Sahar Family Foundation is not a Political party. Our argument is totally humanitarian
Sahar Family Foundation is not a Political party
Our argument is totally humanitarian
A word with the viewers With respect to all the readers and viewers of this site
... The SFF is not a political organization or party. As it could be seen from its name it is a foundation to aid the families who desire to see their relatives. Naturally our counterpart in this manner is the MKO and in particular its authoritarian leader. The members of SFF overwhelmingly believe that the MKO is a destructive cult which in the first instance threatens the lives and morals of its own followers. We have no political argument with this cult and we did never give any remarks about its political conducts. Our argument is totally on humanitarian bases ...
Now is more than two months since the new round of activities of Sahar Family Foundation (SFF) has started. This site started operating on its new version on 19th June this year simultaneously with the seminar in Paris which was a milestone of the activities of the former members as well as the families of present members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO). During this period we tried our best to inform the viewers about the latest developments concerning the suffering families in Iraq.
As you may well know it is now more than 6 months that a significant number of families of the seized members of the MKO have gathers outside the Ashraf garrison (the base of the organization in Iraq) in a terrible condition demanding visiting their loved ones after so many years. They hope that there might be enough feelings and emotions left inside the base to listen to a mother calling her son and let her for a short visit.
During this time we had many letters and e-mails and calls which mostly were encouragements for what we do. There were some questions which we tried to answer directly as much as possible. It is essential that we give a brief explanation about our type of work and our stances.
The SFF is not a political organization or party. As it could be seen from its name it is a foundation to aid the families who desire to see their relatives. Naturally our counterpart in this manner is the MKO and in particular its authoritarian leader.
The members of SFF overwhelmingly believe that the MKO is a destructive cult which in the first instance threatens the lives and morals of its own followers. We have no political argument with this cult and we did never give any remarks about its political conducts. Our argument is totally on humanitarian bases and we demand the minimum rights of the members and their families.
The activists of SFF who are mainly the former members or the families of the present members do have different political interests outside the foundation. But they have accepted that they would cooperate with each other within a certain framework in order to reach a certain goal. Naturally this foundation cannot have stances on political matters and it has not been established for such purposes. What political matters are going on inside Iraq or inside Iran or anywhere else is not the subject of the activities of this foundation. The members of SFF are free to be active on any political grounds they desire, but this has nothing to do with the activities of this site and the goals of the SFF.
We have one just demand on the base of the rights of individual. The members of MKO in the Ashraf garrison must have the right to have contact with the outside world and with their relatives. The leaders of the cult deprive their followers of this right for the unreasonable excuse that since these people have been brought there by the Iranian regime they have no right to see their relatives. But they never answer this simple question that what benefit the Iranian regime would gain if a mother visits her son and what damage the regime would suffer if they don’t. Perhaps Rajavi is scared that if he lets the followers visiting their relatives this might end up to the desolation of the organization. If such imagination is true therefor one can conclude that the bases of the organization are so weak and the members are kept inside the garrison by using mind coercion or by using force.
Information received from within the Ashraf cultic garrison clearly indicate that the majority of the members are kept against their wills and they would leave if they find suitable implements. The officials of the organization do impose mental pressure using tools such as daily brainwashing sessions and also intimidate them in order to have them seized inside the garrison. If the deeds of Rajavi have dragged the cult to a point that they are so frightened of their members visiting their relatives, this is no one’s fall but himself. If the collars of the MKO are so weak that a mother in her seventies in front of Ashraf garrison is considered as the main enemy and is ever so frightening for the leaders, no one should be blamed but the leaders of the cult.
What we say is very clear and is approved by all international humanitarian organizations and we will not pull back on any circumstances. Human rights and right of the individual is not something that could be decided on political grounds. Violating the most basic rights of people is condemned no matter what the situation is and what are the excuses.
In the whole world even the prisoners of war in another country or imprisoned criminals have the right to visit their next of kin. But inside the Rajavi cult not even this right is denied but any contact with the family is considered as betraying and crime and the supposedly convicted person is liable to punishment. Unfortunately the international political interests today has let the leaders of the cult to violet the most basic rights of their followers without being questioned.
Sahar Family Foundation would never surrender to the cult’s intimidations and would carry on its humanitarian mission to reach the goal, and in this way the members of SFF feel obliged to use every possible mean to put pressure on the leaders of the cult to force them to recognize the rights of the followers and treat them according to the norms of global international human rights.
Letter of Ms. Abdullahi to the US Secretary of States
How is it that you recognize the MKO as a terrorist group but at the same time you support it to keep our children as gladiators in slavery?
(No wages! No spouses! No family! No outside contact! No readings! No thinking! No future! No . . . ! Just worshiping Rajavi, being terrorists, and killing until being killed)
Ms. Sorayya Abdullahi has written a letter to the US Secretary of States on behalf of the families picketing in front of Ashraf cultic garrison in Iraq which is seen below. It is worth mentioning that hundreds of family members of the victims seized inside Rajavi cult (Mojahedin-e Kahlq Organization – MKO) in Iraq have been picketing outside Ashraf garrison the base of this cult in Iraq for about six months and demanding visiting their relatives, but the MKO is still refusing to fulfill their demands. The physical and psychological pressure on these families caused by long time demonstration has led to Ms. Abdullahi and some others to be hospitalized in Baghdad.
I have learned that the Mojahedin-e Kahlq Organization (MKO- Rajavi cult) has once again been designated as a foreign terrorist organization (FTO) by the US State Department. We are of course pleased that the United States government recognizes the group as a terrorist cult. But this letter is about the rights of the families of the members of the cult in Ashraf garrison the base of the MKO in Iraq. I am a mother and my son has been seized inside the garrison for many years. I am writing this letter from the hospital and I am not in a healthy condition at all.
It is now round 6 months that I am picketing along some other families outside the main gate of Ashraf garrison. Not only the leaders of the cult have not given a positive answer to us, they have continuously intimidated and insulted us in order to keep us away from our relatives. Isn’t it our right to be able to visit our loved ones and freely talk to them while they are just a few hundred meters away?
The Iraqi government wished to dismantle the garrison and put the leaders of the cult on trial for their crimes against the Iraqi people and free the victims. Apparently they cannot execute their official decision since the influence of dominating powers in Iraq would not let them do so. Would you consider this a just policy that on one hand you designate the MKO as a terrorist group and on the other hand use your influence to support them and do not let the families reach their just and natural demands?
The UNHCR, the ICRC, the AI, the HRW, the Iraqi officials and the ministry of human rights of this country, and many lawyers and politicians have approved the legitimacy of our demand and believe that the leaders of the MKO must be under pressure to accept the wish of the families.
Even well-known international institutes such as the American RAND and the British Chatham House are now criticizing US the support for the Rajavi terrorist cult and are disturbed by this support. We do not need or ask for the support of the US, but if your government stops backing the group which you designate as terrorists, this would be a great help to us to reach our just demands to see our loved ones.
There are some views indication that some war mongering cliques who have a great influence on US policy wish to save the cultic structure of the MKO with the hope that one day may be they can be used against the Islamic Republic of Iran the same way that Saddam Hussein did. Is this true? If not how would you justify the double standard policy of US administration against this terrorist group?
