At a meeting of the European Parliament’s Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup, London MEP Marina Yannakoudakis today condemned the massacre of 52 Iranian dissidents, with seven more taken hostage, at Camp Ashraf in north-west Iraq.

Opponents of the regime in Tehran have been living in Camp Ashraf as refugees since 1986. Following the invasion of Iraq US forces took over the camp before transferring control to the Iraqi authorities in 2009.

With Iran exerting more influence over Iraq,  the Iraqi government has been cracking down on dissidents opposed to the Iranian theocracy.

Iraqi forces killed 13 dissidents at the camp in 2009. Most of the residents were moved to Camp Liberty (aka Camp Hurriya) in Baghdad in 2012, where a further five exiles have been killed in 2013 in a rocket and mortar attack.

The seven kidnapped Iranians, most of whom are women, are now expected to be tranferred to Iran, where – as members of the opposition – they will face almost certain torture and execution.

Mrs. Yannakoudakis told the meeting: “The catalogue of deathly violence at Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty continues.

“The international community needs to do more to safeguard the residents of the camps. The UN, which has so far failed to prevent these atrocities, must deploy observers to both Ashraf and Liberty to deter further aggression.

“As in other parts of the Middle East, defenceless, unarmed civilians are being killed. These Iranian exiles deserve our attention and protection too.”