International conference in Geneva – 09 March 2011
I commend you for holding this conference.
Deputies of the Geneva Parliament, Representatives of human rights organizations, Political personalities and the distinguished diplomats, I salute you all.
I extend my gratitude for the initiative by a majority of the Swiss Parliament in adopting a declaration in support of Camp Ashraf and the Iranian Resistance.
This conference comes simultaneous with the dawn of spring for the peoples of North Africa and the Middle East.
They no longer tolerate living under the shadow of dictatorship and poverty.
For this reason, they are making sacrifices in their quest for democracy and freedom.
This situation has made it inevitable for the West to revise its policy towards the Middle East, specifically the dictatorship ruling Iran.
The Iranian people have in recent weeks again risen to change the regime.
As such, standing with the ruling religious fascism would be more disgraceful than ever.
At the same time, we have been witness to the clerical regime’s blatant threats against countries which are in transition.
Similarly, we are witness to the shame of a policy that has so far ignored the human rights of the people of the Middle East.
Today, killings and abuse of human rights by despotic regimes in the Middle East and North Africa have aroused global outrage. That said, the mullahs of Iran have carried out political executions several-folds greater than all the political executions in those countries.
The United Nations, therefore, must put the Iranian situation on top of its agenda.
I recall that Prof. Kazem Rajavi, was assassinated in Coppet, near Geneva, on the orders of the Iranian regime’s officials. His crime was defending human rights.
It is truly shameful that instead of punishing the mullahs and their officials, the ban on their travel to Europe is lifted so that they can attend the Human Right Council session.
In the aftermath of the uprisings by the people in the region against repression and human rights abuses, it is high time that the UN Human Rights Council abandons its previous approach towards the regime in Tehran.
It is unacceptable that repression and executions, in particular the execution of women in Iran, are met with silence.
I am speaking of a catastrophe in Iran; a continual war against the Iranian people.
On average 2000 people are arrested every day.
Hundreds are executed and the number continues to rise each year.
Prisoners are systematically tortured and raped.
It is necessary that the Human Rights Council accepts new commitments in defense of human rights standards.
Since this conference is being held in Geneva, I find it imperative to highlight a glaring paradox.
On the one hand, Switzerland is home to international human rights agencies. As such, this puts Switzerland on the side of those helping the oppressed.
On the other hand, the Swiss government is one of the most important trade partners and active appeasers of the greatest violator of human rights in the world, the regime in Tehran.
During Ahmadinejad’s tenure, Switzerland has doubled its trade with the regime. In 2010, when international sanctions against the regime were expanded, Switzerland exported 900 types of commodities to Iran, which the regime critically needed.
Allow me to refer to the mullahs’ repressive measures against Camp Ashraf, which the regime fears the most.
Since the start of 2009, Ashraf has been under a crippling siege imposed by the Nouri Al-Maliki’s government.
Many restrictions have been imposed on visits by Ashraf families and their lawyers.
Similarly, entry of essential items, even food and clothing, has been restricted.
In recent months, specialist doctors and surgeons have been barred from visiting patients at Ashraf hospital.
Entry of many of the medicines has been banned.
The regime’s policy is to force the gradual death of those who are ill.
Mehdi Fat’hi is one example. Due to a lack of timely treatment, he died last December 10, after suffering great pain and hardship. Another example is Kazem Nematollahi, whose kidneys are not functioning properly because he has not been treated.
Here you see the photographs of those in Ashraf who need urgent medical care and specialist doctors. But the Committee for the Suppression of Ashraf in the Prime Minister’s Office has been obstructing them.
Since a year ago, agents of the Ministry of Intelligence and Security have installed powerful loudspeakers around Ashraf, blaring propaganda into the Camp round-the-clock and threatening the residents.
Absent serious international reaction, the number of the loudspeakers has risen from 20 to 210.
One factor is the threats posed by the ruling dictatorship in Iran.
The mullahs are today engulfed in uprisings by the youth. They cannot maintain their stability and see no future for themselves.
Another factor is the state of the Iraqi government, which owes its power to support by the mullahs.
In the face of peaceful protests by the people of Iraq on February 25, this government murdered dozens of people in the streets. This government murdered 11 residents of Ashraf in July 2009.
Such a government has neither the capacity nor the intent to protect Ashraf.
For this reason, the US decision to transfer the protection of the Camp to the Iraqi government was a major mistake.
It violated international law. Even more so, because the US government had signed an agreement with each Ashraf resident, committing itself to protect them.
In this respect, the United Nations has the responsibility to put Camp Ashraf under its own monitoring.
We therefore propose:
1. A United Nations team must be based at Ashraf to permanently monitor the situation there.
2. A US force must assume responsibility to protect this monitoring team.
I ask all governments and international agencies to:
1. Halt the purchase of oil from the mullahs to refrain from providing the resources which the regime uses to suppress the Iranian people.
2. Refer the regime’s dossier of human rights abuses to the Security Council. We emphasize the need to appoint a Special Rapporteur for human rights in Iran. Political ties with the regime must be made contingent upon the release of all political prisoners and a halt in executions.
3. Steps must be taken to issue an international arrest warrant for Khamenei on the charge of crime against humanity.
4. Take urgent action to end the siege on Ashraf, lift the ban on the entry of medicine and take down the loudspeakers.
I wish your conference all success and thank you very much.