June23, Where are Iranians?
(Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult have not base among Iranians)
... Days before the event they publicized for the rally spending huge amounts of money to bring rented crowds to Paris. A week after the event held you can find on the group's websites very few photos and highly edited videos of the gathering. You may see the 1300 buses the MKO propaganda claimed of but you never see who got off the buses, Iranian exiles or hired Arabs and black Africans.The MKO’s last rally proves that the group’s impact and credibility has dwindled to a trickle and it is totally far from a pro-democracy popular political organization. Regardless of its prominent powerful western supporters, the MKO has no base among Iranians ...
Mazda Parsi, Nejat Bloggers, June 30 2012
Purple flags and purple vests were waiting for people to take them in Villepinte, a hall in Parisian suburbs. Who is supposed to take these “Maryam & Massoud” – printed purple flags and vests? The Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) says “tens of thousands of Iranian”! A look at several pictures taken by some of the attendees verifies that the hall was --not fully-- crammed by travelers of countries around Europe. Not a single photo shows a large group of Iranian exiles but one can see groups of black people, Afghans, Arabs, etc… The gathering was held after a long-term multi-million propaganda campaign publicized it. The MKO’s propaganda arm, National Council of Resistance called it “the largest Iranian pro-democracy gathering”! Organizers of the rally said that more than a thousand buses arrived bringing Iranians from all over Europe. But, the buses brought people not Iranians.
The MKO spokesman wrote a report of his organization’s so-called gathering .He presents a list of guest speakers who spoke at the event to call Secretary Clinton to remove the group from the FTO list of the State Department.It doesn’t seem odd that dozens of former Western politicians accepted a free first-class flight to Paris with a luxurious hotel room and tens of thousands of dollars for a 10 minute speech in a Parisian outskirt. For ordinary Afghan Arab or polish citizens a free bus-trip to French capital seems enough to wear those purple vests and wave those purple flags.
The world media should be careful about how to deal with the MKO and even how to name it. They should never call them Iranian dissidents or opposition group or exiles. Do they ever call Cambodia extremist followers of Pol Pot, “dissidents” or “activists”? Mujahedin e khalq are at best a group of zealous members of the cult around Massoud Rajavi's personality who betrayed their countrymen to one of the most notorious dictators of the history, Saddam Hossein and unsurprisingly, lost the majority of its supporters.
The group propaganda machine had to work hard to magnify Villepinte gathering. Days before the event they publicized for the rally spending huge amounts of money to bring rented crowds to Paris. A week after the event held you can find on the group's websites very few photos and highly edited videos of the gathering. You may see the 1300 buses the MKO propaganda claimed of but you never see who got off the buses, Iranian exiles or hired Arabs and black Africans.
The MKO’s last rally proves that the group’s impact and credibility has dwindled to a trickle and it is totally far from a pro-democracy popular political organization. Regardless of its prominent powerful western supporters, the MKO has no base among Iranians whether inside or outside Iran.
By Mazda Parsi
Mojahedine Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) terrorist group propaganda
Time for a reality check
... The latest event at Villepinte in Paris on June 23 was such a spectacle. But it was a spectacle of spectacular failure. Probably the most embarrassing event the MEK has yet had to outlive (and Maryam Rajavi has a series of embarrassing public and private gaffes to her name). Most of the VIPs, who had been rounded up to promote the MEK under the false ‘democratic change’ front groups, called in sick after being briefed by government officials where the money was really coming from and that the support was for a terrorist cult. If the MEK had not held this event it would have been better for them. Even ...
Anne Singleton, Middle East Strategy Consultants, June 27 2012
For years Massoud Rajavi – that supreme egocentric – has tried to bend reality to suit his own version of how the world should be, and when actual manipulation of events has failed, has created myths to invent a reality more suited to his cultic agenda. Nowhere has this been more obvious than in the MEK’s grand vision of itself as the ‘only alternative’ or the ‘main opposition’ and the mythical tale that the MEK will ‘overthrow the Iranian regime in its entirety’. Year after year Rajavi has perpetually pretended, whether to himself or to his followers, that this is a reality. And the myth has depended on the willing suspension of disbelief of world public opinion – or at least a few political pundits – who enjoy such hatred of Iran and Iranians that they are happy to participate in the game; though not without financial recompense of course.
