Post Delisting, What Are the Mojahedin-e Khalq Up to Now? (aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) Massoud KhodabandehDirector, Middle East Strategy Consultants, Huffington Post (Blog), November 09 2012
Post Delisting, What Are the Mojahedin-e Khalq Up to Now?
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... Rajavi's veteran translator Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad escaped Camp Liberty two months ago. He is now in Baghdad and has exposed the relationship between Rajavi and the Saddam regime. He is also helping UN, EU, U.S. and Iraqi officials by exposing the lies which the MEK are telling them. He has two daughters, one in Iran and one still in Camp Liberty. Neither he nor anyone else has been able to contact his daughter in Liberty without the presence of MEK minders. (He reports that while he was inside the MEK, he had not seen his daughter anyway for twenty years due to the enforced separation of families and friends.) Instead, the MEK brought her ...
Freed from the pretended constraints of being listed as a terrorist entity in the USA, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) has stepped up its financial and money laundering activities in Western countries. The MEK have launched a 'basij' (all-out campaign) in their financial section. Firstly, all members and supporters have been instructed to make supervised contact with their family inside or outside Iran to try to get money from them (a tactic exposed by Al Jazeera's Cult of the Chameleon documentary in 2007).
In the 'charity' street collections in Western countries (called mali-ejtemai), the theme is Camp Liberty. The public is approached and the camp in Iraq is described as a refugee camp whose inhabitants have no access to food or medicine. The public are told that around 1000 women, mostly mothers, must be urgently transferred with their children to Europe. The money donated will be used to rescue the women and children first before then rescuing the men. (Of course, since enforced celibacy was imposed in 1989 there are no children in the MEK.) Sometimes the donor is told of cases in which refugees have been killed or maimed because of the lack of law and order in Iraq. Conveniently ignoring the fact that the MEK are confined to the camp by their own leaders.
It is no secret that the MEK have been funded for years via these bogus charities as large checks and even thousands in cash have been handed over to street collectors from mystery donors. An unusually high proportion of these donors are solicitors. MEK insiders have always known that this money is coming from other benefactors.
In addition to these activities, the MEK have also tasked as many of their supporters in the West who are able to do so to open a company or create spurious associations or societies claiming to support Iranian refugees or promote Iranian culture, etc. The aim of these groups is to target charities and local councils to get money under false pretenses. Again there is an element of money laundering as this is just one more way for MEK paymasters to dive under the radar to fund the terrorist group.
A more sinister activity is the expansion of information gathering and recruitment practices among the Iranian communities. Concerned Iranians in Europe who contacted me directly report that the MEK have opened two Persian language schools in London and Paris which they say is to target the children of Iranian refugees. Through such deceptive activities the MEK gathers lists of names and addresses to demonstrate support, and also to claim that these Iranians are making financial donations. The deeper purpose is to deceptively recruit new members and also -- now that the campaign to be delisted has ended -- to keep the supporters busy with new activities. It must not be forgotten that as a cult, the MEK thrives on the unpaid 'slave' labor of its followers.
Significantly, Massoud Rajavi, the beneficiary of all the MEK's wealth, has for three decades kept his financial dealings in the hands of only a few trusted individuals. In the atmosphere of defections and disturbing questioning which currently govern internal relations in the MEK, the unexpected death of one of Rajavi's key financial personnel in the West sparks deep suspicions among experts in the MEK. This is compounded when we discover that another accidental death has taken place in Paris of one of Maryam Rajavi's inner circle. (After some high ranking defectors exposed the cult nature of the MEK, Massoud Rajavi declared that such defections would never be allowed to happen again.)
In Iraq, the situation has scarcely changed for the members except they have changed location to a UN temporary transit camp Liberty -- a move which both the Government of Iraq and UNAMI had worked for to improve their conditions. Camp Ashraf itself is finished, closed, gone, although just under 100 MEK remain there, confined to Section 209 by the Iraqi army which is now in charge of the territory. Rajavi has declared they will not move until enough money is paid -- basically the last bit of ransom he can extract from the camp.
There continue on a weekly basis to be a small number of individuals who escape Liberty, either during the UNHCR interview process or by other means, and renounce any further involvement with the MEK. Last week two men escaped, each had spent over 20 years with the MEK (one being a former POW from the Iran-Iraq war). They describe a desperate situation inside Liberty as it is being recreated in the image of Ashraf. All the cult aspects are there -- isolation, indoctrination, manipulation, fear, punishments, etc -- in addition, barriers are built to separate the bungalows (ironically, the stretchers originally demanded for medical use are being used to move earth to build dykes). 'Visas' are issued to people if they need to move between separated locations. The Iraqis are not allowed inside the camp and again have no jurisdiction there. The MEK use every opportunity to try to provoke hostility in the Iraqis by throwing stones and swearing at them, and now the UN and other neutral bodies are suffering provocation as the MEK swear at them and insult them, too.
Although the MEK's advocates and lobbyists crassly claim that Liberty is no better than a "concentration camp" -- a description which seriously riles the German born UNAMI chief Martin Kobler -- the situation is not easy for the residents, but not for the reasons they state. There is no shortage of food or water or medicine -- let us remind ourselves this is a camp created by and supervised by the UN. In a country where a 24 hour electricity and water supply are not guaranteed to normal citizens, the MEK enjoy both these facilities. What is not being said is that Massoud Rajavi has decreed that the residents must work for these 'privileges.' Inside Camp Liberty anyone who needs medicine or has other requirements must work for it, that is, they must submit and do as they are told or else they will be punished by having medicine, etc refused or withheld. Again, the MEK don't let the Iraqis approach the people inside the camp to ascertain their welfare or needs.
Since the beginning of 2012 a disturbingly disproportionate number of residents have died because Rajavi has year on year denied them proper or timely medical treatment.
Rajavi's veteran translator Ghorban Ali Hossein Nejad escaped Camp Liberty two months ago. He is now in Baghdad and has exposed the relationship between Rajavi and the Saddam regime. He is also helping UN, EU, U.S. and Iraqi officials by exposing the lies which the MEK are telling them. He has two daughters, one in Iran and one still in Camp Liberty. Neither he nor anyone else has been able to contact his daughter in Liberty without the presence of MEK minders. (He reports that while he was inside the MEK, he had not seen his daughter anyway for twenty years due to the enforced separation of families and friends.) Instead, the MEK brought her on their television channel to swear at him and her sister, claiming they are agents of the Iranian regime. Given the sensitivity of the information being passed to the officials it is possible her life is in danger. (MEK experts have observed that 'accidents' happen to dissidents in Iraq and Europe on a fairly regular basis.)
In spite of rumors that Massoud Rajavi is dead, he is very much alive and keeping tight control over his cult on a daily basis. High ranking escapees say they have seen him in the leadership compound in Camp Ashraf until very recently. According to deserters, Rajavi frequently communicates his indoctrination and messages via audio -- no visuals. But it is clear he has not been stationed in Iraq since the U.S. army handed over responsibility for the MEK in 2009. Instead, based on unconfirmed reports, I belief he moves between safe houses in Jordan associated with Saddam's family and loyal Baathists, without the express permission of the Jordanian government. From his hideout, Rajavi issues his orders. He has told the people in Iraq they should only agree to talk to members of the UN or ICRC on condition that Camp Liberty is designated as a refugee camp (it is actually a UN temporary transit camp). Rajavi has said 'if we work on it we can be accepted to move to Europe collectively, but if not we will never leave Iraq.'
