Open letter of the Faryadeh Azadi to the honorable Mr. Martin Kobler
(Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, extremely unpopular with Iranians)
... Mr. Kobler , the cult leadership by keeping the 3400 man and woman in Iraq during these decades, have taken the gesture of an opposition group by destroying and annihilation of our life and youth and theirs towards the cultic and terrorist objectives. The leadership of this cult considers the shutting down of their main cultic stronghold , Ashraf, as a blow to its years of deceptions and demagoguery through taking advantage of the life of 3400 man and woman ,for this reason the leaders of this cult consider your efforts and your endeavors to relocate those stranded members ...
Faryade Azadi, Paris, July 26 2012
the United Nations’ special representative for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI)
Mr. Kobler, your peaceful actions and devoid of any violence and the bloody skirmish between the Rajavi’s cult and the Iraqi government in relocating of the Rajavi’s cult captives to the liberty camp and to the free world , has provoked the Rajavis’ anger and wrath against you!
With greetings and respect to you and your colleagues in the United Nations and UNAMI,
First , we should mention that your efforts and struggles in peaceful relocation of 3400 man and woman ,who have been stranded and stuck in Rajavi’s cultic thoughts to the camp liberty and from there to the free world , is a humanitarian deed and very admirable and we as the separated members and the victims of this cult thank you for your endeavors and efforts to relocate our captive friends peacefully and without any bloodshed from Ashraf Garrison to Liberty camp . we know that the cult leadership who have always welcomed the bloodshed and the tension of their members with the Iraqi government , do not like and appreciate your peaceful roadmap and solution for the relocation of their 3400 members and instead of showing their gratitude to you and the United Nations for your endeavors , they have consecutively created spurious and baseless tensions , problems , excuses and obstructions in this peaceful relocation.
We are separated members of this dangerous religious cult who had been living with the cultic thoughts in this dangerous cult for decades so we are completely familiar and acquainted with the real character and the content of this cult.
It is worth knowing that the Rajavi’s cult has an important strategic slogan which its all policies are based upon this slogan:
¨¨ Anyone and any stream that is with me is my friend if not, is considered as my enemy ! ¨¨
This cult ,which its criteria vis a vis any person or any stream is evaluated and assessed by this slogan , tries its best to disfigure and ruin the prestige and the honor of its opponents and critics by attaching them to Iranian regime and the Iranian intelligence service as the mercenaries of the Iranian government to intimidate them and force them to silence . This is the policy which the cult leadership has utilized for decades against its opponents and the dissidents either in or out of the cult. The leaders of this cult have ruined the honor and prestige of their dissidents inside the cult in Ashraf garrison as well as in other garrisons by labeling them as mercenary …..etc, even if someone Inside this cult has a small perspective and point of view in contradiction and different from the cult leadership specifically with Massoud Rajavi’s perspectives, that person will be severely suppressed ,beaten up , tortured physically and psychologically and imprisoned . Right now , we have some separated members among us who have already experienced the Rajavi’s anger and his wrath by being tortured and beaten up and imprisoned just because of their different ideas and point of views with the Rajavis’ , and also they had been labeled as the members of the Iranian revolutionary guards! and the Iranian intelligence service agents ! and even some of them were transferred from the pmoi prisons to the notorious prison of Abu-Qoraib during the Saddam Hussein’s government. These people have mentioned to their experiences of the torture and the beating and the prison in different occasions and they have shared all those experiences with the prominent political figures and parliamentarians and politicians in European countries.
In this regard , we the separated members and the critics of this cult are ready to share with you our experiences and information to help you to become more familiar and acquainted with this dangerous cult and their tricks as well as helping our stranded friends in this cult to be free and rescued from the Ashraf.
Mr. Kobler , the cult leadership by keeping the 3400 man and woman in Iraq during these decades, have taken the gesture of an opposition group by destroying and annihilation of our life and youth and theirs towards the cultic and terrorist objectives. The leadership of this cult considers the shutting down of their main cultic stronghold , Ashraf, as a blow to its years of deceptions and demagoguery through taking advantage of the life of 3400 man and woman ,for this reason the leaders of this cult consider your efforts and your endeavors to relocate those stranded members to liberty camp as an action against their cultic interests and therefore they are trying their best to disfigure and ruin your prestige and honor and even by undermining you and your position to obstruct in the peaceful relocation process of the remaining members to the liberty camp.
