Saturday, June 11, 2011

Iraq: 140-Day Sit-in - Iranian-Americans Call on State Department to Delist the MEK, Protect Camp Ashraf in Iraq

SOURCE US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents

June 10, 2011
, marks the 140th day of a sit-in by US families and supporters of Camp Ashraf residents, members of Iran's principal opposition to the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), across from the US Department of State.

The participants have been urging the State Department to revoke the unwarranted designation of the MEK and to protect the residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

In July 2010, the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia ruled that the Secretary of State's decision to maintain the MEK's designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization had been flawed because it not only violated the group's due process rights but had been based on flawed and unreliable evidence. It remanded the case to the Department for a review.

Almost a year on, the State Department has been dragging its feet, despite the fact that the continuing listing of the MEK has had dire consequences, serving as justification for Baghdad and Tehran to crack down on the group's members, its supporters, and their families in Iran and Iraq.

On April 8, 2011, Iraqi forces raided Camp Ashraf, killing 35 residents and wounding 345 others. On April 14, 2011, at a hearing at the Subcommittee on Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade, the Ranking Member, Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA), said, "In private discussions, the Iraqi ambassador's office has said the blood is not on the hands of the Iraqi government but is at least partially on the hands of the State department because the MEK is listed as a terrorist group and, accordingly, Iraq doesn't feel that it has to respect the human rights of those in the camp."

H. RES. 60, so far co-sponsored by some 80 bipartisan members of the US House of Representatives, urges the Secretary of State to remove the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) from the Department of State's list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations.

A growing roster of former senior officials in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations have noted that the MEK designation has no basis in fact and law and should be revoked immediately.