I, as well as the suffering mothers and families who have gathered outside Ashraf garrison despite the high temperature and hard living, would like to have a clear answer from you. Please do not respond to us saying that this is not related to your government since it is clear for all of us and even for the international officials in Baghdad that the American forces and the American influence in Iraq is the only obstacle against to freely visiting our relatives and I write this letter on their recommendation and I ask for answer.
Apparently some currents among US policy makers consider our children as free and ready to use terrorists who must go to kill until they are killed. How do you justify this undue policy for your people and for the people of the world? It seems that we have no choice but to either continue the present sufferings and go to hospital one by one or reach to our right and see our beloved ones.
Copy to: US Ambassador in Baghdad UN General Secretary UNHCR ICRC IA HRW Iraqi minister of human rights Iraqi and international media American Forces Commander in Iraq
Sorayya Abdullahi On behalf of the families picketing outside Ashraf garrison in Iraq Baghdad – hospital Saturday 7 Aug 2010
About Ms. Abdullahi and her son:
Ms. Sorayya Abudllahi Mirzanaqi the daughter of Gholam-Reza was born in 1961 and lives in the city of Ardabil in the north west of Iran. She has two daughters and one son. His son named Amir-Aslan Hassanzadeh the son of Manuchehr was born in 1982. He left Iran to Turkey in June 2002 along with his friend Mahmoud Akbari to find a job and of course a better life in Germany. After 10 days Amir called his mother and said that he is in a hotel in Ankara and has found a man called Ali Ankaraii and he is supposed to take them to Germany.
Ali Ankaraii is a known name for all trapped in the Rajavi cult in Turkey. He was the MKO contact man in Turkey and of course he never used to reveal his true identity and the organization he was working for to his victims. He managed to send many individuals to Iraq through Jordan deceiving them for a job and a better life in Europe.
Ali Ankaraii called Amir’s mother and asked her several thousand dollars but Ms. Abdullahi could only manage to send 1700 USD to Ali’s bank account.
Finally Amir told her mother that she could ring him after two weeks and gave her a telephone number in Germany. Ms. Abdullahi tried several times to call the given number but did not succeed and could never find a trace of her son.
Round 5 years after Amir had been disappeared one day Mahmoud Akbari, Amir’s friend, went to Ms. Abdullahi’s house. She was surprised to see him there and asked him what happened in Germany and asked him after Amir. Mahmoud answered that they did not go to Germany but to Ashraf garrison the base of the MKO in Iraq. He then explained that he left the MKO when the Americans invaded Iraq and came to Iran with the help of the Red Cross. He also said that he asked Amir to go along with him but Amir said that if he leaves the MKO he would have no choice but to go to Iran where he would definitely be executed.
(Massoud Rajavi and his last benefector Saddam)
(Daniel Zucker, Maryam Rajavi and ALi Safavi)
(Ali Safavi as the commander of Saddam's Private Army in Iraq)
(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)
Washington backed Rajavi cult forces video performances
... Mohammad Karimi has been made to sit before a camera without his military uniform, he is seated somewhere like a gymnasium inside the garrison. His speech is marked by MKO-speak and cult jargon as he swears at and insults his own sister and the Prime Minister of Iraq. Karimi claims that he is at war with Iran and that Iran’s leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and the Prime Minister of Iraq (Nouri Al Maliki) have been defeated simply by him sitting inside the camp and refusing to see his sister ...
(Families have been picketting for the past 4 months)
For over four months the families of Rajavi’s hostages in Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf) have been picketing outside the gates of the camp demanding the right to meet with their relatives
During these four months they have asked for help from all the major international agencies concerned with the camp; UNAMI, ICRC, UNHCR, etc, including the American Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill. So far, despite their clear humanitarian case, no help has been forthcoming.
Now in a bid to force the families to give up and leave without meeting their loved ones, Massoud Rajavi has devised a plan to single out each of the hostages whose relatives have come to find them and one by one sit them in front of a camera to swear at and abuse their own families as well as the Iraqi government. Sadly, the hostages inside the camp have spent over two decades incommunicado and have had no contact with the outside world through media, telephone or the internet, and have certainly had no contact with their families in all that time.
Following is one of the forced video sessions broadcast by the Washington-backed terrorist cult leaders in which Mohammad Karimi has been made to sit before a camera without his military uniform, he is seated somewhere like a gymnasium inside the garrison. His speech is marked by MKO-speak and cult jargon as he swears at and insults his own sister and the Prime Minister of Iraq. Karimi claims that he is at war with Iran and that Iran’s leader (Ayatollah Khamenei) and the Prime Minister of Iraq (Nouri Al Maliki) have been defeated simply by him sitting inside the camp and refusing to see his sister.
We should not forget that these people have been used and exploited by Rajavi and Saddam for over two decades. When Rajavi and his wife (co-leader of the cult) ran away just before the arrest of Saddam, they abandoned these people to be used as hostages and bargaining chips. Now over seven years after the fall of Saddam Hussein, these people are still kept incommunicado and are imprisoned in the camp by the leaders of the cult with the backing of the USG and its agencies in Iraq.
Any right minded person can clearly see in his eyes the pain of swearing at his own sister.
Any right minded person can understand that if this was not a forced video confession, he could have been allowed to walk to the gates of the garrison without a prison guard and tell his sister to go home and that he is happy to stay there.
Any right minded person can see that the problem for the camp and Rajavi as its leader is not whether they want to engage in political activities or not (in that case the first step would have been to escape self-imprisonment in the deserts of Iraq), but their fear of the families and human rights activist trying to make contact.
Rajavi must answer to the outside world why no marriage is allowed among members, why no children have been born to any members for twenty years, why there are not even newspapers, or radio, no TV, no telephone or email to contact the outside world, etc. Why do those who have managed to escape the camp all report severe human rights violations against the people stuck inside without any recourse to help or contact?
The backers of Rajavi and other remains of Saddam’s era (especially, the infamous Ros-Lehtinan in the US House of Congress, Struan Stevenson in the European Parliament and Robin Corbett in the British House of Lords) should hang their heads in shame for supporting and endorsing such severe abuse of human rights of hostages in front of the eyes of their families.
Following is the broadcast forced video of one of the victim hostages, Mohammad Karimi tortured to sit in front of a camera and play as instructed, including swearing at his own sister whose only 'crime' is that she has been sitting outside the camp for the past four months hoping to see him.
(Families of Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult hostages in Camp Ashraf)
... Rajavi is standing against the families and would not yield to their demands, since he thinks if he let his followers go outside the Ashraf garrison and visit their families they would learn about the outside world and the consequence would be that they no longer obey him and his cult would collapse. Once Rajavi’s slogan was “death to America” and he was proud of it. Then his main enemy became the Islamic Republic of Iraq and now the front line of his battle is the families ...
Imagine if the suffering mothers and families of the mentally seized members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO – Rajavi cult) were American, British or Israeli, what would be their present circumstances? We are talking about those families who have no trace of their loved ones for more than two decades and just have heard from the former members that they are still in Ashraf garrison (base of Rajavi cult) in Iraq and hundreds of them have been sitting in front of Ashraf main gate in tough conditions for about six months with the hope that they can eventually see their relatives.
