Organizing Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran
The Organizing Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran is delighted to announce that the annual gathering of prodemocracy Iranians who live away from their home will be held in Paris on June 22, 2013. Tens of thousands of Iranian expatriates from North America, Europe and other part of the world will participate in this gathering. The event is the largest gathering of Iranians seeking establishment of freedom, democracy and respect for human rights in Iran.
The June 22 gathering aims to highlight the plight of the Iranian refugees. It is to call on the governments in North America and Europe to respect their commitment to ensure safety and security of the refugees before their resettlement outside Iraq.
The gathering also aims to highlight the deteriorating human rights situation in Iran. It is to reflect on the international scene, the Iranian people’s desire for regime change and establishment of democracy in that country. The gathering aims to express support for the vanguards of struggle for freedom who are currently residing in camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq.
Finally, the gathering is expected to urge the international community, particularly governments in the West, to adopt a firm policy with regards to the regime in Iran and to side with the people and their aspirations for democratic change.
The committee will be hosting high profile personalities from around the world, parliamentarians of various countries, and defenders of human rights who have spoken on behalf of the Iranian people.
The OCCDI, comprised of expatriate prodemocracy Iranians, is proud of organizing this unique event in Paris.
Committee for Convention for Democracy in Iran
Highlights of Remarks About Ashraf Residents
Former US Senator Robert Torricelli
Brussels, March 27 2013 - If I were to say that in this room, this room is going to be attacked, 10 of you can leave and the remained will stay and face death, would you? And if you did, what kind of people are you? There is a wonderful quote that I remember all my life at the end of the battle of France and as the battle of Britain was beginning, the Germans sent a message to Churchill. Would he surrender? He was so contemptuous, he didn’t answer. He simply said: what kind of people do they think we are? What kind of people would live in camp Liberty, if they would leave their children, their brothers, their sisters, their comrades, people whom they have lived with for 26 years? And a few would run for the door and leave the rest to fight for their lives. What kind of people would they be?
That is not an answer for security. Tell me where we were wrong in what we have asked for? Tell me that having a few leave and having the rest behind is right and we will do it. Which you know it is not and that is the line that separates us today.
Mr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Union
Brussels, March 27, 2013 - Another such attack on Camp Liberty is highly likely. The US government has announced that such attack could happen any time and the government of Iraq has said that they are not able to prevent such attack. It is of course true because they are cooperating with the Iranian regime… Since security cannot be guaranteed under current conditions in Iraq, any solution must guarantee relocation from Liberty, either the residents should immediately be transferred to US or European countries or they should be relocated to Ashraf where their asylum process could continue.
Mr. Struan Stevenson (Member of European Parliament)
Brussels, March 27, 2013 - In a year and a half after people moved into camp Liberty, more individuals have been taken out of camp Liberty in body bags than have been resettled. The safety and security that we guaranteed them, I was a party to this, and I feel partly responsible for this, the UN, the US and the EU guaranteed the safety and security of these 3,100 people, that was horribly breached on the 9th of February when there was a rocket attack, where more than 45 Katyusha rockets fired in a tight trajectory in a professional military manner over a 15 minute period, killed 8 people, dismembered 10, and wounded over 90 in a serious way. So we have deceived these people. They’re living, in the words of a working party from the United Nations, in prison-like conditions....They have no freedom of movement. They have been forced to pay massive amounts of money for their own food and welfare which has to be imported from Kuwait; they’re not being supplied with food, water, fuel, by the government of Iraq who adopted responsibility for their welfare and their security. We have betrayed and deceived these people.
3,200 Iranian refugees need urgent protection in Iraq
Iranian dissidents living in Iraq as refugees are currently facing critical threats to their lives. Some 3,100 of them have been relocated over the past year to a new camp called “Liberty”, former US military camp near Baghdad Airport. The remaining 100 are still in Camp Ashraf which was built entirely by residents over the past 26 years.
The defenseless refugees were put under an inhumane siege by the Iraqi government after the US pulled out of Iraq in 2009. Every single one of these refugees signed an agreement with the US Government in 2004 committing the US to provide protection to them until their final disposition. Subsequently, they were recognized as Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention. The Iraqi government, under heavy influence of the Iranian regime, imposed some very repressive measures against them.
