Kobler cites human rights abuses in Camp Liberty by MKO officials

The UN envoy to Iraq said yesterday that the most part of members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq, anti-Iran terrorist group, in Camp Liberty are reluctant to cooperate with the UNHCR resulting in an obstacle in their resettlement in third countries.

Martin Kobler acknowledged, in an interview with Associated Press in Baghdad, that a major problem in resettling camp residents is a shortage of countries willing to accept them.

“We do not have enough recipient countries. ... There is also reluctance from the side of the Liberty residents to cooperate with the UNHCR,” he said, referring to the U.N. refugee agency.

He also pointed to the human rights abuses inside Camp Liberty by MKO officials, saying, “Residents are not free to move between different sections of the camp without approval, and some are denied Internet and mobile phone access by MEK officials”

“There are, of course, MEK residents who probably would like to disassociate themselves from the MEK,” he said. “Everybody who wants to go out of the camp ... should have the chance to do so.”

Ali al-Moussawi, a spokesman for Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, said Baghdad also has concerns that MEK leaders are preventing residents from leaving.

“There is intimidation being practiced by some MEK leaders against their fellow people,” al-Moussawi said. “Some MEK members are willing to leave the country, but they are being threatened by a minority preventing them.”