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People's Mujahedeen begin process of expulsion from Iraq

But the first to leave Camp Ashraf complain bitterly of their treatment.

Ashrafmujahideen2012218Enlarge
A general view yesterday shows former US military base Camp Liberty near Baghdad's international airport. It will be the new temporary home of exiled Iranian opposition members. (ALI AL-SAADI/AFP/Getty Images)

The first members of the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran have been transferred out of their camp in northwestern Iraq pending their expulsion from the country, according to the BBC.

The group have been based at Camp Ashraf in Diyala province since the 1980s and were once violently opposed to the current government of Iran, which garnered them the support of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein.

About 400 members of the community of 3,400 people have been transferred to the former Camp Liberty but say they are being mistreated and that US and UN promises have not been kept according to the BBC.

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Citing the UN, the BBC said an Iraqi Army raid in April on Camp Ashraf left 34 dead. The Mujahideen do not enjoy the favor of the current Shiite-dominated government, the broadcasting corporation.

Iraqi authorities have extended a deadline for the closure of Camp Ashraf until the end of this April.

"This process is a humiliating and degrading treatment," Bahzad Saffari, 50, among the first transplants, was quoted as saying by The Associated Press.

"We are very frustrated and have been going through this harassment for more than 24 hours now. The camp looks horrible — it is totally different from the photos that were provided to us."

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Also known by the Persian name Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, the group claim they renounced violence in 2001 but conducted bombings and assassinations in Iran in the 1980s.

Iraqi National Security Adviser Faleh al-Fayadh was quoted as telling reporters this morning that the People’s Mujahideen were one of the problems inherited from era of Saddam “and they hurt Iraq and represent a source of tension in Iraq's relations with neighboring countries.”

"We reject the presence of this unwanted organization on Iraqi soil since it infringes on Iraq's sovereignty,” he was quoted as saying by the AP.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/middle-east/iraq/120218/peoples-mujahideen-begin-process-expulsion-iraq