Iraqi authorities announced last Thursday that they will forcibly relocate about 3,400 members of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) from Camp Ashraf where they have lived since the mid 1980’s. Reports about where residents will be relocated are conflicting.
Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki has reportedly announced that Camp Ashraf’s residents will be moved to the southern province of Muthanna. On Monday, the Iraqi government announced that the PMOI will be moved to a hotel in Baghdad. Other reports said that they would be moved to a desert detention camp, Neqrat al-Salman, near Basra.
Residents of Camp Ashraf, also known as Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), were given until Tuesday to leave or else face forced removal and relocation elsewhere in Iraq. But on Tuesday, Iraqi military officials gave journalists a tour of the camp, and assured them that all relocation is voluntary.
But the Washington Post reported Brig. Gen. Basel Hamad of the Iraqi army saying yesterday that “today is the day we start moving things out. We will not allow any foreigners to establish their own laws on Iraqi soil.”