Iran-Interlink reporting from London - Nejat [Rescue] Society, an Iranian NGO, has sent a delegation to London to brief policy and decision makers, human rights organisations and media on the US army handover of the Mojahedin-e Khalq's (MKO, MeK, NCRI, PMOI) military base, Camp Ashraf, to the Iraqi military on January 1st 2009.
Nejat delegation comprises: Mr. Babak Amin, Mr. Arash Sametipour, (former MKO-members), Mrs. Mahnaz Akafian Foroushani and Mrs. Narjes Khatoon Iranpour (relatives of Camp Ashraf captives). Their aim is to prevent further political abuse of the Mojahedin-e Khalq members in Camp Ashraf held captive by their leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.
In a meeting yesterday with Mr. Hugo Swire, MP, Chair of the Conservative Middle East Council and Chair of the UAE All-Party Group, Nejat delegates described the worsening human rights situation for the remaining captives inside Camp Ashraf.
Arash Sametipour said, "The Iraqi government has given guarantees that none of the captives will be forced to return to Iran against their wishes. The most serious threat to those left in Camp Ashraf comes from the MKO cult's leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. They will want to use their blood to extricate themselves from this crisis."
Nejat is asking all UK agencies to cooperate with the Iraqi authorities to help restore basic human rights to the people trapped in Camp Ashraf.
Nejat's demands are that:
1. A separate camp is re-opened adjacent to Camp Ashraf to which people can escape and not be forced to continue as terrorists because there is no alternative. 2. The gates of the camp should be opened to allow doctors, families and humanitarian agencies free and unfettered access to the inmates.
Arash Sametipour said, "Every individual person in Camp Ashraf must be given the opportunity to decide for themselves - without pressure or interference from MKO personnel - whether to continue wearing military uniform, or to renounce violence and become civilians. The Iraqi authorities should open a separate camp where people can take refuge."
Nejat Society believes the captives should be given access to external information, internet, radio, television, books, newspapers and conversation. Above all, the people in Camp Ashraf must be helped to contact their families and enjoy family visits as soon as possible.
"Contact with their families re-connects the cult member with their emotions and provides a normal, trustworthy frame of reference in which they can reassess what the cult is telling them," explained Babak Amin.
Mrs. Iranpour told Mr Swire, "I visited the camp twice to see my brothers but the Americans army takes orders from the cult leaders. Once the Iraqi government is in control of Camp Ashraf, I hope it will be possible to freely visit our loved ones again."
Nejat Society is in London for two weeks.
For more information contact: Anne Singleton +44 (0) 113 278 0503
Nejat delegation met Shadow Minister for Sport and for the Olympics in London
Nejat association, December 18 2008
(Report by Iran Interlink)
Shadow Minister for Sport, Mr Hugh Robertson met with the Nejat Society delegation in London to hear about their humanitarian solution for Camp Ashraf in Iraq.
Nejat representatives described conditions inside Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The camp is the military/ideological training base of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) cult organisation. The group has been detained there by the American army since 2003.
Mr Robertson was sympathetic to the stories of two women in the delegation who have not seen their relatives for many years because of MKO directives for members to divorce from their spouses, children and families. Mrs Foroushani, from Isfahan, has a son in Camp Ashraf and Mrs Iranpour, from Shiraz, has two brothers in the camp.
Nejat explained that for the past five years the Iraqi government has been demanding the MKO be removed from Iraqi territory as part of Saddam Hussein’s suppressive apparatus. TheMKO is officially regarded by the Iraqi government as a foreign terrorist entity. Although the MKO has been on the US list of terrorist entities since 1997, the army has not moved to dismantle the military infrastructure of what the American government itself describes as a foreign terrorist organisation, and its training base in Iraq.
The US army has agreed to hand over control of the camp to Iraqi authorities by the end of this year when the Iraqi military will take over protection of the camp and its detainees. The Iraqi government is adamant that the MKO must leave Camp Ashraf but has given repeated guarantees that, in line with international humanitarian law, no MKO will be forced back to Iran against their will.
Nejat is asking UK policy and decision makers along with human rights organisations in the UK to support the position of the Iraqi government toward the MKO.
The delegation explained that the first steps toward resolving the problem posed by Camp Ashraf include facilitating free and unfettered reunions between families and their relatives in the camp. A separate camp should immediately be established adjacent to the camp in which members can take refuge if they choose to renounce violence and go back to civilian life. Nobody should be forced to remain a member of a dangerous paramilitary force against their will.
Mr Robertson agreed that a humanitarian approach should be followed in resolving the problem.
Nejat Society delegation met in the House of Lords with Baroness Neville-Jones, Shadow Security Minister and National Security Adviser to the Leader of the Opposition.