Mr. Kobler , the Rajavi’s cult as a result of the years of cooperation and service with Iran’s and Iranian people’s enemy , Saddam Hussein ,specially during the 8 years war between Iraq and Iran, have become very unpopular and outcast among the Iranian people and they do not have any serious and earnest supporters among the Iranian people in and out of Iran ,so the leadership of this cult is trying its best to carry its fake and spurious title as an popular opposition by keeping those 3400 people in Iraq by all means to deceive the foreign politicians to support this cult specially to gain the support of the warmongering factions ,so keeping those 3400 people in Iraq for the leadership of this cult is an undeniable and vital element ,for this reason the leadership of this cult have obstructed so far in the relocation of its remaining members to camp liberty . we assure you that the leadership of this cult will resort to any action to obstruct in the peaceful relocation process because the political and cultic life of this organization depends on keeping those 3400 man and woman in Iraq.
Mr. Kobler , we would like to appreciate and thank you again for all your endeavors to relocate the remaining members to the liberty camp and from there to the free world peacefully. in this regard , we are ready to help you and the United Nations to ease the relocation process as much as possible through face to face meetings or by mail and fax .
26 july 2012
Another MEK member commits suicide in Camp Ashraf
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... According to a security official at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, one of the oldest members of the Mojahedin Khalq is reported to have committed suicide on the evening of Tuesday, July 16. The source, who works in Diyala province police force told Ashraf News that one of the oldest members of the MEK committed suicide yesterday but the reason was unknown, adding that "an investigation was opened immediately into the incident." The security forces reportedly found stab wounds on the body of the victim, and briefed the Committee on Evacuation of Camp Ashraf concerning the incident ...
Ashraf News, July 18 2012
Translated by Iran Interlink
Link to the original report (Arabic)
According to a security official at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, one of the oldest members of the Mojahedin Khalq is reported to have committed suicide on the evening of Tuesday, July 16. The source, who works in Diyala province police force told Ashraf News that one of the oldest members of the MEK committed suicide yesterday but the reason was unknown, adding that "an investigation was opened immediately into the incident."
The security forces reportedly found stab wounds on the body of the victim, and briefed the Committee on Evacuation of Camp Ashraf concerning the incident. Details about the incident will be released as soon as they are known during the investigation. According to reports from Camp Ashraf, many of the MEK members are suffering from mental illness because of fear of their future, especially after their leaders issued orders not to leave Iraq for resettlement in a third country.
عاجل: انتحار أحد أعضاء منظمة خلق في معسكر أشرف
الأربعاء 18-07-2012 12:30 مساء
أقدم أحد أعضاء منظمة خلق في معسكر أشرف بمحافظة ديالى، على الانتحار مساء يوم أمس الثلاثاء 16 تموز/ يوليو، بحسب ما ذكره مصدر أمني مطلع.
وقال المصدر الذي يعمل في شرطة محافظة ديالى في تصريح لـ"أشرف نيوز"، إن أحد أعضاء منظمة خلق اقدم يوم أمس على الانتحار دون معرفة الأسباب"، مضيفاً "تم فتح تحقيق على الفور بشأن الحادثة".
وأوضح لقد قامت قوات أمنية بالتدخل وشاهدت آثار طعن على جسد الضحية، مبيناً اننا قمنا بإطلاع لجنة إخلاء معسكر أشرف بالحادثة وسنعرض أي تفاصيل عن الحادثة حال ورودها إلينا من خلال التحقيق.
وتشير التقارير الواردة من معسكر أشرف، أن الكثير من أعضاء منظمة خلق يعانون من أمراض نفسية بسبب التخوف من مستقبلهم خصوصا بعد صدور أوامر من قياداتهم بعدم تركهم للعراق واعادة توطينهم في بلد ثالث.
