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MKO refuse move to TTL over property disputes

The fifth batch of Camp Ashraf residents in Diyala refused to be moved to Camp Liberty The fifth batch of Camp Ashraf residents in Diyala refused to be moved to Camp Liberty[Temporay Transit Location] in Baghdad amid disputes over the transferal and sale of their property.

The Mujahedine Khalq of Iran (MEK) said the Iraqi government prevented MEK residents in the camp from transferring some of their property, equipment and vehicles to Baghdad.

The MEK added that the terms of the memorandum of understanding between Iraq and the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq about resolving the issue of the camp were not implemented.

The director of the Office of Human Rights in Diyala Salah al-Mojmaei said: "The concerned authorities in resolving the file of Camp Ashraf residents, and in coordination with security forces in Diyala, provided all the requirements to transfer the fifth lot of the camp residents to Liberty Camp[TTL] in Baghdad but the transfer was blocked due to the prohibitive demands of the residents.

Mojmaei added that the concerned parties announced May 15 as a deadline to complete the transfer of Ashraf residents to Baghdad.

The MEK said the residents of Camp Ashraf demand to be allowed to transfer their cars to Camp Liberty [TTL] and sell their property under the supervision of the United Nations to pay their expenses for protection, residence and moving to third countries.

Khalis mayor Uday al-Khadran announced in a press statement that more than 1,000 Ashraf residents expressed their desire to return to Iran and 40 others will be deported to European countries for possessing passports and nationalities of these states.

The MEK also accused the Iraqi government of not resolving the transferal of property that belongs to the residents of Camp Ashraf. The property includes 1,200 cars and vehicles, 700 electricity generators and about 15,000 other pieces of equipment, including coolers, therapeutic devices, audio devices, phones, caravans, containers for drinking water and civil defense equipment.

The MEK said the infrastructure of Camp Liberty [TTL]is not up to humanitarian standards, where the water supply per inhabitant is insufficient. The organization also accused the Directorate of Electricity in Diyala of trying to seize four stations to generate electricity established by the MEK itself. Diyala electricity said it owns the stations and Ashraf residents cannot transfer or seize them.

The MEK further accused the Iraqi government of trying to seize $500m (580bn IQD) from the funds for Camp Ashraf.

UN representative in Iraq Martin Kobler called on European countries to receive the Ashraf residents after they leave Iraq as refugees and provide safe areas for them.

1,600 members of Camp Ashraf had been transferred to Liberty [TTL] Camp between February 17 and April 16.

Camp Ashraf has been home to MEK members and their families since 1986, when it was established by Saddam Hussein at the height of the Iran-Iraq war.

After the fall of the former regime the camp came under the protection of the US and has been subject to repeated attacks ever since. Responsibility for maintaining security at the camp was handed over to the Iraqi authorities in 2009.

Iran has been actively mounting pressure on the Iraqi government to expel the Iranian dissidents, who Iran calls the Munafegine Khalq (Hypocrites of Khalq). Both Iran and the US identify the group as a terrorist organization.

The Iraqi authorities consider the group an ally of the former Iraqi dictator. The MEK is also accused by Iraq of participating in attacks against Iraqi Kurds and Shias during Hussein’s rule.

The Iraqi government signed an agreement with the United Nations on December 25 last year to reach a humanitarian and peaceful solution for the Camp Ashraf’s population, which included transferring the inhabitants to a temporary site in preparation for being moved out of Iraq.

The MEK was founded in 1965 to overthrow the Shah of Iran. It opposed the Islamic regime after the Islamic revolution in 1979. Many of its members fled to Iraq in the eighties during the Iran-Iraq war between 1980 and 1988.

The organization, once considered to be the armed wing of the France-based National Council of Resistance in Iran, announced the renunciation of violence in June 2001.

By Mahmoud al-Jabbouri

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