Congress committee calls for protection of Iranian dissidents in Iraq

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The U.S. Congress Foreign Affairs Commission held a hearing on Camp Liberty calling for protection for its residents
The U.S. Congress Foreign Affairs Commission held a hearing on Camp Liberty calling for protection for its residents

By Staff Writer, Iran Probe
Thursday, 19 May 2016

The U.S. Congress Foreign Affairs Commission held a hearing on Wednesday, May 18th unanimously adopting House Resolution 650 calling for the safety and security of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MeK) members in Camp Liberty, Iraq.

The hearing, chaired by Chairman Ed Royce of the Foreign Affairs Committee, witnessed representatives from both sides of the aisle deliver speeches expressing their firm support for the legislature, and condemning Iran’s crimes and conspiracies against Camp Liberty residents.

House Resolution 650 calls on the U.S. government to cooperate with the Iraqi government with the objective of upgrading the level of Camp Liberty’s security to the level of security and protection provided for Baghdad International Airport to prevent any future attack against Liberty, and guarantee the residents’ safety and security.

House Resolution 650 was presented by Judge Ted Poe, Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Terrorism, Non-Proliferation and Trade, enjoying bipartisan support from 59 other representatives, of which many are chairs of House committees and subcommittees.

Chairman Ed Royce initially delivered his speech providing details regarding the House Resolution’s articles and referred to the abhorrence over the Iranian regime’s plots against Camp Liberty residents. Chairman Royce went on to call on House Foreign Affairs Committee members to support this initiative.

Ranking Member Elliot Engel said he is amongst the sponsors of this bill, emphasizing Congressmen are very concerned about Camp Liberty and everyone knows we are carefully keeping a close watch on this situation. Liberty residents deserve to live in dignity, he added.

Rep. Ros-Lehtinen, Chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Middle East and North Africa expressed her gratitude to Judge Ted Poe for his initiative in presenting this bill to the House. It is clear the Iraqi government has failed to provide protection for Liberty residents and has not lived up to its commitment based on the Memorandum of Understanding signed with the U.N. back in December 2011, and Camp Liberty is currently not enjoying the protection it needs, she said.

Congressman Brad Sherman in his speech emphasized he is a sponsor of this resolution and that the PMOI / MeK are members of the Iranian opposition that has struggled against the Shah and the current mullahs’ regime, playing a vital role in unveiling the mullahs’ illegal nuclear program.

America must call on Iraq to provide Liberty the protection it needs, and I strongly support this bill, he added.

Dana Rohrabacher, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats said Liberty residents are members of an organization that has for years struggle against the mullahs. I support this resolution and Liberty residents must be safe from the mullahs’ threats, he continued.

A number of other representatives also expressed their support for the Liberty initiative.

Judge Ted Poe, who presented House Resolution 650, expressed his gratitude for the remarks delivered by his colleagues in support of the bill, adding Liberty residents are very patriotic individuals and for 30 years they have paid a heavy price for the freedom of their people.

Judge Poe emphasized on the rights of Liberty residents, including the right to sell their property, adding their items and assets belong to them, and not the Iraqi government, and wherever they go they must be able to take their items with them.

 

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Two Misguided Reports

  • HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Report
    HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH Report
    On 18 May 2005, the US based Human Rights Watch (“HRW”) issued a 28-page report (“the HRW Report”) concerning the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (“PMOI / MEK”).  Entitled ‘No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the MKO Camps’, the HRW Report was essentially based on 12 hours of telephone interviews with 12…
  • Courting Disaster, A response to Rand report on People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran
    Courting Disaster, A response to Rand report on People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran
    The RAND National Defense Research Institute published in July 2009 the report The Mujahedin-e Khalq: A Policy Conundrum for the Multi-National Force-Iraq, Task Force 134 (Detainee Operations). The report focuses on the circumstances surrounding the detention of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MeK) at Camp Ashraf and “whether MeK members were taken into custody…