New deaths in Camp Ashraf - Tragic life of MEK members
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... According to the MEK’s official website another member of the organization died in Camp Ashraf. The man’s name was announced as Mohammad Taataii. This is the third MEK person who has died during the past two weeks in Camp Ashraf. Last week another MEK high ranking woman, Batoul Rajaii, lost her life in a hospital in Baghdad due to breathing problems. In recent years a disproportionate number of MEK members have suffered from severe health problems including rare cancers and heart attacks. The standard of life in Camp Ashraf is not comparable with any other society or group ...
A Kamangir, Iran Interlink, July 16 2012
According to the MEK’s official website another member of the organization died in Camp Ashraf. The man’s name was announced as Mohammad Taataii. This is the third MEK person who has died during the past two weeks in Camp Ashraf.
Last week another MEK high ranking woman, Batoul Rajaii, lost her life in a hospital in Baghdad due to breathing problems.
In recent years a disproportionate number of MEK members have suffered from severe health problems including rare cancers and heart attacks.
The standard of life in Camp Ashraf is not comparable with any other society or group, as the MEK has isolated its members and forbids them any contact with the outside world.
MEK members also suffer from psychological and emotional problems because from the late 80s, the cult leader Massoud Rajavi ordered mass divorce for couples and since then family life in the Mojahedin’s notorious Ashraf garrison has been denied.
According to Mrs Maryam Sanjabi, a former high ranking member of the group, the women commanders received special orders from the Rajavis to force members into hard work and to keep them so busy that they have no time to think about any issue. This trick, to keep the members so busy so they would collapse every night without any opportunity to think, seems to have had some dangerous side effects and has been influential in the deaths of many MEK members despite their age.
A few months earlier another MEK member Bardia Mostoufi lost his life upon arrival at Camp Liberty. The MEK officially announced that his death came as the result of being exhausted by the process of moving out of Ashraf. The MEK writers neglected to mention the fact that a background of years of forced labor, ordered by the cult leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, truly explains the tragic deaths of such victims.
Defected Member: Mojahedin Khalq Seeking Bloody Battle with Iraqi Forces
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... A defected member of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) disclosed that the terrorist group is seeking to spark a bloody conflict with the Iraqi government's security forces before leaving its main stronghold in Iraq, known as Camp Ashraf. "The MKO's (main) ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, intends to ignore the Iraqi government's warnings and the UN advice in a bid to pave the ground for the Iraqi government's military reaction and use of force to misuse the resulting events,"Rajavi had earlier in his remarks said neglecting the Iraqi ...
Fars News, July 10 2012
A defected member of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) disclosed that the terrorist group is seeking to spark a bloody conflict with the Iraqi government's security forces before leaving its main stronghold in Iraq, known as Camp Ashraf.
"The MKO's (main) ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, intends to ignore the Iraqi government's warnings and the UN advice in a bid to pave the ground for the Iraqi government's military reaction and use of force to misuse the resulting events," the defected member said, quoted by the Habilian Association - a human rights group formed of the families of 17,000 Iranian terror victims.
Rajavi had earlier in his remarks said neglecting the Iraqi government's ultimatum for leaving Camp Ashraf is an honor for him and his terrorist group.
The defected member said that Rajavi shows such defiance while he severely needs the blood of the Camp Ashraf residents to stabilize his conditions in Europe and attain his goals.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
Diyala Governor: Human Rights, Deporting MEK, Imposing the Laws, non negotiable
... Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders. Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families. Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained ...
Iran Interlink, Diyala, Iraq, November 23 2011
A meeting was held on Monday 21 November between officials of the Diyala province and family representatives of the people trapped in Camp Ashraf.
The Governor of Diyala, Dr Abdul–Nasser Al-Mahdwe stated clearly that:
1- There will be no compromise on the decision to deport the MEK.
2 - There will be no compromise on imposing national and international laws
3 - There will be no compromise on respect for human rights laws and agreements and therefore they will not be forcefully returned to Iran.
