Linda Chavez, former White House Director of Public Liaison, Speaking in International Conference In Paris. Call On International Community To Save Ashraf Hostages And Protect Camp Liberty - Paris – 19 October 2013
It is an honor to be with you today but it is a very sad day. It is time that we honor the memory of those martyrs who gave their lives at Camp Ashraf. It is a very sad occasion to bring us together. I am here today to stand with you in solidarity but I want to say a few words myself.
We saw and witnessed what can only be called a foreseeable massacre that occurred at Camp Ashraf on September 1st. Those in this room, those who stand with you, have known all along that those who are in Iraq, members of the Iranian resistance in Camp Liberty and in Camp Ashraf were in fact vulnerable to the kind of massacre that occurred.
It was not the first such massacre, it was the third. We have lost 52 precious lives. It is time to stand and say we will not lose another life. Those of us who believe in freedom, those of us who believe in the right of self-determination, should say enough. The mullahs in Iran have directed their complicit friend in Iraq to slaughter the innocents and this cannot stand.
It is not just the summary execution of 52 individuals but also the kidnapping and hostage taking of 7 others from Camp Ashraf we are here to protest today. I say as an American, as one whose government gave personal assurances to every single person who is in Camp Liberty today and who were in Camp Ashraf before that, that our government would protect their lives and we as American must stand up and demand that our government live up to the promises that it made to the people of Camp Ashraf and are continuing to make to the people of Camp Liberty.
We must see that the US government, our State Department and our White House hold the government of Iraq responsible for what happened. It is not possible that troops could have come in and gone by the hundreds of Iraqis who were there in military forces in Camp Ashraf for the slaughter that has taken place on September 1st. It is not possible that the Iraqi government was not at the very least complicit in that action.
We must demand answers, answers to what happened to these 7 hostages, where are they being held, by whom are they being held and are their lives safe? And until we get answers to those questions, we cannot give up our pressure. The US has an answer to those of us who have asked what has happened.
They said, well, you know, the State Department issued its condolences, the State Department has asked that an investigation takes place, but an investigation that is conducted by the Iraqi government is not an investigation that will get answers to what happened on that terrible day. At the same time, while the US acting as if we are upset with Iraq for what happened, the President of the US will welcome into the White House Prime Minister Maliki. That is wrong.
We should not be welcoming into the White house a man whose government stood by while innocent men and women were not just killed; they were lined up and shot in the back of the head in summary executions.
We should not be welcoming him, nor should the US be saying at the same time we are condemning these attacks and condemning the fact that the Maliki government is acting at the behest of the mullahs in Iran, we are also sitting down at the negotiating table with the mullahs’ representative, the Rouhani government in Iran.
This is an insult, an insult to the freedom loving people of the world and it is a danger to those of us who believe Iran today represents in the government of the mullahs the greatest threat to the peace and security in the world.
But for those of you, who are losing faith in the American government response, let me say there is in the US three levels of government. There is the executive branch, a white house that has closed its ears to the suffering of the Iranian people and friends of those who were massacred, but there is also a judicial branch which pushed to make sure that the MEK was delisted.
So, you have had some justice before the American judicial system and there is also the US congress. As we saw in the hearing in Washington a couple weeks ago, we have both Republican and Democrats who do not agree these day very much, come together in agreement to say that until there are answers to what happened on September 1st in that terrible massacre, the US should not be sending arms to the Iraqi government.
This is why we are here today to say that we stand with those martyrs and we stand with the representatives of true aspiration of the Iranian people. We are very pleased to be with you today and to bring to you those of like-mind and those who represent many different nations of the world.
But most of all, we are here to honor the women who is the hope of the Iranian people. We want to hear now from Madam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran.
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