In the eighties the MEK used to organise mass demonstrations in Western countries to celebrate its armed struggle. The main event was the anniversary of 30 Khordad (21 June) 1981 when the MEK abandoned its ambition to lead the revolutionary forces and began to oppose the new constitutional government under the leadership of Ayatollah Khomeini using terrorist tactics. The mass demonstrations in Western countries were popularly supported. But as time passed by and reality impinged on Rajavi’s dream of taking over Iran, instead of bending to reality and adjusting his group’s activities accordingly, he tried to bend reality to reflect his egotistical view of himself in the world. As the MEK’s violence became more and more futile and hence more savage, the demonstrations attracted fewer and fewer actual supporters and instead became more gaudy and showy. As western governments cracked down on the MEK’s illegal and undemocratic activities they were forced to downsize – while inflating advertised attendee figures by the power of ten - and hire (ironically) exhibition halls rather than take to the streets in public.
The latest event at Villepinte in Paris on June 23 was such a spectacle. But it was a spectacle of spectacular failure. Probably the most embarrassing event the MEK has yet had to outlive (and Maryam Rajavi has a series of embarrassing public and private gaffes to her name). Most of the VIPs, who had been rounded up to promote the MEK under the false ‘democratic change’ front groups, called in sick after being briefed by government officials where the money was really coming from and that the support was for a terrorist cult. (For future reference, where the word ‘appeasement’ is used, the article/speech/policy was most probably written by the MEK and is shorthand for ‘let’s declare war on Iran’.)
The VIPs who did turn up could, quite reasonably, have been expecting to address the ‘tens of thousands of Iranian exiles’ who, the MEK declared, had arrived in a ‘thousand buses from all over Europe’. Pictures from the event, which was held in a salon with a capacity of 10,000 standing, show a very different story. No wonder the MEK has been unable to publish film or photographs from inside the salon.
The linked photographs and film were taken by former members who had slipped in unnoticed among the crowd. Several minutes into the film Maryam Rajavi is heard addressing the crowd who are still milling around and clearly disinterested in the performance on the stage. The fervent cheering comes from the actual MEK loyalists ranged in the front few rows. Behind them no one is listening or even sitting down in the places where flags have been placed on every seat for them to wave to create a spectacle to film. The MEK have paid millions of Euros to create the crowd but couldn’t organise them when they arrived. The majority ‘rent-a-crowd’ element of the audience didn’t care much where the money came from or what the event was as long as they enjoyed a free weekend trip to Paris. Even the ever-supportive anti-Iran media could only realistically describe the event as ‘Iranian led’ to disguise the fact that right minded Iranians, inside and outside Iran, actively shun the MEK.
Now, how must it have felt for former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell and former US Senator Robert Torricelli to address this crowd about regime change in Iran. How much is their dignity worth?
If the MEK had not held this event it would have been better for them. Even to have a small gathering of their own members and supporters would have looked better, less desperate, less like the failing cult the MEK have become. Rajavi could have spent his money on many more effective means to plead his case for removal of the MEK from the US terrorism list. But although external reality has dramatically impacted on Rajavi’s fortunes, it is the leaking evidence of desperation in the MEK’s internal situation that is the most significant.
Unusually this year the MEK’s Photoshopped pictures of the meeting have been sloppily, shoddily perhaps hastily put together; several wide angle pictures concatenated to show a mass audience. But with the blurred join lines obvious on the pictures, the cracks in the MEK’s vision are exposed. And there are more fault lines in the MEK world.
Over the past few weeks the MEK has issued several frantic press releases related to the slow, inevitable demise of Camp Ashraf (where Rajavi has defiantly stopped cooperating with the UN and US like a truculent teenager). The significant aspect of these missives is their dire English style and grammatical mistakes. Clearly, just as with the Photoshopped pictures, Rajavi has lost some key personnel inside his organisation and has had to make do with sub-standard replacements to create the means to perpetuate his myths.
Markedly Rajavi recently lost two of his main Western stalwarts in the UK, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale who died on 19 February this year, and Lord Archer of Sandwell who died on 14 June. Such supporters have, for years, facilitated the MEK’s political lobbying in the House of Lords and of course provided other practical services and support; particularly editing English language documents. Their loss is irreplaceable. And with other Peers creaking with age and MPs subject to the vagaries of elections, Rajavi can only be staring into the well of loneliness.