He said that the overall decisions will rest with central government but as far as Diyala is concerned there is no room for the MKO anywhere inside the province. This has been announced repeatedly by practically all the leaders of tribes and local officials. Dr Al-Mahdwe dismissed completely the MEK propaganda in which they claim they have some support and said that to claim, after what they have done, that the MEK have even a small percentage of support in the province is simply a lie and is purely fictitious.
General Abdol Amir Al-Zeidi, is the commander of the regional army and responsible for the protection of the camp. He said that he has met many escapees from the camp. The last one was a woman who had to drag herself out and crawl for about half a kilometer before reaching the Iraqis. He said the leaders are the problem not the trapped people and if given order we are prepared to transfer them out of the camp with the utmost dignity and care and respect for their wellbeing. He said this can be checked by reporters and human rights organisation who wish to observe the operation.
The General said that in the event they receive the order to evacuate the camp, they will try their utmost to stop the leaders killing the hostages and the disaffected members as they did before. According to the General most of the people who were killed in April 2011 were in opposition to the leadership and had been shot in the heart or in the head. But the leaders tried to cover up such facts even though the evidence is unequivocal. He said reports will be handed over to the authorities to deal with the cases of murder of these people at the hands of the hostage takers.
Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders.
Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families.
Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained the latest developments inside the camp and gave some ideas about how the leaders may try to plan and execute violent resistance.
Mr and Mrs Mohammady from Canada who have been trying since before 2003 to rescue their daughter from the camp, presented some documents including copies of the arrest warrants for some leading members of the MKO inside the camp which the General received and promised to follow up.
Other delegation members including Mr. Azizi a Human rights activist from Netherlands Mr Sadeghi, one of the few people who managed to escaped from the camp during the time of Saddam Hussein, Mr Ghashghavi who spent years in Abu Ghraib, where he was sent by Rajavi, Mr. Ferydouni who managed to escape a few weeks ago and Ms Mahdian whose husband, a registered POW, is trapped inside the camp also participated in the meeting.
Press and media were present and the Governor and the General gave a media briefing following the meeting which was broadcast live through official and national media.
Report on Baghdad Conference
Terrorist MEK to be expelled from Iraq
... Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed... Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK ...
Iran Interlink, Baghdad, November 25 2011
A Conference in Baghdad University on Friday 25 November was organised by Al-Edalat Al-Iraqi Society, headed by Dr Nafe Al-Isa, which represents the families of 25,000 Iraqi victims of the MEK.
The Conference was held in Al-Hakim Conference Centre in Baghdad University and hundreds of tribal leaders, University lecturers, Governmental representatives and officials, NGOs and media representatives filled the salon. Although Camp Ashraf and the MEK is an issue specific to the government and citizens of Iraq, the Conference organisers made sure to invite Western agencies, such as the UN, EU and diplomats who have claimed or expressed an interest in Camp Ashraf. Unfortunately, however, any such invitees were apparently unable to leave the Green Zone to attend the Conference and talk to the delegates.
Opening the Conference, Dr Nafe, speaking on behalf of the families of victims of MEK violence, asked that those MEK leaders who were responsible for this violence be brought to justice before their deportation.
Speakers from the government and NGOs all emphasized that the deadline for deportation must be strictly adhered to and that Iraqi and international law against terrorism and crime must be upheld. Other speakers, in particular the tribal leaders spoke about the MEK’s crimes which they have witnessed in recent years in Diyala province. They were highly critical of the failure of the American military to dismantle the camp after 2003, and were scathing of the continued American backing which allowed the camp to be used for training and inciting terrorism against Iraqis.
On this theme, Jasem Al- Ebadi, Member of Parliament and member of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission used his speech to criticise EU efforts to keep the terrorist group intact and their opposition to the deportation process. He commented that if they are so in love with this terrorist group, why don't they take them to their own countries?
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, MP)
Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed and the land handed back to the original owners.
Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK.
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, meeting families)
Mr Al-Shahmani also met with the representatives of the families of hostages inside Camp Ashraf and the delegation from European countries who are campaigning to ensure a peaceful outcome to the standoff at the camp.
