An Open Letter to:
His Excellency Nouri Al-Maliki
Prime Minister of Iraq
Dec. 9th, 2011
I am writing on behalf of my Iranian compatriots in Camp Ashraf.
As your government’s stated deadline for clearing the camp nears, I wish to share with you my grave concerns about the fate of its residents. Despite the United Nations’ good efforts to relocate the camp’s residents, it would clearly take more time and access in order to find all of them acceptable new locations.
We are all aware of the MEK’s extreme political beliefs and its history of violence and assassinations. The Iranian revolution was in part aided and inflamed by the MEK though, ironically, the current regime in Iran now sees the group as a threat. However, I am separating the group’s politics and history from their basic human rights as my compatriots. There is little doubt that they will face certain death at the hands of the current regime, should they be returned to Iran.
I respectfully ask that you rescind the year-end deadline to clear the camp, and that the United Nations be allowed to register and relocate these refugees as prescribed by the Geneva Conventions. I also respectfully request that you permit the International Committee of the Red Cross to visit the camp until the time their safe transfer to other states can be guaranteed.
The time has come to close the books on our two nations’ recent dark history, and move forward while upholding the human rights of all citizens – even those whose politics we may not find agreeable. I sincerely hope you take this letter in the spirit of brotherhood and with the sincere hope that our two nations will one day soon have a cordial and strong alliance.