|Friday, 22 July 2011 21:22|
French Committee for a Democratic Iran
20 July 2011
Speech by Mrs. Anne-Marie LIZIN (Chair) in Paris Conference
It’s an honour for me to chair this very important conference with such distinguished panellists from United States and Europe. We are here from different countries, different political tendencies, but we have one common issue which brings us together: the respect for human rights and the rule of law.
It is in this framework that we are all united in our support for the right of the people of Ashraf. Today, the case of Ashraf is a universal humanitarian issue and I hope that we will succeed in having the international bodies that are in charge of saying that this is the right of the asylum, this is the refugee status, this is what is our objective now. Some of these bodies, and especially the UNHIR, they are in charge of determining – of taking the determination of the status, and we have to succeed in this field because it is too easy and you – I’m sure you have followed all these ceremonies of Srebrenica. It was even at the time of Srebrenica, a massacre happened. It was not very difficult to understand what was the objective against the Muslim people in Srebrenica. And especially against the men.
It was so evident what happened. And the attitude of UN to say “oh, we are not in charge of that. Just we withdraw” was really bad. And we -what we are trying to convince US now is that the same attitude could happen with US forces if they just say “oh, we are not in charge anymore and we withdraw from any responsibility in Ashraf.” This is what we try to convince now in the US institution. And for that, in that respect, it is urgent to strongly reject a suggestion, a US suggestion, of relocating residents of Ashraf within Iraq, and also one of the urgent objectives is to provide immediate protection for residents of Ashraf by setting up a UN team in Ashraf on the basis of 24/7. I say this if UNHCR a status, secondly in the same UN objectives, a team, and then the responsibility of US forces because without them it will be very difficult to really have a protection.
Failure in this field will be very bad, like it was very bad for Netherlands in Srebrenica they lose their case in Netherlands tribunal because of that. So we try to show also this very high level of responsibility in terms of protection because it was the commitment of US forces when they take the control of this area. I am sure that our panellists will address all these issues as well as other related issues which they deem appropriate.
And I want especially to thank France Liberté to be with us today because from as far as I remember, it was also Mrs Mitterand’s conviction that has pushed a lot of conviction into Europe. So thank you for being here.
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