Kobler Leaks Secret: Albania Offers Asylum to 210 MEK Members in Liberty

Any solution for Liberty should be quick and should include all of the population By Shahriar Kia

According to AP “The Albanian government says it is offering asylum to 210 members of an Iranian opposition group” in camp Liberty. This was announced “Saturday after meeting with U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Barbara Leaf, the U.N. envoy in Iraq, Martin Kobler, and other officials’.

Iranian resistance while appreciating the Government of Albania and Prime Minister Berisha for their humanitarian gesture, is strongly opposed to any engagement of Martin Kobler, who is pursuing the political objective of the Iranian regime and the Prime Minister of Iraq- Nouri-al-Maliki, on the issue of resettlement that is within the jurisdiction of the UNHCR and find Kobler’s involvement against the safety and security of the residents.

martin kobler cartoon
Cartoon of Martin Kobler

Accepting 210 residents of Liberty by the Government of Albania is not anything new. This was agreed upon during the visit of the former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton from Tirana past November.

The Special representative of the US Secretary of State on Ashraf, Ambassador Dan Fried in a letter on November 22, 2012 to the representative of Ashraf and Liberty residents wrote: “As you may have heard, the Government of Albania has confirmed privately that it is prepared to accept for resettlement up to 210 former Ashraf residents. UNHCR is now preparing referrals to the Government of Albania and may be in contact with leaders of Camp Liberty to discuss this.

I hope and expect that the leaders at Camp Liberty and your own leadership will welcome this news and will cooperate fully with UNHCR to carry out this important resettlement. I urge you and the MEK not to make this offer public, but to work quietly with UNHCR to help your people leave Iraq in safety for a better future. The MEK’s cooperation in making this relocation effort to Albania a success will encourage other governments to move more swiftly in accepting former Ashraf residents for resettlement.” Now, Kobler, in a propaganda trip to Tirana, wants to raise an old agreement to cover up his wicked role in transferring Asharf residents to Liberty, which is a prison, and paving the way for their massacre.

The notion that Liberty residents “refuse leaving Iraq” is a lie that Kobler propagates. Quite contrary, the Iranian resistance has done its utmost in the past two years to find host countries for Ashraf residents. As such, after the Albanian Government’s agreement to accept 210 of the residents, the representatives of the residents in a written commitment to the Albanian Government in Tirana guaranteed that the resistance will accept all the expenditure and cost regarding these people and sought that the number of people be increased.

But 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, the residents and their representatives have announced that as long as the residents of Liberty are facing the danger of similar massacre, transferring small groups of Liberty residents to outside of Iraq, would simply increase the threat and danger for the majority who would stay in Liberty.

Thus, there are only 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.

Any solution should be quick and should include all of the population. The residents in two joint letters, on February 14 and March 15 each of the letters signed by more than 3,000 signatures raised these points to the attention of the UN Secretary General, the UN High Commission for Refugees, the High Commissioner for Human Rights, the US authorities and the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs.

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Shahriar Kia is a member of the Iranian opposition (PMOI /MEK). He is a human rights activist and political analyst on Iran and the Middle East.