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36 Ashraf residents hostages RELEASED on 72nd day of hunger strike

36 Ashraf residents hostages RELEASED on 72nd day of hunger strike, 7th day of dry hunger strike, transferred to Ashraf Hospital

Mrs. Rajavi requests all hunger strikers in Ashraf and across globe to end their strike

President-elect of the Iranian Resistance thanked Iranian compatriots, Iraqi political figures and tribal leaders, members of parliaments, jurists, international human rights organizations across the globe for their relentless efforts to release the 36 hostages

On the seventy-second day of their hunger strike and seventh day of dry hunger strike, 36 Ashraf residents hunger strikers who have been taken hostage in Iraq returned triumphantly to Camp Ashraf.

A number of them went into coma yesterday morning and they were taken to hospital by prison guards. Upon their arrival, they were immediately taken to Ashraf medical center to rest and to be looked after due to their critical condition and the injuries suffered from gunshots and beatings during the July 28 and 29 attacks. Most of them were on the verge of death.

All of the released Ashraf residents were beaten and wounded and seven of them were unconscious at the time of their capture and abduction. They were held for several days in appalling conditions outside of Ashraf and then transferred to the local prison in the city of Khalis. Subsequently they were moved to the Iraqi military intelligence detention center and finally to the prison in al-Muthana airfield. In all these displacements they were mistreated. Their astounding perseverance for the past 72 days shocked the world.

The court in Khalis ordered their release first time 46 days ago on August 23, 2009. They continued to remain in custody, however, on spurious charges of illegal entry into Iraq over 23 years ago. The court again confirmed the order for their release on September 16, 2009. On September 27, 2009, the judge in Khalis city court gave his third and definitive order for their release and dismissed all charges against them. In the verdict for their release and closure of their cases it was emphasized that they had not committed any crime, that the investigation is closed, and that they must be released from detention immediately.

The Iraqi police and government, however, refused to implement the order provoking a wave of worldwide and regional protests that eventually led to the release of hostages today against all odds and obstacles. Developments leading to the release of the hostages require a separate report.

The clerical regime ruling Iran planned to abduct as many Ashraf residents as possible in order to use them as a lever to put pressure on Ashraf residents. The regime wanted to transfer the hostages to Iran to eliminate them.

But, the incredible perseverance of these 36 hostages, along with the resistance of Ashraf residents, and strikes, sit-ins, demonstrations, and protests by our compatriots in various countries across the world, that presented a brilliant show of solidarity of the Iranian people, combined with massive international support, eventually defeating the ploys by the Iranian regime and led to the victory of Ashraf residents and release of the 36 hostages.

Residents in Ashraf and all hunger strikers in various countries ended their strikes and the Ashraf residents expressed their gratitude to all other solidarity hunger strikers throughout the world. They also expressed gratitude to the continued international campaign of Ashraf supporters and determined defenders who are seeking guarantees for protection and fulfillment of the rights of Ashraf residents and declared that if their security and protection are not guaranteed they will have no other choice but to resume their hunger strike.

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