“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends”
Free At last, after 72 days, the 36 Ashraf residents, who had been abducted, were released and safely returned to Camp Ashraf.
Many of the hostages, who were on a hunger strike, are seriously ill but in a very high spirit. They were immediately taken to Ashraf medical center for treatment.
Also in London, hunger strikers ended their 72-day fast celebrating this victory.
Upon hearing the news of the hostages’ release, everyone was crying, dancing, singing in the street in Grosvenor square in front of the US Embassy.
Celebrations continued late into the night. It was a truly wonderful end to a long rally for humanity, justice and love.
Huge international pressure, prompted by hunger strikers, helped bring about their release.
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, the vice president of the European Parliament, Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, and the former Prime Minister of Algeria, Sid Ahmed Ghozali, and thousands of parliamentarians, jurists, human rights icons, dignitaries and personalities across the world condemned the Iraqi regime for failing to release the refugees, despite three separate rulings by Iraqi judges.
Amnesty International joined the chorus of voices denouncing the actions of Iraqi Prime Minister, Nuri Al-Maliki with another Urgent Action appeal which was its 12th statement since the ordeal started.
The hunger strikers chanting: "This is a huge victory for the people of Iran, for democracy, for humanity”.
However, the return of the hostages is just one of the hunger strikers' demands. They vowed to resume their fast if UN and US forces did not agree to monitor the camp and provide security from Iraqi forces.
Time to Celebrate
Please come to celebrate this great victory with us and with the brave men and women of camp Ashraf who have peacefully withstood this aggression using their tolerance and their bodies to shield their rights.
We are holding a vigil at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday 10 October, in front of the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square.
Event includes; Music, videos, presentation and speeches by dignitaries and humanitarian personalities and the latest update on the situation at the camp. Refreshments will be available.
Date: Saturday 10 October, 2009
Place: Grosvenor Square, Opposite the US Embassy
Closest tube station: Bond Street - Central Line
Please attend and bring your friends along to share the joy of a successful grass root humanitarian act.
PS. This event is FREE TO ATEND