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MKO terrorists given varied status in Iraq

London, Nov 2, IRNA -- The British government has revealed for the first time that members of Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist group held by at their Camp Ashraf military base in Iraq by the US include some subject to extradition claims.

"The US has informed us that most residents are being treated as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention, some have unresolved claims to be prisoners of war from the Iran/Iraq war, and a small number are the subject of US or international warrants," Foreign Office Minister Bill Rammell said.

The minister was replying Monday to a written parliamentary question from Liberal Democrat member of the Defense Committee Mike Hancock, who asked what information has been passed to the UK Government about the status of those held at Camp Ashraf.

"The situation of the residents of Camp Ashraf was until June 28 a matter for the US authorities. The Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) is now responsible for Ashraf. With the concurrence of the IIG, US forces continue to provide security there," Rammell said.

He also told parliament that 'the IIG, US and other interested parties are continuing to discuss practical arrangements for their future'.

"The Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, or People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran) is proscribed in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000," the minister reminded Hancock.

He added that the British government takes 'a close interest in the activities of MEK personnel, and have discussed them on many occasions with foreign governments, including those of Iran, Iraq and the US'.

In July, Rammell told parliament that there were about 3,800 people detained at Camp Ashraf and said that they were 'under the protection of US forces, who have sole responsibility for them and the camp'.

He also said that the MKO 'professes to be campaigning for democracy in Iran, but its record of violence extends over several decades'.

The terrorist group itself, he added, 'has admitted to killing several thousand people since the 1979 revolution in Iran'.

... Payvand News - 11/2/04 ... --

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