Increasingly lonely too are those who have, for money, positioned themselves as MEK advocates. Anyone who looks beyond the political hype and anti-Iran propaganda will see an increasing disconnect with reality. Due to the internal demand for constant indoctrination the MEK cannot hold back from advertising its ‘martyrs’ – people who die for Rajavi. This week the MEK announced the deaths of two more people in Iraq. More than anything else it is their ages - 55 and 59 – which exposes the age group of MEK residents in Iraq. Those MEK advocates – including those addressing the Paris crowd – who continue to claim that the MEK is an essential force for change in Iran really ought to save their blushes. World public opinion is not blind or stupid. Accept reality and move on.
Link to the pictures
Spectacle glorifying the 31st anniversary of armed struggle on June 23 in Paris
Where does the Mojahedin-e Khalq stand now?
Mojahedin-e Khalq (aka MEK, MKO, Rajavi cult) has become an anti-Iraq force
... While the West is trying to put more and more pressure on Iran and isolate the country, the self-styled Iranian opposition has now become an Iraqi opposition with no links to Iran at all except the group of Farsi speaking former members scattered through western countries who are now suing the leaders for compensation for mistreatment in Iraq, Europe and North America. While the MEK’s paid lobbyists remain highly vocal in their attacks on the Government of Iraq (GOI) and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the people who still don’t have a voice are the residents inside both Camp Ashraf (aka Camp New Iraq) and Camp Liberty (aka Camp Hurriya) ...
Massoud Khodabandeh, MESConsultants, June 19, 2012
After ten years Western anti-Iran pundits are finally waking up to the fact that the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) terrorist group cannot be used against Iran as long as it remains in Iraq. The MEK leader Massoud Rajavi, in a fight for his own survival, has now dug himself into such a deep hole there that the MEK no longer has any role in anti-Iran activities. Instead a ridiculous situation has arisen in which his wife Maryam Rajavi is using her Paris base to attack Nouri Al Maliki and the Government of Iraq. While the West is trying to put more and more pressure on Iran and isolate the country, the self-styled Iranian opposition has now become an Iraqi opposition with no links to Iran at all except the group of Farsi speaking former members scattered through western countries who are now suing the leaders for compensation for mistreatment in Iraq, Europe and North America.
While the MEK’s paid lobbyists remain highly vocal in their attacks on the Government of Iraq (GOI) and United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), the people who still don’t have a voice are the residents inside both Camp Ashraf (aka Camp New Iraq) and Temporary Transit Camp Liberty (aka Camp Hurriya). Since the relocation process began in February numerous residents have run away and taken refuge with the Iraqi authorities. They report an increasingly tense and turbulent internal situation with violent attacks and sexual assaults becoming more frequent. Families of the residents have maintained a permanent vigil outside Camp Ashraf and now Camp Liberty for two years in an attempt to gain access to their loved ones. The GOI has still not been given the go ahead to allow families access to the people transferred to Camp Liberty.
The UNHCR has begun refugee status determination interviews with individuals who have relocated to Camp Liberty. Of these, 238 residents have been formally declared refugees. To qualify they needed to renounce membership of the MEK. 1,400 more interviews are scheduled. The GOI remains adamant none of them will be able to remain in Iraq and the process is therefore ongoing. There is no reason for Europe or the US to refuse to accept those who have UN refugee status.
Two-thirds of the residents, just fewer than 2,000 people, have relocated. Interestingly, among them are hundreds of people with special needs, suffering from disabilities and serious medical conditions as well as many elderly people; people whom Rajavi regards as dispensable. At least five people who were rushed to hospital with life threatening conditions after they arrived at Camp Liberty said they did not want to leave the MEK but were thrown out and told not to come back because of their illnesses. The Iraqi authorities have ensured that they have received the best treatment available.
UNAMI officials reported that the relocation of MEK from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty had stalled since the arrival of the fifth group of residents on 5 May as the MEK refused further movement. The reasoning behind the stop is Massoud Rajavi’s hope to drag the removal process out for another four months until the MEK is removed from the US FTO list and things will then change for him. He is certainly not prepared to cooperate with Secretary of State Clinton’s suggestion – repeated on 18 June - that they should show full cooperation before she reviews their FTO status –the implication being that if they voluntarily remove to the new camp this would be enough proof they have renounced violence.
