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Struan Stevenson (MEP) – Democracy Scorned

Struan Stevenson (MEP)  –Convention for Democracy in Iran, Villepinte, Paris, France

Convention for Democracy in Iran, Paris, June 22, 2013 - We have just witnessed another fraudulent election in Iran.  One fascist president has been replaced by another.  Democracy has once again been scorned.  For the West to portray one of the six candidates sele cted by Khameni as a moderate is simply ridiculous. 

The truth is that proud people of Iran remain in chains, imprisoned by a false ideology and oppressed by a tyrannical regime.  Thomas Jefferson famously said (quote), "When the people fear the government there is tyranny.  When the government fears the people, there is liberty." 

And there is no question that the Mullahs' regime now fears the people and above all they fear the biggest legitimate opposition, the PMOI.  Because the PMOI embraces all of the things that they hate—freedom, democracy, the rights of minorities, the rights of women, an end to tyranny, and end to oppression. 

That's why I'm proud to call the PMOI my friends, my family, my brothers, my sisters.  Together we have confronted those who sought to blacklist the PMOI and we were victorious.  Together we have exposed the lies and duplicity of senior UN officials and achieved their dismissal.  Together we have confronted and unmasked the architects of torture and murder at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty and we will hold them to account. 

Together we will achieve the resettlement of the brave refugees in Camp Liberty.  Their safety is our number one priority.  Last Saturday they were subjected to another vicious rocket attack, the third attack this year.   Two were killed and over 70 injured.  And I want to show you a short film.

(Video Clip)

Ladies and gentlemen, do you know the 40 rockets were targeted on the dining hall and if they had landed 20 minutes earlier, hundreds may have been killed.  That shows who was behind this attack.  They knew what they were aiming at. 

Now we warned after the last two attacks that there was no way we could return to business as usual at Camp Liberty.  There was no way after these appalling atrocities that we could simply restart the UNHCR interviews as if nothing had happened. 

We insisted on the restoration of the concrete T-walls to provide some element of protection for these defenseless refugees.  We insisted on returning their armored vests and their hardhats from Camp Ashraf.  All of our requests have been denied.  They were not even allowed shovels to dig trenches in which they could take cover if there is a future attack. 

Now a week since that last savage attack last Saturday, two unexploded rockets are still lying in Camp Liberty.  Not a single Iraqi government official has been to the camp to defuse these unexploded rockets or to look at how the attack took place. 

And mysteriously the UNAMI officials have disappeared.  They have not visited Camp Liberty since the attack last Saturday.  In my view that is blatant cowardice and a dereliction of duty.  The 3,200 refugees have been abandoned, exposed without protection in a half-square kilometer killing zone. 

Well, today we must tell the 3,200 at Camp Liberty that they have not been forgotten.  We must thank them for their bravery and tell them that their suffering, their sacrifice has been our guiding light.  Their struggle against oppression has inspired the oppressed masses inside Iran. 

We must tell the U.S. and the UN that the rocket attack last Saturday could have been foreseen and could have been prevented and we hold them responsible for the deaths and injuries that occurred. 

We must demand here today that all 3,200 refugees at Camp Liberty must immediately be returned to the relative safe haven of Camp Ashraf before being resettled to countries of safety. 

Let us remember the words of Thomas Jefferson and confront our enemies.  That is the only certain way to restore freedom and democracy in Iran.  Soon mullahs’ evil regime will be history, but that history will always pay tribute to the brave men and women of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. 

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Iraqi forces attack Camp Ashraf