Massoud Khodabandeh, from Middle East Strategy Consultants which is working with the Iraqi government to resolve the situation at Camp Ashraf, introduced his book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ to the Conference. The book places the MEK in the context of its foreign ownership and concludes that these owners have invested heavily in the MEK’s ability to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and that this is the reason for western resistance to closing the camp. The book particularly highlights the MEK’s refusal to allow residents of the camp to have contact with their immediate families as a fundamental human rights abuse of every person in the camp.
Ms Abdollahi represented the families and asked for help to release the hostages (including her own son) from the camp. Ms Abdollahi reminded the Conference that the families’ struggle to find their relatives had been going on since 2003 and that a permanent picket had been established two years ago. She stressed that when searching for a solution the families of course have the security and safety of all the residents as their utmost priority. The families have the simplest and easily granted request – to visit their loved ones who are in the camp. This does not depend on the removal of the MEK from Iraq and would be simple to do. The only barrier to this request is the order of the MEK leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. They can easily resolve this issue by ordering that the families of MEK members be allowed to have free and unfettered contact with their loved ones.
Ms Sanjabi is an ex-member of the MEK’s women only Leadership Council. She managed to escape from Camp Ashraf very recently, and explained the dire situation of the women inside the camp, detailing disturbing and shocking human rights abuses which are currently being carried out against the residents by the MEK leaders.
Ms Mahdian, whose husband is a hostage inside the camp, explained how Saddam’s Intelligence services gave her husband to the MEK as a slave, even though he had been and is still a registered POW, captured at the start of the Iran-Iraq war. Ms Mahdian explained that her son has not seen his father for the past 25 years and the MEK would not allow this visit even after two years of picketing.
Mr Sadeghi from Germany, who is one of the few members who managed to run away from the camp successfully during the time of Saddam Hussein, presented and explained evidence of recent MEK interference in the internal affairs of Iraq, their collaboration with Saddamists and other terrorist groups, and the MEK’s active role in intensifying the insurgency.
Mr Ghashghavi also from Germany, served eight years without trial in Saddam’s prisons including Abu Ghraib for refusing to carry out Massoud Rajavi’s orders to commit criminal acts. Mr Ghashghavi explained how Rajavi and Saddam would force people to either kill others or be sent to the torture chambers themselves and be killed.
(Mr. Ezati and Ms. Sanjabi)
Another ex-MEK member, Mr Ezati who now lives in the Netherlands, gave interviews to the media explaining the situation inside the camp and the constant abuse of human rights of the victims. Mr Ezati strongly criticized the unfortunate media silence over these human rights abuses which he ascribed to the pervasive influence of the MEK’s powerful backers who regard the MEK as “good terrorists”.
Tens of ex-MEK members who work with Nejat Association in Iran, also attended the Conference and were interviewed by the media. They explained that Nejat Association, which works closely with the families of the hostages, now has the capacity to help those survivors who wish to do so, to go back to their country under the amnesty which was granted by the Iranian authorities in 2003 (which is based on the understanding that the MEK members have been subjected to the coercion and control of cult leaders) and which to date has been upheld under the supervision of the ICRC.
Conference attendees were particularly interested in the testimony of three recently escaped camp residents who gave full and detailed explanations to the media about the harsh reality of being a captive inside Camp Ashraf. They spoke about the total information blackout and social and emotional isolation they experienced there. They emphasized that the leaders and the hostage takers lie constantly to the residents so that the captives have no idea about the outside world. They are made to believe that the MEK leaders are directly supported by the Americans and that if they tried to escape the camp they would be immediately shot, or now, after being tortured by the Iraqis they would be handed over to Iran to be executed without trial. They said that if they were given the true facts and information, there is not one person in the camp who would still want to stay in the desert of Iraq nearly nine years after disarmament. They urged international organizations, especially the US representatives and UNAMI, who are the only organizations with close relations with the hostage takers, to take advantage of their weekly meetings inside Camp Ashraf with the hostage takers, to persuade them to open up the flow of information and convince them to give people the right to family visits as well as normal means of communication such as writing and telephones, etc.