To guess the answer to the above question is not hard. In such a case the Voice of America and BBC and all western media as well as international and humanitarian organizations would raise their voice for those families and would let the world know about their hardship and would release thousands of photos and news pieces with exact details. They would cry for them and make songs and arrange interviews.
But unfortunately the political circumstances is in a such way that influences are made in the western policy by war mongering cliques who think that the Rajavi cult might one day be useful for them and they might be able to use the useless elements of the cult trained and used once by Saddam Hussein. They of course know that they must not take these free terrorists back to their own countries.
Mothers and families of course are not interested with political affairs. Their natural and logic demand is just like any other mother in the world. They wish to visit their loved ones. This demand is recognized in the whole world even for criminals and dangerous prisoners. But the members of the Rajavi cult according to the teachings of the cult must regard their families as enemies and have no right to visit them. Massoud Rajavi the leader of the cult justifies this rule as considering the emotional affections with the families would distance the members from the so called struggle and hence they would leave the cult. Rajavi has mind-manipulated his follower for many years by killing all sorts of emotions in their hearts and has turned them into robots who can fulfill his desires. According to the doctrine of the cults that Rajavi follows too, if a person manages to kill the love for his/her family, therefore the person is capable of killing anyone including him/herself.
Rajavi is standing against the families and would not yield to their demands, since he thinks if he let his followers go outside the Ashraf garrison and visit their families they would learn about the outside world and the consequence would be that they no longer obey him and his cult would collapse. Once Rajavi’s slogan was “death to America” and he was proud of it. Then his main enemy became the Islamic Republic of Iraq and now the front line of his battle is the families.
The Iraqi government righteously urges the Ashraf camp which is unique in its kind in the whole world to be dismantled and the leaders of the cult be tried and the victims be freed to choose their own destiny. This demand of course has not been fulfilled since the forces that have power in Iraq wish to keep the Rajavi cult alive on the boarder to Iran for their own supposedly interests and they have done so until now (RAND report) and it is clear that they have no sympathy for the families. The elements of the cult can be useful for them when they are brainwashed and obey the commands of the leaders without questions and fight like gladiators and kill until they are killed. The presence of the families of course bothers them and their backers.
Only those who have a loved one in Ashraf garrison and fear from the fact that they could for any reason be a victim of the greed of the leader can fully understand the families’’ situation. But anyone can put him/herself in their place and try to understand how these suffering families might feel. The concerned families do need sympathy and moral support. They are not Americans but after all they are mothers.
... The slogan written by the MKO elements on the entrance of Ashraf garrison was wiped off today. Some legal steps forward has been taken to push back the advocates of Rajavi cult in Iraq which we would inform you later of the outcomes. At the present circumstances it is most necessary that the human rights activists in Europe and America strive for the cause of the families. Their voice must be heard everywhere ...
At the present time hundreds of family members are stationed opposite the main gate of the cultic Ashraf garrison (base of terrorist MKO) in Iraq and their number is increasing. Their demand is to be able to visit their loved ones outside the garrison. This demand has been supported by the Iraqi government and the judiciary system of the country as well as the political parties and groups. The families have announced that they will not be moved until they reach their goal. Now the force of mothers’ love is facing the black magic of the cult.
The temperature is very high and beyond tolerance. The people of Iraq have electricity for only two hours during day and night. The 70 degree centigrade heat and living is tents in the desert without any kind of facilities just show how firm the families are. The visitors while sympathizing with the families express their hatred towards the leaders of the MKO cult and curse Massoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam. The locale people do not hesitate helping the families although they are in hardship themselves.
The slogan written by the MKO elements on the entrance of Ashraf garrison was wiped off today. Some legal steps forward has been taken to push back the advocates of Rajavi cult in Iraq which we would inform you later of the outcomes. At the present circumstances it is most necessary that the human rights activists in Europe and America strive for the cause of the families. Their voice must be heard everywhere.
Families who have gathers from around the world are determined that they must not return empty handed and they must get some news from their relatives. They are seeking help from all who could let the world know what is happening there and reveal the wicked face of Rajavis. The international pressure on the leaders of the MKO terrorist cult is increasing and this must be the case until they surrender to the just demand of the families.
The supreme criminal court of Iraq has issued the arrest warrant for 38 leaders of the cult including Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, and the Iraqi government has asked for their extradition. Some western cliques have approved the demand of “trying the leaders and saving the victims” and the international voice in this regard has been heard. Soon the demand of the families would be fulfilled and the victims would be saved.
Sahar Family Foundation Baghdad, Saturday 32 July 2010
Iraqi media reports on appeal of families at Camp Ashraf
... Iranian families who have been picketing in front of the military base Ashraf - home to the Mojahedin Khalq organisation in Diyala province - for the last 4 months, asked Christopher Hill, the US ambassador in Baghdad, for his help in negotiating with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (aka Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCRI) to give visiting rights to the detainees in Camp Ashraf …
... The PMOI family members say their relatives are held captive in Camp Ashraf, adding if Washington can broker an agreement with Iran, similar arrangements are possible with the PMOI. "If America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families," the families said ...
LONDON, May 19 (UPI) -- Iranian families called on U.S. officials in Baghdad to broker visitation rights to Iranian dissidents encamped in their Diyala province enclave.
Members of the dissident People's Mujahedin of Iran are lodged in their Camp Ashraf enclave in Diyala province.
The PMOI opposes the clerical regime in Iran. Washington lists the group as a terrorist organization for its violent methods of opposition, though the group surrendered its weapons in 2003.
Iranian family members of Camp Ashraf residents called on U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Christopher Hill to award them the same rights that U.S. family members have with American hikers detained in Iran since July.
Family members of the hikers are expected Wednesday in Tehran.
The PMOI family members say their relatives are held captive in Camp Ashraf, adding if Washington can broker an agreement with Iran, similar arrangements are possible with the PMOI.
"If America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families," the families said.
The PMOI is included in the Iranian opposition movement the National Council of Resistance to Iran, a French-based group that considers itself the Iranian Parliament in exile. It denies the cult and terrorist categorization, claiming its policy is based on peaceful dissent.
Families of MEK Victims in Camp Ashraf, Iraq Want Same Visiting Rights as U.S. Detainee Families in Iran
... Urging Mr. Hill to intervene on their behalf with the leaders of the MEK the families said, "Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families" ...
A group of Iranian families today asked the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, for his help in negotiating with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (aka Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCRI) to give visiting rights to the detainees in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province.
The parents of captives in Camp Ashraf were responding to news that the mothers of three young Americans detained in Iran, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, are on their way to visit their children in prison there.
They said, "We are so happy for these families that negotiations with Iran have resulted in allowing these visits on compassionate grounds. Everyone in the world knows the strength of the bond between parent and child. We hope they will achieve their wishes in Iran."
For nearly four months the families have been encamped outside the camp which houses members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist cult. The cult leaders refuse to allow ordinary members to have any contact with the outside world and will not negotiate with external bodies. Some members have been trapped inside the camp for over twenty years.
