Letter of Sahar Family Foundation to Mr Martin Kobler (Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq in Camp Libery)
Letter of Sahar Family Foundation to Mr Martin Kobler
(Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq in Camp Libery)
... According to the information we have received, each unit of the Rajavi cult inside Camp Liberty has a legal and political liaison 'representative' who is the only person authorized to have contact with UN officials when they enter the camp. They are instructed to continuously complain about conditions in the camp. Everyone else must stay inside the dormitories until they are told to come out when the officials have left. In this regard they have ordered the members to deliberately create terrible and unbearable conditions inside the camp and, according to them; if some die doing this it is worthwhile. The Sahar Family Foundation ...
(Izzat Ebrahim and Massoud Rajavi still at large)
(Washington backed Maryam Rajavi in terrorist cult's HQ in Paris)
The SFF has written a letter concerning the latest developments in the Interim Transit Camp Liberty to Mr Martin Kobler, the Special Representative of the UN Secretary General to Iraq, which was handed over in person during a meeting.
Mr Martin Kobler, UNAMI, Baghdad, Iraq
Dear Mr Kobler,
With regards, we wish to share with you what we learned from some members of the MKO who very recently managed to escape from the camp and gain their freedom.
As you know, Camp Liberty has the area of one kilometer by one kilometer which is much smaller than Ashraf Garrison. The entrance contains check posts belonging to UNAMI and to the Government of Iraq separately. This place is now called 'the triangle' since the MKO has also established a post there.
All traffic in and out of the camp is controlled by the two posts of UNAMI and the GOI, and the third one, which belongs to the MKO, is merely keeping watch on these events and their job is to inform the various MKO units when the UN authorities are entering the camp. In this case residents in the unit that the officials are approaching are obliged to return to their dormitories and lock the doors and do not come out until they are told everything is clear. “Security reasons” is the excuse they give to the members for such a bizarre act.
When the UN officials enter the camp, the MKO post immediately warns leaders and they issue a state of alert to all units. In this situation, those residents who might try to contact the UN officials must be watched carefully and kept away. Everyone has been warned not to approach any visitor.
According to the information we have received, each unit of the Rajavi cult inside Camp Liberty has a legal and political liaison 'representative' who is the only person authorized to have contact with UN officials when they enter the camp. They are instructed to continuously complain about conditions in the camp. Everyone else must stay inside the dormitories until they are told to come out when the officials have left.
The MKO authorities say that they have been promised the same facilities they had in Ashraf and now they understand that this is because the UN wanted to separate off the discontented members. The MKO is following a policy of causing disruption in their present situation in an attempt to be allowed to return to Ashraf.
In this regard they have ordered the members to deliberately create terrible and unbearable conditions inside the camp and, according to them; if some die doing this it is worthwhile.
The Sahar Family Foundation which represents the ex-members and the families of trapped members of the MKO would like to urge you to deal with the above mentioned matters and make every effort so that:
1. The inhabitants of the camp have free access to the outside world, particularly to the UN officials who visit the camp; 2. The suffering families who have been waiting in Iraq for three years will be able to visit their loved ones.
Do not Disturb – Criminals at work in Camp Liberty
Massoud and Maryam Rajavi accused of sexual cruelty
... The women (several of whom had been appointed to the highest level of the MEK hierarchy – the Leadership Council which directly serves Massoud Rajavi and his wife, Maryam), described a bizarre process of preparation for their sexual encounter with Rajavi which was facilitated by and presided over by Maryam Rajavi, who, they said, procured specific women from the membership for Massoud’s use. The women were made to believe that refusal to participate would result in demotion, humiliation and even worse punishments. Maryam Rajavi invented rituals such as being washed by other women members so as to ‘spiritually purify’ them ...
(Women "rewarded" with pendants and robes after sexual ordeal)
When the US army captured the MEK and confined them to Camp Ashraf in April 2003, they registered 3,800 individuals. Of these, 800 were women.
