Successful Completion of the Relocation of Camp Liberty residents from Iraq to EuropePublished by International Liberty Association on September 15, 2016
After four-and-a-half years, on September 9, 2016, the last group of Camp Liberty residents left Baghdad for Albania. The final 280 residents’ departure successfully concluded the relocation process.
Despite conspiracies, obstruction and threats, which continued throughout the long resettlement of nearly 2,000 residents of Liberty, they are now safe in European countries, including Germany, Norway, the United Kingdom, The Netherlands, Finland, Denmark, Belgium, Italy and Spain.
This happened due to the cooperation of the Camp Liberty residents and the help of many Iranians who are living inside Iran and abroad, UNHCR, the U.S. and other relevant parties.
The support of distinguished American, European and Arab personalities provided a political shield for the resettlement of the residents.
The United States Congress introduced resolutions and passed legislation that required the U.S. Government to protect the residents of Liberty and safely transfer them out of Iraq. Similar resolutions and declarations were also adopted in the European Parliament, the United Kingdom, and in other European and Middle Eastern countries.
The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees said in a statement on July 19, 2016, “UNHCR is supporting a steady and growing stream of movements out of Iraq in coming months. It is hoped that the process will be completed well before year end. This progress has been achieved with the cooperation of the residents who have proceeded with the relocation process despite difficult circumstances, including the attack on 4 July 2016, which fortunately did not result in any casualties.”
He added, “Ongoing success in the implementation of solutions has also been assisted by the residents’ commitment to meeting the bulk of the associated costs, particularly for long term support of all residents relocated out of Iraq who have no access to state-sponsored assistance.”
This, after Iraqi intelligence agents, prevented the sale of over 90 percent of the residents’ property, even with a signed contract with a government-approved Iraqi merchant to sell their property for $10.7 million. In the end, the residents were only allowed the sale of 10 percent of their property at one-fourth of the market price.
Additionally, $550 million worth of residents’ property at Camp Ashraf was seized and placed at the disposal of the Iraqi military and militias, during former Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki’s tenure.