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PACE calls for an investigation into massacre of Iranian exiles in Iraq

On November 21, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) called for an investigation into the September 1, 2013 attack at Camp Ashraf by Iraqi forces during which 52 members of Iranian opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were executed.

PACE is the oldest international parliamentary assembly comprised of democratically elected members of parliament established on the basis of an intergovernmental treaty. It focuses on European and international events and examines current subjects which interest the populations of the European countries. The main themes covered by PACE are human rights, democracy, protection of minorities and the rule of law.

Below is the text of PACE statement:

“On 1 September 2013, armed men raided Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which has been for many years a home for Iranian political dissidents exiled from their country. At least 52 residents were shot dead. There is credible evidence, including video footage and photographs, that many of the 52 had been shot in the head, some while handcuffed.

The Iraqi government denied responsibility for the attack but promised to investigate the killings. To date, no official results of such an investigation have been made public.

We are appalled that, almost 12 weeks after this deadly raid, the perpetrators of this atrocious crime have not yet been brought to justice. An independent international inquiry must be conducted as soon as possible.

During the same raid, seven Iranian dissidents, six women and one man, all belonging to the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedeen Organisation of Iran, were abducted from Camp Ashraf.

There are indications that these seven people are being held by the Iraqi security forces at a secret detention facility in Baghdad. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and could be forcibly returned to Iran.

We urge the Iraqi authorities to release these seven Iranians, unless they are duly charged with an internationally recognisable criminal offence; to make sure that they are protected from torture and other ill-treatment; and not to forcibly return them to Iran where their lives would be in danger.

We call on the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) to provide protection to the residents of Camp Liberty in accordance with its mandate.”

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