NCRI - Leading figures from Iraq's Kurdish region have untied to demand the immediate release of the seven hostages taken captive by Iraqi forces during the Camp Ashraf massacre on September 1.

The 28 civil organisations and nine cultural personalities said in a joint statement: "We call for the freedom of seven abducted Iranian refugees in Iraq, and for the provision of security to the residents of Camp Liberty.

"Since the responsibility to protect Iranian opposition refugees in Iraq was handed over by US forces to Government of Iraq, the lives and living conditions of these defenseless refugees have been endangered and not a day passes by that they are not persecuted.

"Until now they have been target of five bloody military assaults by forces of the Iraqi government leading to the death and injury of hundreds of them.

"24 hours after the massacre of Camp Ashraf residents on September 1, 2013, a UNAMI delegation visited the camp and identified the bodies of 52 of these refugees.

"According to this report, seven residents, including six women, were abducted by the attacking Iraqi forces and there has been no information on them since.

"All residents of both camps of Ashraf and Liberty are 'Protected Persons' under the Fourth Geneva Convention and are recognized as refugees and asylum-seekers by the UNHCR and protected by international law.

"Concurrently now, Camp Liberty residents in Baghdad Province and refugees in various countries such as Germany, Switzerland, Australia, Britain and Canada have gone on hunger strike and are declaring that they shall continue with their hunger strike until the freedom of the abductees is secured.

"We the signatories of this statement join voices with this international campaign and while condemning this inhuman massacre, call for the immediate release of these seven hostages and call for respect for the rights of refugees. This is a call also made by the US State Department and other countries and international bodies.

"We call on the United Nations and human rights centers globally, especially European and US governments, to act immediately to prevent another atrocity and assume responsibility for protection of these refugees by UN forces."

Camp Ashraf was decades long home to the members of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) in Iraq.


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