Iran Interlink, September 25 2016:… This is what the Washington Times reported in March 2013: “…The U.S. wants the MeK leadership to ‘accept the government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp [Liberty] to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq,’ said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The dissidents are housed at Camp Liberty …
Nothing to celebrate – MEK leader Maryam Rajavi pretends forced move to Albania is a great victory
The Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group has finally been expelled from Iraq after years of effort by the Government of Iraq, UNAMI and the US to get them to go. What is strange is that, after three years of intransigence, the group’s leader has now ordered her followers to celebrate their move. For a group which advertised itself as ready to topple the Iranian regime from Iraq and only a year ago demanded the US rearm them in Camp Liberty, it is not clear what they are celebrating.
Back in 2013, the United States – which had pledged to protect the MEK – negotiated a deal with Albania to take an initial number of 210 members and re-settle them in Tirana. The MEK refused absolutely to move. They demanded that either the whole group be moved wholesale to America, or the group be returned to its training base Camp Ashraf from which they had been moved to Camp Liberty for reasons of safety.
In spite of a number of armed attacks against the MEK by unknown assailants, which caused the deaths of about 200 and many more injuries, the MEK still refused to co-operate with US and UNHCR efforts to have the members transferred to safety in Albania.
This is what the Washington Times reported in March 2013:
“…The U.S. wants the MeK leadership to ‘accept the government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp [Liberty] to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq,’ said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The dissidents are housed at Camp Liberty, a temporary location near Baghdad’s international airport. ’We further urge the MeK leadership to place the highest priority on the safety and security of the former residents of [Camp] Ashraf through full and unconditional cooperation with the resettlement process,’ Mrs. Nuland said. The MEK has rejected the offer.”
MEK leader Maryam Rajavi is now facing questions from her followers about this move and about their futures. In order to distract their minds from these troubling doubts, over the past week she has paid millions to lobbying groups and individuals in the West to send congratulatory messages about the move. She has also ordered her followers to stage celebrations. She hopes this will be enough to convince them or at least numb them enough to forget their predicament.
Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK) rejects Albania’s asylum offer for 210 members in Camp Liberty (Rajavi: Iraq safer than Albania)
Washington Post, Associated Press, March 17, 2013: … Iraq’s government is eager to have Mujahedeen-e-Khalq out of the country. The group opposes Iran’s clerical regime and carried out assassinations and bombings in Iran until renouncing violence in 2001. It fought in the 1980s alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the Iran-Iraq war. The refugee camp is located on a former American military base known as Camp Liberty. It is meant to be a temporary way station while the United Nations works to relocate the exiles abroad.MEK members reluctantly began moving to Camp Liberty last year. They previously lived in a compound known as Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq …
Washington Post, Associated Press, March 17, 2013
TIRANA, Albania — An Iranian opposition group on Saturday turned down Albania’s offer of asylum to 210 of its members who are living at a former U.S. military base near Baghdad.
Albanian Prime Minister Sali Berisha made the offer after meeting with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf, U.N. envoy in Iraq Martin Kobler, and other officials. He said the offer of asylum for the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq members was made for “humanitarian reasons.”
“We really appreciate the Tirana government’s helping hand,” Shahin Gobadi of the National Council of Resistance of Iran told The Associated Press from Paris in an interview conducted by telephone and e-mail.
Gobadi said the group, which oversees the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, could not accept an offer of asylum for only a small portion of the group. The U.N. says more than 3,000 MEK members live at the former U.S. base.
Iraq’s government is eager to have Mujahedeen-e-Khalq out of the country. The group opposes Iran’s clerical regime and carried out assassinations and bombings in Iran until renouncing violence in 2001. It fought in the 1980s alongside Saddam Hussein’s forces in the Iran-Iraq war.
The refugee camp is located on a former American military base known as Camp Liberty. It is meant to be a temporary way station while the United Nations works to relocate the exiles abroad.
MEK members reluctantly began moving to Camp Liberty last year. They previously lived in a compound known as Camp Ashraf in northeastern Iraq. It was twice raided by Iraqi security forces, leaving more than three dozen people dead.
Their move to the new camp has not guaranteed their security. A strike at the camp with rockets and mortar shells on Feb. 9 left 8 dead and about 100 injured.
Two weeks later the head of a new Shiite militant group in Iraq threatened to carry out more attacks against the camp.
“The idea that Liberty residents refuse leaving Iraq is a lie that (U.N. envoy) Kobler propagates,” said Gobadi. “Quite the contrary, the Iranian resistance has done its utmost in the past two years to find host countries for former Ashraf residents.”
He said that camp residents had contacted Tirana and had guaranteed that the Iranian resistance would bear all costs regarding relocation and sought to increase the number of people offered asylum.
“Following the February 9 rocket attack on Camp Liberty and in light of the fact that all the Camp Liberty residents are in danger of similar attacks, transferring small groups of Liberty residents outside of Iraq would simply increase the danger for the majority who would stay behind,” Gobadi said in an e-mail
Gobadi said there are two options: “The first option is the immediate, even temporary transfer of all the residents to the U.S. or to a European country and permanent resettlement from there or the return of all of the residents to Camp Ashraf and the continuation of resettlement process from Ashraf, including transfer to Albania from Ashraf.”
U.N. envoy accuses Mojahedin Khalq leaders in Iraq of rights abuses (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
Reuters, July 17 2013:… U.N. envoy Martin Kobler, who will take up a similar position in the Democratic Republic of Congo next month, told the Security Council that the United Nations had received complaints about the Iranian group’s leadership at the camp. “Of increasing concern are the human rights abuses in Camp Hurriya itself by the camp leadership,” Kobler said. “Hundreds of daily …
Special Representative for Iraq Martin Kobler
(Reuters) – The outgoing U.N. special envoy to Iraq on Tuesday accused the leaders of an Iranian dissident group at a camp in Iraq of human rights abuses, an allegation the movement dismissed as baseless.
Members of the Iranian dissident group Mujahadin-e-Khalq living in Camp Hurriya near Baghdad have been transferred there from Camp Ashraf north of the Iraqi capital, where they had lived for nearly a decade until last year.
The group and its political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran, have complained repeatedly about the conditions at Camp Hurriya, formerly known as Camp Liberty, and security problems.
U.N. envoy Martin Kobler, who will take up a similar position in the Democratic Republic of Congo next month, told the Security Council that the United Nations had received complaints about the Iranian group’s leadership at the camp.
“Of increasing concern are the human rights abuses in Camp Hurriya itself by the camp leadership,” Kobler said. “Hundreds of daily monitoring reports suggest that the lives of Camp Hurriya members are tightly controlled.”
“A significant number of residents have reported to U.N. monitors that they are not free to leave the camp, to participate in the resettlement process offered by UNHCR, to contact family members outside Iraq, or to have contact with other relatives even within the camp itself,” he said, referring to the U.N. refugee agency.
Some Hurriya residents reported being denied access to medical treatment by camp leaders, while others spoke of verbal and other forms of abuse for disagreeing with camp leaders or voicing the desire to leave, Kobler said.
The Mujahadin-e-Khalq, taken off the U.S. list of terrorist organizations last year, calls for the overthrow of Iran’s Shi’ite Muslim clerical leadership. It fought alongside the forces of Iraq’s late Sunni Muslim dictator Saddam Hussein in the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war.
The group is no longer welcome in Iraq under the Shi’ite Muslim-led government that came to power after U.S.-led forces invaded and toppled Saddam in 2003. Some exiles say they suspect that Baghdad might be ready to send them back to Iran.
There have been two rocket attacks on Camp Hurriya this year, one in February and another last month. Some 10 residents were killed and 71 wounded.
Shahin Gobadi, a spokesman for the National Council of Resistance of Iran, denied the allegations of Kobler, whom the Iranian dissidents have long accused of lying and covering up facts about what they say are substandard conditions at Hurriya.
