Iraq Deputy PM Opposes Pressure on MEK

Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Saleh Al-Mutlak has said he opposes pressure on the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), an exiled Iranian opposition group based in Iraq, reports Shaker Abdul Hamid.

al-monitor An Iraqi soldier stands guard in the former US military Camp Liberty which will be the new temporary camp for the exiled Iranian Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK) in Baghdad, Feb. 17, 2012. Photo by REUTERS/Thaier al-Sudani.

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Nov 27, 2012

Iraq’s Deputy Prime Minister Saleh al-Mutlaq announced his refusal of pressure exerted on members of the Iranian opposition in Iraq. In a statement yesterday [Nov. 26], he said: “I am against the pressure exerted on the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq in Iraq and against seizing their funds in Camp Ashraf, since this decision was taken to achieve political objectives, which is legally and legitimately unacceptable.”

He added: “We and the United Nations must courageously declare the Liberty Camp to be a political refugee camp regardless of its external effects. Nothing justifies the stubbornness of some political parties in keeping the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq confined to a small camp.”

Mutlaq continued: “We need to look at the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq from a humanitarian and ethical point of view and to deal with them according to the noble Arab ethics, so they can live in this country, which is characterized by its hospitality.”

He explained that “forbidding reporters and journalists from entering the Liberty Camp is unacceptable, for journalists are free to go to any places in Iraq, whether to the Liberty Camp or to any other place, and we shouldn’t be ashamed of or hesitate to communicate the truth as it is.”

He stressed that “dealing with the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq must take place according to humanitarian standards and the decision must be purely Iraqi”.

On the other hand, the Iranian opposition condemned in a statement yesterday [Nov. 26] UN Secretary General Representative in Iraq Martin Cobler’s decision to make arrangements that enable residents of Camp Ashraf to leave their movable and immovable properties in Ashraf and send the rest of their members to the Camp Liberty.

For his part, Kurdistan Alliance MP Chuan Mohamed Taha said: “The majority of the current political parties were refugees in foreign countries, for this reason we need to deal with the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq in accordance with human rights law and conventions. Seizing Camp Ashraf’s funds will affect the government’s reputation in the international community.”

In a statement yesterday he added: “Iraq is experiencing major problems, including political instability, which has affected the security, living condition and services for Iraqis. The citizens and residents of the Liberty Camp are suffering greatly at present. The primary and final reason is the State of the Law [coalition], because it has issues with the Iraqiya List and the Kurdistan Regional Government, along with some parties within the national alliance.”

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