Urgent need for EU, U.S. and UN to secure release of seven hostages of Ashraf and stationing at Camp Liberty of UNAMI observing team and UN Blue Helmets

On Monday, September 30, at the invitation of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, in a conference at the Parliamentary Assembly of Council of Europe in Strasbourg, the latest conditions in Iran following the sham presidential elections and latest developments regarding 3,000 Iranian dissidents, members of PMOI, in Iraq after the massacre and mass execution in Ashraf were discussed.

Mrs Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance, was key speaker to the conference that was chaired by Brian Binley, member of UK House of Commons and member of the Political Committee of the Council of Europe. Dozens of parliamentarians from various political parties in Europe took part as did Patrick Kennedy, U.S. congressman (1991-2011); Alan Meale, member of UK House of Commons and deputy for socialist group in the Council of Europe; Joe Benton, an experienced member of UK House of Commons and chair of a number of parliamentary committees; Jordi Xucla, Spanish legislator and member of the Council of Europe; and Eric Voruz, Swiss legislator; Jean-Pierre Michel, French senator and member of the Council of Europe; Jean-Pierre Muller, French Mayor; Tini Kox, Dutch senator, member of the Council of Europe; Kimmo Sasi, Finnish MP and member of the Council of Europe; Tahar Boumedra, former senior UN official and in charge of Camp Ashraf case, offered their speeches.

In her speech, Mrs Rajavi warned of the dangers of a new phase of oppression against the Iranian people by the regime ruling Iran, saying: “The Iranian regime is extremely vulnerable to widespread popular discontent, threat of large-scale social upheavals, and deep economic crises. International sanctions have exacerbated this vulnerability. This regime is currently on the path to its overthrow. The intensification of the regime’s internal power struggle reflects this condition.”

“If the regime were to retreat when it comes to the three core issues of human rights violations, the nuclear weapons project, and the export of terrorism and fundamentalism, this would lead to its rapid disintegration. The regime’s abandonment of any of these policies would bring the best news to us and to our people.”

The clerical regime has resorted to a new phase of suppression and barbarism. Waves of opposition and commensurate executions in cities throughout the country, including 200 executions of prisoners following the sham election - 22 of whom were executed in the three days that Rouhani was giving lectures in New York on the need to abandon violence and be democratic - is part and parcel of the infamous lies of this corrupt regime.

The tactics of Maliki and Faleh Fayaz is to create havoc on the hostages by constantly moving them around such that when the address of one prison is revealed and UN demands a visit, the prison would be empty, allowing the Iraqis to claim that the hostages are not in their hands.

Mrs. Rajavi emphasized that because of the information we have given to UN and U.S., they know well that the attack on Ashraf was carried out by Maliki and that the hostages are also in his hands. If they want and if they decide to live up to their repeated and constant commitments concerning safety and security of the residents, they can question Maliki and obligate him to keep to his international commitments which would lead to the expeditious release of the hostages or to the handing them over to a European country.

Speakers and participants in the conference underscored on the following points:

1. The condemnation of the heightened and systematic violation of human rights in Iran, especially of the arbitrary executions that have taken on added dimension since presidency of Rouhani. Participants implored member states to ensure that their relationship with the clerical regime was dependent upon the improvement of human rights and the cessation of executions.

2. To continue the need to maintain a firm policy toward the Iranian regime by enforcing sanctions whilst ruling out any concessions. The meeting voiced approval of Mrs. Rajavi’s five indicators for regime change in Iran published last June which were: The releasing of all political prisoners, freedom for all political parties, freedom of expression, termination of the nuclear weapons project, and ending interference in the region, in particular in Syria and Iraq. Participants added that one-hundred days after election of President Rouhani there is no sign of any of these indicators coming to fruition.

3. The meeting called upon Council and member states to demand that the government of Iraq free the hostages taken at Ashraf and to review their relation with Iraq should these demands not be met.

4. That a UN monitoring team together with a Blue Helmet unit must be stationed in and around Camp Liberty at all times.

5. Furthermore the Secretary-General and the High Commissioner for Human Rights should conduct an independent investigation into the September 1st atrocity and bring the perpetrators to justice.

6. Member states should find ways of accepting Liberty residents. Delays by European countries in this matter especially that of refusing to admit 900 residents who are refugees in their countries, is shameful and should be ended.

7. The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe should appoint a Rapporteur to conduct an independent probe which could help to end harassment, violence, and murder perpetrated against both Iranians in exile and in Iran.

8. The meeting expressed solidarity with Camp Liberty residents who are on hunger strike in protest to the massacre of September 1 in Ashraf and taking of their seven colleagues hostage together with those in various countries throughout the world who are staging sit- ins in support of Camp Liberty residents, emphasizing that they will spare no efforts to ensure the release of the hostages and the safety of the residents of Camp Liberty.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

30 September 2013