The development of Iraq after the move of the fifth group of MKO members to Temporary Transit location (Camp Liberty), show that the group hasn’t succeeded to reach its aims at Camp liberty.
It is obvious that the MKO’s demands from Iraqi government are just a cover to hide its tricks to maintain the organizational bars around the group at the new camp. Every time the UN mission moves a group of MKO members, the leaders write some boring, long letters to UN General Secretary and especial deputy of US State department on Camp Ashraf appealing against Iraqi government in order that they cause disorder in the transmission process of other Ashraf residents and that they would be able to achieve their goals at TTL.
But, despite all MKO efforts to impede the move to TTL, Iraqi government is determined not to fulfill MKO’s unrealistic demands which do not apply internationally recognized standards for a temporary transit camp and also the MKO’s intentions are no more covered for UN authorities and the State Department’s representative.
Day after day, the MKO’s deceitful tactics discredit them more and more in the international community.
Regarding that the MKO’s main topic in its propaganda about Camp Liberty is that” the camp does not meet standards” ,one should notice the comments by Special representative of the UN, Mr. Martin Kobler and special representative of the State Department Mr. Daniel Fried.
On Wednesday, March21, 2012, Mr. Kobler reported to the meeting of the Foreign Affairs committee on the work of UNAMI (United Nation’s Assistance Mission for Iraq) and UNHCR in Iraq and the situation of the MKO at Camp Ashraf and TTL. In response to Mr. Kobler’s report, the meeting director said:”regarding the descriptions you reported about Liberty, it is much better than refugee camps in Europe…”
Daniel Fried also confirmed Kobler’s report, saying that the information the united States has of the situation in Camp Ashraf and Liberty is consistent with Kobler’s description.” the conditions at Camp Liberty are not nearly as bad as described by the MEK,” Fried said,” the key to success is not discussions about the conditions at Camp Liberty but the progress of the work of UNHCR.”
Besides, on April29, Mr. Fried kept the same position to reply exhausting letters sent by the MKO before the resettlement of the fifth group in TTL. “All those who wish the residents of Ashraf a peaceful future outside of Iraq can help by encouraging the MEK to make the decision it needs to make,” Fried said. “The responsibility for the next decision rests with the MEK … a peaceful solution is at hand, but they’ve got to take it.”
It seems that the current situation doesn’t give a clear view of what the MKO leaders wanted to gain at TTL. They know well that sooner or later they have to admit the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Iraqi government and UN on December25, 2011.
Thus, what is now the main objective the MKO pursues at this stage is to make Camp Liberty recognized as a refugee camp by the UN.
In accordance with such an objective, on April 29,the MKO TV Channel ,Simaye Azadi broadcast a TV show titled “the document of added agendas – articles of the MOU agreed by Iraqi government and Mr. Martin Kobler” in which they brought up the ten days of letter writing between the MKO, the UN and the US representatives on Camp Ashraf. The ending paragraph of the letters was: ”…on the other hand lawyers and legal experts of Ashraf … asked the UN secretary and UNHCR to end the uncertain legal conditions of Liberty under the name of Temporary Transit Location .. .and to announce Liberty as a refugee camp under the identified laws for political refugees, according to the international laws and conventions and refugees rights.”
Besides, the MKO ends its statement issued on May1st against the ICRC like this: "…now the main question asked by Iranian society and families who have been picketing near central office of ICRC in Geneva for over a year; is that why ICRC keeps silent on the status and rights of their loved ones and why it doesn’t say a word to define juridical conditions of the Camp called “Temporary Transit Location?"
And ultimately the MKO TV channel declared in its news show on May 2nd: ”Attorneys of Ashraf and Liberty including professor Guy Goodwin –Gill, expert on refugee rights and international law, at the university of Oxford and the university of Guinness wrote a letter addressing Antonion Guterres, UN High Commissioner for Refugees. Goodwin Gil called UNHCR to take two immediate actions: first: To guarantee international protection for refugees at Camp Liberty and second: to facilitate the process of reviewing their refugee status and their resettlement in third countries."
International protection can only be fulfilled by official announcement of camp Liberty as a refugee camp by UNHCR.
It should be noticed that according to the articles of the MOU signed by Iraqi government and UNAMI on the last Christmas day, Liberty was considered as a Temporary Transit location for temporary relocation but Rajavi aims to turn the TTL into an official refugee camp under the flag of the UN.
To prolong its organizational life, the MKO needs an isolated place maintaining its organizational bars until the day they can arrive third countries. That‘s why TTL with its current condition doesn’t solve the MKO leader’s problems unless the flag of the UN is raised there.
The MKO leaders’ call for “minimum assurances” –recently changed into “minimum humanitarian standards” – and the ownership of movable and immovable properties, in a new way, seeks to complicate the issue of the group’s expulsion from Iraq more and more.
By delaying the process of expulsion and by driving Iraqi government and the UN to extremities, the MKO leaders might achieve their ultimate goal which is to turn TTL into a permanent refugee camp under the UN flag. Thus, they might be able to build a new Ashraf in Camp Liberty.
In the MOU signed by UNAMI and Iraqi government, Camp Liberty is determined as a temporary transit site. This exactly means that TTL is not an asylum seeking camp and UNHCR doesn’t recognize it as a camp. The plan also states that Iraqi government is responsible for protection of this Transit Location under the supervision of UNHCR.
Therefore, the MKO’s demand doesn’t meet the agreement of December 25th, 2011 and Iraqi government will never yield to such a condition.
The MKO leaders know that the resettlement of TTL residents in third countries cannot be done immediately and requires a long-term process. So the only way to keep members behind the bars of the cult and to conceal cult-like practices of the organization is to go under the UN flag neutralizing the rule of Iraqi government in maintaining its sovereignty over TTL. For the time being this is the most favorable option for the MKO.
Regarding the conditions one can realize the reason for too much time killing and letter writing by the group. It is preparing the ground for further construction work in TTL.
The MKO shouldn’t be allowed to marginalize Iraqi government by lobbying and using tricks to neutralize the MOU of December 25th.
1. It is clear that concerning current condition of TTL, defection of members is something natural. The MKO leaders make efforts to stop defections. So, today they try to have more severed control over the camp. It is worth mentioning that the abusive language the group leaders use against authorities of ICRC – according to the NCRI statement on May1st, 2012 – is the evidence of their difficult situation in TTL.
The culture of using verbally abusive words and personality destruction against opponents is not limited to the MKO former members and the Iranian government. This culture not only involves Mr. Kobler as UN representative but it also entangles the authorities of ICRC. Addressing them as the agents of Islamic Republic, the MKO leaders prevent ICRC from doing their legal duties. This culture is only shared by the cult of Rajavi. It is originated in the ideology of the cult.
2. As it is seen in the MKO demands, with announcing TTL as a refugee camp, the place would no more be under the control of Iraqi government. The fulfillment of such a demand is the MKO’s desire because it would be a serious step to maintain the organizational bars around the cult under the flags of the UN
By Seyed Hojat Seyed Esmaeeli, the MKO former member ,
Translated by Nejat Society