Although the Government of Iraq is responsible for the camp, officials say their hands are tied because the MEK have powerful backers in Washington, even though it is on the U.S.'s own terrorism list. The families told Mr. Hill, "We witnessed ourselves that American soldiers intervened on behalf of the MEK leaders when Iraqi soldiers tried to help us get inside the camp."
Urging Mr. Hill to intervene on their behalf with the leaders of the MEK the families said, "Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds… But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families."
* * *
Open Letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Christopher R. Hill
We are Iranian families who have travelled to Iraq to find relatives enslaved by the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation (aka Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCRI) in Camp Ashraf. We families have been encamped outside the gates of Camp Ashraf for nearly four months now, and still not been helped enough to meet with our relatives.
We now have news that the mothers of three young Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, detained in Iran are flying over there to visit them in prison.
We are so happy for these families that negotiations with Iran have resulted in allowing these visits on compassionate grounds. Everyone in the world knows the strength of the bond between parent and child. We hope they will achieve their wishes in Iran.
We share the same anguish as these three mothers, with the difference that our children have been held captive in Camp Ashraf for over twenty years, not by the Iraqi government but by the very leaders of the group they are with. And conditions inside Camp Ashraf are worse than any prison; our children are not allowed to telephone or even to write to their families, they have been enslaved.
Up until 2003 we could not approach the camp where our children live because the Mojahedin-e Khalq were armed. We became hopeful when U.S. Forces disarmed the group and rounded them up into one place. At last there was hope of visiting. But the U.S. Army failed to get the group to surrender, even though it is on the U.S.’s own terrorism list as well as being a foreign terrorist group in Iraq. Even when we travelled to Iraq to find our children, the U.S. Army did not help us. Those few members who were lucky enough to meet their families always had MKO minders with them to prevent them from escaping.
When the Government of Iraq took control of the camp in January 2009 we again had hope that we could visit our children. But the MEK leaders refuse to cooperate and have not only kept the gate locked but threatened us with violence if we don’t leave. Now the Iraqi government is doing what it can to help us, but for almost four months we are still stuck at the entrance gate without news.
Over these four months we have talked to everyone we can; UNAMI, the Red Cross, human rights groups, Diyala tribal leaders, Iraqi and foreign press, Iraqi government officials and the military personnel responsible for the camp. In private we have been told over and over again that the Iraqi government cannot do more to help us because the Mojahedin-e Khalq has powerful backing in America (where it is on the U.S. terrorism list). We witnessed ourselves that American soldiers intervened on behalf of the MEK leaders when Iraqi soldiers tried to help us get inside the camp.
Now we are finally convinced that no one but America has control over this group - and even then we see that the tail is wagging the dog. Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds and we wish them every joy that such a meeting must bring. But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families.
We ask you as a matter of urgency, as Ambassador of the USA to Iraq, to use the considerable influence that you have to force the Mojahedin-e Khalq in Camp Ashraf to allow, on compassionate grounds, for our children to meet freely with us The families of MEK members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq
No one is to open the gates of Ashraf from the within
... BBC report starts with a sight of a big lock on the gate of Ashraf and the starting point of the text is “No one is to open the doors; all cries are uttered in vain”. Then the father of an Ashraf resident tells the reporter “It is for 22 years that I’ve received no letter of my son”. Some MKO members managing to escape from Ashraf are quoted as saying “Mojahedin high rankings prevent members to leave camp by means of intimidation, threat, and coercive measures”...
Since the gathering of the families of MKO victims and captives before Camp Ashraf, Mojahedin media as well as advocates have staged a new round of propagation and have repeatedly asked the mass media and reporters from all over the world to cover Camp Ashraf news for the world to be informed of what is happening therein. But is it really sincere in what is advertising? A review of BBC’s report in 26 April, basically in Persian, discredits all claims made by the organization as well as the truth of the statements made by the family of MKO members made in their nearly three months of gathering before the camp to let the world hear their cries of protest against the most blatant form of the modern slavery and to see and release their children and beloved ones from the clutches of the terrorist organization.
BBC report starts with a sight of a big lock on the gate of Ashraf and the starting point of the text is “No one is to open the doors; all cries are uttered in vain”. Then the father of an Ashraf resident tells the reporter “It is for 22 years that I’ve received no letter of my son”. Some MKO members managing to escape from Ashraf are quoted as saying “Mojahedin high rankings prevent members to leave camp by means of intimidation, threat, and coercive measures”. And BBC reporter expounds on the reaction of Ashraf officials, stating: The gates of the camp are closed on the reporters too and despite we have called Mojahedin authorities inside camp many times, there is no answer to our questions. Finally, BBC refers to the main challenge of Ashraf victims and its solution: ‘The US recognizes Mojahedin as a terrorist organization yet it has some advocators among American and European politicians and lawmakers who defend the survival of camp Ashraf in Iraq. Now the basic question is how long the few advocates of Mojahedin are to victimize thousands of innocents and their families for their own interests? There are some points to be mentioned on the BBC report.
The report approved the fact that despite the dissemination of Mojahedin and inviting mass media to camp Ashraf, the organization has so far refrained to welcome the reporters’ presence and answering their questions. Instead, it refers to the gathering before the camp as a propaganda show staged by the Iranian regime and calling people and reporters Intelligence Ministry agents swarming at the front gate of Ashraf by the collaboration of the Iraqi Prime Minister’s Office. The report has some shocking scenes illustrating the oppression and injustice of Ashraf high rankings imposed on MKO victims, their families and children and focuses on the gap separating Ashraf from the family of its residents as well as the baseless claims of Rajavi on the point that Ashraf residents have remained there at will and its doors are open for those willing to leave and other lies fabricated by him for killing time and victimizing more members. There is no need to interpret the tearful eyes of an eight-year-old girl who has never seen his father since she was born. The BBC report contains justifiable and significant points to convince the global community, international humanitarian institutions and mass media to be concerned about the blatant violations of human rights and international rules by the leaders of a blacklisted terrorist cult that respects no convention, law and domestic legislation. Here are some suggestions that may well help avert further violations of human rights by the organization and possible release of the enslaved members.
1. The international organizations are supposed to send their independent delegates to Iraq to be informed of the events inside and outside Camp Ashraf directly if they ever care for human rights and justice. It may prevent victimization of more MKO members used as human shields in Ashraf. Mojahedin advocates can make a descent visit of camp in order to get at the truth.
2. The Iraqi Government has done its best in order to prohibit any human disaster inside Ashraf. It is the best position taking on the part of the government after the bloody conflicts of June 2009 in proving its goodwill toward Ashraf residents. According to BBC report, the Iraqi police are just trying to preserve order in the region maintaining neutrality, yet Mojahedin leaders insist on developing a violent atmosphere by means of assaulting and battering the family of Ashraf residents located beside camp. The best solution at the time being seems to be the direct interference of international organs and bodies; otherwise, any negligence in this regard may result in negative consequences that in no way vindicate any concerned organization and body.
3. BBC report reveals that Mojahedin cannot bear the presence of mass media in the region in contrast to their claims. They are well aware that the disclosure of the truth may be a barrier in the way of their propaganda blitz and psychological warfare. Therefore, the continuous presence of the media in the region may foil Mojahedin’s plans.
