Ex-MKO members: US impeding efforts to shut Ashraf Camp
London – Several former members of the outlawed terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) have accused the United States of hampering efforts to close the notorious Ashraf Camp in Iraq.
Arash Sameti, Director of Nejat Association’s Foreign Relations Department, told IRNA that Americans do not want the case of Ashraf Camp closed by refusing to cede it to Iraqi officials.
"The doors of the Ashraf Camp should be opened to international organisations and human rights entities to help those who want to leave the camp to save from the critical situation there," he said.
Sameti added that the Nejat Association, a non-governmental organisation trying to save people from the Ashraf Camp, welcomes the position of the Iraqi government on closing down the camp.
"We want western countries to support the Iraqi government and we express readiness to shelter those trapped in Ashraf Camp," he said, adding that many of Ashraf Camp residents are ill and under constant torture by MKO terrorists not to abandon the ill-famed militant group.
MKO, a dissident group which conducts violent operations against Iran, is labeled a terrorist organisation by the United States and the European Union as well as many other countries including Iraq.
Most members of the outlawed group are based in Ashraf Camp north of Baghdad. Sameti and several other former MKO members abandoned the terrorist organisation because of its coercive actions across the world and founded the Nejat Association -translated as save association- in 2003 to help save others who also want to quit MKO.
Most of the Ashraf Camp residents are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
Sameti and other members of the Nejat Association are in London to lobby for their release. They have met members of the British House of Commons, government officials and human rights activists to raise their awareness about the misery in Ashraf Camp.
Babak Amin, the Secretary of Nejat Association, told IRNA they have also met senior officials of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.
"Many MKO members in the Ashraf Camp do not want to be terrorists and it’s our duty to save them," he said.
Amin suggested that a flag be hoisted outside the Ashraf Camp so that those who want to put aside their "terrorist uniform" could take refuge under the flag.
"The non-political Nejat Association is ready to host them and even move them to Europe," he said.