MEP, Struan Stevenson condemned Iraqi government secret burial of bodies of 52 Iranian refugees

“The sudden announcement by the Government of Iraq that they have secretly buried the bodies of the 52 refugees slaughtered by Iraqi Forces on 1st September last year is a further disgusting outrage. This is a criminal and cowardly act reminiscent of Nazi atrocities. Iraqi military SWAT teams brutally murdered 52 men and women, handcuffing many and summarily executing them in Camp Ashraf.

Others who were wounded were executed as they lay on operating tables and hospital beds in the refugee camp in Iraq. Seven hostages were kidnapped, six of whom were women and haven’t been heard of since. Typically the Iraqi regime denied all knowledge of or involvement in the massacre, despite photographic evidence showing soldiers wearing Iraqi uniforms, brandishing US weapons and demonstrating techniques taught by American military trainers, attacking and murdering the unarmed refugees.

UNAMI, who communicate daily with survivors of the massacre in Camp Liberty, undertook to have the 52 bodies returned by the Iraqi Government to their families so that proper mourning and solemn funerals could take place. UNAMI also wanted full, independent autopsies carried out to identify the weapons used by the killers. This basic humanitarian act has now been denied to the families and friends of the deceased. In a clear bid to hide evidence of their culpability, the Iraqi Government has secretly disposed of the bodies, many months after their bloody atrocity was committed. This is an almost incredible act of barbarity for which they should be internationally condemned. The International Criminal Court must now indict Nouri Al Maliki for his clear involvement in these crimes.

Unfortunately the pusillanimous reaction of the US and EU to the massacre at Camp Ashraf left the door open for Maliki and his puppet-masters from Iran to mount repeated attacks on Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and to brush off all weak-kneed objections. The criminal secret disposal of the 52 innocent victims’ bodies is the predictable outcome of such behaviour and indeed failure now to react in the strongest possible terms will give the green light to further murderous attacks. Many Iranians have become extremely discouraged and frustrated by such intolerable complacency and now demand action. Maliki and his henchmen must be held to account in the International Courts.

I express my deepest condolences to the families and friends of these 52 victims, to the 2,900 refugees in Camp Liberty and to Mrs Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council for Resistance in Iran.”