Cross Party MPs Urge the UN Security Council to Guarantee the Minimum Rights of Iranian Dissidents at Camps Ashraf and Liberty

LONDON, April 10, 2012 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ — The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

On the eve of the UN Security Council meeting on Iraq, dozens of members of both Houses of Parliament urge the UN Security Council to emphasise on the need to guarantee the minimum human rights and humanitarian standards for the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty.

The British parliamentarians underlined the fact that during the process that almost half of Camp Ashraf residents have been transferred to Camp Liberty, the leadership of Camp Ashraf and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian opposition, have adopted a very responsible approach. To this effect, and in order to avoid violence and massacre from reoccurring, the residents forfeited many of their fundamental rights and accepted relocation within Iraq with minimum facilities.

Cross-party members of the UK Parliament urge the UNSC to appreciate the cooperation and full flexibility of Ashraf residents to transfer to Liberty while ceding their home and the city they have been living in for 26 years; a city that was built by their own efforts and resources.

British parliamentarians urge the UNSC to condemn the Iraqi violence against the residents and make the government of Iraq aware of the consequences of repeating violations of legitimate rights of Iranian dissidents in camps Ashraf and Liberty.

British parliamentarians underscore that the UNSC must support the provisions for meeting the minimum human rights and humanitarian standards for Ashraf residents and recognise their property rights, including movable and non-movable properties. UNSC should urge Iraqi government to recognise the status of the residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty as asylum seekers and respect the rights associated with such status under international law.

In its last session, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe pointed out that Camp Liberty “is suffering from a serious shortage of drinking water and electricity. Open sewage has made the area terribly polluted and a danger to human health….Liberty residents are not allowed to leave the camp. They have no direct access to medical services nor to lawyers. There is a police station and nearly 150 armed Iraqi forces equipped with machine guns in this very limited area of half a square kilometre in which 3,400 people have to live. Several surveillance cameras and eavesdropping devices have installed in the camp. “

On the eve of the UNSC meeting, the British parliamentarians emphasise that the UNSC must recognise Camp Liberty as a refugee camp. All the evidence suggests that these peoples’ stay in Liberty will be mid-term and Liberty cannot be attributed a “Temporary Transition Location”, which will then deprive the residents of their most essential humanitarian standards.

With regards to relocation of Camp Liberty residents to third countries, the parliamentarians stated that in order for the process to move forward, the Council shall provide necessary support to the UNHCR for faster refugee status redetermination and resettlement of the residents in third countries.

Dozens of members of the British House of Commons and Peers took note that scores of prominent former U.S. officials from four administrations in recent weeks, have reiterated the need to guarantee the rights of Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. They have been joined by senior members of the U.S. congress in a bipartisan initiative.

The UNSC meeting on Iraq almost coincides with the raid of Iraqi armed forces on Camp Ashraf last year, on April 8, 2011 at the behest of the Iranian regime resulting in death of 36 defenceless residents, including eight women. They were either shot at close range or were crushed to death by armoured vehicles. Hundreds of the residents were also wounded.

The UN, US and EU should remain vigilant on this issue since it is clear that the residents of Ashraf and Liberty continue to be in a dangerous and vulnerable position. This is due to the fact that Tehran regime, surrounded by internal and external crises, tries to annihilate its organised opposition in Iraq before having to face the consequences of the fall of a close ally, the Bashar al-Assad government in Syria.

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

10 April 2012

SOURCE The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom


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