Rajavi has told everyone that 'the Americans will back us to the end because they need us'. However, Rajavi also said to every member that armed struggle is an unchangeable part of the MEK ideology and every Mojahed's belief system and that this, and the logo, will never change. (In other words, don't be worried or concerned by our external propaganda, inside we will never change).
As though to prove this point, the Iraqi authorities report that the MEK are desperate to have greater connections with al Qaeda and Saddamists in Iraq and beyond. The MEK especially want new connections, since their main backer was convicted of terrorism charges and escaped Iraq. The MEK leaders are demanding greater freedom of movement to come and go and to bring people into the camp. But then the Iraqis knew all about their former connections with these groups while they were protected by the U.S., and this was why they curtailed their activities after 2009. It remains to be seen whether the delisting of this known terrorist group in the USA will have the necessary reach to reverse for its backers what appears to be the rapid and inevitable demise of the group as its members are being rescued by humanitarian agencies.
Abdul Hamid Raufian speaks of his years of imprisonment in the cult of Rajavi
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK)
... Four years ago, they gave me the letter my brother had sent to me via Red Cross, following my insistence on contacting my family. There was a phone number on the foot of the letter. I could call my mother under a heavy mental pressure because my contact was highly controlled by the cult leaders. I should talk with my mother after 23 years, and this was the start of thinking about an opportunity to run away from the cult. Thank God, I could find the opportunity. Leaders of the cult tried to call families as Intelligence Ministry’s mercenaries and traitors because they had nothing else to say regarding families’ presence in front of Camp Ashraf ...
Mr. Abdol Hamid Raufian who could manage to escape the terrorist Cult of Rajavi describes how he was first trapped in the hands of Rajavi’s gang:
I was taken as a war prisoner by Iraqi Baath forces in 1988 (during Iran-Iraq war), I was then sent to Camp Ashraf following the deals made between MKO leaders and Iraqi forces. Since then we were severely kept under the group’s deceitful mind control system. Regarding their long-term programming they could cut us off the outside world, so they succeeded to change our minds about our country. These criminals could even cut us from our family who was once so precious to us. We were so extremely under pressure that we would use offensive words against our parents who were our dearest ones in life. We considered the criminal leaders of the cult, Massoud Rajavi and the evil Maryam “our everything” and we were made-up to serve them.
If you wanted to think about your family for a few seconds, they would humiliate you so severely that you would never think about them again. They would hold numerous meetings such as Current Operation where a large number of zealous members would attack you, verbally abusing you. Therefore nobody dared to talk about or even think about his family.
Four years ago, they gave me the letter my brother had sent to me via Red Cross, following my insistence on contacting my family. There was a phone number on the foot of the letter. I could call my mother under a heavy mental pressure because my contact was highly controlled by the cult leaders. I should talk with my mother after 23 years, and this was the start of thinking about an opportunity to run away from the cult. Thank God, I could find the opportunity.
Leaders of the cult tried to call families as Intelligence Ministry’s mercenaries and traitors because they had nothing else to say regarding families’ presence in front of Camp Ashraf. When the loud speakers were off, they said that they (families) ran away and then they would say that Iraqi soldiers were speaking in the loudspeakers. When they were encountered with voices of defectors via loudspeakers they had to claim, "You wont be executed or imprisoned if you return to Iran but you will have such a hard life ,you will earn so little that you will wish you would have stayed here with us to be safe.”
We were transferred to temporary Transit Location (Camp Liberty) based on who the leaders chose to move. If one had declared to be volunteer to move to TTL, he should have been called to attend meeting immediately. They feared that he wanted to go there in order to be interviewed and get back to Iran, to denounce them. Thus, leaders of the cult decided who was supposed to move. Members had no choice.
More MEK escapes expose collapse of the cult from within
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... Mr Hooshang Mirza Ghorbani has managed to escape from the transit camp (Liberty) and has been given protection by the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad. Mr Mirz Ghorbani has spent more than two decades in the camps of Mojahedin Khalq and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Although the MEK leaders claim that American support for this terrorist organisation and their removal from the list of 'friends and foes of the United States' will help them convince their members to continue their terror campaign, but the increasing number of hostages managing to escape from the cult shows that this support has had very little effect on the dismantlement of the cult from within ...
According to Iraqi news agencies, Mr Hooshang Mirza Ghorbani has managed to escape from the transit camp (Liberty) and has been given protection by the Iraqi security forces in Baghdad. Mr Mirz Ghorbani has spent more than two decades in the camps of Mojahedin Khalq and Saddam Hussein in Iraq.
Although the MEK leaders claim that American support for this terrorist organisation and their removal from the list of 'friends and foes of the United States' will help them convince their members to continue their terror campaign, but the increasing number of hostages managing to escape from the cult shows that this support has had very little effect on the dismantlement of the cult from within.
Nearly 10 years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, Mojahedin Khalq terrorist cult under the direct protection of the United States of America continues to deny the hostages access to communication with the outside world and denies them the right to be visited by their families.
Open letter of Sahar Family Foundation to the UN Secretary General
... The news received from Camp Liberty indicates that the cultic relationships and standards are still imposed at their most intense. The members are told that they are bound to stay in Iraq and no one is allowed to leave. The members are also frightened about what the consequences would be if they leave the organization or seek to visit their families. The phobia of ‘extradition to Iran and facing torture and execution’ is systematically cultivated in the minds of the members. The MKO authorities have clearly told the members that the National Liberation Army (Saddam Hussein’s private army of Rajavi) is the MKO’s sole capital investment and will never ...
Sahar Family Foundation has written an open letter to Mr Ban Ki Moon, the UN Secretary General, and has sent the copies to the international media and the appropriate authorities.
The text of the letter is as follows:
Mr Ban Ki Moon, UN Secretary General With Regards
As the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) has eventually left Ashraf garrison and moved to Liberty transit camp, and the process of UN asylum registration has begun,
As the name of the MKO had been removed from the list of foreign terrorist organizations (FTO) in the US, Europe and Britain, and as Western countries no longer regard the MKO as a terrorist entity,
And as the suffering families of the members are still waiting in Iraq after almost three years to visit their loved ones and have not only not received any positive answer but have been insulted and accused and even harassed by the MKO elements,
We as the representative of the families of the members of the MKO in Iraq urge you to use your international capacity and:
Arrange for the meeting of the families with their loved ones in order to end their sufferings.
The news received from Camp Liberty indicates that the cultic relationships and standards are still imposed at their most intense. The members are told that they are bound to stay in Iraq and no one is allowed to leave. The members are also frightened about what the consequences would be if they leave the organization or seek to visit their families. The phobia of ‘extradition to Iran and facing torture and execution’ is systematically cultivated in the minds of the members. The MKO authorities have clearly told the members that the National Liberation Army (Saddam Hussein’s private army of Rajavi) is the MKO’s sole capital investment and will never, under any circumstances, be given up. The leaders have emphasized that arms and weapons are not detachable from the MKO’s struggle.
As the obstacle of the FTO list has been removed and access by UN officials to the MKO members is much easier in Camp Liberty, there is no excuse for not arranging family meetings for the members. The families are eager to independently make sure about the physical and mental wellbeing of their loved ones.
The MKO is claiming that the members have chosen their destiny willingly and knowingly and that they have no desire to visit their families. There are many documents however which prove these individuals are systemically mind manipulated and their willpower has been psychologically robbed from them.
