Thousands of Iraqi people held a demonstration in Tahrir square in central Baghdad on Friday calling for the expulsion of the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) from their country.
The MKO, The terrorist group, was granted asylum in Iraq in the 1980s under Saddam Hussein’s regime and set up home at Camp of New Iraq (which was formerly known as Camp Ashraf) in Diyala province. But after the 2003 U.S.-led invasion, they became an irritant to Iraq’s government.
According to AP, the demonstrators were urging the government to abide by an end-of-year deadline to expel the group from Iraq and close their camp here.
Shouting some slogans, the protesters condemned the MKO and warned the Iraqi government about the terrorist group’s plans to kill the Iraqi people and to plague the country by internal divisions.
Issuing a statement, the protesters also called on the government to prevent the European Union from interfering in the issue of expulsion of the MKO.
They also urged the government to bring to trial the MKO criminals who have the Iraqi people’s blood on their hand.
Decision to close MKO camp ‘irreversible’
In an interview with AFP on Thursday, Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki said that Baghdad’s decision to close Camp of New Iraq by year-end is ‘irreversible.’
“The decision we made is irreversible, especially because this organization refused the visit of a UN representative to Camp Ashraf,” Maliki said.
“They’ve rejected the UN plan, which means this is a criminal gang and we cannot permit a criminal gang to remain here,” he added.
The Iraqi government has reiterated that the camp, which is a threat to its relations with neighboring Iran, will be closed by December 31.
But last week the United Nations appealed for an extension to the end-of-year deadline to allow more time for a solution to be negotiated with the camp’s residents who are refusing to move unless they are given UN protection.
ICRC has not requested extension of MKO expulsion deadline
Speaking to the Fars News Agency, the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) in Iran, Pierre Ryter, said that the Committee has never negotiated with Iraqi officials to persuade them into extending the deadline for the expulsion of the MKO members from Iraq.