The figure has remained mostly constant, with some members being trafficked in and out of the camp, and some escaping the cult altogether. (The actual figures are unknown because the Pentagon allowed the MEK to shut the door of the camp and operate Camp Ashraf independently of both national and international law.)
Understandably it is the women who escaped from Rajavi and his cultic abuses who are proving the most problematic. They are very angry and they are proving very difficult to silence.
In the Autumn of 2012 a number of these women, having courageously overcome the stigma attached to such issues, joined together to speak publicly about the sexual abuses they suffered in the MEK. They allege that Massoud Rajavi, the de facto leader of the Mojahedin-e Khalq, not only deceived them into having sex with him but had also instigated a programme of coerced hysterectomies for all women members in order to ‘neutralise their sexuality’. Out of the 800 women registered in Camp Ashraf, they gave the names of 100 who have already become victims of Rajavi’s hysterectomy programme.
The women (several of whom had been appointed to the highest level of the MEK hierarchy – the Leadership Council which directly serves Massoud Rajavi and his wife, Maryam), described a bizarre process of preparation for their sexual encounter with Rajavi which was facilitated by and presided over by Maryam Rajavi, who, they said, procured specific women from the membership for Massoud’s use. The women were made to believe that refusal to participate would result in demotion, humiliation and even worse punishments.
Maryam Rajavi invented rituals such as being washed by other women members so as to ‘spiritually purify’ them, followed by the instruction to dance naked before both the Rajavis to prove they had ‘broken the physical and mental barriers’ to their total submission to Massoud. After these coercive practices, he would choose a bedmate for sex. The women have said that they did not agree to sex with Rajavi out of free will but because they had been coerced through deception into submitting to what they later came to recognise as rape.
The women who spoke out all now live in Europe. Other former MEK women members living in Iran and currently in Iraq are also said to be willing to give their testimony. The women described how they were deceived into undergoing spurious hysterectomies in order to fulfill Rajavi’s demand that they ‘divorce from their sexuality’.
In response, former Colonel, Leo McCloskey, Commander of Forward Operation Base in Ashraf until 2008, was featured on the MEK’s websites and media, attempting to denigrate the women and dismiss their claims by labeling them as ‘agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence’. Based on what knowledge and expertise did he manage to come up with such a nonsensical counter argument?
What is most disturbing about these revelations is the response from the establishment. I’m sure that everyone reading this article will be at least curious to know whether such outrageous accusations might be true or not. Perhaps those who are more familiar with the MEK’s past known behaviour will be willing at least to give some credence to these allegations. But for responsible bodies like the UN and even human rights organisations, which, over thirty years, have compiled reams and reams of documented evidence of gross abuses committed by the Rajavi cult (let us not forget the MEK victims found in Abu Ghraib prison), to ignore these easily verifiable witness statements because the MEK says they are a ‘plot by the Iranian regime to discredit the opposition’ really beggars belief.
The facts are easily verifiable. The physical evidence of hysterectomy can be found in the women’s bodies. It is a matter of fact, not opinion. And if those who managed to escape the cult have evidence consistent with their accusations, does it not behove those people actually responsible for their welfare to conduct an investigation into the condition of the other named women in the MEK who are trapped incommunicado in (the ironically named) Camp Liberty.
Let us look more closely then at the ‘one size fits all’ label used to denigrate the victims: ‘agent of the Iranian regime’. It is not the first time the label has been used by the MEK, nor will it be the last. After all, in the current reckless Western culture of ferocious Iran-bashing, it is an easy formula to trot out for a willing audience. And what a willing audience!
The phrase arises from the cultic nature of the MEK and of course the concept of ‘thought-terminating clichés’ is familiar among experts in cultic abuse. It describes the technique used by cult leaders to prevent their followers (victims) from using their critical faculties. Whenever the cliché is mentioned, the cult member stops thinking. In this case, the phrase is also linked to another technique ‘cultic phobias’ which is to introduce irrational fears which when triggered arouse a phobic reaction in the victim.
