Rights Group Raps UN Chief’s Appeal for Resettlement of MKO Terrorists
An Iran-based right group strongly criticized UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon for his recent appeal to countries for hosting members of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, also known as the MEK, NCR and PMOI).
In a letter to the UN Chief on Sunday, the Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism (ADVT), a non-governmental, cultural institution whose members are family members and children of the victims of terrorist attacks, voiced their strong protest against Ban Ki-moon’s demand.
"How can the UN members trust the residents of Camp Liberty (where MKO members have been settled transiently), who are members of the terrorist MKO cult, and grant them asylum," the letter asked, reminding that MKO members had passed special military, terrorism and sabotage trainings in their previous shelter in Iraq, Camp Ashraf.
The letter said striking off the MKO from the western states’ terrorist list could never change the nature and status of the MKO as a terrorist group as everybody knows that the sectarian and undemocratic structure of the group is a "serious threat to peace and security".
In September 2012, the last groups of the MKO terrorists left Camp Ashraf, their main training center in Iraq. They have been transferred to Camp Liberty which lies Northeast of the Baghdad International Airport.
Camp Liberty is a transient settlement facility and a last station for the MKO in Iraq.
In a report to the UN Security Council on Thursday, Ban Ki-moon appealed for countries to consider resettling several thousand MKO members living in Iraq who were recently moved to a former US military base in Baghdad from a camp where they lived for decades.
"Without the strong commitment of member states to accept former residents of Camp New Iraq, no sustainable solution can be achieved," Ban said in the report. "I appeal to member states to offer resettlement opportunities to residents with international protection needs as soon as possible."
Ban said 3,112 MKO members have been transferred to Camp Liberty (Hurriya), leaving about 100 still at Camp Ashraf – also know as Camp of New Iraq.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.