Instead the MEK is setting its own agenda based on the legal ruling which gave rise to Clinton’s review. Rajavi does not regard the Secretary of State as being powerful enough to need to listen to and is looking instead to his Israeli friends to protect him.
However, the Government of Iraq and the UN have said every resident of Camp Ashraf must leave Iraq and it is clear they cannot be taken off the terrorism list in this situation.
To further his agenda Rajavi is using his wife’s Paris base for an advertising campaign focusing on a rally in VillePinte, Paris on 23 June. The demand is to have the MEK taken off the US list without moving the combatants from Iraq. In addition to this 'wait it out' tactic, Rajavi is also hopeful that Al Maliki's government will fall - or even that he is assassinated - and that a new government in Iraq take a more favourable position toward his group. After the MEK’s office inside the European Parliament was closed, the MEK covertly financed two new lobbying offices outside the parliament for the use of Struan Stevenson, MEP and Alejo Vidal Quadras, MEP. Both MEPs switched from the European Parliament's Iran Delegation where they lobbied for the MEK, to the Iraq Delegation to lobby for Saddamists during the Iraqi election.
But these activities are balanced by a severe crackdown on the MEK’s activities. The GOI, UNAMI, European and US representatives, the ICRC and a large body of former members are showing a united front to challenge the MEK’s stalling and diversionary tactics.
The GOI has tasked its diplomatic delegations in Europe to apprise the European political community of the lies and deception used by the MEK to cover its many contraventions of the law. Only days ago Maryam Rajavi was summoned to the Palais de Justice in Paris to answer charges to charges of terrorism related activities, fraud and slavery.
Documents have recently been made available to the US Treasury linking an array of front organisation finances to companies and investments controlled by the Mojahedin-e Khalq’s leader.
Speakers’ agencies have been warned to exercise extreme caution regarding the MEK’s methods for recruiting support for the rally in France. Those attending the rally must know they are engaged by organisations with direct links to the MEK.
In addition, with the MEK’s financial sources exposed it has become possible for victims to pursue a class action to claim compensation directly from the Rajavis. Victims of the MEK, including former members who say their basic human rights were denied them for years, have launched a legal case for compensation from the companies which Massoud and Maryam Rajavi use to fund their elaborate and expensive propaganda campaigns. Their message is clear: Individuals who accept financial recompense from the MEK through its front organisations for speeches or lobbying should know that they can no longer claim ignorance and they will be pursued through the courts to recover money which should rightfully go to compensate the victims.
Whether the MEK is on the US terrorism list or not there is very little tolerance for the group. It is widely regarded as finished.
For those who are not involved too deeply with the MEK, it would be advisable to get out now.
MEK victims warn Lobby groups - "we will claim compensation from MEK beneficiaries"
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... Speakers' agencies are being urged to exercise extreme caution regarding MEK . In the U.S., former political and military heavyweights have already fallen foul of this tactic, where several are currently being investigated for aiding and abetting a terrorist entity. Those attending the rally must know they are engaged by organisations with direct links to the MEK. With the MEK's financial sources exposed it has become possible for victims to pursue a class action to claim compensation directly from the Rajavis. Victims of the MEK, who say their basic human rights were denied them for years, have launched a legal case for compensation ...
directly ordered the massacar of Iraqi Kurds
Reuters, June 17 2012
LONDON, June 17, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Iran-Interlink -- Critics of Iran's human rights record are being warned by former MEK members in Europe not to be fooled into giving support to a terrorist cult. The Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK) wants to be removed from the U.S. FTO list and is using front organisations to lure paid speakers to a campaign rally in VillePinte, Paris on 23 June.
The warnings come after documents were made available to the U.S. Treasury linking an array of front organisation finances to companies and investments controlled by the Mojahedin-e Khalq's leader. Top MEK members are also directing political support for the campaign through proxy parliamentary groups like Friends of a Free Iran.
Speakers' agencies are being urged to exercise extreme caution regarding the MEK's methods for recruiting support. In the U.S., former political and military heavyweights have already fallen foul of this tactic, where several are currently being investigated for aiding and abetting a terrorist entity. Those attending the rally must know they are engaged by organisations with direct links to the MEK.
