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First Iran exiles leave Ashraf camp in Iraq
About 400 Iranian exiles have been transferred from their long-held camp in north-western Iraq.
They are members of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran (PMOI) , based at Camp Ashraf since the 1980s.
It is the first step of a process that aims to see the entire 3,400-strong community expelled from Iraq.
But members of this advance party are complaining bitterly that their treatment has fallen far short of that promised by the UN and US.
The exiles, who are opposed to Iran’s Shia clerical rulers, were welcomed by former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein but have fallen out of favour with Iraq’s new Shia-dominated leadership.
Relations with the Iraqi government deteriorated still further last April, when an Iraqi army raid on the camp left 34 residents dead, according to the UN.
At first, they refused to countenance leaving Camp Ashraf, but the UN has been trying to broker a compromise. In December the group’s Paris-based head Maryam Rajavi agreed that a first contingent of 400 would move in what she called a “goodwill gesture”.
The Iraqi government has extended a deadline for the camp to be shut down to the end of April.
On Saturday, the first group arrived at Camp Liberty near Baghdad, but complained that they had been searched for almost an entire day before they were allowed to leave Ashraf, and had been searched again on arrival at Camp Liberty. (Click HERE for article)
Ex-soldier gets 15 years for sexual abuse of minor in 1990s
Army investigated in 1996, but no charges were filed
Casey Grove – (Anchorage Daily News) – February 17th, 2012 – An Anchorage man who admitted to sexually abusing a girl in the 1990s while stationed in the Lower 48 and Germany was sentenced Wednesday to serve 15 years in federal prison.