UN officials have the capacity to arrange these meetings without the interference of the MKO authorities. The same thing has been arranged in other parts of the world in the past. This excuse that the MKO leaders do not cooperate can no longer be acceptable and it is the duty of the UN officials to demand that the MKO leaders give the members their most basic human rights. If the leaders are refusing to do so, it is surely right for the UN to announce it publicly and not just in private meetings.
We wish to thank you in advance on behalf of the families.
Sahar Family Foundation Baghdad, October 10, 2012
Copies to: Mr Martin Kobler and the UNAMI Iraqi ministry of human rights ICRC in Iraq US Ambassador to Iraq International and Iraqi media
(Families of Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult hostages in Iraq)
... The consequences of de-proscribing the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) by the US State Department, which Rajavi was so eager about and in recent years had become the top priority of his cult, have been discussed and analyzed in various ways by various entities. Since our task is not political and we are by no means experts, we leave the analysis to the professionals. But as far as the suffering families of the members of the MKO are concerned, who have no request except to visit their loved ones and be sure about their physical and mental wellbeing, this development gives them fresh hope. Perhaps ...
The consequences of de-proscribing the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) by the US State Department, which Rajavi was so eager about and in recent years had become the top priority of his cult, have been discussed and analyzed in various ways by various entities.
Since our task is not political and we are by no means experts, we leave the analysis to the professionals. But as far as the suffering families of the members of the MKO are concerned, who have no request except to visit their loved ones and be sure about their physical and mental wellbeing, this development gives them fresh hope. Perhaps now the MKO will accept its obligations which will lead it to meeting the just demands of the families.
Although it is claimed that the MKO has not officially performed any terrorist act for political purposes for more than a decade, the US State Department’s report states its strong concerns about MKO maltreatment against the members and their families and violation of human rights inside the organization.
Rajavi is still insisting on keeping the members in isolation from the outside world, in particular from their families. The cultic relationship and internal mind manipulation and the so called “current operation” daily sessions for brainwashing of the followers are practiced more severely than ever. The same apartheid policy to limit contact of the members between themselves, as well as the outside world, has been imposed in Camp Liberty after moving from Camp Ashraf.
News emerging from the temporary transit camp Liberty indicates that the physical separation inside the camp between units, which is essential for keeping control over the members, is practiced in different ways. The cult, away from the eyes of the UN and Iraqi officials, has begun to dig wells and has used the excavated soil to create embankments between the units to separate them from each other and prevent the residents from having access to one another. The cult has also used artificial trees to form boundaries between units.
Although the MKO has publicly accepted that they will soon leave Camp Liberty and Iraq, inside the cult the members are constantly told by even Massoud Rajavi himself that Liberty is another Ashraf and they will not leave Iraq under any circumstances.
Up to now 12 individuals have managed to escape from Camp Liberty and by doing so they have left the organization. All of them have emphasized that severe physical and psychological pressure and control is imposed over the members and all routes of escape, both physical and mental, have been blocked.
This news also reveals that the cult has briefed the members about Nejat Society in Iran, Iran Interlink in Europe, and the Sahar Family Foundation in Iraq and has told them that these bodies are the agents of Iran’s ministry of intelligence and their task is to capture the defectors and hand them over to the Iranian authorities to be taken back to Iran and face torture and execution. By doing so they try to create phobia inside the minds of the members and prevent them from accepting the assistance offered to them to contact their families and to start a new life after leaving the organization.
Nevertheless, the families are generally more hopeful than ever and they see a bright future when they can embrace their loved ones after so many years of separation and no news.
Sahar Family Foundation once again draws the attention of all Iraqi and international bodies and officials to the severe violation of human rights inside Camp Liberty and all the control measures practiced there. We urge the international community to be concerned about the situation and use every possible means to stop the MKO from violating the members’ most basic human rights.
Families from Kermanshah and Lorestan enter camp Ashraf, Iraq
(Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... Twenty people of MKO members’ families who are from Kermanshah and Lorestan provinces joined other families picketing at Camp Ashraf chanting the slogan: “Our message hope, Our promise, freedom”. They entered Iraq to visit their loved ones, imprisoned in the Cult of Rajavi. All those MKO members who recently defected the Cult notified that families’ presence at Camp Ashraf and hearing their voice via loudspeakers have been a very motivating and hope-giving to members. The families suffer the hardships of traveling to Iraq in order to give the hope of salvation to their loved ones held as hostages in hands of the cult-monsters ...
... Information received from inside both Ashraf and Liberty relates that all other tasks can be stopped inside the MKO so that the process of mind manipulation and brainwashing sessions are not stopped. These reports state that each member attends 3 to 5 meetings of this kind each day. In these meetings - under the label of opportunism - the issue of escaping from the cult is discussed and everyone is continuously told that leaving the cult is the most severe sin that a follower can commit. The MKO argues that leaving the cult undermines the resistance against Iran and damages their struggle. By doing this they intend to create ...
Liberty base is a huge military facility near Baghdad International Airport, which was originally created as part of a bigger base called Victory, to house American troops in Iraq. Formerly named Victory North, after September 2004 it was renamed Liberty. Over the current year some 2000 inhabitants of Camp Ashraf of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO, Rajavi cult), were moved to this base as a United Nations Temporary Transit Camp from where they are to be eventually transferred out of Iraq. In May the MKO stopped cooperating with the relocation process and at the present time around 1200 members of the MKO have remained stuck in Camp Ashraf.
Information received from inside both Ashraf and Liberty relates that all other tasks can be stopped inside the MKO so that the process of mind manipulation and brainwashing sessions are not stopped. These reports state that each member attends 3 to 5 meetings of this kind each day. In these meetings - under the label of opportunism - the issue of escaping from the cult is discussed and everyone is continuously told that leaving the cult is the most severe sin that a follower can commit. The MKO argues that leaving the cult undermines the resistance against Iran and damages their struggle. By doing this they intend to create mental barriers for the members to keep them captive inside the organization.
Comparing These reports from inside the MKO indicate that there is an ideological argument within the Organization which forbids the members to compare themselves with others.
Since the relocation process began in February several members who have been transferred to Camp Liberty have had routine interviews with UN officials in Iraq. These people were put forward by the MKO and the process is still ongoing. Others were puzzled as to why some people have been sent for the interviews and they haven’t. They have been asked to report to their superiors if they have such sinful thoughts.
The same argument has been introduced in Camp Ashraf. Some are wondering why they have not been sent to Camp Liberty and are made to remain in Ashraf. They also have to report that they are comparing themselves and their situation to that of others.
Possibility of going abroad Another argument amongst the residents of the Liberty is about the possibility of their being sent abroad. Since the camp is located near to the airport, most inhabitants watch the airplanes taking off with sorrow and regret.
The cult leaders have asked the members to report such sinful desires to their superiors as a cultic practice. These kinds of thoughts are severely denounced and are considered as ideological weakness.
Keeping the members busy One method of manipulation used by destructive mind control cults is to keep their followers busy with useless tasks all the time in order to prevent them from thinking freely. This method is used systematically inside the Rajavi cult to render the members so exhausted that their minds cannot function properly.
When members were transferred from Ashraf to Liberty they were only permitted to take personal possessions. But the MKO managed to also take some stretchers as medical equipment. These stretchers are now used to shift sand. They have the members move sand which is stored in one place and which is meant to be used to pave the passageways between the bungalows. The members are forced to relocate this sand from one place to another using the stretchers, and they keep doing this using various excuses. They are also asked to separate out large pebbles from the sand with the excuse that when they pave the pathways these would hurt the elderly residents.
The exhaustion caused by this kind of hard work prevents the members from thinking about their uncertain future and the deadlock they are in.
