Iranian Hunger Strike Outside US Embassy Calls for Action

Seven Iranian Immigrants living in London protest outside the US Embassy in London (Photo: Katherine Iorio)

Iranian Immigrants living in London protest outside the US Embassy in London (Photo: Katherine Iorio)

Seven Iranian women standing outside the U.S. Embassy in London sang out in protest to the 52 refugees allegedly slain by Iraqi forces at a refugee camp, 38 days into their hunger strike.

“We are standing until the end, we are ready until the end, we are in the trenches fighting for freedom,” the women sang in their native tongue, Persian.

On 1 September 2013, the Iraqi security forces attacked the 100 refugees in Camp Ashraf, killing 52, abducting seven. In the process, they used explosives to blow up buildings and vehicles. The next day the Iraqi Prime Minister announced that his government knew nothing about what happened in Camp Ashraf. Iraqi officials also said no soldiers entered the camp.

Some Iraqi reports confirmed that mortar rounds had been fired without classifying their origin, but said the deaths came during succeeding clashes. Others said oil and gas canisters exploding caused the blasts heard at the camp.

One source said Iraqi security forces opened fire after a crowd stormed a post at the camp entrance, wounding about 50 people, Reuters reported.

Farzaneh Dadkhah, 46, an Iranian immigrant living in London, feels she is a “victim of the Iranian government.”

“This hunger strike is a sacrifice to free Iran because the Iranian government is a dictatorship using their power to kill its citizens,” Dadkhah said.

The Iraqi citizens of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) are also protesting the policies of Nouri al-Maliki‘s Iraqi government and call for the release of the seven residents taken hostage.

Hundreds of Iranians living in London took part in a rally in Trafalgar Square, on Sunday to support the international campaign “Free 7 Ashraf Hostages” and demanding help from the UN and America.

“America needs to give us protection and stop being silent about this genocide of our people,” Dadkhan said.

Video created and produced by Katherine Iorio.

The MP for Hendon, Dr. Matthew Offord, gave flowers to hunger strikers as he gave his support for their ongoing protest to save Iranian hostages in Iraq and stated that “the UK, EU and all European States ought to seriously downgrade diplomatic and economic ties with the government of Iraq until it releases the seven Ashraf hostages.”

Laila Jazayeri, director of the Association of Anglo-Iranian Women in the UK, said: “Iranian regime wants the hostages extradited back to Iran. If this happens they face torture and execution. We call on our government here to intervene to save the lives of these innocent women.”

There is a petition for people to sign and photographs of all 52 people who lost their lives in the mass execution in September on the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of resistance of Iran.

“It is time for the West to get tough with Iran’s fundamentalist and terrorist regime,” Dr. Offord said.

An American delegation has recently met and talked to the seven hostages taken captive during the Camp Ashraf attacks and a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington are calling for action.

“We’ve stood by and watched as [Camps Ashraf residents] have been systematically slaughtered by Iraqi troops using weapons and equipment supplied by the United States and training provided by the United States, while the United States government has stood by and done nothing… All 52 people that were killed at Ashraf had ID cards issued by the United States that recognized them as ‘Protected Persons,'” the 81st Attorney General of the United States, Michael Mukasey stated.

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