Essayah: Camp Ashraf in Iraq must be protected

MEP Sari Essayah (EPP) participated in an urgency session of the European Parliament’s ”Friends of a Free Iran” (FOFI) intergroup last week. The session which focused on the situation of Camp AshrafinIraq was attended by a large number of MEPs.

CampAshrafhas for decades been home to around 3400 members and supporters of the Iranian opposition but recent events have seen the safety of the area and its residents seriously jeopardised. In particular, it is feared that the recent withdrawal of US forces from the area will place Ashraf residents under serious danger.Camp Ashraf has systematically been targeted  by the Iranian regime in its campaign against the Iranian opposition movement.

Sari Essayah appealed to the Finnish minister of foreign affairs Alexander Stubb as well as both the Iranian and Iraqi embassies in Finlandi n this matter.

“It is of paramount importance thatCampAshrafand its residents are protected and that the international community does all that it can in this regard. I have called forCampAshrafto be protected by both UN and US forces until a new government is formed in Iraq. This is vitally important in order to prevent further attacks on Ashraf,” commented Essayah.

Many residents of CampAshrafare committed to democratic change inIran. Protecting Camp Ashraf is therefore not only necessary for the safety of the residents but it is also of fundamental importance in defending democracy more generally.