MPs Seek Justice and Human Rights for Iranian Dissidents at Camp Liberty

Jul 19, 2013, 14:07 ET from British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

LONDON, July 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

On the 25th anniversary of the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran, on Thursday, MPs and Peers gathered in the House of Lords to condemn the continuing harassment and murder of political prisoners in Iran and the ongoing suppression of Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty, Iraq.

The cross-Party meeting was addressed by Brian Binley MP, Baroness Harris of Richmond, Dr Matthew Offord MP, Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, Lord Cotter, Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Baroness Turner of Camden, Baroness O'Loan, Baroness Lister of Burtersett and Steve McCabe MP. Ms. Dowlat Nowrouzi, the UK Representative of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, represented the Iranian Resistance.

The MPs and Peers strongly condemned the baseless remarks of the outgoing UN Special Representative in Iraq, Martin Kobler, at the UN Security Council session on 16 July on the situation in Camp Liberty and the role of the camp leadership. They said this would only set the stage for further attacks on the camp and would exacerbate the plight of the residents.  They pointed that the mullahs' newly elected President, Hassan Rowhani, is not a moderate and is a central figure of the regime.

Brian Binley MP said: "I hear that in his report to the Security Council the Secretary General has just copied the falsifications presented by Martin Kobler without any reference to rebuttals presented by Kobler's deputy, Taher Boumedra, who resigned from his UN post last year to expose the wrongdoings of his boss, Martin Kobler. I am particularly appalled that the Secretary General has not ordered an investigation to serious allegations levelled by a senior UN official in the field against his Special Representative."

Baroness Harris of Richmond, Deputy Speaker of the House of Lords, said: "I never thought I would need to be saying in front of you today what I am about to say. The UN must find an independent investigation team which we can support, to look into the situation. We have a duty to support and help the residents of Camp Liberty, and to let the world know what is happening to them."

Dr Matthew Offord MP pointed out: "We have seen the conditions in Camp Liberty, and the Iraqi government is blaming the people in Liberty for the conditions which have been forcibly imposed on them. The UN is aware of the crimes that have been committed against the Ashraf and Liberty residents and they have a duty to protect them, therefore the UN must be held accountable for the safety of these people."

Lord Maginnis of Drumglass stated: "I have to ask what is the US government doing about our serious concerns in this respect? What is William Hague, and the Foreign Office, doing about this situation? As well as showing our support here, we need to take it closer to the front. Our concerns must be addressed... Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, has enunciated a specific and democratic policy in respect of Iran, which we all support. The regime in Iran remains as it has always been: ruthless. And it has killed nearly one hundred people since the elections alone. You represent a nation that believes in freedom and democracy and we must help you to achieve that."

According to Lord Cotter, who was part of an all-Party Parliamentary delegation that attended the Resistance's annual gathering in Paris last month: "It is so extraordinary to attend an event attended by over 100,000 people where 51 nations were represented and get together to take on an important issue. At this event, David Amess and I presented a statement in support of the Iranian Resistance supported by over 500 British Parliamentarians... Mrs Rajavi's ten point plan points out things which any nation would be proud of. She is a tremendous inspiration."

Lord Clarke of Hampstead, former Chairman of the Labour Party, emphatically said: "It has been said by some that Iran is a democracy and that the newly "elected" president of Iran, Hassan Rowhani is a moderate. That is nonsense. We are witnessing a cover up. This so called moderate, Rowhani, has been at the centre of this regime. We all know of his credentials; he was part of the core group that has been killing and terrorising people for years. I was in the NCRI office in 1988 when we heard news of the massacre. Everyone including me cried. But we will keep our memories and faith and we will keep on fighting."

"The UN is supposed to be protecting the people of Camp Liberty, but the facts paint a different picture. Martin Kobler has been biased and said the most outrageous lies. We say to Kobler and the UN - open the doors of Liberty to the doctors, journalists and lawyers. How can you be telling the truth when you lock the doors of this prison to the outside world?

"We have a duty to ensure that this country does not resume diplomatic relations with the Iranian regime. Shame on us if we let this happen and if we let Iran to continue to suppress the liberty of people in this way. Mrs Rajavi is an inspirational leader who has bravely led this Resistance for many years."

Baroness Turner of Camden stated: "We have had UN resolution after UN resolution. It is time for meaningful action.. I also add my voice to those who protested against the UN Secretary Generals untrue report of the situation in camp liberty. This is a great concern to all of us and this will simply help those who are preparing a new massacre in Camp Liberty.

Baroness O'Loan said: "We are gathered here today to remember the 30,000 people brutally executed by the regime in Iran. It is profoundly important that we seek justice for these people... I have been appalled by reports of the UN not conducting and investigation when there is clearly the need for one. I have become aware of the total absence of human rights and democracy and the total lack of accountability in this respect.

According to Baroness Lister of Burtersett: "What is happening in Iran is truly shocking. The evidence of grave violations of human rights that is taking place should shock anyone. But there is hope and there is resistance, particularly among women."

Steve McCabe MP pointed out: "We know very well how the Iranian regime has paved the way to the election - through terror and oppression. People have been arrested on trumped up charges, imprisoned, tortured and executed. Lawyers, journalists, human rights activists - anyone who dares to speak up. We need an international response. My message to President Rowhani is this: if you want the people of the world to treat you like a world leader then end the killings and the barbaric treatment of your people.

British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

19 July 2013


SOURCE British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom