Another group of thirty MEK Camp Hurriya residents in Iraq have successfully relocated to Albania.
In a press statement by Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, the US government commends the Government of Albania’s generous offer to accept up to 210 former Camp Hurriya residents.
The current group of Camp Liberty residents is the second in a series of planned moves to relocate Camp Hurriya residents to Albania.
“Albania continues to be a strong partner of the United States in contributing to peace and stability in Iraq.” – Ms. Psaki
In addition, the US also reiterated its call to the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) to cooperate fully with the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) process to relocate Camp Hurriya residents outside of Iraq as expeditiously as possible.
Ms. Psaki notes that the permanent relocation of residents is essential to ensure the safety and security of residents, especially following the February 9 terrorist attack that claimed eight lives.
Residents Entitled To Unimpeded Private Access To UN Human Rights Monitors
According to Ms. Psaki, the MEK leadership has the obligation to facilitate the full and immediate participation of residents in interview and counseling processes required by the UNHCR.
Also, Ms. Psaki reiterates that residents of Camp Hurriya are entitled to unimpeded and private access to UN human rights monitors.
The MEK leadership has an obligation to ensure residents are able to engage openly and freely with UN human rights monitors, UNHCR personnel and UNAMI representatives, she added.
US Supports UN On Relocation Of Liberty Residents
Ms. Psaki says the United States reaffirms its strong support for the work of UNHCR, the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), and especially the tireless work of UNAMI Special Representative of the Secretary General, Martin Kobler, to assist and resettle Camp Hurriya residents.
“The safety and security of Camp Hurriya residents remain an utmost concern.” – Ms. Psaki
Similarly, the security requirements to protect residents must be fulfilled in accordance with the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq.
Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the Secretary General has been, and remains a controversial figure. There are many who blame many of the deaths on Kobler, yet he appears to be bullet-proof in his position. There are many who say he should have been dismissed years ago, because he acts as an agent of Iran, not for the United Nations and certainly not for the Ashraf / Liberty residents.
Last month, 14 members of the Iranian opposition MEK group moved to Albania from camp Hurriya near Baghdad.
The MEK members arrived in Albania Wednesday, the first of 210 set to travel to new homes in Albania.
The step is dubbed important in defusing the dispute left over from the widely known Iran-Iraq war of the 1980’s.
The MEK opposes Tehran’s clerical regime and it launched assassinations and bombings in Iran until renouncing violence in 2001. Several thousand of its members were given sanctuary in Iraq by dictator Saddam Hussein, who was ousted in 2003.
In February 2012, nearly 400 residents of Camp Ashraf arrived safely at Camp Hurriya, previously known as Camp Liberty.
In December 2011, the Residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq declared readiness for relocation of the first group of Camp Ashraf residents. They were moving from Camp Ashraf, to Camp Liberty with their vehicles and moveable belongings.
Situated in the eastern Iraqi province of Diyala, Camp Ashraf housed members of the group, also known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran. The current Iraqi Government repeatedly stated its intention to close down the camp by 31 December 2012 and to transfer residents to another location until countries willing to accept them for resettlement were found.
The important agreement stipulates providing temporary relocation and eventual resettlement of the more than 3,000 residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
Camp Ashraf was home to 3400 members of the PMOI, the main opposition and threat to the Iranian mullahs. The Camp was attacked by Maliki forces on several occasions. The last attack led to a bloodbath; 33 killed by direct precision shooting and US Humvees ramming residents, 325 wounded and 6 taken as hostages by Iraqi thugs.