inside PMOI camps, were notorious MOIS agents. Their names and particulars were documented and published in 1994 and sent to the United Nations Human Rights Commission Special Representative and the UN High Commissioner for Refugees as well as Amnesty International.

The statement concluded by saying that over the past 11 years Human Rights Watch had not responded to repeated invitations to visit PMOI camps. “We, therefore, invite impartial fact-finding delegations and human rights organizations to come to Ashraf City and examine first-hand the claims by the mullahs’ agents and the allegations in the HRW report”.

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