Iraq: Fear for the safety of seven residents of Camp Ashraf at risk of forcible return to Iran
Case IRQ 130913
Abduction/ Risk of forcible return/ Fear for safety
The International Secretariat of the World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) requests your URGENTintervention in the following situation in Iraq.
Brief description of the situation
The International Secretariat of OMCT has been informed by a reliable source about the abduction of seven residents of Camp Ashraf, an Iranian exiles camp located north-east of Baghdad, in Iraq by the Iraqi Security Forces on 1st September 2013. OMCT is concerned about their fate since they could be forcibly returned to Iran.
According to the information received, on 1st September 2013 seven Iranian exiles, members of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), an Iranian opposition group, were abducted from Camp Ashraf during an attack carried out by the Iraqi security forces, which also led to the death of 52 people and several injured. The seven residents are: Ms. Fatemeh Tahoori, Ms. Vajihe Karbalaey, Ms. Mahnaz Azizi, Ms. Lila Nabahat, Ms. Zahra Ramezani, Ms. Fatema Sakhie and Mr. Mohammad Ratebi.
According to the same information received, on 12th September 2013, Mr. Kamel Amin, Deputy of the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights, confirmed the arrest of seven members of the PMOI and announced that they are in the custody of the security forces.
OMCT is gravely concerned about the fate and safety of Ms. Fatemeh Tahoori, Ms. Vajihe Karbalaey, Ms. Mahnaz Azizi, Ms. Lila Nabahat, Ms. Zahra Ramezani, Ms. Fatema Sakhie and Mr. Mohammad Ratebi. OMCT urges the Iraqi authorities to immediately disclose their exact whereabouts and to guarantee their physical and psychological integrity at all times, in accordance with international human rights law.
OMCT fears that they may be forcibly returned to Iran, where they would be at risk of torture and other forms of ill-treatment. OMCT recalls to the Iraqi authorities the absolute prohibition of sending a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he or she would be in danger of being subjected to torture and other forms of ill-treatment or other serious human rights violations.
OMCT further urges the Iraqi authorities to immediately release them in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, to bring them promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times.
Please write to the authorities in Iraq urging them to:
i. Immediately disclose the exact whereabouts of Ms. Fatemeh Tahoori, Ms. Vajihe Karbalaey, Ms. Mahnaz Azizi, Ms. Lila Nabahat, Ms. Zahra Ramezani, Ms. Fatema Sakhie and Mr. Mohammad Ratebi;
ii. Guarantee, in all circumstances, their physical and psychological integrity, including by not forcibly returning them to Iran, where they would be at risk of torture and other ill-treatment;
iii. Order their immediate release in the absence of valid legal charges that are consistent with international law and standards, or, if such charges exist, bring them promptly before an impartial, independent and competent tribunal and guarantee their procedural rights at all times;
iv. Guarantee unconditional access to all members of their family and their lawyers;
v. Guarantee that they are examined by independent doctors and receive adequate medical care;
i. Carry out a prompt, effective, thorough, independent and impartial investigation into the circumstances of these events, the results of which must be made public, in order to bring those responsible before a competent, independent and impartial tribunal and apply penal, civil and/or administrative sanctions as provided by law;
ii. Ensure the respect of human rights and fundamental freedoms throughout the country in accordance with national laws and international human rights standards.
Ø Prime Minister, H.E. Nouri Kamil Al-Maliki, Email: email@example.com;
Ø Minister of Justice, H.E. Hassan al-Shammari, Ministry of Justice;
Ø Minister of Human Rights, H.E. Mohammed Shia´al-Sudani, Ministry of Human Rights, Email:firstname.lastname@example.org
Ø H.E Mr. Mohammad Sabir Ismail, Ambassador, Permanent Mission of the Republic of Iraq to the United Nations Office in Geneva, Email: email@example.com, Fax. +41 22 733 03 26
Please also write to the diplomatic representations of Iraq in your respective countries.
Geneva, 13 September 2013.
Kindly inform OMCT of any action undertaken quoting the code number of this appeal in your reply.
 See OMCT Press Release « OMCT condemns the recent attack on Camp Ashraf » published on 4th September 2013.