In Defense of Iranian Women at Camp Ashraf, Iraq We Are Writing To Hillary Clinton
August 1, 2009
Per our public statement and action alert on Tuesday July 28th, we invite you to join us as a signatory of the enclosed letter to Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton.
The situation at CampAshraf has deteriorated. On Friday July 31, 2009, CNN reported at least 12 people have been killed, 400 have been injured and more than 50 people have been abducted by the Iraqi forces.
Please share this with your networks and urge others to sign on to this letter. We ask you to send us your email response by 8 a.m. (EST) Tuesday August 4, 2009. Please include:
Your full name
Your city and state
Your title/Organization (if applicable)
We sincerely appreciate your continued inquiries and support for the Iranian women at Camp Ashraf.
Your sisters from Women's Forum Against Fundamentalism in Iran
Faezeh Sami Jila Kazerounian President Executive Director
Text of the letter
The Honorable Hillary Rodham Clinton,Secretary of State U.S. Department of State2201 C Street NW Washington, D.C. 20520August 4, 2009
Dear Madame Secretary,
We are writing to express our deep concern about the situation of Iranian exiles at Camp Ashraf, Iraq. There are more than 1000 women among them. These women are currently under brutal attacks by the Iraqi forces. Scores have been injured and some in critical condition. On Tuesday July 28th, the unarmed and defenseless residents of the camp came under violent attack by Iraqi forces carrying, batons, chains, axes, heavy machinery and guns. At least 13 people have been killed and more than 400 injured. Some are in coma.
While journalists are barred from visiting the camp, Iraqi force are allowing Iranian "media" to enter the camp and gather intelligence on these exiles.
The New York Times reported on August 1st, Iraq is increasing "falling deeper under Tehran's influence." Iraqi actions at Camp Ashraf and the horrifying images of their violence against these women speak volume to the influence of the Iranian regime. We have no doubt the threat against these exiles will escalate further.
We are particularly concerned since Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki has publicly hinted that they would comply with Iran's demands.
We have always admired your efforts in supporting women's issues all over the world. We know that you deeply believe that women's rights are human rights.
The women of Ashraf have stood up to one of the most vicious dictatorial regimes of the modern times. In Iran, women are considered as second class citizens with minimal rights.
Misogyny is the pillar of Islamic fundamentalism and these brave women have decided to confront it in the past 30 years. That is why the mullahs in Tehran consider this group the most serious opposition to their tyranny and constantly demand that the west tie their hands and limit their activities.
On behalf of the Iranian women at Camp Ashraf, we ask you intervene in this pressing humanitarian crisis.
Beyond the medical aid provided by the United States since July 30th, America has a moral and international obligation to protect the residents of Ashraf.
Therefore, we respectfully ask you to:
1. Call on the Iraqi government to withdraw its forces from Ashraf and return the 50 people arrested during the attacks on the camp.
2. Resume US protection of Ashraf until this crisis comes to a peaceful resolution.
3. Call on the Iraqi government to allow lawyers, representatives of international human rights organizations, and the media to visit Ashraf after having been denied access for months.
We count on your leadership and immediate intervention in this humanitarian and escalating situation. Please prevent this crime against humanity to take further lives and target women.
Faezeh Sami Jila Kazerounian
President, WFAFI Executive Director, WFAFI
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