The Barriers at Ashraf by Danielle Mitterrand

“Ashraf was invented for all kinds of new intangible Barriers. First the Barrier of oblivion, then that’s a lie, then the silence, then the blockade of food and health. Finally, the Barrier and the Barrier of decibels of hearing and electronic jamming, “said Danielle Mitterand in a message to a conference in Geneva, dealing with obligations of the UN vis-à-vis the Camp Ashraf which house 3,400 members of the People’s Mojahedin of Iran, the main democratic opposition to the clerical regime.

The speakers to the conference on Wednesday September 21 at the UN European Headquarters in Geneva  were: Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian Resistance; Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice President of the European Parliament; Struan Stevenson, President of the Delegation for Relations with Iraq in the European Parliament (presenter of European proposal for Ashraf crisis); Ruth N. Wedgwood , jurist; Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former prime minister of Algeria; Nontombi Tutu, human rights activist and the daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu; Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom;  Christiane Perregaux, co-President of the Legislative Council in Geneva; Gianfranco Fattorini, Co-Chair of Movement against Racism and for Friendship among the Peoples (MRAP); Marc Falquet, Member of Geneva Parliament; and  Daniel Neeser, pastor. The conference was presided over by Michel Joli, Secretary General of Mitterrand Foundation (France Libertés).

The message of Danielle Mitterrand read at the conference entitled “The Barriers at Ashraf”

“We invented all sorts of new intangible walls within and without Camp Ashraf. First the wall of oblivion, then the barriers of lies, and again that of silence, and the siege of the compound and the interdiction of necessities of life, food, medicine and medical supplies, including the prevention of the wounded residents to seek specialized medical assistance, and again the psychological torment of the innocents at Ashraf and then came the electronic jamming and the installation of 300 loudspeakers around the perimeter of the camp.”
These are the words of Danielle Mitterand, the First Lady of France for 15 years, in a message sent to a conference held in Geneva, in reference to the obligations of the United Nations vis-à-vis the 3400 residents of Camp Ashraf, members of the main democratic opposition, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) against the clerical regime in Tehran.

The conference held on September 21 at the European Headquarters of the United Nations,   was chaired by Michel Joli, Secretary General of the Foundation Danielle Mitterrand France Libertés-.
The panel welcomed Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and the Parliament in-exile of the Iranian principal opposition group, where Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament, and Struan Stevenson, Chairman of the European Parliamentary Delegation for Relations with Iraq introduced the European Parliamentary Plan to resolve the crisis at Ashraf.

Other dignitaries at the conference included Professor Ruth Wedgwood, a jurist in International Law, Sid Ahmed Ghozali, former Algerian Prime Minister, Nontombi Tutu, Human Rights Activist and daughter of Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Madeleine Rees, Secretary General of the International League of Women for Peace and Freedom.
Christiane Perregaux, co-president of the Constituent Assembly of the Council of Geneva, Gianfranco Fattorini, co-chairman of the MRAP, Marc Falquet, Member of the Grand Council of Geneva, and Rev. Daniel Neeser, were also present at the Geneva Conference.

The message by Madam Danielle Mitterrand  entitled “The Barriers at Asharf was read at the Conference in Geneva.

“In the course of the Nazi occupation of France, there were thousands of young and oppressed, isolated and sequestered in silent dreams, that one day our future in a Europe without borders would be realized, a Europe in which everyone would recognize each other’s culture and language, and be committed and loyal the land that the he or she was born in.”

“Of course, we were not imprisoned in a camp, but felt the same way as our brothers and sisters at Ashraf spend their daily lives with the fear hanging over their heads that every day may be the last day of their lives. We were also labeled terrorists, not unlike the residents of Ashraf. It was at this critical juncture that I realized that the most excruciating and violent barriers may not necessarily be the walls of concrete and cement, or prisons built of iron and stone and guards and locks, but being under the domination of a dictatorial force, which disregards your human dignity and day by day redoubles its efforts to humiliate, exhaust and deny you your human rights, until such time that it robs of your identity.”

Ashraf is the victim of all kinds of new intangible walls, the wall  of oblivion, then the lies, and  the deadly silence, and the blockade of food and medicine and medical supplies, and the interdiction of specialized medical teams to care for the wounded innocents, the target of barbaric attacks, and as if this was not enough, they installed 300 hundred loud speakers to torment and break the will of the innocent, and feeble, yet strong residents of the camp, and the electronic jamming of their means of communications with outside world.”

Technological progress has always fired the imagination of the executioners. On the other side of the invisible walls, death lurks around the camp at all times and sometimes it enters with incredible violence; that of a manhunt where all manners of violent act are allowed; murdering  and letting innocents perish; abandoning the wounded, taking of innocents and helpless as hostages, and when the ephemeral calm finally prevails, there only remains the devastated survivors to mourn the fallen and with tearful eyes put them to the ground.”

Thus we believe that we can overcome the resistance and the strength of the will of a people. But Ashram, rest assured that hope will arrive soon, for despite the barriers and the walls, the conscious of humanity is awakened to your plight and that this hope is shared by thousands of your brothers and sisters in Diaspora around the world: your presence here, dear Maryam Rajavi, the representative, and spokesman for the innocent and strong residents of Camp Ashraf, is indeed a source of inspiration.

Then the energy comes back with the desire to live and dream of a just world, replete with peace and tranquility, ensuring the protection of everyone, is not it the theme of our meeting today?

In one camp, it is not to survive for themselves but for others. Moms, mothers the daily practice of sacrifice. We all know the wonderful example that gives us little Chagayé * in his letter to Ms. Pillay.

And that’s what distinguishes the executioner from the victim, the jailer from his prisoner: some are preparing for the future while others destroy the present. The future, my dear and tender friend of Ashraf, the price of your sacrifice, but you are not alone: he must also reckon with the example you set for all the oppressed, and with the message of hope you have written with your blood that awakens the conscience of Humanity.

Thank you. “

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