For members of the Rajavi cult, the phrase ‘agent of the Iranian regime’ fulfils both these purposes; they stop thinking and experience an amorphous, pervasive fear. In some cases they can easily resort to violence in response to this reaction. The really despicable aspect of this use of the label is that it is directed at those victims of the cult who have only recently escaped the abuses. For them the phrase stinks of menace and threat; exactly why the Rajavi’s choose to use it.
But for outsiders, clearly many are unable or unwilling to use their minds to think through the absurdity of this phrase. Or, maybe they don’t need to. Leo McCloskey surely wasn’t acting out of the goodness of his heart when he quoted the MEK phrase. In such crass cases, are we wrong to assume that pecuniary benefits most probably apply?
With the deployment of this thought-terminating cliché, Rajavi has effectively hung a ‘Do not Disturb’ sign on the closed door of Camp Liberty, while an apparently awestruck (by Rajavi's genius no doubt) Western world tiptoes outside, afraid it too will be accused of being an 'agent of the Iranian regime'.
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.
Iraq moves the bodies of Camp Ashraf mass grave to Arbil laboratory for examination
(Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... Earlier in January, an Iraqi official said several mass graves have been unearthed in Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, in Iraq's Diyala Province, which was the headquarters of the terrorist MKO. Sadeq al-Husseini, the deputy chairman of Diyala's provincial council said that the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights was in charge of determining the identities of the bodies and whether they were Kurds, the residents of southern provinces or from the town of Khalis in Diyala Province. He said that the bodies were being examined in medical laboratories in Arbil Province, adding that human rights violations in the camp did not seem improbable ...
(Izzat Ebrahim and Massoud Rajavi still at large)
(Washington backed Maryam Rajavi in terrorist cult's HQ in Paris)
Iraqi officials announced that a number of al-Qaeda operatives have been trained in the main training camp of the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization in Iraq's Diyala province (Camp Ashraf) to carry out terrorist attacks against the Iraqi people.
"When the MKO elements were still in Camp Ashraf, the al-Qaeda forces were trained in there and the camp had turned into a center for terrorism and killing," Head of the Security Committee of Diyala province Meysam al-Tamimi said.
According to Ashrafnews, Tamimi also said that the Iraqi security forces have found a secret cache of heavy weaponries in the Camp, adding that the MKO had been training the al-Qaeda members how to use these weaponries.
He said that the al-Qaeda members were trained to conduct terrorist operations in the province specially to force the people residing around Camp Ashraf to leave the area.
The mass graves which have recently been unearthed near the main training camp of the terrorist MKO in Iraq's Diyala province also unveiled a strong bond between the MKO and the Al Qaeda terrorist group.
Speaking to FNA on Sunday, Udai al-Khadran, the governor of the city of Khalis in Diyala province, said Al Qadea and the MKO members cooperated to intensify unrests in Khalis.
He added that the MKO members are involved in Al Qaeda bombing plots and kidnappings in Diyala.
Khadran added that there exist documents substantiating that some Iraqi officials are collaborating with terrorists and have taken bribes to the very same end.
Earlier in January, an Iraqi official said several mass graves have been unearthed in Camp New Iraq, formerly known as Camp Ashraf, in Iraq's Diyala Province, which was the headquarters of the terrorist MKO.
Sadeq al-Husseini, the deputy chairman of Diyala's provincial council said that the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights was in charge of determining the identities of the bodies and whether they were Kurds, the residents of southern provinces or from the town of Khalis in Diyala Province.
He said that the bodies were being examined in medical laboratories in Arbil Province, adding that human rights violations in the camp did not seem improbable.
