Congress Debates MEK with Obama Officials

Congress Debates War, Sanctions, Diplomacy and Mojahedin Khalq  with Top Obama Officials

MEK

Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) conveyed his support for the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) a group, which is widely opposed by Iranians and viewed by human rights organizations as a cult. The group has been actively lobbying the House to pressure the administration to move MEK members back to the group’s paramilitary base at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.  Late last year, as part of what was widely viewed as a deal with the State Department to get the group removed from the U.S. list of foreign terrorist organizations, the MEK agreed to leave the base and relocate to Camp Liberty, also in Iraq, where they would then work with the UN to repatriate members in third countries. In a heated exchange with Rep. Rohrabacher, who called for the U.S. to support the MEK, Amb. Sherman expressed her concern that the people at Camp Liberty were being exploited by the MEK’s leadership. “There are opportunities for the people of Camp Liberty to resettle.  There have been offers made by countries like Albania to take many of them,” she said.  “And to be very frank Congressman, the leadership of the MEK, both in Camp Liberty and in Paris, have kept the people of Camp Liberty from knowing what their options are.  And I so care about their lives, and the threat to their lives in the camp, that I hope the leadership of the MEK will allow them to know their options.”

This follows on the heels of testimony from Secretary of State John Kerry in April indicating that MEK members in Camp Liberty had ceased participating in interviews with officials to determine where best to relocate them. Human Rights Watch and other organizations have documented human rights abuses inflicted by MEK leadership against members who questioned their authority or sought to leave the camps

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