- Tuesday, 17 September 2013 00:00
Iran Freedom Committee condemns massacre By Iraq at Camp Ashraf
The massacres of Iranian dissidents by the al-Maliki government in Iraq, acting as a puppet of Iran continued this month, even though the unarmed people in the camp have been designated "protected persons" by the United Nations.
The UN has done very little to protect these people, and Ban Ki-Moon's Special Representative did little more than continually put the people at risk, delivering them into the hands of Iran, acting through the government of Iraq. They have never stationed blue helmets at the camp, instead they have left the camp residents completely unprotected. Martin Kobler, the Special Representative convinced many of the residents to leave Ashraf, to move to another camp, but it turned out to be a bad move, because the protective equipment owned by the residents was stolen by Iraqi forces.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom organized a cross-party parliamentary conference this week, at which current Members of both houses of the British Parliament, condemned the attack.
The unarmed dissidents in Camp Ashraf, near Iraq's border with Iran were attacked on September 1st, by Iraqi armed forces under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's command. 52 residents were killed and seven were taken hostage, including six women.
Here is a press release issued by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, on 12 September 2013:
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) issued a press release Thursday, September 12, following a major conference in the House of Commons on the appalling massacre in Camp Ashraf
In a cross party parliamentary conference organised by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, MPs from both Houses of Parliament condemned the massacre of 1 September at Camp Ashraf by Iraqi armed forces under Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki's command at the behest of the Iranian regime. In the attacks, 52 residents were slaughtered and seven were taken hostage, including six women.
The speakers in the Westminster conference strongly condemned the appalling Ashraf massacre and said the Iraqi government must be held to account. MPs and renowned human rights lawyers and personalities asked for urgent release of the seven hostages by Iraq while calling on the UN to station a permanent Blue Helmet team at Camp Liberty. The conference further called for the provision of urgent protective equipment at Camp Liberty, including double-layered roofs for trailers and the return of T-walls and concrete bunkers.
Speakers included David Amess MP, Alan Meale MP, Dowlat Nowrouzi UK Representative of NCRI, Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, Tahar Boumedra, former head of UNAMI's human rights section, Margaret Owen, OBE, barrister and renowned human rights lawyer, Malcolm Fowler, member of Human Rights Committee in Law Society, Mr Lars Rise, former Norwegian MP who has visited Camp Ashraf.
Baroness O'Loan, Member of Joint Human Rights Committee of the British Parliament, Brian Binley MP, Matthew Offord MP and Steven McCabe MP, also sent messages to the conference.
Sir Alan Meale, MP stated "The international community must come together and prosecute the perpetrators of these crimes and bring this case to the International criminal court in The Hague."
Lord Maginnis emphasised "We have allowed UNAMI (United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq) to downplay the truth of what occurred during the past 5 massacres and worryingly, the diplomatic missions in Iraq rely on UNAMI and its reports. This hides the crimes of Prime Minister Maleki."
Mr David Amess, Conservative Member of Parliament and Chairman of the BPCIF stated "We want action. We must insist on the immediate release of the seven hostages, the stationing of UN blue helmets and a US monitoring team at Camp Liberty 24-7. Iran is about to lose what it describes as its 35th state, Syria, and that is why it wants to get rid of its opposition in Iraq. We must isolate this regime and sanctions must be brought to ensure freedom for the people of Iran."
Dr. Tahar Boumedra former UN official said: "The reality of Camp Ashraf is that no one could penetrate Camp Ashraf without the express permission of the Iraqi government, army and police. This attack was ordered by the government of Iraq. We will unfortunately witness another attack in Camp Liberty unless the international community acts to stop these atrocious crimes against humanity."
Mr Brian Binley, Conservative MP said in a message to the conference that "I have been in correspondence with the Secretary-General and will continue to do so and urge the UN to station a permanent Blue Helmet force in Camp Liberty."
Mr Lars Rise, former Member of the Norwegian Parliament said "This was a serious and clear crime against humanity and the Iraqi regime is the main suspect. We should not allow the suspects of a crime to investigate the crime."
Ms. Dowlat Nowrouzi, the UK Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran said "Based on the principle of non-refoulement the Iraqi government cannot extradite the 7 hostages to Iran. All residents are protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The UN must station its blue helmet forces at Camp Liberty. The FCO, the US and the UN should put pressure on the Iraqi government to provide safety and security to the Camp Liberty. This includes the return of 17,500 T-walls to camp Liberty which was previously removed by the Iraqi government and other security measures."
Baroness O'Loan, stated that "I call on Prime Minister al-Maliki to do all he can to immediately secure the release of the hostages. I call on our government, the US government and the UN to ensure a proper investigation takes place into this massacre."
Malcolm Fowler of the Law Society said "I am here on behalf of 160,000 members of the Law Society to strongly condemn the mass execution of 52 residents of Camp Ashraf and we call on the Foreign Office to take robust action to protect these civilians."
Margaret Owen, OBE stated "The perpetrators and the Iraqis and the Iranians must be held accountable. The 7 hostages must be released immediately."