“These allegations are so baseless that the Iranian resistance has on 50 occasions called for an independent fact-finding mission to investigate all these claims and all other lies that Kobler has disseminated,” he said.
“But neither Kobler nor the government of Iraq has agreed to any independent investigation.”
The United Nations has defended Kobler and denied the allegations about a cover-up.
“We regret that MeK and its supporters continue to focus on public distortions of the U.N.’s efforts to promote a peaceful, humanitarian solution on Camp Ashraf and, in particular, its highly personalized attacks on the U.N. envoy for Iraq,” U.N. spokesman Martin Nesirky said.
There are around 100 Iranians remaining at Camp Ashraf who refuse to leave, Kobler said. He described the situation at Ashraf as tense.
Last week lawyers for the families at Camp Hurriya held a news conference in New York to present a petition to the United Nations calling for an immediate return to Camp Ashraf.
The Mujahadin-e-Khalq insists that the United States, whose forces initially helped them settle in Ashraf after the 2003 invasion, still bears responsibility for their safety.
(Editing by Mohammad Zargham)
UN Envoy: Mujahedin-e Khalq Leaders Abusing Followers in Iraq (Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
Jason Ditz, Anti War, July 17 2013
UN Envoy Martin Kobler has detailed growing complaints about human rights violations by leaders of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK), an Iranian rebel faction, against its followers in Iraq’s Camp Hurriya.
The MeK was a long-standing member of the US State Department’s list of terrorist organizations, but after heavy lobbying the group was dropped from the list last year. The group was allied to Saddam Hussein and retains a significant presence at Hurriya, and formerly Camp Liberty during the US occupation.
Accord to Kobler, the UN receives “hundreds” of reports every day about violations by MeK leaders against people inside Camp Hurriya, restricting their movement, forbidding them from contacting family members, and keeping them from leaving to participate in a UN resettlement effort.
MeK spokesman Shahin Gobadi angrily rejected the allegations, insisting they are “baseless” and accusing the UN of covering up Koblers “lies” against their organization. MeK leaders insist the US remains responsible for their safety.
UN News Center, May 16 2013: … The top United Nations official in Iraq today called the relocation of 14 Iranians to Albania from an exile camp near Baghdad, an “encouraging first step.” “The residents’ arrival in Albania late last night is an encouraging first step in the relocation of the group of 210 residents the Albanian government has agreed to receive,” said the UN Special Representative …
UN News Centre, April 19 2013: … Camp Hurriya serves as a transit facility for more than 3,000 exiles, most of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran, where a process to determine their refugee status is being carried out by the UN refugee agency (UNHCR). With the latest offer, […]
Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists & Democrats in the European Parliament (S&D), April 16 2013: … The S&D Group fully supports the efforts of Martin Kobler and the UN Assistance Mission to Iraq towards full and permanent resettlement of the residents of Camp Liberty and believes that the decision by the Government of Albania to accept 210 residents is a welcome first
Office of Catherine Ashton, European Union, March 21, 2013: … The High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice President of the Commission issued the following statement today: “I welcome the decision by the Government of Albania to resettle 210 former residents of Camp Ashraf, now temporarily located in Camp Hurriya. I have followed this issue very closely, lending my full support to the work of the United ations Assistance Mission for Iraq, and in particular th
UN News center, March 19 2013: … The statement added that Mr. Ban “unequivocally supports” the efforts of his Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, “to courageously and creatively, in exceptionally difficult circumstances, help resolve this situation.” In his report, Mr. Ban urges those who express support for the residents of Camp Hurriya and the remaining residents of another camp, New Iraq, to stop spreading insults and falsehoods about Mr. Kobler, who heads the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI
Ashish Kumar Sen, Washington Times, March 18 2013: … The U.S. wants the MeK leadership to “accept the government of Albania’s humanitarian offer immediately, and urges the residents of Camp [Liberty] to resume participation in resettlement interviews to ensure that individuals avail themselves of safe and secure relocation opportunities outside Iraq,” said State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. The dissidents are housed at Camp Liberty, a temporary location near Baghdad’s interna