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 grouplet are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
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 argued for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
The US formally removed the MKO from its list of terror organizations in early September, one week after Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sent the US Congress a classified communication about the move. The decision made by Clinton enabled the group to have its assets under US jurisdiction unfrozen and do business with American entities, the State Department said in a statement at the time.
... they are standing beside the grave of their former torturer. Both men were sent to Abu Ghraib political prison by Massoud Rajavi after extensive imprisonment, isolation and torture inside the MEK’s own prisons failed to force them to submit to Rajavi. Rafi’ee Nejad frequently visited them even when they were in Abu Ghraib. They were released during the fall of Saddam in 2003. There were over 50 registered ex-MEK prisoners in Abu Ghraib at that time labelled as a group as ”Mojahedin Deposits”. Remembering the brutality of Rajavi’s torturers and prisons, both victims of Rajavi and Saddam prayed for forgiveness for their torturer ...
The MEK cemetery was previously inaccessible as it lay inside the former boundaries of Camp Ashraf. Following the Iraqi military operation to reclaim illegally held land from the MEK in April 2011, the cemetery is now open to view and to independent investigation.
Families and former MEK members arriving at the cemetery led by Mr Hassan Azizi a veteran former member. He spent years struggling to get himself and his children out. Still later his wife also managed to escape. The family now live in the Netherlands. Mr. Azizi was part of the European delegation recently visiting Iraq and the Camp.
This is a memorial to the MEK who died in the MEK’s Operation Pearl in Iraqi Kurdistan in which Rajavi took orders from Saddam to massacre Kurdish villagers. Maryam Rajavi famously ordered her forces to run over the victims with their tanks so as not to waste bullets unnecessarily. The MEK, acting as Saddam’s Private Army, were used to viciously quell the Kurdish uprisings in the north.
In the south in 1991 the MEK were also used to suppress Shiite uprisings. This picture is a memorial to three of the top MEK commanders killed by the people of Karbala during the Shiite uprising when they took over Saddam’s Secret services HQ in the province. The bodies were never recovered. The three central graves are flanked by the graves of Neda Hassani and Sediqeh Mojaveri who died as a result of self-immolation ordered by Maryam Rajavi to protest her arrest by French anti-terrorism police at Auvers-sur-Oise in 2003.
Before the Iraqis gained control of the cemetery Rajavi had ordered that the pictures of the graves in the whole graveyard be mixed up so they do not correspond to the names on the graves. Perhaps only Rajavi can explain his motive for such a bizarre act.
The Iraqis have reported however that some of the graves have been found to contain more bodies than the single named person indicated on the headstones. Ex members identified many graves of people who have been killed in the hands of the leaders of the organisation.
Among the graves they also found the grave of Nader Rafi’ee Nejad
The grave of Nader Rafi’ee Nejad
Nader Rafi'ee Nejad acted as a torturer for the Mojahedin-e Khalq leader Massoud Rajavi. He was a veteran member of the MEK who, along with Reza Khaksar (later killed during an armed clash in 1981) and Hassan Mohassel (a former police officer and later a guard in the MEK’s prisons in Iraq), served with the Revolutionary Court in Evin prison after the Iranian revolution.
Rafi’ee Nejad interrogated and tortured former officials of the ousted regime of Shah. Due to the MEK's pursuit of its own radical policies after 1980, Rafi'ee Nejad, Mohassel and Khaksar were later dismissed from the Revolutionary Court by the government of the Islamic Republic at that time.
After the armed struggle began in 1981, Rafi'ee Nejad fled to Europe and was appointed to the MEK’s foreign relations department. In 1985, he was introduced as a leading member and in 1991 as deputy to an executive board in the MEK. In 1990, he shed his ‘diplomatic’ suit and donned the uniform for jailors of the MEK in Iraq.
In that year, he attended a course with Iraq's intelligence and security service to undergo classic training by Iraqi interrogators.
He was involved in torturing Mohammed Hussein Sobhani and also the killing of Parviz Ahmadi who died under torture.