Baroness Neville-Jones welcomed the group warmly and spoke of her admiration for their courage.
The Nejat delegation described in detail the problems faced by the captives in Camp Ashraf. They explained that the MKO members have been trapped in the camp by the Rajavis who demand total obedience. Infringements of the draconian conditions which the Rajavis have imposed upon all the members is harshly punished. As a result there is a high rate of suicide in the MKO.
The delegation reported that MKO members who had escaped Camp Ashraf by taking refuge with the American army in a separate camp adjacent to the MKO’s military/ideological training base, had reached European countries with disturbing descriptions of the current conditions for members.
MKO members have been subjected to strict gender segregation for many years. A more disturbing development in the story of cult manipulation and exploitation is now being reported by those who more recently left the camp. They say that around ten percent of the women have undergone spurious hysterectomies. This is being promoted as a value by Maryam Rajavi – who purports to support women’s emancipation – as a way for women to rid themselves of the desire to have children.
For this reason, Nejat Society is asking that doctors and humanitarian agencies as well as the families of those trapped in Camp Ashraf be granted free and unfettered access to individual members as soon as possible in order to ascertain their wellbeing.
Baroness Neville-Jones expressed her sympathy for Nejat Society’s work toward finding a humanitarian solution to the problem posed by Camp Ashraf to the Iraqi government.
Nejat Society said that the British government should by urged to support the Iraqi position toward the MKO. The Iraqi government has said the MKO will be given three choices.
1. To voluntarily repatriate to Iran under the auspices of the International Committee of the Red Cross and other humanitarian agencies. No forced repatriations will take place.
2. To remove to another third country which is willing to accept them.
3. To stay in Iraq they would need to leave Camp Ashraf, take off their military uniforms and find paid employment and housing as a regular citizen of the country.
Nejat Society Visits Geneva With Camp Ashraf Rescue Plan
:... A delegation from Nejat Society in Iran is in Geneva this week to participate in sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council and to meet with delegations from other international human rights organizations. Their aim is to prevent further political abuse of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI) members in Camp Ashraf held captive by their leaders ...
A delegation from Nejat Society in Iran is in Geneva this week to participate in sessions of the United Nations Human Rights Council and to meet with delegations from other international human rights organizations.
Their aim is to prevent further political abuse of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI) members in Camp Ashraf held captive by their leaders, and guarantee the individual rights of those who renounce violence and are willing to return to society.
The delegation has also concerns about the removal from the camp of about 300 high ranking MKO members (wanted by Interpol) by the US army.
Nejat Society delegation comprises: Mr. Babak Amin, Mr. Arash Sametipoor, Ms. Marjan Malek and Ms. Ronak Dashti.
Arash Sametipoor said "the most serious threat to those left in Camp Ashraf comes from the MKO cult's leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. They will want to use their blood to extricate themselves from this crisis."
Babak Amin explained: "For over twenty years Ashraf has been inaccessible to the outside world. This has allowed the Rajavis to do whatever they liked behind closed doors. It is necessary now for humanitarian agencies to enter the camp to investigate what is really going on there. We need to discover how widespread the human rights abuses against the members are."
Now that the Iraqi government, the ICRC and UN human rights and refugee agencies have access to the remaining people in Camp Ashraf, Nejat is asking for their immediate protection.
Arash Sametipoor said, "Because these people have been abandoned by the MKO leaders, they must be considered now as ex-members of the terrorist cult.
It is clear the Iraqi authorities will not cooperate with the MKO to further suppress their members. We urge humanitarian agencies to now visit Camp Ashraf and restore basic human rights to the people trapped there."
Nejat Society wants every individual person in Camp Ashraf to be given the opportunity to decide for themselves - without pressure or interference from MKO personnel - whether they want to continue wearing military uniform, or whether they want to take off their military uniform and renounce violence. They should be given access to external information, internet, radio, television, books, newspapers and conversation. Above all, the people in Camp Ashraf must be helped to contact their families and enjoy family visits as soon as possible.
"Contact with their families re-connects the cult member with their emotions and provides a trustworthy frame of reference in which they can reassess what the cult is telling them", explained Babak Amin.
Mojahedin leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, and other leading members who have escaped the camp should be arrested and brought to justice through international courts.
Nejat Society believes that when the residents of Camp Ashraf are treated as individuals they will find places to go, especially if their families can be involved in helping them.
Asghar Farzin, Reza Sadeghi, and Ali Biglary, former members of the MKO, plead for justice against the organisation to the Iraqi judicial authorities and urge them to deal with the situation in Ashraf camp http://iran-interlink.org/?mod=view&id=4272