Iraqi Government Admits to Holding Seven Iranian Dissidents Hostage

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WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwired - September 12, 2013) - IranNewsUpdate.com - Today, Iraq's Ministry of Human Rights acknowledged that the Iraqi government had indeed detained seven members of the People's Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) for attacking Iraqi security forces at Camp Ashraf on September 1st. 

Iran News Update broke the story early last week of an attack by Iraqi military forces on unarmed residents of Camp Ashraf, the Iranian refugee camp located outside of Baghdad. A total of 52 members of PMOI were killed in the attack, where eyewitness said Iraqi security forces stormed the camp and brutally executed unarmed civilians. An additional seven residents were taken hostage. Since the attack, 11 days ago, the Iraqi government had denied any involvement in the abduction of the seven missing PMOI members. 

Mr. György Busztin, Deputy Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General for Iraq and a UNAMI delegation toured the camp following the attacks and confirmed that the deceased appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, the majority of them in the head and the upper body, and several with their hands tied.

U.S. Sen. Robert Mendez, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, released a statement condemning the attacks on Camp Ashraf and called on the Iraqi government to protect the community and immediately release the seven hostages it is holding. 

"I condemn the brutal violence targeting Camp Ashraf residents in the most forceful of terms and personally offer my deepest sympathies to the families of this horrific act of terror. The surviving residents have been moved to Camp Liberty, but serious threats endure for the community and they remain targets of future attacks even as they are relocated. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq must proceed with their independent investigation and thoroughly ensure the safety and wellbeing of those residents now in Camp Liberty.

"I hold the Iraqi government directly responsible to protect the community, to investigate this matter thoroughly, and to prosecute the perpetrators of this heinous act. I am deeply concerned for the seven hostages who were taken during this attack. The Iraqi government should act swiftly to determine their whereabouts and ensure their safety. There is added urgency for the global community, as well as for the United States, to help resettle this community outside of Iraq, and end this cycle of ongoing terror attacks."

Additionally, two major parliamentary groups of the European Parliament, European People's Party (EPP), and Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ADLE), in separate statements on September 10 called for immediate release of the hostages by the Government of Iraq and stationing of international forces at camp Liberty.

As INU learns more the organization will update this story in realtime on Twitter at Twitter.com/IranNewsUpdate1 and on Facebook at Facebook.com/IranNewsUpdate and continue to provide updates to the story at IranNewsUpdate.com.

INU features news, analysis and commentary on events inside Iran and the Iranian Diaspora to audiences around the world. News and information is provided in cooperation with the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the parliament in exile of the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI/MEK. Analyses on developments on Iran and the region are provided by INU experts. Media and researchers are welcome to use INU news and commentaries, with attribution made to IranNewsUpdate.com 

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