Western Dignitaries Gather in Albania to Support Iranian Refugees

By David Vives

The exiled Iranian opposition group People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MEK) held the its annual event “Free Iran” in Albania on July 13.

The event was held at MEK’s newly inaugurated headquarters, “Ashraf 3,” amid the hills and valleys of Ashraf, Albania.

Members of the regime’s resistance suffer grave persecution under Iran’s leader, the Ayatollah.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is a France-based organization. Spokesperson Shahin Gobadi said that 20,000 people have been executed under the regime. “[They were] young and old, from all ages … executed simply because they wanted democracy and human rights,” he said.

The Iranian regime continues to persecute the resistance outside the country, making it difficult to get pictures of this camp. There is also tight security, as the Iranian regime is known to try to infiltrate the camp with spies. It is guarded by Albanian police and private security forces. Last year, Albanian police discovered plans to bomb refugee-housing near the camp. And on July 1, 6 people were arrested in a suspected plot by Iranian intelligence to bomb a meeting in Paris, AP reported.

Dignitaries from all over the world, including NY former Mayor Rudy Giuliani and former Senator Joseph Lieberman, attended the event in support of the resistance. Guest speakers honored the Iranian people’s ongoing efforts to establish democracy and respect for human rights in Iran.

“Authoritarian governments always come to an end. Human beings eventually get their desire for fair treatment wins out,” Giuliani said. The recent increase in tensions between the United States and Iran is also monitored heavily at Ashraf 3.

UK Conservative MP Matthew Offord said, “The international community did actually forget what a brutal regime it continues to be. It continues to torture people under the age of 18; gouging people’s eyes out, hanging women who are pregnant as well. That is certainly the actions of a brutal regime that should be stopped.”

The Iranian diaspora in foreign countries is estimated to be between 3 and 4 million people. At Ashraf 3, Iranian refugees, formerly from the upper echelons of society, dream of a better future.