Conflicts The reports from Camp Liberty also indicate that there is constant conflict between the members and their superiors. Such conflicts are due to the tense situation inside the camp caused by the uncertainty of almost everything and manifest in swearing and name calling. The extent of this conflict is at a stage that one can predict they will soon turn into physical conflict.
Guests Further information reveals that some members who insist on leaving the cult are being coerced to stay as guests. Since they have been made afraid of the outside world and they believe they have nowhere to go, they have accepted this. This has been Rajavi’s latest technique to keep his followers inside the cult and prevent them from leaving. These people are also asked to participate in the meetings but they refuse and say that they are only guests.
Letter of Mr. Ali Hussien-Nezhad to Mr. Martin Kobler
(On Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... I fully back your efforts for a peaceful solution to the dilemma of the MKO in Iraq and I urge you not to be influenced by the MKO lobby which is active in the western countries and be firm in demanding the MKO leaders to allow the captives to be free. The best thing to do is to permit the families to stay nearby Camp Liberty and provide facilities for them to meet their beloved ones and negate the negative atmosphere created against the families by the MKO and stop the brainwashing of members and creating phobia inside their minds against the outside world and ensure they have full and free access ...
Mr. Ali Hussein-Nezhad, the former veteran member of the MKO who has recently managed to escape form Camp Liberty and gain his freedom, has written a letter to Mr. Martin Kobler.
The full text of the letter comes below:
Mr. Martin Kobler
Special Representative of the UN General Secretary for Iraq and Head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI),
Around three months ago, immediately after walking out of Camp Liberty, I met you and Mr. Nicola, head of the UNAMI human rights delegation in Baghdad. Two months ago I wrote my first letter to you.
In our meeting I described the suppression and repression and the cultic behavior and relationships inside Ashraf and Liberty, and how the members are kept unaware about the outside world and about their families. I defined how the followers of the Rajavi cult are forced to divorce their spouses and abandon their children and suppress all feelings but those towards the leadership.
I emphasized that all means of contact and communication with the outside world including internet, mobile phone, telephone, radio, television, newspaper, and etc. are forbidden. Even reading books is considered out of the question by the leaders of the MKO. Both in our meeting and in my first letter I declared that the cult has killed all normal human feelings inside the mind and soul of the members. Any kind of contact with the outside world, particularly with family and friends is forbidden. One must not even think about family relations inside the cult and any such thoughts must be reported as 'mal thinking'.
I informed you that even inside Camp Ashraf they prevented me from visiting my daughter who is also a member of the organization and residing in the same camp. In previous years we were able to meet once a year on the Persian New Year for about one or two hours, a meeting which was under the total supervision of the superiors. But this year they announced there would be no family visits inside the camp. It is almost one and a half years that I have not seen my daughter Zeinab.
When I was being transferred to Camp Liberty in the fourth group, I was told that my daughter would be sent soon after me. But I learned from the Iraqi officials that she is still in Camp Ashraf. In fact they have kept my daughter as a hostage to make me keep quiet. They also do not wish my daughter to learn that I have left the organization.
My daughter is registered on the list of UNHCR asylum seekers, the number is 350 and my registration number is 920. We were both granted French travel documents in 1988 following our arrival in France in 1986. My daughter called her younger sister in Iran at the request of the organization around 6 years ago and never called again.
I am worried about her since no one, even in a prison, would reject family contacts. These people are deprived of any sort of outside communication. I am sure that there is a lot of pressure on my daughter and that they will not let her go to Camp Liberty and I should say that her life is really in danger.
Therefore I urge you to put pressure on the officials of the MKO in Camp Ashraf and persuade them to allow me and my younger daughter to meet with my 34 year old daughter Zeinab.
The leader of the MKO has turned the organization into a destructive mind control cult and has no aim but saving himself by sacrificing the innocent people who are his captives in Ashraf and in Liberty. He intends to provoke clashes with the Iraqi government and forces and this is the reason behind creating obstacles in the process of transition and creating unreasonable conditions. He aims to buy time and is waiting for some delusional political conditions in his favor which will enable him to stay in Iraq. This is why he does not wish to leave Ashraf and give it away. He knows full well that by leaving Ashraf the pressure on his cult will be enormous and this could result in his cult being dissolved.
Rajavi has even rejected Iraq’s humane proposal of moving the residents of Ashraf into hotels, a proposal which you backed. This exposed the real aim of the leaders of the cult; that all they are intending is to keep the cultic relationship and save the cult intact. The MKO in its statement called Iraq’s proposal gruesome and a plot against the organization and your dirty souvenir from Tehran. The MKO leaders have insulted you on many occasions in its propaganda since you did not accept all their unjust demands. Everyone knows about your humanitarian efforts to solve the problem and praise your exertions but Rajavi is not happy with the problem being solved peacefully and has asked for a UN representative appointed for Ashraf. They are playing the same game they played against Mr. Butler, the former representative of the USA in the negotiations with the MKO to move the residents of Ashraf elsewhere. When Mr. Butler finally announced that the leaders of the MKO do not intend to solve the problem peacefully they denounced him, but finally they had to accept leaving Ashraf.
All conditions announced by the MKO would be achieved by transferring the residents to hotels except conditions such as creating a green environment and manual work which are intended only to create conditions to remain in Iraq and not be transferred to a third country. They became so angered by this proposal from the Iraqi government that they wanted to leave the meeting. This clearly shows that moving into a hotel means that the hostages and the victims would have a chance to free themselves from this inhuman cult. This rejection shows how the leaders of the cult are afraid of their Stalinist organization being dismantled. The reason is that in a hotel they would not be able to force the members to perform hard labor and they would not be able to keep the members inside the boundaries of control and systematically brainwash them. In this case they would not be able to use the members as human shields to protect the leaders.
The two conditions that the MKO have put forward are having permission to sell their belongings and freedom of movement. Firstly I should say that the leader of the MKO has no rights over these so-called belongings since they are the property of the people and the government of Iraq. When I was the senior interpreter for Rajavi in the Foreign Relations Department since the year 2000 (the part which deals with the affairs with Iraq both before and after the fall of Saddam Hussein), I witnessed that at least 3 million barrels of oil a day was received from the Iraqi ministry of oil (equivalent to 90 million dollars according to the price of oil in those days), in line with the UN policy of oil for food and medicine. They used to sell this oil on the international market and have money for their necessities. In this way they were able to buy cars and other goods.
Secondly I must emphasize that they want freedom of movement only for their top officials. The ordinary members have always been deprived of free movement, even inside the camps, since they are afraid they might escape. In the past both in Ashraf and in Liberty the leaders of the cult have prevented the members from moving freely even within the camps, let alone letting them leave the camps. All sorts of posts and checkpoints have been established to limit the movement of ordinary members. They did not even allow those sick and injured people about whom they had doubts about their loyalty to go outside the camp for further medical treatment. Only recently they allowed some of those with severe illness out of the camp, but only after it were too late and they only dismissed them in order to let them die outside the camp and evade the consequences. It is hypocrisy for the leaders to complain about the conditions of Camp Liberty and compare it with a prison when they have kept the members captive for more than 30 years. The one who has turned Ashraf, and now Liberty, into a prison is Massoud Rajavi. A unique prison with no rights of access to their families, no letters, no telephone, no email, and of course no meetings. In any prison in any place in the world, even in the harshest dictatorships, prisoners have the right to contact their families and even have the right to go on leave to visit them. Recently the UN has issued a statement and declared that the residents of Camp Liberty have no access to the outside world and called for freedom of contact with their families.
To clarify this matter further and in order to reveal Rajavi’s aim behind such demands, I propose that the government of Iraq declares its readiness to allow MKO members to go for pilgrimage to the holy cities of Kerbela and Najaf in groups. In this case the leaders of the MKO would certainly reject the offer and as in previous cases would call it a conspiracy to destroy the “Iranian Resistance!” which means their only concern is the freedom of the captive residents and that they might escape. It would be a nightmare for Rajavi if the families would also go with them on this pilgrimage. According to the atmosphere I was witnessed inside the organization, the vast majority of the members, particularly the veterans, would leave the cult provided they find a suitable moment. I can give you the names and details of many of my colleagues inside both Ashraf and Liberty who are under severe pressure and they really wish to leave and I have informed Mr. Nicola the head of the UN human rights monitoring group about them.
The leaders of the MKO prevent the members from even thinking about going to a third country and force them to give reports if they have such so-called evil thoughts and to be ready to be denounced and humiliated and be accused of betraying the struggle. Maryam Rajavi declared in her last statement in March before the move to Liberty that we must turn Liberty the most beautiful city in the world and make it just like Ashraf. Abbas Davari in a meeting inside the Americans' church in Liberty said that 'they say this is a transit and interim camp, I say the whole world is temporary and it is seventy years that I am in transit. We will stay here to the end of our lives'. Massoumeh Malek-Mohammadi also said in another meeting that this is not a transit camp, but another Ashraf for us. Massoud Rajavi in a call-conference for our group (the forth one) before leaving Ashraf said that 'we wish to have two Ashraf garrisons and you will see how the Iranian regime will condemn Maleki because he was meant to get rid of us and now we have two bases'. This was followed by the crowd cheering.
If you see the MKO propaganda in Europe and in America and follow their lobbying activities you will notice that their aim is to remain in Iraq and they have no intention of leaving Iraq for another country. You rightly asked everyone to be active toward the MKO to force the leaders to cooperate with the UN to move the residents of Liberty to another country. As far as I have been in touch with the ex-members, all are eager for a peaceful solution for the MKO in order to be moved to a safer place. They must have the right to be informed about the outside world and choose their own destiny. The excuses Rajavi invents to keep them inside Iraq for his evil purposes should be condemned.
Dear Mr. Kobler
I fully back your efforts for a peaceful solution to the dilemma of the MKO in Iraq and I urge you not to be influenced by the MKO lobby which is active in the western countries and be firm in demanding the MKO leaders to allow the captives to be free. The best thing to do is to permit the families to stay nearby Camp Liberty and provide facilities for them to meet their beloved ones and negate the negative atmosphere created against the families by the MKO and stop the brainwashing of members and creating phobia inside their minds against the outside world and ensure they have full and free access to telephone and internet and radio and television and publications.
I sincerely thank you and wish you every success in your good work.
Defected Member: Mojahedin Khalq Seeking Bloody Battle with Iraqi Forces
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... A defected member of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) disclosed that the terrorist group is seeking to spark a bloody conflict with the Iraqi government's security forces before leaving its main stronghold in Iraq, known as Camp Ashraf. "The MKO's (main) ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, intends to ignore the Iraqi government's warnings and the UN advice in a bid to pave the ground for the Iraqi government's military reaction and use of force to misuse the resulting events,"Rajavi had earlier in his remarks said neglecting the Iraqi ...
A defected member of the anti-Iran terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO also known as the MEK, PMOI and NCR) disclosed that the terrorist group is seeking to spark a bloody conflict with the Iraqi government's security forces before leaving its main stronghold in Iraq, known as Camp Ashraf.
"The MKO's (main) ringleader, Massoud Rajavi, intends to ignore the Iraqi government's warnings and the UN advice in a bid to pave the ground for the Iraqi government's military reaction and use of force to misuse the resulting events," the defected member said, quoted by the Habilian Association - a human rights group formed of the families of 17,000 Iranian terror victims.
Rajavi had earlier in his remarks said neglecting the Iraqi government's ultimatum for leaving Camp Ashraf is an honor for him and his terrorist group.
The defected member said that Rajavi shows such defiance while he severely needs the blood of the Camp Ashraf residents to stabilize his conditions in Europe and attain his goals.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union's list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran's new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam's army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
UN envoy welcomes transfer of Mojahedin Khalq from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... The United Nations top envoy in Iraq today hailed the relocation of another group of 400 Iranian exiles from a camp outside of the capital, Baghdad, to a new location, prior to their eventual resettlement in third countries. “I welcome the residents’ decision to re-commence the relocation process from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya,” the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said in a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which he also heads. The issue of Camp Ashraf – located in eastern Iraq and made up of several thousand Iranian exiles, many of them members ...
The United Nations top envoy in Iraq today hailed the relocation of another group of 400 Iranian exiles from a camp outside of the capital, Baghdad, to a new location, prior to their eventual resettlement in third countries.
“I welcome the residents’ decision to re-commence the relocation process from Camp Ashraf to Camp Hurriya,” the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Iraq, Martin Kobler, said in a news release issued by the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), which he also heads.
The issue of Camp Ashraf – located in eastern Iraq and made up of several thousand Iranian exiles, many of them members of a group known as the People’s Mojahedeen of Iran – has been one of the main issues dealt with by UNAMI for more than 18 months.
In line with a memorandum of understanding signed in December by the UN and the Iraqi Government to resolve the situation, some two-thirds of the residents, or 2,000 people, were re-located to a temporary transit location near Baghdad known as Camp Hurriya – formerly known as Camp Liberty – where a process to determine refugee status is being carried out by the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
“Three-fourths of the residents, 2,400 persons, have now moved to Camp Hurriya,” Mr. Kobler stated. “I thank them for their cooperation, and call on those remaining in Camp Ashraf to act in the same spirit and start preparations for additional moves without delay, in order to peacefully complete the process.”
The news release further noted that Mr. Kobler requested that the Government of Iraq “be generous” to the camp residents in regards to their humanitarian needs, while also reiterating his appeal to Member States to accept the refugees upon resettlement in their countries.
Prior to today’s transfer, close to 1,300 individuals were still awaiting relocation from Camp Ashraf to the transit centre.
UNAMI staff have been monitoring the human rights and humanitarian situation during the relocation process and provide round-the-clock human rights monitoring at Camp Hurriya.
... The United States welcomes today’s safe arrival of the sixth convoy of approximately 400 Ashraf residents to Camp Hurriya, the first such convoy in over three months. We welcome and are encouraged by this resumption of cooperation by the Ashraf residents in the relocation process as set forth in the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations. We call on the Camp Ashraf leadership to continue this progress by cooperating with the expeditious relocation of the approximately 800 remaining residents at Camp Ashraf ...
Press Statement Victoria Nuland Department Spokesperson, Office of the Spokesperson Washington, DC
August 29, 2012
The United States welcomes today’s safe arrival of the sixth convoy of approximately 400 Ashraf residents to Camp Hurriya, the first such convoy in over three months. We welcome and are encouraged by this resumption of cooperation by the Ashraf residents in the relocation process as set forth in the December 25, 2011 Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Government of Iraq and the United Nations. We call on the Camp Ashraf leadership to continue this progress by cooperating with the expeditious relocation of the approximately 800 remaining residents at Camp Ashraf.