With the MEK's financial sources exposed it has become possible for victims to pursue a class action to claim compensation directly from the Rajavis.
Victims of the MEK, including former members who say their basic human rights were denied them for years, have launched a legal case for compensation from the companies which Massoud and Maryam Rajavi use to fund their elaborate and expensive propaganda campaigns. Anne Singleton speaking for the victims said, "Individuals who accept financial recompense from the MEK through its front organisations for speeches or lobbying should know that they can no longer claim ignorance and we will pursue them through the courts to recover money which should rightfully go to compensate the victims."
The MEK was removed from European terrorist lists on legal technicalities but concerns remain at official levels about the group's propensity to use violence.
In spite of their public bravado, the MEK leaders are facing harsh setbacks. Massoud Rajavi's stronghold in Iraq is being dismantled by UNAMI. His wife and co-leader Maryam Rajavi was in court last week in Paris to answer to charges of terrorism related activities, fraud and slavery. Other high ranking MEK members are being pursued for murder and terrorism offences relating to Iran, Iraq and France.
Secretary Clinton trapped by a false dichotomy
... 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 ...
massoud khodabandeh , Iranian.com, March 20 2012
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.
Diyala Governor: Human Rights, Deporting MEK, Imposing the Laws, non negotiable
... Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders. Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families. Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained ...
Iran Interlink, Diyala, Iraq, November 23 2011
A meeting was held on Monday 21 November between officials of the Diyala province and family representatives of the people trapped in Camp Ashraf.
The Governor of Diyala, Dr Abdul–Nasser Al-Mahdwe stated clearly that:
1- There will be no compromise on the decision to deport the MEK.
2 - There will be no compromise on imposing national and international laws
3 - There will be no compromise on respect for human rights laws and agreements and therefore they will not be forcefully returned to Iran.
He said that the overall decisions will rest with central government but as far as Diyala is concerned there is no room for the MKO anywhere inside the province. This has been announced repeatedly by practically all the leaders of tribes and local officials. Dr Al-Mahdwe dismissed completely the MEK propaganda in which they claim they have some support and said that to claim, after what they have done, that the MEK have even a small percentage of support in the province is simply a lie and is purely fictitious.
General Abdol Amir Al-Zeidi, is the commander of the regional army and responsible for the protection of the camp. He said that he has met many escapees from the camp. The last one was a woman who had to drag herself out and crawl for about half a kilometer before reaching the Iraqis. He said the leaders are the problem not the trapped people and if given order we are prepared to transfer them out of the camp with the utmost dignity and care and respect for their wellbeing. He said this can be checked by reporters and human rights organisation who wish to observe the operation.
The General said that in the event they receive the order to evacuate the camp, they will try their utmost to stop the leaders killing the hostages and the disaffected members as they did before. According to the General most of the people who were killed in April 2011 were in opposition to the leadership and had been shot in the heart or in the head. But the leaders tried to cover up such facts even though the evidence is unequivocal. He said reports will be handed over to the authorities to deal with the cases of murder of these people at the hands of the hostage takers.
Massoud Khodabandeh heading the delegation thanked the Government of Iraq and asked the Governor of Diyala and the General to help inform the people trapped inside about their rights and to counter the lies given to them by the hostage takers and cult leaders.
Ms Abdollahi on behalf of the families asked for help and for care to be taken when dismantling the camp to institute particular safeguards to protect the relatives of the picketing families.
Ms Sanjabi, (formerly a member of the MEK Leadership Council), who managed to escape some months ago, explained the latest developments inside the camp and gave some ideas about how the leaders may try to plan and execute violent resistance.
Mr and Mrs Mohammady from Canada who have been trying since before 2003 to rescue their daughter from the camp, presented some documents including copies of the arrest warrants for some leading members of the MKO inside the camp which the General received and promised to follow up.
Other delegation members including Mr. Azizi a Human rights activist from Netherlands Mr Sadeghi, one of the few people who managed to escaped from the camp during the time of Saddam Hussein, Mr Ghashghavi who spent years in Abu Ghraib, where he was sent by Rajavi, Mr. Ferydouni who managed to escape a few weeks ago and Ms Mahdian whose husband, a registered POW, is trapped inside the camp also participated in the meeting.
