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SDIR Committee News Release

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Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
House of Commons / Chambre des communes
Sous-comité des droits internationaux de la personne du Comité permanent des affaires étrangères et du développement international

For immediate release




Ottawa, June 18, 2014 -

The Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on International Human Rights unanimously adopted a motion in support of the more than 3000 residents of Camp Liberty in Iraq – formerly at Camp Ashraf – all of whom are protected under international humanitarian law. The motion followed compelling testimony on the urgency of the security and humanitarian situation at Camp Liberty, and the need for international protective action.

The residents, who are members of the Iranian dissident group Mojahedin e-Khalq, have been forced to live at Camp Liberty under dangerous and deplorable conditions characterized by a wholly inadequate security infrastructure. Indeed, since 2009, they have been the victims of six violent attacks, the most lethal of which occurred at Camp Ashraf on September 1, 2013. 52 people were executed and seven hostages remain missing and unaccounted for.

The motion recognizes that the situation at Camp Liberty constitutes an urgent legal, political and – in particular – humanitarian crisis. It calls on the United Nations to immediately establish a permanent presence inside Camp Liberty and to launch an independent and impartial investigation into the September 1 massacre. It also recommends that Canada provide assistance for the relocation of Camp Liberty residents and accept as asylum seekers.

“We’re very concerned about the incidents that took place there in September 2013 that resulted in 52 deaths and the condemnation of the United Nations,” said David Sweet, MP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Wayne Marston, MP for Hamilton East-Stoney Creek, said, “The Government of Iraq must take all necessary steps to ensure the safety and security of the residents of Camp Liberty. The denial of necessary medical care residents is absolutely unacceptable. The international community – in cooperation with the United Nations – needs to make a concerted effort to find a durable solution for residents.”

Said Irwin Cotler, MP for Mount Royal, “It is outrageous that there has not yet been any independent investigation into the September 1 massacre at Camp Ashraf, thereby fostering a culture of impunity. Moreover, the humanitarian and security situation remains urgent, while there has been little progress in resettling the residents. The situation requires immediate attention and action by the international community.”

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For more information, please contact:
Miriam Burke, Clerk of the Subcommittee on International Human Rights of the Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs and International Development
Tel: 613-996-1540