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 were former political prisoners and an equal number are women. They fled persecution in Iran and took refuge in Iraq in the 1980s. Iranian rulers view these dissidents and human rights advocates as a major threat and have actively been plotting to kill or capture them for a long time.
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 access to food, shelter, medical care and other basic needs. 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.
The Foundation is currently 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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