4. The fact that a number of Ashraf residents escaped from the camp to join their family may reveal that the organization has kept MKO members inside camp by force. The presence of the concerned international institutions may facilitate the free exodus of the captives. Any delay in this regard may impose irreparable costs on the voluntary split of members and encouraging the leaders to continue with the human tragedy ultimatums.
5. The presence of a number of families before Camp Ashraf, that has emboldened some insiders to the escape and also disclose the true notorious nature of Mojahedin, may emphasize the necessity of the presence of other families to save their children. Undoubtedly, Ashraf officials cannot bear the existing conditions forever. As mentioned before, the first step for the dissolution of Camp Ashraf is by rendering the organization helpless through a striking split therein and this is the best time for breaking cultic relations of MKO to set the members free. The supports of the families may pave he way for releasing their children from the firm clutch of Rajavi.
6. The interaction of the families with the media is of a high significance. It may deprive Rajavi of his lever of fabrication and distortion of the truth as well as trying to win the sympathy of the world by putting the bargaining chip in the hands of the families as it was revealed in the blind and hysteric backlashes of Mojahedin against BBC report. In a nutshell, Rajavi and Ashraf high rankings have reached a stalemate and the persistence of the present conditions may lead to their full destruction in the near future.
Iranians in Iraq's Diyala call for release of relatives held in Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult) Ashraf camp
... These families live in difficult humanitarian conditions as their elderly men were scorched in the heat of the sun and the mothers were shedding tears for longing to meet their children. Other families carried photos of their sons and banners that condemn the repressive practices of the MKO leaderships, and they called on the international community to help their children out of what they described as MKO's hell ...
Families of Iranians detained in Ashraf Camp of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization [MKO] have staged a sit-in in the Iraqi governorate of Diyala. The protesters called on the Iraqi government and the international community to free their relatives from the hell they are living in.
[Al-Fayyad] Dozens of Iranian families staged a sit-in in front of the Ashraf Camp in Diyala Governorate to protest being denied the chance to meet their family members who are detained by the MKO. The families waiting at the entrance of the camp called on the Iraqi government and humanitarian organizations to help them meet their family members in an atmosphere free from surveillance, eavesdropping, and interference by the MKO members.
[Zumurruda Amini, mother of a detainee, speaking in Persian with voice-over translation into Arabic] I have a son detained in the camp; his name is Ghulam Rida. I have not seen him in years. I have waited a long time to see him, but it has been in vain. Help me to see him.
[Al-Fayyad] These families live in difficult humanitarian conditions as their elderly men were scorched in the heat of the sun and the mothers were shedding tears for longing to meet their children. Other families carried photos of their sons and banners that condemn the repressive practices of the MKO leaderships, and they called on the international community to help their children out of what they described as MKO's hell.
[Qudurat Sadiqi, father of a detainee, speaking in Persian with voice-over translation into Arabic] I am tired of making appeals. I have endured the hardships of the journey to meet my son, but this criminal organization has stopped me from seeing him.
[Zahrah K'abi, from the residents of the Ahvaz] My son was 25 years old when he left home one day to Abadan to bring the car and he never returned. Two years later, my daughter, who was a doctor, was in contact with him and she left home. Later we found a note in one of her books bidding us farewell and saying that she is going to join her brother.
[Al-Fayyad] Tribal leaders in Diyala Governorate stood by their brothers to deal with this tragedy and called on the Iraqi Government to expel the organization, which they described as terrorist.
[Muhammad Jasim, one of the tribal leaders of Tamim Tribe in Diyala Governorate] We must urge the Iraqi government, the new parliament, and the UN Security Council, the non-aligned countries and the Arab League to drive the MKO out of our country. They are occupying our lands. The MKO is a cancerous cell in our country. We are have been hurt by it.
[Al-Fayyad] Some of the families who came from the Islamic Republic of Iran to see their children but did not succeed in doing so said that the Iraqi government must take appropriate action to pressure the MKO, which has violated human rights and international charters by detaining their children for many years. Adil al-Fayyad is reporting for Al-Manar Channel from Ashraf Camp in Diyala Governorate
[Video shows families of Iranian detainees protesting]
Families’ picket in front of Camp Ashraf continues
Today’s Coverage from Iraqi media
... The organisers of this picket say that there are a large number of their children inside the camp but the leaders of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation do not let them meet their families. The families emphasised that they have no choice except to sit in front of the gates of the camp until they are given access to their loved ones ...
A group of Iranian families have been picketing in front of Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf) demanding access to their children who have been kept inside. The organisers of this picket say that there are a large number of their children inside the camp but the leaders of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation do not let them meet their families. The families emphasised that they have no choice except to sit in front of the gates of the camp until they are given access to their loved ones. They are also asking all international humanitarian organisations as well as the United Nations office to engage [with the problem] and provide them with access to their children.
Al Mashregh, June 21, 2010 The Iraqi Ambassador in Tehran announced that Iraq will not let anyone use its soil to attack neighbouring countries. Press TV reported Mohammad Majid Al Sheikh as saying: “Iraq will not allow the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation, or any other armed group, use its soil to carry out attacks against Iran”. Iraqi authorities have repeatedly demanded that the members of this organisation leave Camp Ashraf and Iraqi territory. The problem is, no other country in the world is willing to accept them”.
Addustour, June 21, 2010 The Iraqi government rejected allegations that it has decided to attack Camp Ashraf. An official said that: “The Government of Iraq is serious and working towards expelling the Mojahedin Khalq from the country, but fighting in not a solution. We will resolve this problem through peaceful means. The future Government of Iraq has the responsibility of ending the presence of this group in Iraq. During its presence [in Iraq] this organisation has been deeply involved in security issues and has been a helping hand to the late regime in suppressing the people of Iraq.
Bader, June 21, 2010 Political and social personalities and heads of Iraqi tribes condemned the Mojahedin Khalq Terrorist group’s blockage of meetings between the members and their families. The head of Khalis province said: “A delegation of local officials and tribal personalities have travelled to the camp in order to put pressure on the leaders of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation to let families reunite with their children on companionate and humanitarian grounds but it is unfortunate that this initiative as many previous ones failed”.
Camp Ashraf Families of Mojahedin Cult Offered Solidarity by Paris Conference
...The conference, attended by people from Europe and North America, produced a statement stressing that more must be done to challenge the stalemate at the camp where 3400 people are imprisoned by cult leaders. The statement also forms the basis of a cooperative working document for the next year between the Camp Ashraf families and the conference delegates ...
PARIS, June 20, 2010 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- A conference in Paris on Saturday asked international human rights organisations to be more involved in rescuing victims trapped in a violent cult in Iraq. Families and ex-members of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) linked up from Paris with the families who have camped outside Camp Ashraf in the Diyala province of Iraq for over four months. In Iraq, tens of journalists and local tribe leaders joined the families, while in Paris, Swiss author Anton Gessler, Dutch journalist Nelly Tomasini and MKO expert Massoud Khodabandeh analysed the group.
