Today, Congressman Poe visited Iraq to visit U.S. troops and meet with Iraqi officials. Congressman Poe and other Members of Congress attempted to visit Camp Ashraf where they were turned away by the Iraqi government. Congressman Poe issued the following statement in response:
I am deeply disappointed that Members of Congress were denied access to Camp Ashraf by the Iraqi government. Earlier in the day, we had the opportunity to meet with Prime Minister Al-Maliki for nearly two hours and heard his candid position on this complex issue. These discussions were important and productive. However, it was also important to be able to hear the position of the residents of Camp Ashraf in order to get a fair assessment from both sides of what really occurred that day. We were not allowed to hear their side of the story. It is unacceptable for the Government of Iraq to continue to silence the Iranian freedom fighters at Camp Ashraf.
On April 8, 2011, 2500 Iraqi forces attacked unarmed Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf. 35 people were killed and hundreds were wounded in these attacks. The international community has not been allowed access to the Camp. Members of the European Parliament were also denied access to Camp Ashraf when they visited Iraq at the end of April.