Support and Protection for Ashraf sign now

The Honorable Barack Obama
President, United States of America
The White House
Washington, DC 20500

Dear Mr. President,

On Tuesday, July 28, 2009, Iraqi forces stormed Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad, home to some 3,500
unarmed and defenseless Iranian dissidents. A day later, the AFP reported 11 were killed in the attack,
citing an Iraqi official. Camp residents say 12 people have been killed and more than 400 injured. Thirtysix
residents have been taken to an unknown location by Iraqi forces and their fate remains unknown.
Some of those taken away are critically wounded and in need of urgent medical attention. On July 30, the
Washington Post quoted residents as saying that Iraqi troops used fire hoses, pepper spray, sonic grenades
and riot shields to plough through hundreds of residents. Pictures received from Ashraf show direct gun
shots fired to the chest or face of residents and Humvee armoured vehicles chasing people. Some
residents have received multiple bullet wounds. The atrocious attack exhilarated the Iranian regime, who
called it late but admirable (Wall Street Journal, July 30, 2009) but has received sharp rebuke elsewhere
in the world.
In 2003, in exchange for their disarmament, the U.S. military granted Ashraf residents in Iraq "protected
person" status under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and guaranteed that members would be protected
from harm or forcible transfer to a country where they might face persecution. That promise was broken
on July 28, 2009. When the protection of Camp Ashraf was transferred to Iraqi forces in January, the Iraqi
government sent written assurances to the United States promising to treat Ashraf residents humanly and
according to International law. The brutal attack on the Tuesday shows that such promises from the Iraqi
government are not credible and the residents lives will be in danger as long as Iraqi forces have control
over Camp Ashraf.
The attack is being interpreted as a kowtow by Mr. al-Malikis government to the Iranian regime (Wall
Street Journal, July 30, The Guardian July 29, 2009). The fact that the United States allowed it to happen,
at a time when people in Iran have taken to the streets to demand their basic rights, has been incredibly
shocking.
We, the undersigned, demand practical and meaningful steps from our government to resolve this crisis,
and ask for the fulfillment of the following conditions:
1. Release of all 36 residents taken captive by the Iraqi forces;
2. Withdrawal of Iraqi forces from Ashraf;
3. Undertaking of Ashrafs protection by US forces until an international forces under U.S.
supervision takes over the protection of Ashraf;
4. Allowing of lawyers and representatives of international human rights organizations to visit
Ashraf after having been denied access for the past seven months.

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Nancy ZamoraBy:
Business and CompaniesIn:
Petition target:
Barack Obama

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