The United States commends the Government of Albania’s generous offer to the Camp Hurriya residents and UNHCR.
On May 31, 30 Mujahedin e Khalq, or MEK, from Camp Hurriya arrived in Tirana under the terms of an agreement between the Government of Albania and the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, or UNHCR, in which Albania agreed to accept up to 210 Camp Hurriya residents for temporary resettlement. The first group of 14 individuals arrived on May 16.
The United States commends the Government of Albania’s generous offer to the Camp Hurriya residents and UNHCR. Albania continues to be a strong partner of the United States in contributing to peace and stability in Iraq.
The MEK’s members were supported by the late Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, who established them at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, Iraq. In 2012, per the terms of the December 25, 2011, Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the government of Iraq, members of the MEK were moved from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya outside of Baghdad in order for the U.N. to evaluate their international protection needs and options for relocation outside Iraq.
The United States reiterates its call to the MEK to cooperate fully with the UNHCR process to relocate Camp Hurriya residents outside of Iraq as expeditiously as possible. The relocation of residents is essential to ensure their safety and security, especially following the February 9 terrorist attack that took eight lives.
The MEK leadership has the responsibility to facilitate the full and immediate participation of residents in the interview and counseling processes required by the UNHCR human rights monitors. The MEK leadership has an obligation to ensure residents are able to engage openly and freely with UN human rights monitors, UNHCR personnel and representatives from the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq, or UNAMI.
The United States reaffirms its strong support for the work of the UNHCR, UNAMI, and especially the tireless work of Special Representative of the Secretary General Martin Kobler, to assist and resettle Camp Hurriya residents.
The safety and security of Camp Hurriya residents remains an utmost concern. That’s why it is critical that the security requirements to protect residents be fulfilled in accordance with the Memorandum of Understanding between the United Nations and the Government of Iraq.