October 24, 2017

Iranian Resistance reveals new plots by mullahs’ regime against Liberty and Ashraf residents

NCRI – Reports from within the mullahs’ regime indicate that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) has embarked on new schemes and conspiracies against the residents of Camp Liberty. The renewed efforts come as Tehran’s major investment in the surrender, abandonment of the struggle and the return to Iran of a large number of Ashraf residents, following their eviction, relocation to Liberty Prison and the escalation of the siege and pressure, have failed and backfired.

According to these reports:

1.    The MOIS agents in the regime’s embassy in Baghdad tell those who have left Liberty to surrender to the Iraqi forces and are currently residing in Iranian embassy- controlled Hotel Mohajer in Baghdad that before they are repatriated to Iran, they should go to Ashraf and participate in the harassment and psychological torture of Ashraf residents, and take part in stage-managed television programs. The embassy has promised to facilitate their return to Iran. This is exactly what agents such as Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad, Maryam Sanjabi, and others did.

2.    The MOIS has asked these individuals to go repeatedly approach the UNHCR and UNAMI and claim that the PMOI exerts severe control on Liberty residents and does not allow anybody to leave the camp.

3.    In this very context, in the past few weeks, the UN personnel have regularly gone to Hotel Mohajer and have successively talked to these individuals. Based on the MOIS directive, a number of these individuals have told the UN personnel that they had intended to leave Liberty a long time ago, but they did not so fearing the PMOI (MEK) and that currently there are many others who want to leave the camp but they are scared to announce their defection.

4.    Using these individuals, the MOIS has told the UN personnel through that in recent weeks, 300 residents have defected from the PMOI, but the Organization has advised against their departure from Liberty because it would not be in these individuals’ interests and asked them to stay until the organization resolves their situation.

5.    The Iranian regime and the Government of Iraq have asked the UNHCR and UNAMI to try to send a number of MOIS agents residing in Hotel Mohajer, such as Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad, to Europe as soon as possible to show Liberty residents that whoever defects and leaves Liberty has a better chance to go to Europe and that the UN would expedite their case. As such, they are trying to encourage the residents to defect.  

6.    The MOIS is greatly concerned over the PMOI exposing its agents in Baghdad and Europe and is furious that PMOI (MEK)reveals the details of the links between these agents and the regime’s agents and Ministry’s operatives in Iraq.

7.    In this framework, in the second half of December, the UNHCR distributed a brochure in Farsi in Camp Liberty which angered the residents. This brochure advised the residents, “If you want to voluntarily return to Iran, UNHCR shall hand you over to Government of Iraq so that this government, in cooperation with pertinent organizations, arranges your safe and dignified return to your country.” This brochure stated: “Some former residents of this camp… are now living in another location prepared by Iraqi authorities… In the daily supervisory visits by UNHCR employees in the camp, you can always speak to UNHCR employees about your special needs and other issues.” “Another location” is Hotel Mohajer; which is a branch of the MOIS.

8.    On behalf of Liberty residents, William Bourdon and Prof. Guy Goodwin-Gill, two prominent jurists, wrote to the High Commissioner on  January 24, 2013that a number of people in Camp Liberty “have reported when they expressed views with which the interviewer was not happy, they were then asked to sign a form abandoning their applications for refugee status…Unfortunately, it appears that removing international protection is still being used by UNHCR officers as  a means of silencing the refugees.” The same letter adds, “We have received several reports from our clients that they have been pressured to respond to certain questions which have nothing to do with the refugee status determination…questions such as, ‘Do you torture people in your organization? Or questions which may have intelligence aspects…over the past two months we have received 25 complaints from residents that the UNHCR representatives have asked them whether they have any complaint against the PMOI which they want to share with the UNHCR.”

The clerical regime’s desperate ploys and the regrettable collaboration of UNAMI and a number of UNHCR personnel is occurring despite the fact that on November 14, 2012, the PMOI  (MEK)  notified and asked for the umpteenth time all residents in Camp Liberty that if they are unable to endure the hardships of the struggle against the Iranian regime, they would be referred to the UNHCR at the at the first opportunity and after receiving financial assistance from PMOI, they could leave Camp Liberty. Following this directive, after receiving financial assistance from PMOI(MEK), 11 residents went to Iraqi forces by the end of 2012. (The relevant documents are available). This matter was subsequently conveyed by residents’ representatives and legal advisors to the UNHCR and UNAMI personnel, the High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Secretary-General, and the Iraqi authorities.

All those who have in the past 10 years been in contact with Ashraf residents, whether the U.S. Government or forces, UNAMI or the UNHCR, know full well that members of the PMOI are volunteers who, in the exercise of their free will,  have joined forces to topple the clerical regime and establish democracy in Iran. In all these years, no one has been held there against his/her wish.

Many U.S. officers such as General David Phillips, Cols. Wesley Martin, Gary Morsch, Julie Norman, and Leo McCloskey, who were responsible for the protection of Camp Ashraf between  2003 and 2009, have either testified under oath or issued written statements to this effect. Various U.S. agencies privately interviewed all residents of Ashraf in 2003-2004. Subsequently, the U.S. forces conducted annual private interviews to ascertain the voluntary nature of the residents’ stay at Ashraf.  

Once Ashraf protection was handed over to the Iraqi forces, that government’s representatives privately interviewed all residents outside Ashraf where the Iraqi battalion was based in the presence of ICRC representatives between February and April 2009.  During the interview process, they offered an assortment of enticements and incentives, suggesting to the residents to leave Ashraf so that the Iraqi Government would facilitate their transfer to Europe. Only 11 residents left Ashraf and the remaining 99.5% wanted to remain at Ashraf.

Since February 18, 2012, when the first group of Ashraf residents were transferred to Camp Liberty, 2,700 residents have been individually registered  by the UNHCR and 1,920 have been privately interviewed between one to several times and  occasionally 17 times at the UNHCR office outside Camp Liberty  using UNHCR interpreters.

Any claim to the contrary is a futile attempt to cover up the failed Temporary Transit Location (TTL) project which was a joint venture of Government of Iraq and the SRSG Martin Kobler to make Ashraf residents homeless. This is while according to the UNHCR standards, TTL is for a stay of several weeks up to a maximum of several months. One year after relocating the residents in Camp Liberty, only five have been resettled in third countries and the great majority of residents will remain in Iraq in 2013 and 2014. Therefore, as previously declared by Liberty residents, either Camp Liberty should be immediately declared a refugee camp or now that the UNHCR interviews are completed, the residents should be returned to Ashraf promptly.

In warning about the conspiracies against residents of Ashraf and Liberty and interference in their plight by the Iranian regime through the Government of Iraq and Martin Kobler, the Iranian Resistance urges the United Nations and the UNHCR to reject such interference and prevent the United Nations and its relevant agencies from becoming an instrument at the hands of  the Iranian regime and Government of Iraq in suppressing  the opposition movement which is fighting against the religious fascism ruling Iran.

Secretariat of the National Council of Resistance of Iran
January 30, 2013