Canada Iran group: UN must send troops to protect Iranian dissidents in Camp Liberty

The United Nations must send blue helmet peace-keeping troops to Camp Liberty to protect Irnanian opposition members from attack, the Canadian Friends of a Democratic Iran have urged.

The demand comes after recent remarks from Iraq’s Justice Minister Hassan Shammari, who called for the camp’s Iranian dissidents to be extradited to Iran, in ‘flagrant breach’ of international law guaranteeing the rights of asylum seekers.

The groups chairman Hon. David Kilgour said in a statement: “The UN refugee agency has in several statements recognized the residents of Camp Liberty as asylum-seekers and refugees who must be protected.

“The PMOI’s (MEK) opposition to the absolute rule of ayatollahs in Iran is a well-known indisputable fact. More than 100,000 of its members and supporters have been executed by the Iranian regime during the last three decades.

“It is no secret that they will be subjected to barbaric torture and execution in order to have them denounce political opposition and embrace the absolute rule of the Supreme Leader, if they were to be handed over to the Iranian regime.

“Therefore, any attempt to extradite the residents to Iran is a serious breach of the principle of non-refoulment, which calls for a direct and active intervention by the international community to prevent a full-scale humanitarian catastrophe that will jeopardize the lives of 3,000 defenseless asylum seekers in Camp Liberty.”

Mr Kilgour added: “The UN, US, Canada and EU must strongly condemn the Iraqi Justice Minister’s statements as unlawful.

“The Iraqi authorities should be made aware that any extradition of the Liberty residents to Iran is against the international conventions and that the perpetrators of such crimes will face justice at the International Criminal Court.

“We urge the US, the UK and France to use their power as permanent members of the UN Security Council to secure the safety and well-being of these ‘persons of concern’ by securing a permanent UN presence at Camp Liberty until they are safely transferred to third countries.

“Meanwhile, the UN and UNHCR should declare Camp Liberty as a refugee camp and provide the residents with group refugee status, a first step to guarantee their safety and security.”

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