London, 4 Sep - Lawmakers, rights activists and lawyers from the United Kingdom and Ireland on Thursday condemned human rights abuses in Iran and Camp Liberty, Iraq, where several thousand members of Iran’s main opposition group People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI or MEK) reside, and they urged the world community to support the organised Iranian opposition to bring about democratic change.
The call was made at an online conference on Thursday moderated by Dowlat Nowrouzi, the UK Representative of the main opposition coalition National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
MEK members in Camp Liberty, Iraq have faced a logistical and medical siege by the Iraqi government which the MEK says is at the behest of the Iranian regime.
Sir David Amess, a Conservative MP from the UK House of Commons, said he was disappointed by the Obama administration's Iran policy, warning that the recent nuclear deal would only embolden the regime in Tehran.
He condemned the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran pointing to the increased number of executions in the country. “It is only the regime's rhetoric that has changed but the appalling atrocities are still going on”, he said.
Steve McCabe, Labour MP from the House of Commons, said: “The PMOI (MEK) and the NCRI expose the human rights abuses of the Iranian regime so we know what is really happening in Iran and we know about the executions.”
“The head of Iran's so called Human Rights Council defends barbaric punishments, like stonings and hangings. We will not forget the oppressed people of Iran who are suffering under a despotic regime”.
With regards to the siege on MEK members in Camp Liberty, McCabe said: “We'll not forget the residents of Camp Liberty and we'll continue our efforts to secure their rights and their protection”.
Lord Maginnis of Drumglass, from the House of Lords, said, “Our officials aren't seeing through the lies coming from Tehran … We seem to deliberately and knowingly ignore the executions and human rights abuses in Iran … the British government must adopt a firmer policy on Iran acknowledging human rights abuses that occur”.
The participants said the US and UN ought to act to fulfil their promises to protect the MEK members who are refugees in Camp Liberty while pressuring the Government of Iraq to lift all restrictions.
On 1 September 2013, Iraqi forces were filmed entering the MEK’s former major base Camp Ashraf and murdering 52 unarmed MEK members. Seven camp residents were kidnapped. The MEK says former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki ordered the massacre.
On the second anniversary of the Camp Ashraf massacre, Lord Maginnis said: “We're being lied to by the UN and UNAMI on Camp Liberty … What does our government know about the seven people who were taken hostage during the massacre?”
Lady Corbett, a women's rights activist and wife of the late Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran freedom, condemned the rising numbers of executions in Iran.
“The Iranian regime is putting pressure on the Iraqi government to impose restrictions on Camp Liberty. I really want to know what the Iranians are offering Iraq but I suspect it is money and weapons to militia groups”, she said.
Peter Mathews TD, a member of the Irish Parliament, urged EU governments and world leaders to speak up against human rights abuses and executions in Iran.
Mathews said that the NCRI President-elect, Maryam Rajavi, personifies all that is fair and good for Iran and her 10-point plan envisions democratic values that are fundamental for creating a free society in that country in the future. “I urge every one of my colleagues and European leaders to make an effort to meet with her”.
“Liberty in Camp Liberty misrepresents the reality and the naming is grotesque; the camp is a prison for the residents”, he said.
Malcolm Fowler, a member of the Human Rights Committee of the Law Society of England and Wales, highlighted the support of the Law Society for the rights of MEK members in Camp Liberty. “We commemorate the second anniversary of the Camp Ashraf massacre but we must remember that the killings actually started in 2009 with attacks and an inhumane medical siege”.