By INU Staff
INU - In an update, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) reported on the progress of the relocation of members of the main Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin (PMOI or MEK) from Iraq’s Camp Liberty, otherwise known as the Hurriya Temporary Transit Location (TTL), to third countries.
The MEK members, who are the main opponents to the authorities in Tehran, have come under repeated rocket attacks in Camp Liberty near Baghdad by militias affiliated to Tehran. As part of an international agreement involving the UN and the United States the residents have agreed to move to third countries.
According to the UNHCR, it “continues to maintain momentum, with more than 1700 residents having now been relocated to a situation of safety in third countries. This represents a significant milestone: more than half of the residents registered by UNHCR have now been successfully relocated.”’
Despite the attack of July 4 on Camp Liberty, when nearly fifty people were injured, the continued cooperation of the residents, who are members of the MEK, has helped to achieve the milestone referred to by the UNHCR.
The UNHCR update continues: “Ongoing success in the implementation of solutions has also been assisted by the residents’ commitment to meeting the bulk of the associated costs, particularly for long term support of all residents relocated out of Iraq who have no access to state-sponsored assistance. This commitment is crucial to the ongoing implementation of solutions for the group.”
The commitment of these refugees to relocate abroad is reflected in the responsibility they’ve taken upon themselves to fund their own relocation and subsequent habitation. These residents have no access to state-sponsored assistance, nor have they requested any. The West should note that these refugees have never asked for funding. Neither have they asked for anything, except that the West refrain from supporting the mullah’s regime, which, in effect, is support for terrorism and human rights abuses.
In their update regarding the relocation process, the UNHCR further expresses is deep appreciation to “the measures taken by some countries to relocate residents to situations of safety and security. Albania’s exceptional contribution to this humanitarian endeavour merits special note, as Albania has received a significant proportion of the residents who have been relocated. Likewise, the United States has been actively supporting the relocations in a number of ways, and without those sustained and concerted efforts, the progress reported here could not have been achieved.”
The UNHCR also “continues to call upon the Government of Iraq to take all possible measures to ensure the safety and well-being of residents, including ensuring access to life saving medical treatment and assistance with the provision of goods and services to enable the residents to make arrangements for their own protection.”
In the Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations, it is explicitly recognized that residents will benefit from the principle of non-refoulement. Under this law, these refugees who call for freedom, will never be forced to return to a country in which they are liable to be subjected to persecution by the mullahs who have stolen their freedom.
The UNHCR updates concluded on this frightening note, “Despite noteworthy progress made over the last two years, UNHCR maintains its call upon States to find ways to offer long term solutions for the residents in the Hurriya TTL and to do so with urgency. This appeal should be read in light of the potential for more attacks on the Hurriya TTL, as has been recently witnessed. This emphasizes the need for quick and pragmatic action on the part of States to ensure that these people are very swiftly relocated to a situation of safety and security.”