Amnesty seeks information on PMOI

Aug. 5, 2009 at 1:20 PM
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LONDON, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- Amnesty International called on Baghdad to release information on Iranian dissidents seized during a raid on Camp Ashraf in Diyala province.

Iraqi police in July stormed the Camp Ashraf base of the People's Mujahedin of Iran using tear gas and water cannons, promising to expel the 3,500 members of the group.

The PMOI is a dissident movement opposing the clerical regime in Iran. It had received a reputation as a terrorist organization stemming from its guerrilla activity in the 1980s, though it claims it now supports peaceful methods of opposition.

Ashraf representatives through various media statements claim at least 12 residents have died during the melee, with hundreds of others injured.

Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh acknowledged the deaths, though he claims some of the Camp Ashraf residents threw themselves under police vehicles.

Amnesty International said it was seeking information about 36 Camp Ashraf residents seized by Iraqi security forces in July, demanding authorities provide evidence of their humane treatment amid allegations of torture.

The aid group also requests an examination into claims Iraqi security forces used excessive force during their raid on Camp Ashraf.

Baghdad denies the claims, saying the operations are a controlled measure meant to provide stability in the enclave.

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