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Meeting No. 16
Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development met at 1:09 p.m. this day, in Room 253-D, Centre Block, the Chair, Scott Reid, presiding.


Members of the Subcommittee present: Hon. Irwin Cotler, Nina Grewal, Russ Hiebert, Wayne Marston, Ève Péclet, Scott Reid and David Sweet.


In attendance: Library of Parliament: Erin Shaw, Analyst; Melissa Radford, Analyst.


Witnesses: Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade: Barbara Martin, Director General, Middle East and Maghreb Bureau; Michael Walma, Director, International Crime and Terrorism Division. Public Safety Canada: Michael MacDonald, Director General, National Security Operations Directorate.

Pursuant to Standing Order 108(2) and the motion adopted by the Subcommittee on Tuesday, November 29, 2011, the Subcommittee resumed its study on the situation in Camp Ashraf.

Barbara Martin made a statement and, with Michael MacDonald, answered questions.


At 2:11 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 2:12 p.m., the sitting resumed in camera.


By unanimous consent, it was agreed, — 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 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 could face similar violence to what has occurred at Camp Ashraf in 2009 and in 2011, and twice already this year;

Be it resolved that the Subcommittee:

Calls upon the Government of Iraq to extend this deadline and to allow the remaining residents sufficient time to take the required steps to seek asylum, and allow international observers and aid groups into Camp Ashraf;

Calls upon the Government of Canada – to work with our international partners – and the UN to ensure the safety of refugees at Camp Ashraf;

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 31, 2011.


At 2:15 p.m., the sitting was suspended.

At 2:15 p.m., the sitting resumed in public.


The Chair made a statement.


At 2:19 p.m., the Subcommittee adjourned to the call of the Chair.


Miriam Burke
Clerk of the Subcommittee

2011/12/14 3:40 p.m.