SENATOR GAVIN MARSHALL
Senator for Victoria
I condemn the 1 September massacre of 52 residents of Camp Ashraf in the strongest possible terms. Tragically, I do so in the knowledge that my words will do nothing to bring back the lives of the 52 victims.
The Iraqi government has not afforded the protection that is due to residents of Camp Ashraf under the Geneva Conventions. Prime Minister Maliki must accept responsibility for Iraq’s failure to meet its obligations and the horrific consequences thereof. Reports that the 48 surviving residents may be handed over to the Iranian regime, thus depriving them of even the pretence of protection, are greatly disturbing.
I add my voice to the chorus of international demands for a thorough and transparent investigation into the crime against humanity committed on 1 September. The recurrent nature of the atrocities committed against Iranian exiles requires us to confront the uncomfortable truth that adequate action in the past may have prevented the appalling circumstances of the present. The perpetrators of this most recent atrocity must be brought to justice.
The UN and the international community more broadly, must also accept a share of the blame for our failure through inaction. It was almost two years ago when Ashraf residents were brought to Camp Liberty on the promise of safe international resettlement. It is a cause of international shame that extradition to Iran now looms larger in the fates of the remaining Ashraf residents than the safe international resettlement that they were once assured of.
Whilst the eyes of the world remain focused upon the events in Syria, Ashraf residents have been handcuffed and shot. Residents of Camp Liberty remain in an insecure and unsafe purgatory. The international community cannot, in good conscience, remain idle whilst the barbarous attacks on Iranian dissidents continue.