UK Bishops meet Maryam Rajavi, support Camp Liberty residents

UK Bishops meet Maryam Rajavi, support Camp Liberty residents

Published by on January 22, 2016

CZKoud2WkAA0ouq-Today, Wednesday January 20, 2016, two prominent leaders of Christian churches in Britain, the Right Reverend John Pritchard, former Bishop of Oxford and the Right Reverend Adrian Newman, the Bishop of Stepney, have met with Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) at her residence in Auvers-sur-Oise, north of Paris.
In this meeting, the delegation of bishops presented Mrs. Rajavi with the statement by the Archbishop of Wales, Dr. Barry Morgan, which was signed and supported by 51 leaders of the British churches.

The statement condemns a rocket attack on Camp Liberty on 29 October 2015, and emphasizes that the United Nations, the United States and Europe must adhere to their international obligations and take specific steps to provide adequate protection and security for the residents.

The delegation of bishops pointed out that the human rights situation in Iran has deteriorated since Hassan Rouhani came to office as president two years ago, and the number of executions, including public hangings and executions of juveniles has increased. They demanded that the human rights situation in Iran, especially the repression of religious minorities, including Christians, should be at the centre of discussions during Rouhani’s forthcoming visit to Europe.

They called on the government of the UK and other EU states to make improved international relationships with Iran contingent upon the demands of the latest UN resolution on human rights in Iran, namely the abolition of executions violating international obligations, the release of political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and end to torture and arbitrary arrests.

The statement by 52 British religious leaders says: “We urge an independent investigation of the 29 October attack, and prosecution of those responsible. We also call for the immediate recognition of Camp Liberty as a refugee camp under the supervision of UNHCR and recognition of the residents’ status as refugees and protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, and the lifting of all current restrictions on the camp.”

“We hope that the British Government will intervene and pressure the Government of Iraq, the Iraqi Prime Minister Dr. Heidar Al-Abadi, the UN and the United States to take urgent and decisive action, in accordance with previous assurances, to put an immediate end to such attacks against Iranian refugees in Camp Liberty. We support the opinion of those British MPs who say that “failure to do so would only embolden the Iranian regime to plot even more deadly attacks against these refugees in an effort to annihilate the main and most organized Iranian opposition objecting to its theocratic rule.”

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Abolish death penalty

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Dear Secretary General of United Nations,

The number of executions is rising in Iran, journalists are being detained for doing their job and activists face cruel and degrading punishments, long prison terms and even execution. According to the most recent reports by Amnesty International and the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child, “Iran’s judiciary continues to sentence child offenders to death, and carry out their execution by hanging”. Also, on August 9th, 2016 the son of late Ayatollah Hossein Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s designated successor in 1988, published a shocking audio tape of his father’s meeting with the “Death Commission” which summarily and extra-judicially executed tens of thousands of political prisoners held in jails across Iran. The massacre was carried out on the basis of a fatwa by the regime’s then-Supreme Leader Khomeini.

We, the undersigned, hereby urge you to take up this issue and raise it in the General Assembly in order to;

1. Put pressure on Iran to immediately halt the executions and abolish death penalty in Iran.
2. Call on all Western governments to make any improvement in economic relations with Iran contingent on its human rights record.
3. Demand in its resolution on human rights violations in Iran, to bring the perpetrators of 1988 massacre (one of the worst atrocities the post-war world has ever seen – Geoffrey Robertson-QC) to justice before an international tribunal.

Executions must stop.

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