- 1,000 out of 3,200 refugees are women,
- Some 1000 of them have served years of imprisonment in Iran experiencing some of the most barbaric tortures,
- Majority of the population have been educated at universities in Iran or in Western countries.
Violent attacks on refugees in Camp Ashraf
- Iraqi forces attacked the refugees in Camp Ashraf in a two day incursion into the camp on July 28 and 29, 2009. The attack left 11 dead and up to 500 wounded,
- Attack on the defenseless refugees, women and children, were repeated on April 8, 2011. The attack, with unprecedented level of brutality, left 36 dead, including 8 women, and several hundred wounded,
- Some of those killed were run over by Humvee armored vehicles, others shot dead or beaten to death,
- During these two attacks the residents had virtually nothing to defend themselves.
Move to Camp Liberty for hollow promise of security
- The refugees were forced to leave Ashraf after the second attack with a promise of security,
- Camp Liberty was described as a Temporary Transit Location (TTL) by the Iraqi government in order to justify its shortcomings,
- The refugees were promised to be relocated to third countries within a very short period after moving to Liberty but after a year only 7 individuals have been resettled in third countries and these people are to stay there for years before being able to be relocated,
- The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention described the camp as a detention centre. In its July 17, 2012 report to the UN General Assembly the UN body said, “The conditions in Camp Liberty are synonymous with those in a detention centre, as residents have no freedom of movement, nor interaction with the outside world, nor do they have freedom of movement and the semblance of a free life within the Camp. The situation of the residents of Camp Liberty is tantamount to that of detainees or prisoners. The Working Group considers that there is no legal justification for holding the above-mentioned persons and other individuals in Camp Liberty, and that such detention is not in conformity with the standards and principles of international human rights law, and more specifically violates article 9 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and articles 9 and 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.”
- Camp Liberty residents have been subjected to most inhuman conditions:
No protection in Liberty
- The camp is managed by an Iraqi official who was responsible for the massacre of residents in Ashraf during attacks in July 2009 and April 2011,
- Iraqis removed 17500 concrete T-walls from the camp that provided protection to the residential containers,
- The Government of Iraq refuses to allow the residents to have protective vests and helmets.
Rocket attack on Camp Liberty leaves 8 dead
- On February 9, 2013, some 40 rockets were launched against the residential containers in Liberty,
- Eight residents killed, including a woman, and dozens wounded in this densely populated camp. At least two wounded died due to lack of medical services,
- The substandard medical center lacked power and the power generator did not work due to lack of fuel,
- Two of those killed were due to their critical injuries.
Looming death threat
Two Arab dailies on February 25 published interviews with Mullah Vasegh Albattat, leader of “Iraqi Hezbollah” and “Army of Al-Mokhtar” who is in Najaf, Iraq. He stressed in these interviews that he was under the command of the mullahs’ regime Supreme Leader and promised more attacks on the residents of Liberty who are members of MeK. These interviews clearly show that the Iraqi Hezbollah and Albattat are part of the mullahs’ regime Revolutionary Guards Corps, which is under the command of Khamenei, and operates in coordination with Maliki’s government.
In this interview, Albattat promised he would inflict a second crippling blow on Liberty and stressed that we consider striking and killing the residents as a religious and ethical duty and we would target them again in near future.”
He was quoted as saying “I am a loyal supporter to the line of Vali-e-Faqih (Supreme Leader) that Mr. Khamenei represents and Hezbollah is a follower of Khamenei and we are committed to him as our leader and refer to him for military and political issues
StopFundamentalism - Rally in Paris
StopFundamentalism.com - In June, the Iranian expatriates , from all over the world, meet in Paris in a grand assembly to show support for a democratic change in Iran and the removal of the current theocratic dictatorship rulers from power. They are expected to be joined by human rights advocates and others seeking a change in Iran.
ISDCI Invitation to June Rally in Paris
The International Solidarity for Democratic Change in Iran (ISDCI) is proud to sponsor the “Convention for Democracy in Iran” being held in Paris, June 2012 by the Iranian communities outside Iran. We invite all who cherish freedom and democracy to participate in this event.