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Press Release: Outgoing Iraqi PM responsible for refugee massacre


An independent report on the 1 September 2013 massacre at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, published on the one-year anniversary of the attack, has confirmed the suspected involvement of the  government of outgoing Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki. The report, which incorporates the testimonies of the 42 surviving eyewitnesses to the  massacre, was compiled by the Human Security Centre (HSC), a London-based global foreign policy think tank; and the Ashraf Campaign (ASHCAM), a human rights group set up last  year to advocate for Iranian refugees living in Iraq.

Formerly home to 100 Iranian refugees, Camp Ashraf was attacked on 1 September 2013, killing 52 residents. Seven residents were also abducted during the attack. The joint HSC-ASHCAM report identifies Iraqi security forces, acting under orders given by  the Iraqi government at the behest of the Iranian regime, as the perpetrators of the  massacre.

“This was a highly professional and effective attack planned and coordinated at the highest  levels of Maliki’s administration, and carried out by Iraqi forces loyal to the outgoing Prime  Minister,” said Curtis Sinclair, Co-Chairman of ASHCAM and the report’s lead author.

“The significance of this is huge,” he said. “Our report shows quite clearly that Maliki and his  government are guilty of gross abuses of international law not seen since the days of  Saddam Hussein. They must be held to account.”

Julie Lenarz, the Executive Director of the Human Security Centre, added: “This report fits into the broader framework of the examination of the abhorrent situation in Iraq today. Maliki’s politics of sectarianism have created a climate of fear and hatred in which groups, such as ISIS, can flourish. We must not fall victim to the Iranian trap and maneuver ourselves into a grotesque position where Iran expands its sphere of influence under US drone cover in Iraq.”

Since the 1 September massacre, the survivors of Camp Asfraf have all been relocated to Camp Liberty, a former US military base where 2,800 Iranian refugees are held in conditions described by the UN Human Rights Council as “synonymous with those in a detention centre.”

Curtis Sinclair is contactable at: E: curtisjgsinclair@googlemail.comT: +44 7539 307419

Julie Lenarz is contactable at: julie.lenarz@hscentre.org or via assistant stephanie.ross@hscentre.org


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