The families' only demand is unrestricted visits with relatives outside the camp. In a telephone link up with Iraq, Soraya Abdollahi, speaking for the families, thanked supporters, saying, "We have no choice but to stay and insist on our and our children's' minimum rights." Camp Ashraf (now Camp New Iraq) has housed Mojahedin-e Khalq members for thirty four years. Once allies of Saddam Hussein, the leaders disarmed in 2003 when American forces attacked their bases. But Mojahedin leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi refused to surrender to the allied forces or Iraqi authorities and for seven years have held their followers hostage inside the camp. Members have no access to outside information and are subjected to a daily regime of indoctrination and hard labour.
Iman Yeganeh, who escaped the camp in April 2010 after 22 years of captivity, described the situation for people inside the MKO as despairing. He said, "People are being told the Iraqis will kill them if they leave. Knowing about Saddam's security services, when I left I believed I would be killed. Even then I had to plan carefully how to finally get out." In Iraq, victims and their families are helped by Sahar Family Foundation; established in 2008 by ex-members and families with support from Iraq's authorities who also want to see a swift end to the self-imposed MKO siege. From Iraq, the website www.SaharNGO.com was announced, providing up-to-date information about the camp.
The conference, attended by people from Europe and North America, produced a statement stressing that more must be done to challenge the stalemate at the camp where 3400 people are imprisoned by cult leaders. The statement also forms the basis of a cooperative working document for the next year between the Camp Ashraf families and the conference delegates.
With faith in the generosity of people, with the aim of rejecting all kinds of violence, terrorism and cultish behaviours and with the aim of helping the families of the victims of Rajavi cult in Camp Ashraf – Iraq, more than 200 human rights activities are participating in this gathering on the 19th of June 2010 in Paris. No doubt, in the present circumstances, Iranian society inside and outside the country is in need of peace and awareness more than ever. We see it as our duty to create an atmosphere in which these could be achieved and therefore we reject all kinds of violent ideologies as well as all kinds of cultish beliefs. We believe that dialogue and interaction between different ideas could and should be the way forward. The people gathered here include human rights groups and activists, experts in cults and anti terrorism, as well as families of the victims who have joined us in this gathering. As the majority of the participants in this gathering are ex members of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation, the following statement is designed to be the focal point for the future co-operation between the signatories as well.
1- We believe that the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation led by Mr. Massoud Rajavi and Mrs. Maryam Rajavi during the past three decades with their insistence on the two parameters of Ideology and Military, have changed the organisation in to a religious-terrorist cult. The brainwashing of the members is aimed at diminishing any resistance to the lifetime leadership of Rajavi and his wife Maryam. The leader of the cult was engaged in mercenary work for Saddam Hussein, the former dictator of Iraq, and in return Saddam allowed the leadership and members of Mojahedin Khalq to be transferred to Iraq where the leadership had all the tools needed to suppress the critics in the known atmosphere of Saddam’s era. Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi tortured their critics in solitary confinement and if this would not lead to the desired result and the resistance against them persisted, then in co-operation with the Secret Services of Saddam’s regime they would send their victims to the prisons of Iraq, one of which was the infamous Abu Ghraib prison, from where ten surviving inmates (ex MKO members) are available here to testify in any international court.
2- Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, in order to deceive and legitimise their activities and to garner support for the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation, portray themselves s the only democratic alternative to the Iranian regime. This is an organisation which, according to an overwhelming number of European diplomats working in Iran, enjoys no support among the people inside Iran. We ask all international policy makers and politicians and governments not to use such terrorists as Massoud and Maryam Rajavi as tools for short term benefits. This is no more than giving ransom to terrorists when practically all the people of Iran have complaints against them.
3- We the supporters and signatories to this statement warn that after the fall of Saddam Hussein, the leaders and high ranking members of the Mojahedin Khalq have escaped to European countries, taking with them whatever money and documents were given to them by the fallen regime before its collapse. They are using known faces in European parliaments as lobbyists to whitewash their history of terrorism and long-lasting cooperation with Saddam’s dictatorship, and either reject the abundant documents available or to try to legitimise them with excuses. The ideological, organisational, financial and military relation between the MEK and the Baath Party of Saddam is not a secret. Films and documents of the joint criminal activities of Rajavi and Saddam are available and presentable to any court.
4- We announce our support for the French government’s correct move on 17th June 2003 that resulted in the arrest of Maryam Rajavi and over 160 high ranking members of this terrorist cult. We also denounce and deplore the order by the leadership of the cult which ended in self-immolation of some cult members in the streets of Paris in June 2003. We thank the foreign minister of France Mr. Kouchner for his stance against terrorism and announcing this group to be a terrorist group. We ask the French Judiciary to expedite consideration of the complaint files filed by the victims of the Mojahedin Khalq against the leaders of the cult
5- We support the Iraqi government in its attempt to remove the Mojahedin Khalq forces from their country and deplore the various plots of the MEK leadership to prevent the Iraqi government from carrying out its responsibilities; plots which have already resulted in the death of some members. The responsibility for the outcome of such plots, which aim to prevent the transfer of members to wherever they want to go, is solely on the shoulders of the leaders of the cult.
6- Maryam Rajavi who resides in Auvers-sur-Oise in France is working on the concept of keeping the structure of the terrorist cult intact if and when the Iraqi government does remove the MEK forces from Iraq. She wants to have the whole organisation transferred intact to one of the European countries, most probably France or one of the Scandinavian countries. She is planning to re-start her terrorist activities from this new HQ in the heart of Europe. We, the participants of this seminar warn that the presence of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist organisation is a serious threat to the safety of the people in European countries.
7- The participants in this seminar believe that many victims of Rajavi cult in Ashraf camp once they are freed will need psychological care and attention as they have been exposed to very long term psychological manipulation. For this reason we ask the ICRC, UNHCR, Médecins Sans Frontières, etc to visit and interview every one of the captives separately and evaluate their situation and needs.
8- We condemn the continuous harassment, character assassination and physical attacks carried out by the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation on the direct order of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi in Europe against ex members and critics of the cult as well as Iranians abroad who ask simple questions from the leadership of this organisation.
9- We believe that political and social struggle can not and should not undermine humanitarian feelings and family bonds. Therefore we ask the Mojahedin Khalq leaders to respect these feelings and let the families of those captive in Camp Ashraf visit their loved ones without the presence and harassment of cult leaders. We also call on these leaders to cancel the order of ‘no marriage’ inside the Mojahedin Khalq immediately.
10- Concerning the above paragraph, we ask the governments of Iraq, the US and European governments to become more active concerning the situation of the people trapped in Camp Ashraf by the Mojahedin Khalq leaders; to take more responsibility and act to secure the minimum of human rights, including the right of family visits, right to access to news and media and the right of choosing their future. At the end we announce to the families of the victims picketing in front of camp Ashraf who have been trying to visit their loved ones for the last four months:
1- Your loved ones are our brothers and sisters. We have suffered alongside these people for years and surely we will stand with you until the day that they are released.
2- We assure you that all the interviews and whatever you hear from them on tapes are made under direct pressure of the organisation and we assure you that their hearts beat for you and that it is only your unconditional family love that can overcome the effects of these pressures.
3- We will do our best to bring your voice to the attention of international society and we adore your resilience and patience.