These recently escaped hostages also urged UNAMI not to present the hostage takers as the representatives of the hostages in the media outputs. Instead they should be clear that Rajavi is no one’s representative and as long as the negotiators have not met with the hostages without the presence of the MEK commanders - the hostage takers - outside the camp, they have no right to claim anything on their behalf. They said they believe that UNAMI and the American backers of the cult are in breach of international law for siding with the terrorists as these are people who have abused the human rights of over 3000 people for decades. The survivors of Camp Ashraf are now taking legal advice to claim compensation for their suffering and losses from the MEK leaders.
U.N. Iraq chief: The countries of the world must take MEK ‘refugees’
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... Some advocates of the MEK, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have called Camp Ashraf a "concentration camp," a reference Kobler said is insulting and offensive."I am a German citizen. To compare the situation of Camp Ashraf residents to the systematic extermination of European Jews during Nazi dictatorship, this is not only historically totally absurd but is an insult to the victims," he said."My message to these supporters is, spend your energies not so much on attacking the United Nations or others. Spend your energies to convince your governments to take them into your countries," he said ...
Josh Rogin, Forign Policy, April 17 2012
The United Nations and the State Department have been struggling to convince the Iranian exile group the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) to move to a former U.S. military base in Iraq, but the real need is for third countries to accept MEK "refugees" on a permanent basis, according to the top U.N. representative in Iraq.
The MEK is a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization opposed to the Iranian regime that has been living in a closed compound in Iraq called Camp Ashraf for years. The Iraqi government has pledged to close Camp Ashraf, using force if necessary, so the U.N. and the State Department are slowly but surely cajoling Ashraf's 3,200 residents to move to Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base near the Baghdad airport.
But that's only a temporary solution. Unless other countries start accepting MEK members for relocation, they could face the prospect of being returned to Iran, where they could face retribution from the Iranian regime they have been fighting for decades.
"I have the feeling that the Camp Ashraf residents have made peace with the idea to go to Camp Liberty and they've made peace with the idea that there is no future in Iraq and they will leave Iraq," Martin Kobler, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told The Cable.
But finding homes for the MEK members when they leave Iraq "is the most difficult part of the story," he said. "The whole process only will succeed if all the 3,200 find countries who will take them into their borders."
The U.N. held a resettlement conference on March 27 in Geneva and the response was "not overwhelming, to say the least," Kobler said.
Part of the difficulty of dealing with the MEK group members at Camp Ashraf is that they have been cut off from the world for years and little is known about their individual histories or whether they would qualify for refugee status. Some reports say that MEK members are still conducting violent attacks inside Iran at the behest of the Israeli government.
The United States is legally barred from accepting any refugees from members of a foreign terrorist organization. There is also no plan for what happens to those MEK members who do not qualify for refugee status.
"We will find a solution then," Kobler said. "Everybody has Iranian nationality and on a voluntary basis can go back to Iran... The question is what happens to them then."
Kobler disputed the claims made by the MEK and its long list of American advocates that the Camp Liberty site is not fit for human occupation.
"Camp Liberty is a place where 5,500 American soldiers lived for many, many years... What worked for 5,500 people should also work humanitarian wise for 3,200 Camp Ashraf residents," he said.
Kobler declined to comment on reports that the MEK is involved in ongoing attacks on the Iranian nuclear program and its personnel inside Iran. He also declined to confirm that U.N. reports have stated that MEK members were intentionally sabotaging the facilities in Camp Liberty in order to make the camp look worse than it is, saying only, "There were big initial difficulties and a lack of cooperation. However this has improved over the last weeks."
Some advocates of the MEK, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have called Camp Ashraf a "concentration camp," a reference Kobler said is insulting and offensive.
"I am a German citizen. To compare the situation of Camp Ashraf residents to the systematic extermination of European Jews during Nazi dictatorship, this is not only historically totally absurd but is an insult to the victims," he said.
"My message to these supporters is, spend your energies not so much on attacking the United Nations or others. Spend your energies to convince your governments to take them into your countries," he said.
While in Washington, Kobler met with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees, Population, and Migration Anne Richards, and Ambassador Daniel Fried, the State Department official in charge of the Camp Ashraf issue.
Martin Kobler (U.N.), Daniel Fried (U.S.) discuss
Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty in European Parliament