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PACE warns Iraq on Iranian opposition members

The Council’s Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy described comments by the Iraqi Minister of Justice that Iraq would comply with any demand by Iran for extradition as ‘worrying’.

They said in a statement: “The Committee warns that this would constitute a violation of the principle of non-refoulement and a breach of international laws and conventions.

“Liberty residents are protected persons under the 4th Geneva Convention and, according to the UNHCR, are entitled to protection under international law.

“In addition, if carried out, this would also be a breach of the agreement signed between Iraq and the United Nations, in December 2011, where Iraq committed itself to guaranteeing the safety and security of residents until they left Iraq.”

The statement added: “There are almost 3,000 Iranian refugees in the camp and, to date, 116 have been killed, 7 (including 6 women) have been taken hostage, 18 died as a result of a medical siege, and 1 300 injured in attacks, notably 4 rocket attacks in 2013.

“The Committee urges the Iraqi authorities to comply with the UNHCR call for the government of Iraq to do everything possible to guarantee a safe and secure environment for this population. The Iraqi authorities must also release the 7 hostages taken from Ashraf Camp.

“The Committee encourages Council of Europe member States to consider favourably the resettlement demands of Liberty residents, particularly as the UNHCR has called on all countries to redouble their efforts to find humanitarian solutions for this population outside Iraq.”

Camp Liberty in Iran houses thousands of members of Iranian opposition the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) who have leaved for decades at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.


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