The Government of Iraq has made considerable efforts to achieve a peaceful and secure resolution for the residents of Camp Ashraf, and we urge continued steps to address humanitarian concerns raised at Camp Hurriya by the residents. Recent progress includes the commencement of construction on a water purification station linked to an outside water source. The United States encourages these efforts and reiterates its commitment to work towards resolution of humanitarian issues at Hurriya, including sustainable means for the continued supply of water and electricity. The United States also reiterates its commitment to support the safety and security of the residents throughout the process of their relocation outside of Iraq.
As the Secretary of State said on February 29, 2012, “given the ongoing efforts to relocate the residents, the Mujahedin-e Khalq’s (MEK’s) cooperation in the successful and peaceful closure of Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main paramilitary base, will be a key factor in any decision regarding the MEK’s [Foreign Terrorist Organization] status.”
Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) remains on the list Foreign Terrorist Organizations in U.S.
... aka MEK; MKO; Mujahadin-e Khalq; Muslim Iranian Students' Society; National Council of Resistance; NCR; Organization of the People's Holy Warriors of Iran; the National Liberation Army of Iran; NLA; People's Mujahadin Organization of Iran; PMOI; National Council of Resistance of Iran; NCRI; Sazeman-e Mujahadin-e Khalq-e Iran Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997, the Mujahadin-E Khalq Organization ( MEK) is a Marxist-Islamic Organization that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian regime through its military wing, the National Liberation Army (NLA), and its political front, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) ...
(Rajavi, Saddam and the Mojahedin Khalq logo)
(Terrorist MEK, disarmed after the fall of Saddam)
Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTOs) are designated by the Secretary of State in accordance with section 219 of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). FTO designations play a critical role in the fight against terrorism and are an effective means of curtailing support for terrorist activities.
Legal Criteria for Designation under Section 219 of the INA as amended: 1. It must be a foreign organization. 2. The organization must engage in terrorist activity, as defined in section 212 (a)(3)(B) of the INA (8 U.S.C. § 1182(a)(3)(B)), or terrorism, as defined in section 140(d)(2) of the Foreign Relations Authorization Act, Fiscal Years 1988 and 1989 (22 U.S.C. § 2656f(d)(2)), or retain the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism. 3. The organization's terrorist activity or terrorism must threaten the security of U.S. nationals or the national security (national defense, foreign relations, or the economic interests) of the United States.
U.S. Government Designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations
Abu Nidal Organization (ANO) Abu Sayyaf Group (ASG) Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigade (AAMB) Ansar al-Islam (AAI) Army of Islam (AOI) Asbat al-Ansar (AAA) Aum Shinrikyo (AUM) Basque Fatherland and Liberty (ETA) Communist Party of Philippines/New People's Army (CPP/NPA) Continuity Irish Republican Army (CIRA) Gama'a al-Islamiyya (IG) Hamas Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami (HUJI) Harakat ul-Jihad-i-Islami/Bangladesh (HUJI-B) Harakat ul-Mujahideen (HUM) Hizballah Indian Mujahideen (IM) Islamic Jihad Union (IJU) Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) Jaish-e-Mohammed (JEM) Jemaah Islamiya (JI) Jundallah Kahane Chai Kata'ib Hizballah (KH) Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) Lashkar e-Tayyiba (LT) Lashkar i Jhangvi (LJ) Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) Libyan Islamic Fighting Group (LIFG) Moroccan Islamic Combatant Group (GICM) Mujahadin-e Khalq Organization (MEK) National Liberation Army (ELN) Palestine Islamic Jihad – Shaqaqi Faction (PIJ) Palestine Liberation Front – Abu Abbas Faction (PLF) Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) Al-Qa'ida (AQ) Al-Qa'ida in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP) Al-Qa'ida in Iraq (AQI) Al-Qa'ida in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) Real IRA (RIRA) Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) Revolutionary Organization 17 November (17N) Revolutionary People's Liberation Party/Front (DHKP/C) Revolutionary Struggle (RS) Al-Shabaab (AS) Shining Path (SL) Tehrik-e Taliban Pakistan (TTP) United Self-Defense Forces of Colombia (AUC)
MUJAHADIN-E KHALQ ORGANIZATION (MEK)
aka MEK; MKO; Mujahadin-e Khalq; Muslim Iranian Students' Society; National Council of Resistance; NCR; Organization of the People's Holy Warriors of Iran; the National Liberation Army of Iran; NLA; People's Mujahadin Organization of Iran; PMOI; National Council of Resistance of Iran; NCRI; Sazeman-e Mujahadin-e Khalq-e Iran
Description: Designated as a Foreign Terrorist Organization on October 8, 1997, the Mujahadin-E Khalq Organization ( MEK) is a Marxist-Islamic Organization that seeks the overthrow of the Iranian regime through its military wing, the National Liberation Army (NLA), and its political front, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
The MEK was founded in 1963 by a group of college-educated Iranian Marxists who opposed the country's pro-western ruler, Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The group participated in the 1979 Islamic Revolution that replaced the Shah with a Shiite Islamist regime led by Ayatollah Khomeini. However, the MEK's ideology – a blend of Marxism, feminism, and Islamism – was at odds with the post-revolutionary government, and its original leadership was soon executed by the Khomeini regime. In 1981, the group was driven from its bases on the Iran-Iraq border and resettled in Paris, where it began supporting Iraq in its eight-year war against Khomeini's Iran. In 1986, after France recognized the Iranian regime, the MEK moved its headquarters to Iraq, which facilitated its terrorist activities in Iran. From 2003 through the end of 2011, roughly 3,400 MEK members were encamped at Ashraf in Iraq.
Activities: The group's worldwide campaign against the Iranian government uses propaganda and terrorism to achieve its objectives. During the 1970s, the MEK staged terrorist attacks inside Iran and killed several U.S. military personnel and civilians working on defense projects in Tehran. In 1972, the MEK set off bombs in Tehran at the U.S. Information Service office (part of the U.S. Embassy), the Iran-American Society, and the offices of several U.S. companies to protest the visit of President Nixon to Iran. In 1973, the MEK assassinated the deputy chief of the U.S. Military Mission in Tehran and bombed several businesses, including Shell Oil. In 1974, the MEK set off bombs in Tehran at the offices of U.S. companies to protest the visit of then U.S. Secretary of State Kissinger. In 1975, the MEK assassinated two U.S. military officers who were members of the U.S. Military Assistance Advisory Group in Tehran. In 1976, the MEK assassinated two U.S. citizens who were employees of Rockwell International in Tehran. In 1979, the group claimed responsibility for the murder of an American Texaco executive. Alhough denied by the MEK, analysis based on eyewitness accounts and MEK documents demonstrates that MEK members participated in and supported the 1979 takeover of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran and that the MEK later argued against the early release of the American hostages. The MEK also provided personnel to guard and defend the site of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran, following the takeover of the Embassy.
In 1981, MEK leadership attempted to overthrow the newly installed Islamic regime; Iranian security forces subsequently initiated a crackdown on the group. The MEK instigated a bombing campaign, including an attack against the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Prime Minister's office, which killed some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Prime Minister Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. These attacks resulted in an expanded Iranian government crackdown that forced MEK leaders to flee to France. For five years, the MEK continued to wage its terrorist campaign from its Paris headquarters. Expelled by France in 1986, MEK leaders turned to Saddam Hussein's regime for basing, financial support, and training. Near the end of the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War, Baghdad armed the MEK with heavy military equipment and deployed thousands of MEK fighters in suicidal, waves of attacks against Iranian forces.
