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SOURCE Perseus Strategies
WASHINGTON, October 30, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
President Obama Must Press Iraqi Prime Minister to Resolve the Situation
At an event at the National Press Club this morning, a human rights NGO released an Independent Report of a massacre of 52 asylum-seekers and abduction of seven asylum-seekers in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, on September 1, 2013.
"Our report offers a clear and simple conclusion - President Obama is welcoming to the White House a man who is responsible for the commission of crimes against humanity in Iraq, just two months ago," said Jared Genser, an international human-rights lawyer and lead author of the report. "It is not sufficient that the UN and United States condemn the attack; it must directly acknowledge the Iraqi government's involvement, hold it to account for what happened, and take immediate action to protect the 3,000 remaining Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty, Iraq."
The report is based on interviewing the 42 survivors individually, looking at pictures/video evidence, utilizing Google mapping technology to confirm the locations of key buildings and Iraqi guard posts, reviewing independent news reports, and consulting with three former US military commanders of Camp Ashraf who offered their assistance on a pro bono basis. There was no response to requests to meet with the Iraqi government.
Two former US military commanders of Camp Ashraf, Brigadier General (Ret.) David Phillips and Colonel (Ret.) Wesley Martin, note in the report, "this assault on Camp Ashraf could not have been accomplished without the support of Iraqi Government Forces already stationed at Camp Ashraf. This report further confirms the assault was in fact done by Iraqi Special Forces brought in for the occasion." Colonel (Ret.) Thomas Cantwell, another U.S. military commander at Camp Ashraf who participated in the press conference, observed the Residents "were massacred by the very troops we trained and to which we handed responsibility for protection of the camp."
The report recommends the following actions: (1) securing the release of the seven hostages from the Government of Iraq; (2) establishing a 24/7 permanent presence of UNAMI in Camp Liberty, as it had previously promised the Residents; (3) having the UN initiate an independent and impartial investigation into what occurred; (4) using U.S. leverage, including the threat to withhold weapons sales to Iraq, to secure the safety of the Residents; and (5) having UNCHR expedite the resettlement of the Residents through a "group" determination of their refugee status and having the United States accept a large number of the Residents for resettlement given its prior legal commitment to ensure their safety and security.
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