In recent years after the fall of Saddam, Nader Rafi’ee Nejad frequently appeared on the clandestine satellite TV station of the organisation pretending to be a legal expert, promoting the punishment of the ex-members wherever they could be found. He always referred to the cult leader’s fatwa that ‘the people who have managed to run away from the cult have to be killed…’
Two of the victims who have been directly tortured by Nader Rafi’ee Nejad are Mohammad Hussein Sobhani and Ali Ghashghavi. In the picture above, they are standing beside the grave of their former torturer. Both men were sent to Abu Ghraib political prison by Massoud Rajavi after extensive imprisonment, isolation and torture inside the MEK’s own prisons failed to force them to submit to Rajavi. Rafi’ee Nejad frequently visited them even when they were in Abu Ghraib. They were released during the fall of Saddam in 2003. There were over 50 registered ex-MEK prisoners in Abu Ghraib at that time labelled as a group as ”Mojahedin Deposits”.
Remembering the brutality of Rajavi’s torturers and prisons, both victims of Rajavi and Saddam prayed for forgiveness for their torturer.
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 ...
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.
... 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.
UN must tread carefully in dealing with Camp Ashraf
... The Government of Iraq is very clear that it is dealing with the phenomenon of a dangerous, destructive mind control cult. Unfortunately, Western agencies do not appear to have got to grips with this fundamental aspect of the group and as such continue to fall under the spell of the MEK leaders and their unearthly and insatiable demands. It would be unfortunate in the extreme if the UNHCR did not understand during all its negotiations with the group’s front personnel that Massoud Rajavi does not represent anyone but himself and his own interests. Cult experts warn that the MEK are not seriously offering to allow the UNHCR ...
As the Mojahedin-e Khalq (aka; MEK, MKO) is painfully slowly being nudged toward compliance with both international and Iraqi law over its activities inside Camp Ashraf in Iraq, cult experts warn that external agencies must be wary of falling foul of cultic manipulation techniques as the group struggles to maintain its hold over the 3400 Iranians trapped inside.
Efforts over the summer by US Ambassador Lawrence Butler to convince the MEK leader Massoud Rajavi that he would have to act on the Government of Iraq’s deadline to leave Iraq by the end of 2011, yielded little progress. MEK front personnel still refused to allow any residents to be interviewed by UNHCR staff without MEK minders being present. Then by the end of September Vincent Cochetel, a Washington representative for the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), said that an agreement had been reached through the MKO’s legal counsel in London for individual screening for refugee status with the UNHCR offering an alternative location near Ashraf for those who have been processed.
Maryam Rajavi immediately qualified this news from her HQ in France with the Farsi language diktat: “… we will not allow the line of the mercenaries Maliki and Barezani and the strategy of their masters, the Iranian regime, to prevail under the pretext of interviewing people one by one and …” and she continued “… all the Mojahedin members should only be taken for interviews using helicopters …” – which meant that in order to interview the people trapped in the camp she expected the US to fly over seven thousand helicopter sorties.
Such statements are plainly silly and we should not imagine that either Massoud or Maryam Rajavi expect anyone to take them seriously. They are meant first and foremost for internal consumption and as a time wasting exercise. Such a stance is reminiscent of the time when the MEK’s London lawyers announced in English that the group had given up armed struggle in order to be removed from the UK and EU terrorism lists. At the same time Rajavi told her followers in Farsi that as soon as the MEK was de-listed the Americans would re-arm them and they could continue with their violent activities.
The latest salvo from the MEK’s armoury of lies and deception was introduced in the form of an MEK claim that over seventy Iraqi MPs have called for the UNHCR to open an office inside Camp Ashraf and take over control of the camp from the Iraqi government. This comes at the same time that Alsumeria News has reported that a British parliamentary group headed by Baroness Nicholson is discussing with a visiting Iraqi parliamentary delegation headed by Mr. Alnajifi to find way to actually get access to the inside of the camp.
