Brief 15 – Mojahedin blocks efforts to help its own members
On December 9 2003, the Iraqi Governing Council voted unanimously to expel the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO) - as a foreign terrorist entity with close links to Saddam Hussein - from their country. The Americans, under whose jurisdiction the MKO now fall in Iraq, are currently in negotiation with the ICRC and the UNHCR to find ‘third countries’ in accordance with international rules on refugees, to send the Mojahedin members.
The Mojahedin leaders themselves will, at any cost, act to undermine and prevent this process of expulsion, which will result in the disintegration of the majority of their organisation. The reason for this is clear:
Leading members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq are currently facing prosecution in Iraq and France for crimes against humanity and terrorist and criminal acts. These leaders, headed by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi along with their gang, face long jail sentences and will act with great ruthlessness to evade justice as the legal net closes around them. In Iraq they will threaten the mass suicide of members should moves be made to disband the organisation there. In western democratic countries they will perform more self-immolations and later suicide attacks. Their aim is to preserve and whitewash the MKO until they can re-emerge as leaders on the political scene and thus evade justice. They are backed in this effort by some western interests.
Reports from sources inside the Mojahedin state that the urgent organisational priorities are:
· to demonise and if at all possible to silence their western opponents and prosecutors. (They have employed several top lawyers to perform this task);
· to fool politicians, lawyers and human rights campaigners with spurious and bogus claims concerning their current status in Iraq. (They have enlisted proxies in the UK Parliament and in the US House of Representatives in order to perform this task).
The MKO’s argument is that the organisation must be treated as a whole entity and must not considered as a group of 3,800 individual members. That is, the rights and wishes of individual members must not be taken into account. In this way, senior members who are culpable for crimes and terrorist acts, will be able to gain the protection and anonymity of group membership. This demand is based on a spurious claim that they are being threatened with deportation to Iran where they say they will face torture and/or execution.
It must be noted that no one except the Mojahedin has ever made the threat that the Mojahedin would be deported to Iran. The Iraqi Governing Council has never requested this, the Islamic Republic of Iran has never requested this and the US forces in Iraq have never suggested or considered this as an option. The Mojahedin’s claim rests solely on the Islamic Republic’s well publicised offer of amnesty to individual members who choose to return to Iran, and which clearly stated that the offer of amnesty was only extended to individuals who had committed no crimes.
In line with their policy of keeping the Mojahedin organisation intact, the MKO leaders resist allowing visits from the relatives of members by claiming that they are being sent by the Iranian regime to undermine the organisation. The real reason is that several of these relatives – in the main, parents and siblings of members – have been successful in helping their disaffected sons and daughters to leave the Mojahedin and return home with them. This increasing loss of members was exacerbated recently when 140 members in Iraq denounced the MKO leadership and separated from the organisation. They asked US forces to remove them from the Mojahedin controlled Ashraf camp and they are now being held in a separate base.
MKO members in Iraq who have refugee or citizen status in western democratic countries such as the UK, Canada, USA, France, Germany etc, are being prevented by the Mojahedin leaders from travelling to those countries. Every effort is being made to force international bodies to only deal with the Mojahedin organisation as a whole entity and not to treat the members as individuals. In other words, the leaders demand that the ‘Mojahedin organization’ should be accorded human rights, when in reality only individuals can be accorded such rights.
Compounding the problems concerning their presence in Iraq, the Mojahedin in the west, in spite of the best efforts of their backers to keep the Mojahedin name alive in western political arenas, have in recent months lost ever more ground. They arranged concerts, events and media interviews (FOX News), protests and demonstrations and even staged a bogus fundraising event purported to be for the victims of the Bam earthquake, the funds of which were frozen by the US Treasury Department. In January, Mojahedin members in the UK, pursuing the MKO’s urgent organisational priorities outlined above, resorted to a bogus claim under the auspices of Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, that 305 parliamentary signatures had been gathered in support of their remaining in Iraq.
Since their actions are self-evidently undemocratic and inhumane, nothing the MKO does - particularly the July 2003 self-immolations in western cities - gains them sympathy or support. More than this, all the above cases have involved deceit and forgery and the abuse of democratic institutions in the west, and are under investigation.