Since the beginning of 2009, the U.S. government transferred the responsibility for protection of Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), the principal Iranian opposition movement, to the Iraqi government.
In this transfer of protection, the U.S. government on the one hand did not honor its written obligation to each and every one of the residents to protect them, and on the other violated the International Law. In addition to the Fourth Geneva Convention which protects Ashraf residents, the U.S. has breached many other of its international obligations such as the Convention Against Torture which the U.S. is a signatory to. According to article three of this convention, “No State Party shall expel, return (“refouler”) or extradite a person to another State where there are substantial grounds for believing that he would be in danger of being subjected to torture.” (paragraph 1)
Especially that the intention of the Maliki government to suppress Ashraf was evident beforehand. The source of this political position is clearly the fact that the political current at the helm of the Iraqi government receives its orders from Tehran and is indebted to the mullahs’ regime for keeping it in power.
Consequently, the beginning of protection of Ashraf by Maliki’s government was in fact the beginning of an inhumane and escalating siege on Ashraf. This is a thorough siege, including prohibition of commute from and to Ashraf, prohibition on visits of residents’ lawyers to the camp to see their clients, prohibition on family visits, severe restriction on entry of fuel and many other goods, etc.
In this book we study the most inhumane aspect of the siege, namely the restriction on free access of Ashraf residents to physicians, medicine and other medical services.
Prior to the transfer of protection of Ashraf from the U.S. government to Iraq, Ashraf residents’ medical needs were taken care of by the residents at their own expense. A well equipped medical center with physicians and specialists from residents themselves with assistance from Iraqi medical specialists managed this center and offered medical services to patients. The purchase of medicine, hospital equipment, and paraclinical devices from the Iraqi market was not hindered in any way.
With the beginning of the siege, the Iraqi government insisted on managing residents’ medical services through the Diyala Health Directorate to destroy the independent access of residents to medical care. To provide for their medical needs, Ashraf residents prepared a hospital with all its equipment located in a building called Moslehi near the main entrance to Ashraf and transferred it to the Diyala Health Directorate that subsequently named it: “The New Iraq Hospital”. This hospital that began its work by restricting or cutting off medical services to the residents, in its evolution turned into a center for harassment and torture of the patients. Credible information has shown that the planning of this siege and its daily guidance comes from nowhere but the terrorist Qods force and the Iranian Embassy in Baghdad.
Since late 2010, when the medical siege of Ashraf residents met extensive international condemnation and raised abhorrence, the Maliki government ordered a bogus report to be prepared in order to nullify the consequences of this disgrace.
The report of 18 January 2011 prepared by the Diyala Health Directorate on the operation of the New Iraq Hospital is just to serve this purpose while it lays the ground for the continuation and intensification of the medical siege.
What follows in this collection studies the more important falsifications presented in this report against the reality present in Ashraf today and in the New Iraq Hospital. This book in fact is a factual document that vividly shows the collaboration of the two suppressive regimes of Khamenei and Maliki to torture Ashraf patients to death.
Various chapters in this collection, based on numerous facts, demonstrate that the Ashraf residents’ right to have free access to medical care has been de facto taken away; a right recognized in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights called the right of each individual to “medical care” (Article 25).
In addition, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of the United Nations (adopted on December 16, 1966), says in its article 12: “The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to the enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.” This covenant obligates member states to: “The improvement of all aspects of environmental and industrial hygiene… The prevention, treatment and control of epidemic, endemic, occupational and other diseases” and “The creation of conditions which would assure to all medical service and medical attention in the event of sickness.”
Even if Ashraf residents were prisoners, the Iraqi government could not have ignored their right to have access to medical services according to resolution of Protection of All Persons under Any Form of Detention or Imprisonment (United Nations General Assembly resolution of December 9, 1988). This resolution emphasizes “…medical care and treatment shall be provided whenever necessary. This care and treatment shall be provided free of charge.” and it goes on to say: “The fact that a detained or imprisoned person underwent a medical examination, the name of the physician and the results of such an examination shall be duly recorded. Access to such records shall be ensured. Modalities therefor shall be in accordance with relevant rules of domestic law.” (Articles 24 & 26)
An in depth look into the current catastrophe in Ashraf demonstrates that the issues goes beyond the “free access” of individuals to medical care and it is rather using medical services as a tool of torture and finishing off the patients through gradual torture. In other words, a policy of deliberate and gradual murder of Ashraf residents is being implemented.
Various chapters of this book illustrate that transforming the hospital into practically a torture center, leaves Ashraf residents with no incentive to refer to this hospital for medical care. As far as Ashraf residents are concerned, at no point in time, have they ever requested for such a hospital from the Iraqi government; therefore, it suffices that the Iraqi government and its suppressive committee just do not obstruct free access of Ashraf residents to medical care. It is the demand of Ashraf residents that their hospital and its equipment are returned to them and that the Iraqi government and its suppressive committee move out of the way to allow Ashraf residents to take care of their own medical needs at their own expense as was the case in the past.
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