Terence Bunch

Photojournalist & Writer

A woman holds a sign drawing attention to her relatives in Camp Ashraf outside the US embassy. US Embassy, London. 9th September 2009. All pictures © Terence Bunch.

Press Conference Camp Ashraf PMOI, US Embassy. London. 9th September 2009.

By Published Last Edited 2009-09-09 00:00:00

On the 44th day of the solidarity hunger strikes outside the US embassy in Londons Mayfair district, Iranian campaigners hold a press conference to draw attention to the plight of the residents at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

They are joined by guests including Lord Clark of Hampstead, Human Rights campaigner and lawyer, Mark Stephens and others.

They call on the Iraq authorities, the US government and the British Government to intervene in the situation to ensure the safety of 36 detainees currently arbitrarily held in detention.

The US trained and equipped Iraqi security forces have recently adopted the use of chronic and organised violence to bring about the forced removal of the Camp Ashraf residents giving an insight into training methods employed by US and UK toward the occupied countries in the so-called War on Terror.

In the United Kingdom, the incident serves to underpin the acute embarrassment the British Government is exposed to regarding the continued occupation of Afghanistan by British forces. The Prime Minister has recently insisted that British troops remain there to train Afghanistan security forces.

US Embassy, London. 9th September 2009.

Female hunger striker Soudabeh Heidari sits in the tent outside the US embassy on day 44 of the hunger strikes.

Female hunger striker Soudabeh Heidari sits in the tent outside the US embassy on day 44 of the hunger strikes.

A hunger striker lays in bed with a picture of his family beside him. This hunger striker attempted to enter Iraq in March of this year on an Iraqi short stay visa but was told by Iraqi authorities that he would not be allowed to see his family. They made clear to him that he must instead order his family to leave Iraq.

A hunger striker lays in bed with a picture of his family beside him. This hunger striker attempted to enter Iraq in March of this year on an Iraqi short stay visa but was told by Iraqi authorities that he would not be allowed to see his family. They made clear to him that he must instead order his family to leave Iraq.

A doctor carries out a routine daily blood pressure check while monitoring his health.

A doctor carries out a routine daily blood pressure check while monitoring his health.

Lord Clark of Hampstead addresses the crowd. He states

Lord Clark of Hampstead addresses the crowd. He states

Making speeches outside the US embassy.

Making speeches outside the US embassy.

British lawyer Mark Stephens talks to the assembled crowd about the legality of the attack undertaken by Iraqi security forces on the residents of Camp Ashraf. He cites the use of wooden planks, firearms, rape and the threat of rape, all contraventions under Article 4 of the Geneva convention relating to the protection of citizens during wartime. Iraq remains occupied by the United States and as such, it is required by law to protect the people of Camp Ashraf, who are a protected group under the article.

British lawyer Mark Stephens talks to the assembled crowd about the legality of the attack undertaken by Iraqi security forces on the residents of Camp Ashraf. He cites the use of wooden planks, firearms, rape and the threat of rape, all contraventions under Article 4 of the Geneva convention relating to the protection of citizens during wartime. Iraq remains occupied by the United States and as such, it is required by law to protect the people of Camp Ashraf, who are a protected group under the article.

A hunger striker looks on during the conference.

A hunger striker looks on during the conference.

44 days after the hunger strike begins, Iranian men lay on their beds vowing to continue until the 36 detainees are released and the safety of the residents of Camp Ashraf is assured.

44 days after the hunger strike begins, Iranian men lay on their beds vowing to continue until the 36 detainees are released and the safety of the residents of Camp Ashraf is assured.