news

The best way forward for the safety of the Camp Ashraf residents is to give them the chance to press their individual claims for refugee status with the UN in a safe location.

Human Rights Watch
With each tick of the clock, the danger to camp residents grows. The best way forward for the safety of the Camp Ashraf residents is to give them the chance to press their individual claims for refugee status with the UN in a safe location.
Bill Frelick, refugee program director

(New York) - Both the leadership of the exiled Iranian opposition group Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization and the Iraqi government should fully cooperate with the UN refugee agency, Human Rights Watch said today.

Both sides should allow the more than 3,200 Iranians at Camp Ashraf, in Iraq, to move to a protected location under UN supervision before the Iraqi government's December 31, 2011 deadline for closing the camp, Human Rights Watch said. And both should allow the UN refugee agency sufficient time to conduct private and confidential interviews with each person to assess their refugee claims.

"With each tick of the clock, the danger to camp residents grows," said Bill Frelick, refugee program director at Human Rights Watch. "The best way forward for the safety of the Camp Ashraf residents is to give them the chance to press their individual claims for refugee status with the UN in a safe location."

Camp Ashraf, recently renamed Camp New Iraq, has already been the site of two bloody confrontations between Iraqi security forces and camp residents. Most recently, on April 8, 2011, 36 camp residents were killed. On July 29, 2009, 9 were killed. After these incidents Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi authorities to protect camp residents and open transparent investigations into the killings.

Both the Iraqi security forces and the leadership of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK/PMOI) should avoid bloodshed and allow residents to leave Camp Ashraf and meet privately with the UN refugee agency without fear of harm from either camp leaders or the Iraqi authorities, Human Rights Watch said.

The UN has offered to monitor the entire process when residents leave Camp Ashraf and to be present with them in a safe transit location. The UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has also agreed to assess refugee claims among camp residents who seek asylum and to seek durable solutions for refugees among them.

Human Rights Watch has documented abuses by the leadershipof the MEK in Camp Ashraf against camp residents who questioned their authority.

Human Rights Watch called on the Iraqi government to allow former Camp Ashraf residents who qualify as refugees to stay in Iraq subject to Iraqi law and respect for their basic human rights, until a durable solution can be found on their behalf.

The Iranian government should agree to the voluntary repatriation of those former residents from Camp Ashraf who wish to return in safety and dignity, Human Rights Watch said. The camp residents should not, for example, be subjected to televised confessions, as other former MEK members have said has happened and the government should ensure their freedom of movement, including the right to leave Iran. Iran's government should also allow independent international organizations full access to monitor their return.

Because some former Camp Ashraf residents will not be able safely to stay in Iraq or return to Iran, Human Rights Watch also called on other governments to respond favorably and promptly to UNHCR referrals of former Ashraf residents for resettlement or for governments to allow Ashraf residents to whom they had previously issued passports to return to those countries.

The Iraqi government should ensure that any MEK members accused of crimes in Iraq or for whom extradition requests have been issued receive all procedural rights in open and fair proceedings and ensure that none are subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment in either Iraq or Iran.

New Articles

Why Trump’s Hawks Back the MEK Terrorist Cult

On July 22, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is scheduled to address an Iranian-American audience at the Reagan Presidential Library in California. The speech is part of a deliberate policy...

US Is Helping ‘Bloodthirsty Cult’ – the MEK – to Overthrow Iran’s Government

In pursuit of regime change in Iran, the Trump administration and prominent Republicans and Democrats alike are supporting the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which former top US official Larry Wilkerson says...

Was it an Iranian terror plot or a false flag operation?

Belgian police say an Iranian diplomat was involved in a plot to bomb a rally of the dissident Iranian group MEK, but Iran says MEK itself is to blame.

Stephen Harper knocked for speaking at 'Free Iran' rally hosted by 'cult' ex-terror group

Harper's own government considered Mojahedin-e Khalq or MEK a terrorist organization as recently as 2012

Giuliani, Gingrich Visit MeK Conference to Push for Iran Regime Change

Trump aides see once-banned terror group as replacing Iranian government

Most viewed

M.E.K.: The Group John Bolton Wants to Rule Iran

As talks with North Korea approach, the new national security adviser, John Bolton, has long pushed for regime change in another country with nuclear ambitions: Iran. One of his chosen...

Rudy Went to Albania to Hang Out with A Iran Regime Change Cult

Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) is a notorious cult-like group of Iranian exiles which appears to have close to literally zero support inside Iran but has for years cultivated significant ties to...

Footprints of MKO terrorists, monarchists seen in recent unrests in SW Iran

The protests in the city of Kazeroun in Southwestern Iran ended and the situation came under control after Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCRI)...

April 1992 marks the MKO’s determination to conduct terror acts abroad

Experts and political representatives from Albania were in the European Parliament last week, asking Europe for help in preventing the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) from toxifying their country’s internal and foreign...

War plans of the MKO and its sponsors

Terrorists are good as long as when they help you make more money no matter how dangerous they are. Nejat BloggersWhile former New York mayor and the current attorney of the...