MPs "sound the alarm" on Camp Ashraf

In a few minutes, Conservative MP Russ Hiebert, NDP MP Wayne Marston, and Liberal MP Irwin Cotler will hold a joint news conference about the following:


Motion unanimously adopted by Subcommittee urges immediate action

Ottawa – Members of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights today sounded the alarm on Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where residents – Iranian refugees – face an end-of-year deadline to leave and are at risk of imminent assaults and/or killings.

The camp is comprised of some 3,400 men and women – members of the Mujahideen-e-Khalq – who are unarmed and defenseless, and characterized as refugees by the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.  The citizens of Camp Ashraf have faced ongoing harassment and intimidation by the Iraqi and Iranian governments, and twice this year alone residents of the camp have been indiscriminately massacred.

The residents have survived until now due to U.S. protection, but with American forces leaving by December 31
st, the Iraqi government has imposed an arbitrary deadline for residents to leave, likely to be displaced in Iraq. Reports on the ground indicate that the Iraqi army is gearing up for an attack, raising fears that residents may not even be safe at Ashraf until the 31

Accordingly, the Subcommittee urgently called on Governments to take an active role in protecting those at Camp Ashraf. Specifically, the motion as adopted reads as follows:

Whereas there are approximately 3,400 Iranian women and men – members of Mujahideen-e-Khalq  –  presently living in Camp Ashraf, Iraq;
Whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees has designated these persons as asylum seekers;
Whereas the Iraqi government has interfered with the ability of officials to get into the camp and interview them individually to find out their eligibility for refugee status;
Whereas they are under a deadline imposed by the Iraqi Government to leave by December 31st, requiring them to return to Iran, other countries, or be displaced within Iraq;Whereas the United States has an ongoing moral and legal obligation towards the residents of Camp Ashraf and recalling that attacks at Camp Ashraf previously took place in the immediate aftermath of meetings with high level American officials, such as is now occurring with President Obama; and
Whereas, if they do not leave they will likely be attacked and killed by Iraqi forces as has occurred at Camp Ashraf in 2009, and twice already this year;

Be it resolved that the Subcommittee:
Calls upon the Government of Iraq to extend this deadline and allow international observers and aid groups into Camp Ashraf;
Calls upon the Government of Canada – in conjunction with our international partners – to seek a UN Security Council resolution putting a protective force in place to ensure the safety of refugees at Camp Ashraf;
Calls upon the United States to fulfill its obligations to the residents of Camp Ashraf – and further notes the great risk of yet another attack in the immediate aftermath of President Obama’s meeting with Iraqi officials, even before the end of the year deadline;

Notes that the Government of Iraq will be held accountable for any attacks at Camp Ashraf; and
Calls upon the Government of Canada to urgently raise the situation in all bilateral and multi-lateral meetings to ensure the residents of Camp Ashraf are not forgotten and that their lives will not be in jeopardy as of December 31st.

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