PARIS, December 6, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --
Fate of Iranian refugees abducted in Iraq, duties of the US, EU and UN among issues of discussion
Iran News Update has confirmed that several prominent American and international dignitaries will address the International Conference on Iran in Paris on Saturday, Dec 7.
According to several sources, a key issue of discussion at the conference will be the nuclear agreement recently signed with Tehran by the five permanent members of the UN Security Council and Germany. The same sources pointed out that the event, taking place on the eve of International Human Rights Day, will also focus on the human rights situation in Iran, with a focus on the period since the start of the Hassan Rouhani presidency.
The long list of speakers includes some heavyweight American and international dignitaries including former mayor of New York Rudy Guliani, Howard Dean, former chairman of the US Democratic Party, Louis Freeh, former FBI Director, and Michael Mukasey, former U.S. Attorney General. Several European dignitaries, including several from France, are slated to take part in the event. The presence of Naomi Tutu, human rights activist and daughter of South African Bishop Desmond Tutu stands out in light of the recent death of Nelson Mandela.
The situation of Iranian refugees in Iraq, prospects for them, and the duties of the US, EU and UN are all issues that will take prominence at the Paris conference.
On September 1, 2013, Iraqi military forces attacked Camp Ashraf, where 100 members of the Iranian opposition, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) were looking after the property until it could be sold. The Iraqi forces entered the facilities and murdered 52 residents. According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq, "All the deceased appeared to have suffered gunshot wounds, the majority of them in the head and the upper body, and several with their hands tied."
During the massacre, seven residents were abducted, and their fate hangs in the balance. Internationally renowned human rights organization, Amnesty International announced on November 19 that "the seven Iranian exiles abducted on 1 September are now known to be held by the Iraqi security forces at an unofficial detention facility in central Baghdad. They are at risk of torture and other ill-treatment and could be forcibly returned to Iran."
In the meantime, despite the promises of the U.S. government and UN, no action has been taken to ensure the safety and security of nearly 3,000 Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty, Iraq. This is true despite the fact that the US Government declared Camp Ashraf residents to be protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
According to INU sources, it is the hope of the organizers of the International Conference on Iran that international attention will soon come to bear on this situation and prompt Western powers to intervene to protect the embattled Iranian dissidents.