Press and media were present and the Governor and the General gave a media briefing following the meeting which was broadcast live through official and national media.
Report on Baghdad Conference
Terrorist MEK to be expelled from Iraq
... 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 ...
Iran Interlink, Baghdad, November 25 2011
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.
U.N. Iraq chief: The countries of the world must take MEK ‘refugees’
(aka; Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, Rajavi cult)
... Some advocates of the MEK, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have called Camp Ashraf a "concentration camp," a reference Kobler said is insulting and offensive."I am a German citizen. To compare the situation of Camp Ashraf residents to the systematic extermination of European Jews during Nazi dictatorship, this is not only historically totally absurd but is an insult to the victims," he said."My message to these supporters is, spend your energies not so much on attacking the United Nations or others. Spend your energies to convince your governments to take them into your countries," he said ...
Josh Rogin, Forign Policy, April 17 2012
The United Nations and the State Department have been struggling to convince the Iranian exile group the Mujahedeen e-Khalq (MEK) to move to a former U.S. military base in Iraq, but the real need is for third countries to accept MEK "refugees" on a permanent basis, according to the top U.N. representative in Iraq.
The MEK is a State Department-designated foreign terrorist organization opposed to the Iranian regime that has been living in a closed compound in Iraq called Camp Ashraf for years. The Iraqi government has pledged to close Camp Ashraf, using force if necessary, so the U.N. and the State Department are slowly but surely cajoling Ashraf's 3,200 residents to move to Camp Liberty, a former U.S. military base near the Baghdad airport.
But that's only a temporary solution. Unless other countries start accepting MEK members for relocation, they could face the prospect of being returned to Iran, where they could face retribution from the Iranian regime they have been fighting for decades.
"I have the feeling that the Camp Ashraf residents have made peace with the idea to go to Camp Liberty and they've made peace with the idea that there is no future in Iraq and they will leave Iraq," Martin Kobler, the head of the United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), told The Cable.
But finding homes for the MEK members when they leave Iraq "is the most difficult part of the story," he said. "The whole process only will succeed if all the 3,200 find countries who will take them into their borders."
The U.N. held a resettlement conference on March 27 in Geneva and the response was "not overwhelming, to say the least," Kobler said.
Part of the difficulty of dealing with the MEK group members at Camp Ashraf is that they have been cut off from the world for years and little is known about their individual histories or whether they would qualify for refugee status. Some reports say that MEK members are still conducting violent attacks inside Iran at the behest of the Israeli government.
The United States is legally barred from accepting any refugees from members of a foreign terrorist organization. There is also no plan for what happens to those MEK members who do not qualify for refugee status.
"We will find a solution then," Kobler said. "Everybody has Iranian nationality and on a voluntary basis can go back to Iran... The question is what happens to them then."
Kobler disputed the claims made by the MEK and its long list of American advocates that the Camp Liberty site is not fit for human occupation.
"Camp Liberty is a place where 5,500 American soldiers lived for many, many years... What worked for 5,500 people should also work humanitarian wise for 3,200 Camp Ashraf residents," he said.
Kobler declined to comment on reports that the MEK is involved in ongoing attacks on the Iranian nuclear program and its personnel inside Iran. He also declined to confirm that U.N. reports have stated that MEK members were intentionally sabotaging the facilities in Camp Liberty in order to make the camp look worse than it is, saying only, "There were big initial difficulties and a lack of cooperation. However this has improved over the last weeks."
Some advocates of the MEK, including former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, have called Camp Ashraf a "concentration camp," a reference Kobler said is insulting and offensive.
"I am a German citizen. To compare the situation of Camp Ashraf residents to the systematic extermination of European Jews during Nazi dictatorship, this is not only historically totally absurd but is an insult to the victims," he said.
"My message to these supporters is, spend your energies not so much on attacking the United Nations or others. Spend your energies to convince your governments to take them into your countries," he said.
While in Washington, Kobler met with Deputy Secretary of State William Burns, Assistant Secretary of State for Refugees, Population, and Migration Anne Richards, and Ambassador Daniel Fried, the State Department official in charge of the Camp Ashraf issue.
Martin Kobler (U.N.), Daniel Fried (U.S.) discuss
Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty in European Parliament