Declaration by the High Representative, Catherine Ashton, on behalf of the European Union on camp Ashraf
Brussels, 9 April 2011 8859/11 PRESSE 101
The EU is deeply disturbed at reports of the use of force against Camp Ashraf residents in Iraq, resulting in casualties. The EU deplores the loss of life. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq has been monitoring the situation there closely, and alongside the UN, the EU has continuously and repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to refrain from the use of violence and to respect the human rights of the Camp’s residents.
This message was reiterated by EU representatives on Monday at a meeting with Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki himself. The EU calls upon the Iraqi government to grant access to Camp Ashraf to independent international observers in order that they can provide a comprehensive picture of the situation.
The situation in Camp Ashraf poses complex challenges with no easy answers. The EU agrees that Iraq’s sovereignty should be respected over all the Iraqi territory including in Camp Ashraf, but force is not the answer. It is the Government’s responsibility to respect the human rights of its residents. The EU also calls on all the parties to show restraint and find a peaceful and sustainable solution to the situation.