On Saturday December 10, on the International Human Rights Day, and on the eve of U.S. President Barack Obama’s meeting with Iraqi prime minister Nouri al-Maliki in Washington DC, in a call to President Obama, American and European dignitaries urged annulment of the December 31 deadline on Ashraf and the forcible relocation of its residents inside Iraq, warning of an impending massacre and human catastrophe in Ashraf.
In their call, former American and European political and judicial dignitaries and senior military commanders emphasized that the President of the United States, in his meeting with the Iraqi prime minister on Monday December 12, should demand that the suppressive deadline and the compulsory relocation of Ashraf residents be rescinded and that immediate cooperation with the UNHCR to enable the process of relocation of Ashraf residents to third countries get started.
They stressed that in light of two massacres of Ashraf residents in the past three years, any relocation inside Iraq is a joint plan by the Iranian regime and Iraq to set the stage for residents’ massacre.
This call was announced in an international conference at the invitation of the CFID Committee (French Committee for Democracy and Human Rights in Iran) on the occasion of International Human Rights Day.
Speakers to the meeting were: Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance; André Glucksmann, author and a member of New France Philosophers; Andrew Card, President Bush Chief of Staff (2001-2006); Bill Richardson, New Mexico Governor (2003-2011) and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations; Mitchell Reiss, U.S. State Department Head of Strategy Development (2003 – 2005); Alan Dershowitz, one of the most prominent advocates of individual rights and the most well-known criminal lawyer in the world; Geoffrey Robertson QC, prominent British jurist and former appeal judge at the UN Special Court for Sierra Leone; Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Prime Minister of Algeria; Patrick Kennedy, U.S. Congressman (1995-2011); Senator Ingrid Betancourt, Columbian presidential candidate; General David Phillips, U.S. Military Police Commander (2008-2011); Jean-François Le Garrett, Mayor of Paris 1st District; Aude de Thuin, the founder of Women’s Forum for Economics; Cynthia Fleury, West contemporary philosopher.
In her speech Mrs. Rajavi stated: “Ashraf residents have repeatedly declared that they are ready for all solutions except annihilation and surrender. Their actions in recent months show that they are prepared for full cooperation with the UN, especially the UNHCR and UNAMI and that they are ready to bear any costs relating to providing their security, based on aides from their fellow compatriots. They respect Iraq national sovereignty; however, as the Special Representative of the Secretary-General pointed out on the December 6 Security Council session, sovereignty can never be used as a pretext for systematic breach of international human rights, international humanitarian law and refugee rights.”
She underscored that in any solution for Ashraf the following points must be taken into consideration:
1. The essential principle is the protection of the lives and safety of Ashraf residents. In any given plan, their protection with acceptable guarantees by the UN, U.S. and the EU, including by the UN blue helmets or by the U.S. forces must be provided.
2. The PMOI do not accept any Iraqi armed force inside their camp. In particular, for the security and peace of 1,000 women of Ashraf, the Iraqi forces should not by any means intervene in their life during their transfer to the third countries.
3. Based on the stipulations made by the UN Secretary General to the Security Council, any solution must be both acceptable to the residents and the Government of Iraq.
4. The siege and all restrictive and menacing measures such as the warrants and calls for arrest and extradition must be revoked.
Mrs. Rajavi added, “The U.S. is responsible for protection of Ashraf residents for several reasons, because the current crisis is the direct outcome of Iraq war. The U.S. has signed an agreement with every single resident of Ashraf to provide their protection; the current government in Iraq came to power with the U.S. assistance and is in power with the U.S. assistance.
Addressing the international community, Mrs. Rajavi said, “Securing the life of Ashraf residents and their right to life is not something to be represented as complex or impractical. Therefore, inaction before the ominous will of the mullahs and their Iraqi affiliates must be put aside. They wish to impose their “right” to crime against humanity under the excuse of national sovereignty. One should not succumb to their will and must live up to the international law and the “Responsibility to Protection (RtoP)” principle.
Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
December 10, 2011