On the surface the MEK offer to allow the UNHCR into the camp might look like cooperation and progress. But in the light of the MEK’s past behaviour the agencies involved in the issue of Camp Ashraf would be wise to view this latest stance with deep suspicion. In the book ‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’ published by Iran-Interlink in September, we warn that “the MEK loyalists will continue to resist and try to provoke violence to prevent any interference in the internal affairs of the camp… The MEK has an armoury of defensive tactics with which to prevent such interference. The obvious one is to meet all attempts to enter the camp with violent, suicidal resistance. But the MEK system is also supremely manipulative as the American army discovered in 2003. Certainly both MEK cult experts and recently escaped residents will be needed to identify loyal cult leaders and activists. These experts will also be able to identify and challenge the MEK’s manipulative techniques which would otherwise be effective in deceiving less experienced agencies – no matter how well meaning.”
The Government of Iraq is very clear that it is dealing with the phenomenon of a dangerous, destructive mind control cult. Unfortunately, Western agencies do not appear to have got to grips with this fundamental aspect of the group and as such continue to fall under the spell of the MEK leaders and their unearthly and insatiable demands. It would be unfortunate in the extreme if the UNHCR did not understand during all its negotiations with the group’s front personnel that Massoud Rajavi does not represent anyone but himself and his own interests.
Cult experts warn that the MEK are not seriously offering to allow the UNHCR to open an office inside Camp Ashraf in order to conduct individual screening and processing with a view to removing the residents. The most the MEK could hope for is that the UN will, for any reason, raise its flag over the camp beside or in place of the Iraqi flag which is currently there.
Raising the UNHCR flag over the camp over which the Iraqis themselves have no jurisdiction would of course be extremely provocative, a challenge to the rule of law and cause conflict between external agencies and the Iraqi security forces. Exactly the kind of scenario which the MEK would love to create so the MEK leader continues with impunity to occupy the camp and hold hostages there.
The MEK effort is to create conflict and prevent change to the status quo. If anyone is in any doubt of this they must be made aware that at the same time this so-called offer is on the table, Rajavi’s special forces have manufactured a specialised missile launcher with which they fire stones at the families on the periphery of the camp >>> Persian Translation
Warning and an appeal to the international community
... Massoud and Maryam Rajavi have ordered all the leaders of the MEK to arrange meetings for everybody and give the order to them that “We will go along with the American army to the point that there is no physical interaction but when it comes to the Iraqi government we will become physical and we will make them pay the highest price.”Considering what the Rajavis have said, although we believe that the imposition of Iraqi sovereignty over this illegally occupied territory at this time is an indisputable right of the government of Iraq, we urge the government ...
We are approaching the end of year 2011; the deadline announced by the Iraqi government to evacuate Camp Ashraf. Over the past few months the USG’s diplomatic representative in Iraq Mr. Lawrence Butler has met seven times with the leaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation in the garrison to talk about the future of the group. His efforts have failed due to the stubborn resistance and rejection on the part of the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Some European countries have also have attempted to start a dialogue with the leaders of the group to convince them to allow the people inside to be sent individually to other countries under the supervision of the United Nations. But their efforts have also faced absolute intransigence on the part of the leaders of the group.
In addition, we have witnessed UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon appealing to the international community to help the Iraqi government in this case. But no meaningful action has been offered.
The Government of the United States of America also in a clear and transparent way has warned the leaders in the camp that if they do not respond positively to the suggestions put forward, then the USG will no longer be able to act as a negotiator and that the consequences of such action would be entirely attributable to the leaders of the Mojahedin-e Khalq
The people inside the camp are described as “non status” and they are not accepted as refugees or even asylum seekers. The Iraqi government is adamant it will carry out the decision to close the camp - which is one of the last remains of the Saddam regime - and on the other hand the leaders of the Mojahedin inside the camp insist on keeping the status quo without any logical, legitimate, legal or other reasons.
