About Camp Ashraf
Camp Ashraf is home to some 3,400 members, relatives, and sympathizers of Iran’s main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). The camp rests in Iraq’s Diyala Province, 60 miles northeast of the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, and about 44 miles from Iran’s Western border.
In 1986 the PMOI resettled its leadership, rank and file in a 14 square-mile barren land that we know as Camp Ashraf, where only a handful of deserted buildings existed.
About People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran
People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI) is the largest and best organized opposition against the Iranian regime. Since 1965, it has strived for freedom and human rights, first against the despotic reign of Shah, and now the theocratic tyranny of the ayatollahs. Tens of thousands of its members and sympathizers have been killed by the clerical regime since 1979.
The PMOI is an anti-fundamentalist Muslim organization which believes in a democratic, progressive, and tolerant interpretation of Islam, according to which elections and public suffrage are the sole indicators of political legitimacy. The PMOI endeavors for a secular, democratic, and non-nuclear republic, and is committed to free elections, gender equality, and abolition of all discrimination against national and religious minorities (download available below).
PMOI and the 2003 Iraq War
Long before the 2003 war began, the PMOI publicly declared its neutrality and played no part in the ensuing conflict. In the early part of the 2003 US invasion, as a result of quid pro quo between Washington and Tehran, PMOI bases were repeatedly bombed by Coalition forces, inflicting dozens of casualties and enormous structural damage.
In April 2003, the US forces signed a cease-fire agreement of “mutual understanding and coordination” with the PMOI. Finally in May 2003, as a result of negotiations between the PMOI and the US forces led by General Ray Odierno, the PMOI agreed to a “voluntary consolidation” and disarming of its forces in exchange for US protection of Camp Ashraf and its residents.
Protected Persons Status under the 4th Geneva Convention
After an extensive 16-months investigation of every member of the PMOI in Camp Ashraf by seven different US government agencies, including the Department of State, PMOI members were found clear of any violation of US law . In addition, the US Government declared them “non-combatant” during the 2003 war.
In July 2004, the US granted residents of Ashraf “protected persons” status under the Fourth Geneva Convention. As such, the US forces took up the protection of Camp Ashraf based on a mutual agreement with the PMOI. The US protection of Ashraf continued until January 2009 when the camp’s security was transferred to Iraq. (Click here to download)