News On Iran & Its NeighboursIraqSpanish court open probe into killings in Iraq

Spanish court open probe into killings in Iraq

-

AP: A Spanish judge has opened a probe into a melee in which Iraqi security forces are accused of killing 11 members of an Iranian exile group in a camp in Iraq in 2009, according to a court order obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

The Associated Press

By CIARAN GILES

MADRID (AP) – A Spanish judge has opened a probe into a melee in which Iraqi security forces are accused of killing 11 members of an Iranian exile group in a camp in Iraq in 2009, according to a court order obtained Tuesday by The Associated Press.

Judge Fernando Andreu, saying he is investigating possible crimes against humanity, called on Iraqi Lt. Gen. Abdol Hossein al Shemmari to appear March 8 before the National Court in Madrid to answer questions about the incident. The writ said Shemmari directed the attack on the camp.

In the document, Andreu said Spain was probing the issue because the court viewed as insufficient Iraq’s claim that it was investigating. The judge had asked Iraq in December if it was investigating the case.

Under Spain’s universal justice doctrine, grave crimes alleged to have been committed in other countries can be prosecuted here under certain conditions, such as when the country where a crime allegedly took place is not investigating.

A new condition laid down recently is that there should be a link to Spain. However, Spanish judges can still act if the crime violates an international treaty signed by Spain. Andreu said that in this case the Geneva Convention applies, as it addresses the protection of civilians in wartime.

The attack by Iraqi troops and police took place July 28 in Camp Ashraf, the base of the Iranian opposition group. Eleven Iranians were killed and 36 were arrested, according to members of the exile group.

The complaint was filed in the Spanish court by human rights lawyers in Spain representing members of the group, the People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran.

It was not immediately possible to get comment from Iraqi officials.

This is the first universal justice case taken on by the National Court since Parliament narrowed the scope of the law in October 2009 amid criticism from Spain’s allies that it was acting like a global policeman – and after angry complaints from some countries that were being investigated, such as Israel and China.

Spain’s observance of universal justice became famous in 1998 when Judge Baltasar Garzon had former Chilean ruler Augusto Pinochet arrested in London and sought, ultimately in vain, to put him on trial in Madrid on charges of torture, terrorism and other offenses allegedly committed during his dictatorship.

In 2003, Garzon used the doctrine to indict Osama bin Laden for the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States. However, extraditions and convictions under the Spanish procedure have been extremely rare.

The U.S. military had guarded the Ashraf camp since the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, under an agreement that made its 3,400 residents “protected persons” under the Geneva Convention. The U.S. military stopped observing the agreement after a new security accord with the Baghdad government took effect in January 2009.

During the attack, American soldiers stood by. U.S officials said they had no authority to intervene.

Latest news

Iran’s Presidential Election and the Regime’s Diminishing Security

Iran’s 2021 presidential election has become a nightmare for the government, a nightmare created by the non-participation of the...

Iran’s Presidential Election Changes Nothing in Economy

This article is part of our series that explores liquidity in Iran and its harrowing impact on various elements...

Iran’s Attacks on the Environment

The Iranian government has been condemned for human rights abuses dozens of times over the past 40 years, but...

Liquidity and Iran’s Economy on the Verge of Presidential Election

This article is part of our series that explore liquidity in Iran and its harrowing impact on various elements...

Iran Officials Admit That Elections Are Fake

Iranian officials are admitting that the presidential elections on Friday are basically a sham, rather than a true expression...

The Plight of Female Street Vendors in Iran

Female street vendors are facing harassment – physical, sexual, and psychological – and violence every day on the metro...

Must read

Iran’s Ahmadinejad, conservatives in new showdown

AFP: Iran is bracing for a fresh showdown between...

Iran rejects EU demands it scrap nuclear enrichment

Reuters: Iran, accused by Washington of developing nuclear arms,...

You might also likeRELATED
Recommended to you