The United Nations and the US must act to release the seven hostages taken by Iraqi forces at the bidding of Iran during the Camp Ashraf massacre, 80 Iraqi MPs have demanded in a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon.
The Baghdad lawmakers also condemned the massacre of 52 Iranian dissidents members of the People’s Mohjahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) during the Ashraf atrocity and accused Iran of a ‘destructive and uncontrollable’ influence in Iraqi affairs.
The strongly-worded letter stated: “You are most definitely aware of the dire security conditions and the wave of bombings, murders, assassinations, arbitrary arrests and abnormally widespread executions in Iraq.”
It said ‘hegemony-seeking parties’ in Iraq were now seeking to provoke sectarianism and repression that would lead to new dictatorship.
The MPs added: “There is no doubt that the main element behind this dangerous and explosive situation in Iraq is the result of the Iranian regime’s destructive and uncontrollable influence, especially in the government and security forces.
“Under Iran’s demand, the Iraqi security forces viciously attacked Iranian opposition members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran in Camp Ashraf, and in addition to horrifically killing 52 political refugees, abducted seven others and took them as hostages. It has been more than three months that there isn’t the least of information about their fate.”
And 100 days later, Iranian hunger strikers protesting at the massacre and the hostage taking were now in a critical physical state, the letter said.
It continued: “We the signatories of this letter share the joint concern of the UN Refugee Agency, UNAMI and also the respected human rights organization Amnesty International on the fate of 7 hostages, and call on the Iraqi government to immediately and unconditionally release them.”
They also accused the US and UN of ‘excessive and incomprehensible silence and inaction’ over the fate of the Ashraf Seven, who are protected persons under the Geneva Convention and them to put pressure on Iraq to release them.
The letter added: “We deeply believe and insist that the clear defense of respecting human rights and the sacred right of refugees on people, whose lives are facing the threat of death at any moment, must be more important than any other interests, including the hated policy of appeasement vis-à-vis the Iranian regime; the same principle that the UN Charter is founded on.
“The immediate release of the seven hostages and preventing any type of further humane consequences awaiting the hunger strikers and guaranteeing the protection of thousands of Liberty residents is a humanitarian and moral duty for the United Nations and an urgent and necessary action to prevent Iraq’s image becoming even more tainted amongst the international community.”
The letter was signed by 80 Iraqi MPs and sent to Mr Ban Ki-moon and also to US Secretary of State John Kerry, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs Catherine Ashton, EU Parliament Vice President Alejo Vidal Quadras, and Struan Stevenson,