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Iranian opposition group in legal limbo

Members of MEK in Iraq find it difficult to find a place to live outside Camp Ashraf

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Members of an Iranian opposition group, camped in Iraq, often find themselves in legal limbo.

The Mujahideen al-Khalq (MEK) residents of Camp Ashraf were listed under Geneva Conventions as protected persons during the fighting in Iraq in 2003, according to the reams of documents provided by camp leaders.

But that does not address the current issue of their lack of legal status in Iraq, a country that is no longer at war with Iran or under attack by the US.

Some of those who have made the difficult decision to leave Camp Ashraf have found themselves in limbo.

In a hotel in Baghdad's Green Zone in May, an MEK member who had left was waiting for travel documents to be reunited with her daughter in Germany, whom she had given up 17 years ago at the age of 2.

The woman, who said she did not want to give her real name in fear of Iranian retribution, asked us to call her Zahra. She had been at MEK camps in Iraq for 21 years and had sent her Baghdad-born daughter to be raised by other MEK members abroad after the organization decided to break up families, believing that such attachments hampered their members' commitment to the cause.

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