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There are two reasons that Ingrid Betancourt, politician and activist for human rights, went to Tirana, Albani. The first was to thank the country for its hospitality to the more than 2,000 Iranian refugees of Camp Liberty, and the second was to meet them, and to greet some, who are her friends.

Ms. Betancourt is a popular personality, who was slated to be the first woman president in Colombia, but instead became a captive of the Revolutionary Armed Forces, the FARC, in Columbia’s jungle. She regards Albania with admiration for its agreement to harbor the Iranian freedom fighters. As a survivor herself, she now applauds Albania for giving safe haven to the MEK organization.

Her comments follow:

“I feel honored to be here. Governments and different political parties were the first who welcomed the Iranian refugees when they were being persecuted and were persecuted. Albania has become known internationally as an example for human rights.

“As one of the supporters of Iranian opposition, the return of democracy, gender equality, freedom in a country where Ingrid Betancourt says executions carried out in public and women are attacked with acid in the face for not wearing headscarves, Albania is a model where bigotry does not find expression regardless of political approaches.

“The MEK is the only opposition party in Iran. They are Muslims, but Democrats who are killed, tortured and persecuted. Your country is predominantly Muslim, but here there is no bigotry. So this idea is another good example.”

According to Ms. Betancourt, you have to be tougher on terrorism to stop the violence.

“Let's talk about it,” she continued, “to understand that they are powerful dispelling fears, such as public executions, not to fall into despair, history tells us that the battles for democracy have gained, not split asunder and especially not to have doubts, to be clear in our position because if there is something that makes good ISIS is extorting the truth.”



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