And in this situation, as advocates of human rights and as ex-members of this organisation, we are deeply concerned about how this camp will be dismantled and especially about the misuse of the people inside the camp by the leaders of the group.
According to witnesses inside camp Ashraf it is said that Massoud and Maryam Rajavi have ordered all the leaders of the MEK to arrange meetings for everybody and give the order to them that “We will go along with the American army to the point that there is no physical interaction but when it comes to the Iraqi government we will become physical and we will make them pay the highest price.”
Considering what the Rajavis have said, although we believe that the imposition of Iraqi sovereignty over this illegally occupied territory at this time is an indisputable right of the government of Iraq, we urge the government and the committee in charge of dismantlement of the camp to try, as they have done over the last past 8 years, to only use non-violent solutions to solve this problem.
Although we know that the existence of this camp in this country of Iraq has no logical or legal basis but we are concerned that the heads of the MEK cult will use the 3400+ people stranded there as human shields to pursue their illogical and illegal demands.
We are deeply concerned that, according to much evidence and many documents, not least the report by the RAND Institute, about 70% of the people inside the camp are kept there against their will, and if we add to this their loss of hope due to the grim and uncertain future they face, the lack of access to media and information and the resulting ignorance this brings, and the existence of never ending barriers and security provisions across the camp, if we add all these then the reasons behind the existence of such an isolated island can become clear.
We are deeply concerned that in a situation where the dismantlement of the camp has begun, the leader of the group would force the low level members and the ordinary people trapped inside to fight the security and law enforcement agencies of Iraq.
On top of our concern over the human rights as an indisputable right for every individual inside the camp we remind you that many of the signatories of this letter have a family member, father, mother, spouse, sibling or friend inside the camp as a hostage. Therefore the primary aim of the MEK in keeping the members trapped inside is nothing except using them as a tool and human shield to save the neck of the leader Massoud Rajavi who remains in Iraq.
We warn that considering that the leaders of the group have already rejected the intervention of the Americans and insist on the relocation of the whole organisation as a group to another country, while it is clear that according to international law, asylum can only be given to individuals, the leaders are placing this kind of suggestion on the table only to further reject any non-violent solution and therefore exploit the members and endanger their lives.
We must warn the international community and humanitarian organisations across the globe, time is running out. And we are witnessing that the US proposal is the only feasible and realistic solution during the remaining time. Therefore while we condemn the leaders of the group for their lack of cooperation with the American and Iraqi officials, we warn that the responsibility for any resistance to the decision of the Iraqi government and endangering the lives of the people is primarily on the shoulders of Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi and the other high ranking leaders of the group.
We also believe that dialogue can be the solution to dismantle camp Ashraf and there should be no need for violence. We ask the leaders of the group to stop their ridiculous behaviour and obduracy and return to the dialogue and negotiation table
The government of Iraq has repeatedly announced that, respecting international humanitarian laws, these people will not be deported to countries where they may face problems and it has shown its commitment to this day. Accommodating and facilitating the voluntary exit from the camp of nearly 100 individuals who have given themselves up to the Iraqi forces from 2009 to the present is clear evidence of this commitment.
Therefore we ask the international community and humanitarian organisations and all the people who are worried about the future of these people to use whatever communication and/or other tools at their disposal to convince the leaders of the group that after the fall of Saddam Hussein Iraq is no longer a place for them to stay and it is their responsibility to seek assistance from international bodies such as the ICRC and UNHCR to get themselves out of there.
We the signatories of this letter would like to bring this issue to the attention of the following:
- The office of the Prime Minister of Iraq (Committee in charge of dismantlement of Camp Ashraf, Baghdad) - Lady Catherine Ashton and relevant MEPs in European Parliament - US State Department - Human Rights Watch, New York - Amnesty International, London - United Nations Human Rights Commissioner Ms Navi Pilay, Geneva