Press Release by Parliamentary Campaign in Defence of Ashraf:
In an act of pure cowardice, the government of Iraq has secretly buried the bodies of 52 massacred Camp Ashraf residents, slain during the 1 September 2013 massacre at the camp in Iraq. A total of 52 men and women were executed on 1 September by an Iraqi SWAT team who entered Camp Ashraf at the behest of the Iranian regime, to execute the camps residents. Many of the victims were executed with their hands tied behind their backs, others while receiving treatment in the camps medical centre.
More than five months after this crime against humanity, in a meeting on 11 February, a representative of thegovernment of Iraq has confirmed the burial, without diverging where or when the burials took place. Thebodies of the 52 men and women has been buried in an unmarked location, without the knowledge of UnitedNations personnel or the families or loved ones of the massacred 52. In contravention of international normsand practices and further compounding the grief of the families of the slain, the government of Iraq in aninhuman and callous act aimed at concealing evidence of its complicity in this crime against humanity, hasdenied the families the opportunity to bury their loved ones with dignity and in accordance with their faith.There can be no doubt that this mass and secret burial was aimed at concealing the complicity of thegovernment of Iraq in the massacre of 52 defenceless and unarmed civilians.
For 165 days, the families of the slain residents, their lawyers and human rights advocates the world overlobbied for the return of the bodies of the victims, in order that they could be buried by their loved ones inCamp Liberty. This right was denied to them. Based on an agreement between the representatives of theresidents of Camp Ashraf and UNAMI, on 2 September 2013, the 52 bodies were to remain in Baquba Hospitaluntil an independent and impartial investigation and autopsy could be carried out.
As pointed out by Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the President elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, theobjective of this secret burial was to destroy the evidence of a crime against humanity and to protect theperpetrators from justice. There can be no clearer indication of the government of Iraq’s culpability in thisatrocity than its attempt to destroy evidence by burying the bullet riddled bodies of the victims before aninvestigation could take place.
Today, representatives from Anglo-Iranian Associations in the UK and the families of the victims met outsidethe US Embassy in Grosvenor Square to condemn the burial and to call on the Security Council to refer the caseto the International Criminal Court.
The IPCDA strongly condemns the secret burial of the 52 Ashraf victims and calls for an independentinternational investigation by the International Criminal Court into the massacre and hostage-taking at CampAshraf on 1 September. The IPCDA further reminds the government of Iraq that burying the corpses of thedeceased will not hide its complicity in a crime against humanity but will further compound its culpability in the1 September massacre at Camp Ashraf.
International Parliamentary Campaign in Defence of Ashraf and Liberty