Two Groups of Liberty Residents Relocated to Albania

Two groups of Iranian exiles, 27 in total, have permanently relocated from Camp Liberty in Iraq to Albania.

Reports say on June 19 and June 21, two groups of Camp Libery residents have safely arrived Albania.

The government of Albania’s accepted a total 210 of the Camp Liberty’s residents.

In addition, Germany has reportedly offered to relocate about 100 residents of the refugee camp as well.

The new transfer was the third of a series of movements planned under the terms of a generous humanitarian offer by the Government of Albania to accept 210 individuals from Camp Hurriya.

Around 3,000 people living in Camp Liberty in Baghdad are members of an exile group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran.

US thanks Albania for accepting the Camp Liberty residents

Protests against the Ayatollah Khomeini government (20 June 1981). Photo by BBC Persian, public domain.
Protests against the Ayatollah Khomeini government (20 June 1981). Photo by BBC Persian, public domain.

In a press statement by US Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki, the US thanks Albania for its compassion in this humanitarian endeavor.

So far, 71 individuals have relocated to Albania as part of this agreement, she reported.

“We look forward to additional individuals relocating as soon as possible.” – Ms. Psaki

US supports the work of UNHCR, UNAMI and Secretary General Kobler

In her press statement, Ms. Psaki underlines that US government strongly supports the work of the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq (UNAMI), and the tireless efforts of the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General Martin Kobler to relocate remaining camp residents outside Iraq.

The US urges the Mujahedin-e Khalq leadership, and all responsible parties, to ensure full cooperation with the UNHCR relocation process.

She says the relocation of Camp Hurriya residents outside of Iraq is a humanitarian mission and vital to their safety and security.

US renew calls on Iraq to ensure safety of the Iranian exiles

Ms. Psaki highlighted that the United States renews its call on the Government of Iraq to help ensure the security of the camp in accordance with its December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations.

“This is a matter of extreme urgency given ongoing threats to the camp.” – Ms. Psaki

In addition, the US also renews its call on the Government of Iraq to probe and bring to justice the terrorists responsible for the June 15 rocket attack against the camp.

Reports says Camp Liberty has faced multiple attacks last week when a mortar attack left two people dead and dozens injured. Moreover, an attack in February thi year killed six and injured scores of the residents.

Who are the MEK?

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.

Mina Fabulous
Mina Fabulous follows the news, especially what is going on in the US State Department. Mina turns State Department waffle into plain English. Mina Fabulous is the pen name of Carmen Avalino, the NewsBlaze production editor. When she isn't preparing stories for NewsBlaze writers, she writes stories, but to separate her editing and writing identities, she uses the name given by her family and friends.