{mosimage}BPCIF: MPs and Peers on Thursday condemned new threats by Iraq to forcibly displace several thousand Iranian opposition members from Camp Ashraf. PRESS RELEASE


{mosimage}MPs and Peers on Thursday condemned new threats by Iraq to forcibly displace several thousand Iranian opposition members from Camp Ashraf.

At a meeting in Parliament, cross-party Parliamentarians urged the United Nations to take urgent action to prevent another massacre in Ashraf worse than the violent attack in July which left 11 residents dead and 500 injured.

Speakers included: Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chair of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom; Rt. Hon. Baroness Boothroyd, former speaker of the House of Commons; Andrew Mackinlay, member of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee; Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington QC, former Home Secretary; Lord Dholakia, deputy leader of the Liberal Democrat Party; David Drew MP (Labour Co-op); Lord Inglewood; Roger Gale MP, former Vice-Chairman of the Conservative Party; Baroness Turner of Camden; Lord Hylton; Lord Clarke of Hampstead, former Chairman of the Labour Party; Lord Cotter (Liberal Democrat); Lord Bilston (Labour); Lady Slynn of Hadley; Mark Stephens, from the Finers Stephens Innocent law firm; David Vaughan QC, prominent barrister; Margaret Owen, barrister and women’s rights activist; and Dowlat Nowrouzi, Deputy Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and the NCRI’s representative in the UK.

Lord Corbett said: "In a pact with the devil [Iran], the Iraqi government has threatened to once again use force against Camp Ashraf residents to expel them from their home. ... The Iraqi government must know that the world is watching and we will not stand by and allow them to commit further crimes.

"The only real way now to stop this massacre from happening is for the UN to officially announce its opposition to the forcibly displacement of Ashraf residents and play an active role to diffuse the situation", he said.

Baroness Boothroyd said: "It is no coincidence that at the same time as seeking to use deadly force to silence its opponents inside the country, the Iranian regime pressured the Iraqi government to carry out a deadly attack on Camp Ashraf.  The regime’s aim was to crush the uprising in Iran while attempting to put out the flames of resistance held high by the residents of Camp Ashraf".

She said Baghdad had prevented fuel, medicine, and doctors from entering the Camp, adding these actions amounted to grave breaches of international humanitarian law.  

"The Iraqi government is now seeking to forcibly displace the residents of Camp Ashraf within Iraq in order to slaughter them.  This would amount to a crime against humanity", she said.

Mark Stephens said: "Not only do the British and US governments have a legal obligation to protect the people of Ashraf, but it is also morally right to do so".

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the NCRI, in a video message to the meeting, said: "The mullahs are horrified at the rising protests in Iran. They insist on eliminating the dedicated women and men in Ashraf, who act as inspiration for the Iranian people's struggle for freedom, so that the regime can win over the uprising. The inhuman siege of Ashraf is the prelude to this plot.

"If the regime is defeated in its bid to destroy Ashraf, it cannot contain the people's uprising. Ashraf is the front-line bastion in defending democracy and human rights in Iran", she added.

The MPs and Peers urged the UN, US and the British government to take urgent steps to prevent attempts by Iraq to forcibly displace the residents of Ashraf.    

The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
10 December 2009