4- We are as aware as you are about the threats posed to the residents of camp Ashraf. We are afraid of what may possibly happen and will try our best to prevent it by bringing it to the attention of the outside world. We also ask you to neutralise these treats by your presence and vigilance.
Families of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, NCRI) captives at gates of Camp Ashraf remain cheerful and optimistic
... The families are cheerful and optimistic. They are being encouraged and facilitated by the Iraqi authorities, who also want the Mojahedin to comply with demands of the Iraqi Government. The Mojahedin have accused these families of being ‘agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’ who have come to kill them. Rajavi has indoctrinated his followers with fear and loathing of their own mothers and fathers ...
For the past four months the families have been asking to meet with their relatives who remain captive inside the camp. The families have established a small camp of their own to out-wait the Mojahedin’s stubborn refusal to comply with their simple request.
The families are cheerful and optimistic. They are being encouraged and facilitated by the Iraqi authorities, who also want the Mojahedin to comply with demands of the Iraqi Government.
The Mojahedin have accused these families of being ‘agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’ who have come to kill them. Rajavi has indoctrinated his followers with fear and loathing of their own mothers and fathers.
Of course, the work of dissolving a mind-control cult is not easy. Cult experts would agree that the two groups of people who most threaten the leaders’ control over members’ minds are the ex-members and the families of current members. This is no different in the case of the Mojahedin-e Khalq. Having been pushed into a corner by the revelations of the ex-members, the cult now faces the absolute determination of these families to achieve their aim. The families will stay at Camp Ashraf until they have freed their children.
Iranian families demand Ambassador Hill helps them meet their children detained in Camp Ashraf
... Iranian families, who travelled from Iran and other countries four months ago to sit in front of the headquarters of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq in Diyala province (Camp Ashraf), called on the United States Ambassador in Iraq, Christopher Hill, to intervene and put pressure on the organization's leaders to end their suffering and allow them to meet with their children, who have been detained within the camp since the 1980s ...
BAGHDAD - Iranian families, who travelled from Iran and other countries four months ago to sit in front of the headquarters of the Iranian Mojahedin-e Khalq in Diyala province (Camp Ashraf), called on the United States Ambassador in Iraq, Christopher Hill, to intervene and put pressure on the organization's leaders to end their suffering and allow them to meet with their children, who have been detained within the camp since the 1980s.
In an Open Letter, a copy of which was also distributed to our agency in Iraq, the families demanded the U.S. ambassador in Iraq help with intervention and dialogue with leaders and officials of the [Mojahedin] organization, to allow the families free access to their children outside the walls of the camp in the same way that the three U.S. mothers were able to travel to Iran recently and meet their three children (Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal) who are detained there.
The body of the message addressing Mr Hill said, “Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds… But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families. if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families.”
The families expressed the hope that the involvement of Ambassador Hill and the U.S. government with leaders of the organization, would create a serious and positive end to their suffering and enable them to meet their children, detainees at Camp Ashraf.
* * * *
عوائل ايرانية تطالب السفير هيل بمساعدتها على لقاء ابنائها في معسكر اشرف بديالى
بغداد (إ ب ا)- طالبت عوائل ايرانية قدمت من ايران والمعتصمة منذ اربعة اشهر امام مقر منظمة خلق الإيرانية في محافظة ديالى (معسكر اشرف), طالبت سفيرالولايات المتحدة الامريكية في العراق كريستوفر هيل بالتدخل والضغط على قادة المنظمة لانهاء معاناتهم ولقاء ابنائهم المحتجزين داخل المعسكر منذ عقد الثمانينات من القرن الماضي.
وطالبت العوائل المعتصمة في رسالة مفتوحة وصلت وكالة العراق بيتنا نسخة منها وجهتها للسفير الامريكي في العراق التدخل والحوار مع قادة ومسؤولي المنظمة المذكورة للسماح لها بمقابلة ابنائهم بحرية خارج أسوار المعسكر أسوة بالعوائل الأمريكية الثلاث التي زارت ايران مؤخرا ً وتمكنت من اللقاء بابنائهم الثلاثة (شون باور، سارا شورد ، جاش فاتال) المعتقلين هناك.
وجاء في نص الرسالة "السيد هيل: لقد رأينا بان الحكومة الامريكية قد نجحت وعلى اساس انساني بترتيب ملاقاة الامهات الامريكيات مع ابنائهنّ المعتقلين في ايران، واذا تمكنت امريكا من تحقيق مثل هذه المفاوضات مع الحكومة الإيرانية، نتوقع منكم امكانية التفاوض مع هذه المجموعة الارهابية الصغيرة واستحصال الموافقة للقاء بأبنائنا الاسرى المتواجدين في المعسكر بكل حرية".
واعربت العوائل عن املها في ان يكون تدخل السفير هيل والحكومة الامريكية مع قادة منظمة خلق جادا ً وايجابيا ً لإنهاء معاناتهم واللقاء بأبنائهم المحتجزين في معسكر اشرف.//
(West is also seeking the trial of leaders of Mojahedin Khalq, MKO, MEK, NCRI, Rajavi cult)
... As is seen in the above mentioned part of the article, for the first time a semi-official source in the west is seeking the trial of the leaders of the MKO, and for the first time the international demand is heard that the cult leader Rajavi and his wife must face justice in international courts. Although it is late, it is still positive to find that with the arrest warrant issued by the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court, the resistance of the Camp Ashraf Families is eventually giving its fruit and the International call for freeing the victims of the cult and trying the leaders ...
The World Today, publication of the British Chatham House Conservative Political Club, has an article by Rachel Schneller, (FOREIGN SERVICE OFFICER, US STATE DEPARTMENT, CURRENTLY INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS FELLOW, and COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS) titled IRAQ AND THE AMERICAN PULLOUT published in its August 2010 edition, Voume 66, Number 8/9.
In this article we read about the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO – Rajavi cult) in Iraq as follows:
… AND WITHDRAW RESPONSIBLY The US should, however, withdraw responsibly. Our departure will have consequences for many Iraqis. To ignore our responsibilities would, in the words of US Congressman Brad Sherman, 'Allow a human rights catastrophe to occur in Iraq just because we are in the process of leaving.' Representative Sherman was referring to the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), about three thousand radical Iranians held in Camp Ashraf in Iraq who oppose the Iranian government. Baghdad has no sympathy for the MEK because it assisted Saddam Hussein in suppressing Iraqi Shi'a and Kurds. The US withdrawal could result in a piranha-like feeding frenzy as both Iraq and Iran exact revenge.
MEK also participated in the 1979 take-over of the US Embassy in Tehran and so its members, as designated terrorists, are not eligible for resettlement in the US. Camp Ashraf, however, postpones the inevitable and risks becoming another Guantanamo Bay. MEK members who took part in acts of terror should face justice, possibly through an ad hoc United Nations tribunal that would ensure a fair trial. Those exonerated should then qualify for resettlement.
