Photo- London Rally for human rights demands release of 36 Iranian refugees

31 08 2009

London Rally for human rights demands release of 36 detained Camp Ashraf residents
Hundreds of Iranians gathered outside the US Embassy in London on day 33 of a hunger strike by a dozen Iranians who are calling on the US authorities to prevent a further massacre of their relatives at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf
London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf

Martha-Jean-Baker - London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf
Martha-Jean-Baker – London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf

Jonathan-Fryer-Ashraf - London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf
Jonathan-Fryer-Ashraf – London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf

Lady Slynn - London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf
Lady Slynn – London Rally to save lives iranian dissidents in Ashraf

John-Cowan-Ashraf-Iran
John-Cowan-Ashraf-Iran

hunger-strike-london-Ashraf
hunger-strike-london-Ashraf

Ashraf-camp-Iraq-Iran-Raid
Ashraf-camp-Iraq-Iran-Raid


Following a judgment Monday by an Iraqi court ordering the release of 36 detained Camp Ashraf residents who were abducted following a savage attack by Iraqi forces against a group of 3,400 unarmed Iranian refugees, the demonstrators called on US authorities to now immediately intervene and initiate the release of the 36 residents who are illegally in detention.

Proceedings began with a speech by Martha Jean Baker who spoke from her position as a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. Mrs Baker said, “What happened on the afternoon of 28 July to unarmed men and women in the confines of a refugee camp was nothing short of a crime against humanity”. She further called on the US and UK governments alongside the UN to intervene immediately to prevent further such criminal acts.

Next Jonathan Fryer, Liberal Democrat candidate for European Parliamentary elections, added his support to the demonstration stating, “The US authorities have a duty to intervene and protect the Camp Ashraf residents.” Mr Fryer congratulated the bravery of the hunger strikers and announced his belief that 30 years of struggle in Iran will succeed.
The demonstrators then proceeded to a local church where a ceremony of prayers and candle-lighting took place. Prayers were held for the 36 detained residents as well as the hunger strikers.

On their return to the US embassy, Lady Slynn, wife of the late Lord Slynn of Hadley whose efforts guaranteed the ‘protected persons’ status of the Camp Ashraf residents, addressed the crowd. In a message to the US and UK authorities Lady Slynn stated, “Is this why you went to war in Iraq? To bring to power a dictatorial regime that gets its orders from the mullahs in Iran.”
Lord Clarke of Hampstead in a statement to the demonstration said, “The United Nations now alongside the US and UK authorities have a duty to bring about the immediate release of the detainees and initiate their return to Camp Ashraf.”

Mr John Cowan, Labour parliamentary candidate for southeast Cambridgeshire, reiterated the demands of the demonstrators in stating that, “The United Nations must set up an immediate and full-time presence within Camp Ashraf to guarantee the safety of the unarmed residents.”
Rev. O’Halpin told the gathering: “The people of Ashraf have been struggling for freedom and equality. … Those who are guilty of crimes against the people in Ashraf must be brought to justice. Proper protection must be given to the people in Ashraf”.
In conclusion, the demonstrators held a candle-lit vigil around Grosvenor Square in remembrance of the Camp residents who lost their lives and the 36 detained residents whose lives are in imminent danger following the continuation of a 33-day hunger strike.

The demands of the hunger strikers:
1. Iraq must immediately release the 36 people taken hostage and withdraw its forces from Camp Ashraf.
2. A UN-designated international force must take up protection of Ashraf residents, and UNAMI must urgently station a team of monitors in the camp.
3. US forces must temporarily assume protection of Ashraf until a UN-designated force can be established there.

Background
On July 28-30, Iraqi forces mounted an attack on Camp Ashraf, a refugee camp housing 3,400 unarmed civilians of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI). The Iraqis killed 11 people, injured 500, and kidnapped and tortured 36 others. Footage shows Iraqi police beating defenceless people with electric batons, metal bars, planks of wood, daggers, axes, sound grenades, water cannons, and live ammunition and running some of them over with armoured vehicles.

Amnesty International, Reporters Without Borders, the Law Society, the Bar Human Rights Committee, Lawyers Without Border, the World Organisation Against Torture, the International Federation of Human Rights and other leading NGOs have strongly condemned the massacre.


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