BPCIF Condemns Iraqi Threat to Extradite Iranian Dissidents
BPCIF Condemns Shocking Iraqi Threat to Extradite Iranian Dissidents
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF) is deeply concerned by remarks made by Iraq’s Justice Minister Hassan Shammari regarding the extradition to Iran of members of PMOI, the main Iranian opposition movement. The residents of Camp Liberty are Protected Persons and ‘people of concern’ under the Fourth Geneva Convention and any attempt to extradite them to a country where they will face torture and execution is blatant unlawful, and in breach of the principle of non-refoulment.
Shammari was quoted as saying, “According to an agreement signed between Iran and Iraq on exchange of prisoners, Iran can ask for extradition of the MKO (PMOI) members.” Such total disregard for international law is nothing new for the current leadership of Iraq. The Iraqi regime has already been complicit in the deaths of over 100 members of the Iranian opposition based in Camps Ashraf and Liberty while denying basic rights, access to fuel, food, water and access to lawyers for more than 3,000 remaining residents in Camp Liberty.
These are defenceless people. International law clearly states that individuals should not be extradited to a nation where they face danger of torture or harm. Iraq must desist from this obedience to the unlawful demands of the Iranian regime.
The international community has a duty to intervene. The UN, US, UK and EU must immediately condemn statements of Iraq’s Justice Minister and reiterate demands that the Government of Iraq respect international law or face stern action from the international community. The Iraqi authorities must know that in due course the perpetrators of these crimes will face justice at the International Criminal Court.
Further, the UN and UNHCR should without hesitation declare Camp Liberty as a refugee camp and provide the residents with group refugee status.It is time for a protective UN force and permanent presence at Camp Liberty to protect the residents.
We urge the UK to use its power as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council to secure the safety and well-being of these ‘persons of concern’. Nothing short of blue helmets at Camp Liberty is likely to save its defenceless residents, who have no weapons for their own defence and are long committed against violence.
Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom
11 March 2014