Conference in Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe Emphasized Urgent Need for EU, U.S. and UN to Secure Release of Seven Hostages of Ashraf and Stationing at Camp Liberty of UNAMI Observing Team and UN Blue Helmets
LONDON, October 1, 2013 /PRNewswire/ –
In a major conference in the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe, in
Strasbourg, on Monday, September 30, EU, U.S. and UN were called upon to intervene
immediately to secure release of seven residents of Camp Ashraf who are taken hostage. The
event was organized by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF).
The Iraqi forces murdered 52 residents of Camp Ashraf, all who were Iranian refugees,
in mass execution and abducted seven of the residents as hostages on 1st of September.
According to specific information and statements from international bodies, the seven
hostages, six women and one man, are in severe condition in the hands of Iraqi security
forces and face the serious threat of being handed over to Iran.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, was key speaker to the
conference that was chaired by Brian Binley, member of UK House of Commons and member of
the Political Committee of the Council of Europe. Dozens of parliamentarians from various
political parties in Europe took part as did Patrick Kennedy, U.S. congressman
(1991-2011); Alan Meale, member of UK House of Commons and deputy for socialist group in
the Council of Europe; Joe Benton, an experienced member of UK House of Commons and chair
of a number of parliamentary committees; Jordi Xucla, Spanish legislator and member of the
Council of Europe; and Eric Voruz, Swiss legislator; Jean-Pierre Michel, French senator
and member of the Council of Europe; Jean-Pierre Muller, French Mayor; Tini Kox, Dutch
senator, member of the Council of Europe; Kimmo Sasi, Finnish MP and member of the Council
of Europe; Tahar Boumedra, former senior UN official and in charge of Camp Ashraf case,
offered their speeches.
The meeting called upon Council and member states to demand that the government of
Iraq free the hostages taken at Ashraf and to review their relation with Iraq should these
demands not be met.
The participants demanded that a UN monitoring team together with a Blue Helmet unit
must be stationed in and around Camp Liberty, place of residence of 3,000 Iranian
dissidents in Iraq, at all times. They underscored that the Secretary-General and the High
Commissioner for Human Rights should conduct an independent investigation into the
September 1st atrocity and bring the perpetrators to justice.
They called upon the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe to appoint a
Rapporteur to conduct an independent probe which could help to end harassment, violence,
and murder perpetrated against both Iranians in exile and in Iran.
In her speech, Mrs Rajavi said the tactics of Nouri al-Maliki, the Prime Minister of
Iraq and Faleh Fayaz, the National Security Advisor to the Government of Iraq is to create
havoc on the hostages by constantly moving them around such that when the address of one
prison is revealed and UN demands a visit, the prison would be empty, allowing the Iraqis
to claim that the hostages are not in their hands.
Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that because of the information we have given to UN and U.S.,
they know well that the attack on Ashraf was carried out by Maliki and that the hostages
are also in his hands. If they want and if they decide to live up to their repeated and
constant commitments concerning safety and security of the residents, they can question
Maliki and obligate him to keep to his international commitments which would lead to the
expeditious release of the hostages or to the handing them over to a European country.
The meeting pointed out that member states should find ways of accepting Liberty
residents. Delays by European countries in this matter especially that of refusing to
admit 900 residents who are refugees in their countries, is shameful and should be ended.
The speakers expressed solidarity with Camp Liberty residents who are on hunger strike
in protest to the massacre of September 1 in Ashraf and taking of their seven colleagues
hostage together with those in various countries throughout the world who are staging
sit-ins in support of Camp Liberty residents, emphasizing that they will spare no efforts
to ensure the release of the hostages and the safety of the residents of Camp Liberty.
SOURCE The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom