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Rights groups want probe of attack on Iranian dissidents

Sept. 4, 2013 at 10:08 AM

PARIS, Sept. 4 (UPI) -- A coalition of human rights groups called on the U.N. mission in Iraq to examine the circumstances surrounding a military attack on an Iranian dissident camp.

The Iraqi government agreed to help facilitate the relocation of Iranian dissidents from their Camp Ashraf enclave in Diyala province. More than 3,000 Iranian dissidents were allowed to move to Iraq in the 1980s and some have since been relocated to European countries. About 100 stayed behind in Camp Ashraf.

Dozens of dissidents were killed in an attack on the camp last week. The U.N. Assistance Mission in Iraq visited the camp Sunday to investigate the incident.

The International Federation for Human Rights, known by its French initials FIDH, and the League of Defense of Human Rights in Iraq called on UNAMI to release its findings as soon as possible.

"FIDH firmly hopes that no government orders were issued to attack the camp, and that the government's own investigation into what can only be labeled as 'extra-judicial killings' will lead to the arrest and fair trial of the perpetrators," FIDH President Karim Lahidji said in a statement Tuesday.

The United Nations said most of the dead at the exile camp suffered gunshot wounds and several bodies were discovered with their hands tied behind their backs. UNAMI said 52 bodies were found and seven people are still missing.

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