Statement by EPP/CD Group at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on the 7 hostages from Camp Ashraf
Strasbourg / 1 October 2013- The Group of the European People's Party of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (EPP/CD) strongly condemns the massacre carried out at Camp Ashraf on 1 September 2013 by Iraqi forces. The execution of 52 unarmed and defenseless Iranian dissidents, many handcuffed, is evidence of a crime against humanity. We are gravely concerned about the fate of seven PMOI members who were abducted during the attack.
Baroness Ashton wrote on 19 September that “we have reason to believe that up to seven camp residents are being held near Baghdad and there is a significant risk, they could be sent to Iran.” She added “I have spoken with Iraqi Foreign Minister to urge authorities to ensure the release of the hostages and to impress on them the need to avoid any further violence.”
Similar statements by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights have expressed great concerns about these 7 hostages in Iraq.
We, urge the UN, EU and USA to demand the immediate release of the hostages and to take necessary measures including among others reconsidering the bilateral relations if the hostages are not released by Iraq. We further call on all member states of the Council of Europe to demand from UN to station a monitoring team round the clock at Camp Liberty with UN peacekeepers until all residents are resettled outside Iraq.
During the EPP/CD Group meeting on Monday 30 September, Mrs Maryam Rajavi, President-Elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran was invited for an exchange of views about the current situation in Iran and the plight of the Iranian refugees in Iraq. She urged the Member States to force Iraq to release the 7 hostages abducted from camp Ashraf.