The U.S. Foundation for Liberty and Human Rights (“The Foundation”) is a non-profit, tax-exempt and tax-deductible, 501C3 volunteer organization formed by U.S. citizens of Iranian descent and is a sister organization of U.S Foundation for Liberty.
Many of the volunteers themselves have been victims of the Iranian regime’s brutality. Having experienced firsthand the violation of their fundamental rights, these volunteers promote women’s rights, the rights of victims of abuse, rights of minorities and dissidents, as well as refugees who have fled repression in Iran.
The Foundation has led many projects focused on the resettlement of political refugees in third countries. In one of its most difficult, complex, but successful campaigns, it helped complete the transfer to Albania of thousands of residents of Camp Liberty (near the Baghdad International Airport) in Iraq in 2016. These refugees were designated as ‘asylum seekers’ and ‘persons of concern’ by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and as ‘protected persons’ under the Fourth Geneva Convention by the United States.
One third of the residents that are now in “Ashraf 3” near the Albanian capital, Tirana, have been former political prisoners and an equal number are women. They have fled persecution in Iran, and Iranian rulers view these dissidents and human rights advocates as a major threat to their dictatorship. They have actively been plotting to kill or capture them for a long time. In March 2018, a major terrorist plot was neutralized by Albanian authorities, where the regime’s agents intended to bomb and kill the refugees. In July 2018, another terrorist plot was uncovered and neutralized by European authorities, where the regime’s agents intended to bomb a freedom rally by Iranians who had gathered near Paris, joined by thousands of international dignitaries.
Since 2003, the residents were repeatedly attacked by Iraqi security forces at the behest of Tehran, resulting in over 140 deaths and some 1,400 wounded.
The residents were also denied vital medical treatment by Baghdad as a form of harassment and pressure. Due to sustained medical deprivation in Iraq, some of the residents’ physical ailments have substantially worsened and in some cases turned into permanent disabilities.
Now that these dissidents have been resettled in Albania, The Foundation is working hard to help them with their day-today expenses and medical care. One of our major, and perhaps most expensive, projects is to provide for their medical care as many of the injured refugees are now in hospitals in Albania and need urgent medical care, including major surgeries.
Another significant and costly initiative was to find the residents permanent housing because the UN Refugee Agency had given the residents until December 31, 2017, to vacate buildings it had provided temporarily. This was an extremely difficult task because despite promises by the UN that the residents would be allowed to sell their properties in Iraq, the Government of Iraq reneged on that pledge and confiscated all their movable and immovable assets.
Our biggest success was in helping to move five refugees from Iraq to Albania. In this way, the humanitarian assistance of the people has played a significant role in our success.
This work will continue to assist these refugees in Albania, especially with the recent earthquake in the Duress area of Albania where these refugees are stationed, which makes us more likely to play a humanitarian role in deployment, especially for people with disabilities.
This humanitarian help from the most courageous men and women who are
striving to forge a better future for the Iranian people is the best motivation for our Foundation.
The Foundation is also focused on raising awareness about these and other Iranian refugees. It is also educating the public about ongoing protests by the people of Iran for freedom and democracy through sponsoring of seminars, symposiums, and conferences. These are meant to provide credible information and data on the overall situation and human rights violations in Iran.
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