The MEK's relationship with the former Iraqi regime continued through the 1990s. In 1991, the group reportedly assisted the Iraqi Republican Guard's bloody crackdown on Iraqi Shia and Kurds who rose up against Saddam Hussein's regime. In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and consular missions in 13 countries, including against the Iranian mission to the United Nations in New York, demonstrating the group's ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. In June 1998, the MEK was implicated in a series of bombing and mortar attacks in Iran that killed at least 15 and injured several others. The MEK also assassinated the former Iranian Minister of Prisons in 1998. In April 1999, the MEK targeted key Iranian military officers and assassinated the deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff, Brigadier General Ali Sayyaad Shirazi.
In April 2000, the MEK attempted to assassinate the commander of the Nasr Headquarters, Tehran's interagency board responsible for coordinating policies on Iraq. The pace of anti-Iranian operations increased during “Operation Great Bahman” in February 2000, when the group launched a dozen attacks against Iran. One attack included a mortar attack against a major Iranian leadership complex in Tehran that housed the offices of the Supreme Leader and the President. The attack killed one person and injured six other individuals. In March 2000, the MEK launched mortars into a residential district in Tehran, injuring four people and damaging property. In 2000 and 2001, the MEK was involved in regular mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids against Iranian military and law enforcement personnel, as well as government buildings near the Iran-Iraq border. Following an initial Coalition bombardment of the MEK's facilities in Iraq at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, MEK leadership negotiated a cease-fire with Coalition Forces and surrendered their heavy-arms to Coalition control. From 2003 through the end of 2011, roughly 3,400 MEK members were encamped at Ashraf in Iraq.
In 2003, French authorities arrested 160 MEK members at operational bases they believed the MEK was using to coordinate financing and planning for terrorist attacks. Upon the arrest of MEK leader Maryam Rajavi, MEK members took to Paris' streets and engaged in self-immolation. French authorities eventually released Rajavi.
Strength: Estimates place MEK's worldwide membership at between 5,000 and 10,000 members, with large pockets in Paris and other major European capitals. In Iraq, roughly 3,400 MEK members were gathered at Camp Ashraf, the MEK's main compound north of Baghdad, at the end of 2011.
As a condition of the 2003 cease-fire agreement, the MEK relinquished more than 2,000 tanks, armored personnel carriers, and heavy artillery.
Location/Area of Operation: The MEK's global support structure remains in place, with associates and supporters scattered throughout Europe and North America. Operations have targeted Iranian government elements across the globe, including in Europe and Iran. The MEK's political arm, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), has a global support network with active lobbying and propaganda efforts in major Western capitals. NCRI also has a well-developed media communications strategy.
External Aid: Before Operation Iraqi Freedom began in 2003, the MEK received all of its military assistance and most of its financial support from Saddam Hussein. The fall of Saddam Hussein's regime has led the MEK increasingly to rely on front organizations to solicit contributions from expatriate Iranian communities.
... Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed... Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK ...
A Conference in Baghdad University on Friday 25 November was organised by Al-Edalat Al-Iraqi Society, headed by Dr Nafe Al-Isa, which represents the families of 25,000 Iraqi victims of the MEK.
The Conference was held in Al-Hakim Conference Centre in Baghdad University and hundreds of tribal leaders, University lecturers, Governmental representatives and officials, NGOs and media representatives filled the salon. Although Camp Ashraf and the MEK is an issue specific to the government and citizens of Iraq, the Conference organisers made sure to invite Western agencies, such as the UN, EU and diplomats who have claimed or expressed an interest in Camp Ashraf. Unfortunately, however, any such invitees were apparently unable to leave the Green Zone to attend the Conference and talk to the delegates.
Opening the Conference, Dr Nafe, speaking on behalf of the families of victims of MEK violence, asked that those MEK leaders who were responsible for this violence be brought to justice before their deportation.
Speakers from the government and NGOs all emphasized that the deadline for deportation must be strictly adhered to and that Iraqi and international law against terrorism and crime must be upheld. Other speakers, in particular the tribal leaders spoke about the MEK’s crimes which they have witnessed in recent years in Diyala province. They were highly critical of the failure of the American military to dismantle the camp after 2003, and were scathing of the continued American backing which allowed the camp to be used for training and inciting terrorism against Iraqis.
On this theme, Jasem Al- Ebadi, Member of Parliament and member of the parliamentary Human Rights Commission used his speech to criticise EU efforts to keep the terrorist group intact and their opposition to the deportation process. He commented that if they are so in love with this terrorist group, why don't they take them to their own countries?
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, MP)
Mr Adnan Al-Shahmani, head of the Parliamentary Committee to oversee the expulsion of the MEK announced in the Conference that the deadline would not be extended and that the camp will be closed by the end of the year. He also explained that the Iraqi Judiciary had issued its final verdict that the camp should be closed and the land handed back to the original owners.
Mr Al- Shahmani also criticized the West for its silence toward the crimes committed by the group against civilians, and asked international communities not to remain silent in the case of the abuse of the rights of the families of the victims of the MEK.
(Mr. Al- Shahmani, meeting families)
Mr Al-Shahmani also met with the representatives of the families of hostages inside Camp Ashraf and the delegation from European countries who are campaigning to ensure a peaceful outcome to the standoff at the camp.
Massoud Khodabandeh, from Middle East Strategy Consultants which is working with the Iraqi government to resolve the situation at Camp Ashraf, introduced his book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ to the Conference. The book places the MEK in the context of its foreign ownership and concludes that these owners have invested heavily in the MEK’s ability to commit acts of violence and terrorism, and that this is the reason for western resistance to closing the camp. The book particularly highlights the MEK’s refusal to allow residents of the camp to have contact with their immediate families as a fundamental human rights abuse of every person in the camp.
Ms Abdollahi represented the families and asked for help to release the hostages (including her own son) from the camp. Ms Abdollahi reminded the Conference that the families’ struggle to find their relatives had been going on since 2003 and that a permanent picket had been established two years ago. She stressed that when searching for a solution the families of course have the security and safety of all the residents as their utmost priority. The families have the simplest and easily granted request – to visit their loved ones who are in the camp. This does not depend on the removal of the MEK from Iraq and would be simple to do. The only barrier to this request is the order of the MEK leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. They can easily resolve this issue by ordering that the families of MEK members be allowed to have free and unfettered contact with their loved ones.
Ms Sanjabi is an ex-member of the MEK’s women only Leadership Council. She managed to escape from Camp Ashraf very recently, and explained the dire situation of the women inside the camp, detailing disturbing and shocking human rights abuses which are currently being carried out against the residents by the MEK leaders.
Ms Mahdian, whose husband is a hostage inside the camp, explained how Saddam’s Intelligence services gave her husband to the MEK as a slave, even though he had been and is still a registered POW, captured at the start of the Iran-Iraq war. Ms Mahdian explained that her son has not seen his father for the past 25 years and the MEK would not allow this visit even after two years of picketing.
Mr Sadeghi from Germany, who is one of the few members who managed to run away from the camp successfully during the time of Saddam Hussein, presented and explained evidence of recent MEK interference in the internal affairs of Iraq, their collaboration with Saddamists and other terrorist groups, and the MEK’s active role in intensifying the insurgency.
Mr Ghashghavi also from Germany, served eight years without trial in Saddam’s prisons including Abu Ghraib for refusing to carry out Massoud Rajavi’s orders to commit criminal acts. Mr Ghashghavi explained how Rajavi and Saddam would force people to either kill others or be sent to the torture chambers themselves and be killed.
