In a press conference at the Federal Parliament in Canberra, a non-partisan group of Australian members of Senate and Federal Parliament from the Labor, National and Greens parties announced the solidarity of the members of the Australian Senate and Parliament with the residents of Camp Ashraf and their support for human rights in Iran.
At this press conference, Senator Scott Ladem, representing the Greens Party, Senator John Williams, representing the National Party, Senator Claire Moore, representing the Labor Party, Mr. Calvin Thompson, member of Federal Parliament from Victoria, and Mr. Larry Ferguson, member of Federal Parliament from New South Wales on behalf of the Labor Party, along with Mr. Stephen Volker representing Amnesty International and Father Rivent Bryan Midway from the Organization of Canberra’s Churches were present.
Condemning Nouri al-Maliki’s government for the crimes it has committed against residents of Ashraf since 2009, Senate and Parliament members at this conference, as well as human rights personalities in Australia called on the UN, the U.S. government and the Australian government to protect the residents of Camp Ashraf and asked for removal of restrictions imposed on Ashraf residents by the government of Nouri al-Maliki on behalf of the Iranian regime.
Senator Scott Ladem, from the Greens Party congratulated the representatives that were present at the press conference and praised the solidarity of all Australian parties in support of Ashraf; he called on the Australian government to ask the UN to take on protection of Camp Ashraf.
On behalf of the National Party, Senator John Williams said representatives of the National Party condemn violation of human rights by the Iranian regime and ask for protection of Camp Ashraf in Iraq. He said: At the Australian Senate, we will employ all our efforts to ask the UN and the U.S. government to take on protection of Camp Ashraf. This will need support of all Australian Parliament members and we will do that with cooperation of our friends who are here.
Senator Claire Moore, from the Labor Party said: What happened at Ashraf was a mistake and it is our duty to support Ashraf like many other countries of the words. We are gathered here with our colleagues to discuss this issue and like many other parliaments in the world, announce our solidarity with Ashraf.
Larry Ferguson, member and secretary of the Australian Federal Parliament said: Because of the Iranian regime’s influence in Iraq, I believe these people’s lives are in serious danger. The Iranian regime executes its opponents; it’s a regime that carries out stoning and gouging eyes. We are highly concerned about the Iranian regime’s plots in Iraq against residents of Camp Ashraf.
Calvin Thompson, member of the Federal Parliament from Victoria pointed out the letter that he wrote to Hillary Clinton after the Iraqi forces attack on residents of Ashraf city, and announced his support for the European plan for Ashraf.
The member of Australian Parliament said: The best message we can send to the Australian government today is to cooperate with the UN and the peace keeping force for protection of Camp Ashraf. I believe that Australia should support the European decision for stationing UN and peace keeping forces at Camp Ashraf.
At this conference, Mr. Stephen Volker from Australian Amnesty International pointed out his personal experience when he visited Ashraf city in 2008 and called Camp Ashraf residents heroes of the Iranian people’s freedom and leaders of democracy and human rights in Iran; he then expressed his support for the Australian Parliament’s representatives’ call for protection of Ashraf city’s residents by the UN and its support for the European plan for Ashraf.
Rivent Reverend Bryan Midway from the Organization of Canberra’s Churches was another personality who participated in this press conference. He asked the Parliament members and the Australian government, as the representatives of the free world, to support the rights of Camp Ashraf residents and the PMOI, because their most basic rights have been violated for many years and they have been subjected to violence. He asked for condemning such criminal attacks and protecting the rights and liberties of Ashraf city’s residents.
At the end of the press conference, Mr. Peter Murphy, President of the Committee of Australian Supporters of Iranian resistance issued a statement and praised the coalition for action by Australian lawmakers from four parties at this conference in support of residents of Ashraf city.