|Urgent meeting of Friends of a Free Iran intergroup on Ashraf Camp .|
|Friday, 30 September 2011 15:06|
Friends of a Free Iran intergroup in the European Parliament held an urgent meeting on Wednesday afternoon, September 28 on the latest situation of Camp Ashraf, home of 3400 members of the Iranian opposition in Iraq.
The meeting was attended by a group of approximately 40 members of the European Parliament and their staff from different political groups who expressed their utmost concern over the imminent deadly threats posed by the Iraqi government's impossible dead-line for closure of the camp by the end of this year. They called upon the UN Secretary General and UNHCR to adopt strong measures to protect the unarmed and defenceless residents of Camp Ashraf.
It was stressed that installations of two new telecommunications towers and other jamming and surveillances equipment along-side the current 300 powerful loud speakers continuously torturing the residents of Ashraf are matters of serious concern that must be urgently addressed. This clearly demonstrates that the Iraqi government and their Iranian sponsors are preparing the ground for another violent assault.
It was stated that after the assault of 8th April on the camp, a delegation from the European Parliament led by Mr Struan Stevenson paid a visit to Iraq. They met with many high ranking Iraqi and UN officials expressing their deep concern that despite two serious resolutions adopted by the European Parliament insisting on the peaceful and non-violent treatment of the residents of Ashraf, yet the deadly attacks and psychological torture perpetrated by the Iraqi authorities has continued. In a series of meetings with various Iraqi officials and humanitarian institutions, it was pointed out that any internal displacement of the Ashraf residents inside Iraq would be very dangerous and could lead to a humanitarian catastrophe.
Now that the UNHCR has declared all 3400 members of the Camp as asylum seekers and protected under international law, the appointment of a special envoy by Baroness Ashton is a strong indication of the EU High Representative’s attention towards the plight of Ashraf residents that is worthy of great praise.
The MEPs demanded the annulment of the Iraqi government's ludicrous deadline to close down Ashraf by the end of the this year and called upon the UN Secretary General and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights to station UN observers in Ashraf to avert another massacre of the residents. Furthermore, they urged the newly appointed Special EEAS Envoy for Ashraf to undertake an urgent visit to Ashraf as a first priority of his vital mandate.
Friends of a Free Iran
European Parliament, Strasbourg
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