Washington, DC (PressExposure) August 23, 2011 -- CONTACT: Alex Madi
PHONE: (786) 375-8752
Young Iranians across the United States, are helping organize a major rally in solidarity with Iran's pro-democracy movement in front of the Department of State on Friday, August 26th, according to Human Rights and Democracy International.
They will join thousands of Iranian-Americans, uniting their voices with a single message: take the MeK off the list and protect Camp Ashraf, Iraq.
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, has threatened to attack Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 members of the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK).
Maliki has invoked the Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO) designation to launch deadly attacks on Camp Ashraf -- the most recent in April 2011, when Iraqi forces killed 36 residents and wounded more than 300. In January and December, the regime hanged several MeK activists for their role in the 2009 uprising.
Instead of ensuring the protection of the residents, the United States violated its 2004 written agreement with each and every resident of Camp Ashraf, and transferred their protection to the Iraqi government. The U.S. is still legally and morally obligated to protect the defenseless Ashraf residents, according to Amir Emadi, a recent graduate of San Diego State University.
Emadi, 24, has 21 relatives currently in Camp Ashraf, including both parents, and 18 more are in prison in Iran, including his cousin Jalal. "While Senator Kerry and senior Members of Congress described the Iraqi attack on Ashraf as a 'massacre,' everything must be done to prevent another assault. The Iraqi Government has been using the unjust hold -over FTO designation of the MEK to plan further attacks," Emadi said, while preparing to go to the DC rally on Friday.
"My parents and relatives are not terrorists," he said, urging Secretary Clinton to remove this "disgraceful designation, which has no basis in law and fact and was originally motivated by ulterior political motives."
Roya Salamipour, 26, a graphic designer and one of the organizers of Friday rally, agrees. "My parents and brother are in Camp Ashraf, and they are not terrorists. They have endured all the dangers to help free our nation," she said, adding, "Just like the Libyans who are fighting for their dignity and liberating their country."