(Mr. Ezati and Ms. Sanjabi)
Another ex-MEK member, Mr Ezati who now lives in the Netherlands, gave interviews to the media explaining the situation inside the camp and the constant abuse of human rights of the victims. Mr Ezati strongly criticized the unfortunate media silence over these human rights abuses which he ascribed to the pervasive influence of the MEK’s powerful backers who regard the MEK as “good terrorists”.
Tens of ex-MEK members who work with Nejat Association in Iran, also attended the Conference and were interviewed by the media. They explained that Nejat Association, which works closely with the families of the hostages, now has the capacity to help those survivors who wish to do so, to go back to their country under the amnesty which was granted by the Iranian authorities in 2003 (which is based on the understanding that the MEK members have been subjected to the coercion and control of cult leaders) and which to date has been upheld under the supervision of the ICRC.
Conference attendees were particularly interested in the testimony of three recently escaped camp residents who gave full and detailed explanations to the media about the harsh reality of being a captive inside Camp Ashraf. They spoke about the total information blackout and social and emotional isolation they experienced there. They emphasized that the leaders and the hostage takers lie constantly to the residents so that the captives have no idea about the outside world. They are made to believe that the MEK leaders are directly supported by the Americans and that if they tried to escape the camp they would be immediately shot, or now, after being tortured by the Iraqis they would be handed over to Iran to be executed without trial. They said that if they were given the true facts and information, there is not one person in the camp who would still want to stay in the desert of Iraq nearly nine years after disarmament. They urged international organizations, especially the US representatives and UNAMI, who are the only organizations with close relations with the hostage takers, to take advantage of their weekly meetings inside Camp Ashraf with the hostage takers, to persuade them to open up the flow of information and convince them to give people the right to family visits as well as normal means of communication such as writing and telephones, etc.
These recently escaped hostages also urged UNAMI not to present the hostage takers as the representatives of the hostages in the media outputs. Instead they should be clear that Rajavi is no one’s representative and as long as the negotiators have not met with the hostages without the presence of the MEK commanders - the hostage takers - outside the camp, they have no right to claim anything on their behalf. They said they believe that UNAMI and the American backers of the cult are in breach of international law for siding with the terrorists as these are people who have abused the human rights of over 3000 people for decades. The survivors of Camp Ashraf are now taking legal advice to claim compensation for their suffering and losses from the MEK leaders.
... the world is genuinely working toward a peaceful end to the camp and the release and resettlement of the hostages, it appears Secretary of State Clinton is somewhat ambiguous in her dealing with the situation. Based on a legal ruling, Clinton must make a decision by the end of March whether the State Department remove the MEK from its terrorism list or not. Presenting this as leverage she has introduced a unilateral condition to the MEK’s removal from Iraq; if the MEK cooperate with UNAMI and the Government of Iraq, she has indicated, we will remove them from the US terrorism list. But cooperation with UNAMI is a legal obligation rather than an optional choice for the MEK ...
In November 2011 a large group of interested people met in Baghdad to discuss the seemingly intractable problem of how to dismantle the Mohjahedin-e Khalq foreign terrorist group and remove the members from the country. At the behest of families of the individuals trapped inside Camp Ashraf, the GOI agreed to proceed in a way that would avoid violent confrontation. Iraq’s Foreign Minister Hoshyar Zebari announced later, “We will refuse them the satisfaction of becoming martyrs on our soil”. The Governor of Diyala, the military head of Diyala province and other authorities all went the extra mile to prevent the MEK from killing more hostages and blaming the Iraqis for it.
Prime Minister Nouri al Maliki signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the UN which would allow more time and give oversight of the eviction process to the UN and to representatives of the EU and US.
The Iraqis have kept their side of bargain – the deadline for the MEK’s departure was extended and negotiations were facilitated to persuade the MEK to cooperate in a move from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty where the UNHCR would be able to assess each individual for refugee status. (Remember that no external body, including the GOI, has been able to freely access the inside of Camp Ashraf since the fall of Saddam Hussein.) The first 800 individuals have now moved and another 800 are lined up to move over the next few days in two groups of 400. The MEK leader has not been able to exploit the situation and kill any hostages. The GOI has control of the situation.
UNAMI has been rigorous in its supervision of the move and, by enforcing its own rules and regulations has not allowed propaganda to overshadow activities at either camp. Facilities at the new camp were approved by UN inspectors, the ICRC has been involved and behind the scene EU and US special advisors have been keeping a watchful eye on events. The MEK has ‘character assassinated’ UNAMI and its officials, and others, in the media but UNAMI has not been diverted by the efforts of the MEK and their backers.
But one pernicious factor which has actively impeded proper progress in this task has been the support given to the MEK by Israelis and US Neoconservatives whose clear intent is to politicise what is essentially a humanitarian situation. The MEK is a well-honed tool in the hands of these ideologues and is used to incite hatred against Iran and Iraq among ignorant and lazy political communities. The MEK is far too valuable for them to allow it to disappear. Most recently, the MEK has been used by Mossad to assassinate Iranian nuclear scientists.
This being so will make it even more difficult for UNAMI to transfer them to third countries. This ruthless use of the MEK as a mercenary terrorist force has a direct impact on the situation of the hostages trapped in the camp; their future becomes all the more uncertain.
But then, it has been all along, the clear intention of the MEK’s paymasters to keep the MEK intact as a terrorist entity in Iraq, in total disregard for the human beings involved.
If it wasn’t because of the backing of Israel and the Neoconservatives, Rajavi would have had no choice but to open the doors of his closed totalitarian group and allow the individuals trapped inside to walk free. That is the aim of everyone on the ground working to resolve the situation in Iraq. In this respect it is no less the responsibility of the US Government to work with the international community to dismantle this terrorist group and rescue the hostages.
But while the rest of the world is genuinely working toward a peaceful end to the camp and the release and resettlement of the hostages, it appears Secretary of State Clinton is somewhat ambiguous in her dealing with the situation.
Based on a legal ruling, Clinton must make a decision by the end of March whether the State Department remove the MEK from its terrorism list or not. Presenting this as leverage she has introduced a unilateral condition to the MEK’s removal from Iraq; if the MEK cooperate with UNAMI and the Government of Iraq, she has indicated, we will remove them from the US terrorism list. But cooperation with UNAMI is a legal obligation rather than an optional choice for the MEK. So what is really behind this position?
On the surface this would appear as though the USG is prepared to do a political deal to get the MEK to leave Iraq (and in doing so gain credit with the Iraqi government). It is as though the MEK were a far distant uncontrollable threat to US security which needs careful handling to bring it under control before dismantling it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Everything that the MEK’s western owners can do is being done to help the MEK’s leader keep the doors to the camp closed, to keep the hostages inside and to deny them contact with their families – even though this is against all humanitarian, moral or indeed criminal law.
By talking about the terrorism list rather than talking about what is happening in Iraq Clinton is bowing to this pressure. Certainly if UNAMI is allowed to do its job properly – with the support of all the international community – there will not be an organisation left to be listed or not listed. By invoking the US terrorism list, the actual script appears to be whether the MEK can be more useful listed as terrorists or if they are not regarded as terrorists. This false choice disguises the real intent of its proponents which is to keep the group intact as a terrorist group so it can be rearmed and used.
Secretary Clinton, indeed the whole government of America, needs to unhitch the politically charged consideration of the MEK’s inclusion in the US terrorism list from the very real humanitarian situation in Iraq. If the USG’s intention is really to deal properly with this terrorist group, it should reassert the humanitarian focus of American policy toward the MEK and unequivocally support the dismantlement process in Iraq.