News : Human rights
International Conference, Human Rights in Iran, Call for International Probe into Massacre in Ashraf at the United Nations Headquarters in Geneva (Video)
- Published: Monday, 17 March 2014
Deterioration of human rights during Rouhani’s Presidency and necessity of referring the dossier to the Security Council
Call for an independent UN inquiry into the Ashraf massacre and providing protection to residents
At the initiative of five non-governmental organizations, including the Movement against Racism and for Friendship among the Peoples (MRAP); the Nonviolent Radical Party, Transnational and Transparty; the Women Human Rights International Association (WHRIA); the France Liberte Foundation; and the International Educational Development – Inc, a conference titled "The urgency of protection of Camp Liberty refugees in Iraq" was held.
In this conference On Friday, March 14, Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran; Bernard Kouchner, former Foreign Minister of France and the founder of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF); Linda Chavez, former human rights expert on the UN Human Rights Sub-Commission; Professor Jean Ziegler, member of the Advisory Committee of the UN Human Rights Council from 2008 to 2012; Professor Alfred Zayas, United Nations Independent Expert on the Promotion of a Democratic and Equitable International Order; Dr. Jean-Charles Rielle, member of Geneva Parliament and City Council; Christiane Perregaux, co-President of the Legislative Council in Geneva; Nejat Bubaker, member of parliament from Palestine; Dr. Taher Boumedra, former Deputy Special Representative of UN Secretary General ، and Antonio Stango, President of the Helsinki Watch and member of the Radical party in Italy, offered speeches.
The speakers stressed on the following points:
1. The conference strongly condemned the deterioration of human rights situation during Rouhani’s Presidency. According to precise reports at least 176 people have been executed since the beginning of 2014. During this same period, issuing death sentence verdicts and cruel punishments such as gouging out the eyes, cutting off hands, feet, ears and noses has continued. Group and public executions in different cities of Iran have been incessantly carried out. Execution of ethnic and religious minorities and political prisoners has been escalating.
2. Based on the statement of Human Rights Rapporteurs titled “UN human rights experts urge Iran to halt the ongoing surge in executions", and in the light of the report by the Secretary General to the UN Human Rights Council on March 11 that maintains “the Iranian President Hassan Rouhani has failed to fulfill campaign promises to allow greater freedom of expression and there has been a sharp rise in executions since his election”, the conference demanded practical and effective measures by the United Nations and especially the Security Council against the Iranian government to halt the surge in group and arbitrary executions.
3. The conference believes that ignoring egregious human rights violations in Iran that has been unprecedented in at least the last two decades, with the excuse of nuclear negotiations or any other reason and pretext, not only has rid the Iranian authorities of any worries to be accountable to international bodies and agencies, but they call the "increase in executions a great service to mankind" and are demanding praise for the regime in this regard (Mohammad-Javad Larijani, Head of Human Rights Headquarters of Iran's judiciary branch - March 4, 2014). Moreover, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of this regime calls the UN Special Rapporteur as affiliated with Zionism and in response to the expressed concern of the Secretary General in the Human Rights Council about Iran Khamenei’s adviser says that “whatever the Secretary General does and says is in line with the goals of the world arrogance”.
4. The Conference strongly condemned the attacks of the Iraqi government at the behest of the Iranian regime against Iranian refugees in Camp Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq and their logistics and medical siege, and called for an immediate halt to these attacks and limitations that have so far killed 116, tormented to death 18, and taken seven hostage. One of the most shocking attacks was the massacre of Ashraf residents on the September 1. Wicked measures such as stonewalling drainage of black water tanks, preventing entry of food, and interfering with residents’ free access to medical services are clear examples of torture.
5 - We specifically call for an independent, comprehensive and in-depth investigation about these crimes by the pertinent organs of the United Nations. On September 9, pointing to the UNAMI report of September 3 that "all killed suffered gunshots, most of them in the head and upper body, and several of them have been handcuffed", Ms. Pillay called for independent, comprehensive and transparent investigation about it. But six and a half months after this massacre, all indications show that the Government of Iraq intends to eliminate the evidence to this crime. The secret burial of those killed in this tragedy is a very vivid example. On 9 December 2013, a group of independent United Nations Rapporteurs wrote in a joint statement about the massacre in Ashraf: “The crime has been carried out with impunity, and documents and evidence point out that the involvement of the Iraqi forces in this crime is egregious.” Therefore, the Iraqi government neither wants nor can perform an investigation in this regard. Had there been a transparent investigation into the previous attacks to Ashraf, the probability of the later attacks would have been much less or at least the criminals would have paid a much heavier price. Therefore, we all urge relevant special procedures of the Human Rights Council to guide a comprehensive and complete investigation with respect to the slaughter in Camp Ashraf.
6 - Camp Liberty, where the inhabitants were forcibly moved to from their home of 26 years, is a prison according to two opinions by the Working Group on Arbitrary Detentions. Moreover, since their forcible relocation to this camp, residents have come under four missile attacks, leading to the death of 14 people and the wounding of many. Due to its common international obligations or as to the commitments it has specifically assumed in writing with respect to these asylum-seekers, the United Nations must be held accountable in providing their safety and security, and more specifically in:
a) Relocation of all the residents, albeit temporarily, to the Europe or U.S. main territory;
b) Urging Iraqi Government to provide urgent security necessities in Liberty against rocket attacks like the return of T-walls, transferring bunkers, transferring protective helmets and vests and medical equipment from Ashraf, permission for construction, and expansion of the camp’s area;
c) Permanent presence of UN monitors along with a Blue Helmet team inside Camp Liberty;
d) Releasing 7 hostages
e) To end brutal boycott against the camp specially medical sanctions
In this conference, Ms. Rajavi asked the international community, especially the U.S., EU, and UN, to refer the file of the dire situation of Camp Liberty residents who are threatened at any moment with a greater massacre, to the United Nations Security Council and to work to implement the above demands.