As is seen in the above mentioned part of the article, for the first time a semi-official source in the west is seeking the trial of the leaders of the MKO, and for the first time the international demand is heard that the cult leader Rajavi and his wife must face justice in international courts. Although it is late, it is still positive to find that with the arrest warrant issued by the Iraqi Supreme Criminal Court, the resistance of the Camp Ashraf Families is eventually giving its fruit and the International call for freeing the victims of the cult and trying the leaders in an international court has now been heard. It seems that Rajavi is becoming more and more limited day by day.
The article is critical of the Americans who used groups like the MKO and others and are now leaving them alone in Iraq. As far as the Sahar Family Foundation (SFF) is concerned we do not worry about that. Our concern is that, as the article mentions, if even this group has been serving Washington, the matter must be dealt with in legal terms and they must first put on trial those subject to arrest warrants and of course then the ordinary rank and file must be transferred to the US. What is important is that the US administration must take responsibility for the group before they leave Iraq (refer to the RAND report for the US Defense Department). The leaders of the MKO expect to escape from justice and be treated as the French government did to be able to continue its cultic brainwashing in the west after all the crimes committed against the people of Iran as well as against the people of Iraq and even against its own members.
The American forces sooner or later will leave Iraq and will leave the Rajavi cult and other groups for the Iraqis. It is worth noting that when they leave Iraq, the MKO might face the revenge of angry Iraqi people. But in this case the responsibility of protecting them should not be left for Iran or Iraq; the US Forces must see to the matter before they leave.
Naturally the Americans would like to avoid taking up their responsibilities in this respect and would leave the problem of the MKO for the Iraqi government to solve, but as the article mentions it is important to follow all the legal procedures, and before any other matter the leaders must be separated from the rank and file. The entire inhabitants of Ashraf Camp (over 3000 individuals) who are the prime victims of a destructive cult could not be put on trial. The aim is only to try the leadership which is the sole answerable body for all the crimes committed for years, in a court under the supervision of international institutes. This is what Iraq is asking for and this is why Iraq has issued the arrest warrants for the leaders of the MKO. The body of the organization must be separated from the head and be freed and saved and in this regard the SFF is ready to cooperate in any possible way.
The demand of the west in general and the demand of the Iraqi government about the situation of the terrorist MKO in Iraq are more or less the same and apparently they both seek the trial of the leaders and saving the victims of the cult, and of course it is clear that the war mongering cliques influenced by the Israelis are opposing this general international demand.
... MEK also participated in the 1979 take-over of the US Embassy in Tehran and so its members, as designated terrorists, are not eligible for resettlement in the US. Camp Ashraf, however, postpones the inevitable and risks becoming another Guantanamo Bay. MEK members who took part in acts of terror should face justice, possibly through an ad hoc United Nations tribunal that would ensure a fair trial. Those exonerated should then qualify for resettlement ...
The withdrawal of United States combat troops on August 31 falls during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and prayer; a timetable better suited to the American political cycle than to conditions in Iraq. Ramadan usually sees a spike in violence as religious fervour combines with heat and hunger. But delaying the withdrawal another year would mean the Iraq war surpassing the Vietnam war in length. The timing could have been better for Iraq, but withdrawal is overdue for the US. Having never been justified in the first place - legally, strategically, or defensively - it is time to endmilitary engagement in Iraq.
The United States has dug its military into the landscape, requiring enormous sums of taxpayer dollars to maintain its presence. It justifies its Iraq addiction by claiming only its soldiers can prevent Iraqis from killing each other and the Iraqi government from falling apart. For their part, many Iraqi politicians rely extensively on the US military, even as they call for the end of the occupation to score political points against rivals. It is an unhealthy, co-dependent relationship and the withdrawal will be a withdrawal in all senses of the word, possibly incurring further damage in the process if not undertaken responsibly.
IN CHAOS Iraq's political landscape is in bad shape and likely to get worse, but there is nothing the US military can or should do to prevent this. Some argue that the combat presence should be extended, raising visions of renewed sectarian bloodshed, Arab-Kurd violence, and the lack of Iraqi security force competence as justification for renegotiating Washington's security agreement with Baghdad.
There are very real risks of violence and destabilisation, but committing US troops ad infinitum would have almost no impact on the underlying causes, and escalating violence should not justify another Iraq fix. On the contrary, a continued US military presence would deter Iraqis from taking-on the issues themselves, the only long-term solution to Iraq's problems, particularly in regards to security which is a domestic rather than international issue.
Once American combat troops leave, Shi'a followers ofMoqtada al-Sadr will be deprived of their favourite devil and will lose relevance unless they can turn their energies to solving the country's electricity crisis and improving relations with its Arab neighbours.
With fewer US bases, Al Qaeda in Iraq will have a reduced number of targets and its presence there is likely to diminish. After all, it has very few natural allies even among the Sunni Arab population.
Iyad Allawi's Iraqiyya party won a tiny advantage in the March 7 vote, but Allawi has squandered whatever mandate he had by failing to form a coalition with any of the other major political parties. His frequent travels to Sunni Gulf countries further alienate him from the Shi'a population.
The National Alliance, intended to unite the rule of Law party with the Iraqi National Alliance in an undefeatable bloc, has likewise frittered away its mandate by botching the basic issue of who will lead the coalition.
Nuri al-Maliki, supposedly a strong leader, clutches onto the premiership even as the country crumbles around him because of a lack of leadership. Death threats against party leaders abound, and at least three elected officials have already been assassinated.
If a new government has formed by August 31, it may exclude at least one of the main demographic groups: Kurds, Sunni, or Shi'a. As in 2005, there is no appetite for a national unity government that would put all parties into the same tent and force them to compromise on de-Baathification and Kirkuk, issues that Iraqis are willing to kill and die for, rather than make concessions on.
If a national unity government is rammed into existence, the reluctant players will spend their four years in office squabbling rather than tackling the tough issues. The alternative of leaving-out one or more parties, may result in increased violence, but it may also lead to the development of a healthy opposition, able to credibly challenge the government when it acts illegitimately.
WITHDRAW SLOWLY… The US will not be going cold turkey in its withdrawal. With its remaining fifty thousand support troops and 1,300 civilians and diplomats, it would do well to focus on getting the country electrified and supporting constitutional reform, things Iraqis themselves see as major stumbling blocks for economic and political development.
Nothing would stabilise Iraq more than reliable electricity, which would allow business growth and employment of those who might otherwise join militias to support their families. Electricity would attract investment and make it possible for the oil and gas sectors to expand, increase refrigeration of vaccines and fresh food, benefit schools, and even have allowed more people to watch World Cup games; it is no coincidence that major protests prompting the Electricity Minister to resign occurred in June during the football tournament.
The delay in government formation both in 2005 and this year underscores the vital need to reform the constitution as well as the rest of the legal structure. The constitution's ambiguous, vague wording, written in haste and barely ratified in 2005, resulted in both Iraqiyya and the National Coalition claiming in March to have won the right to form the next government. Without the laws, courts, and constitution for political and legal solutions, Iraqis will rationally choose violence as the most effective means to solve problems.
…AND WITHDRAW RESPONSIBLY The US should, however, withdraw responsibly. Our departure will have consequences for many Iraqis. To ignore our responsibilities would, in the words of US Congressman Brad Sherman, 'Allow a human rights catastrophe to occur in Iraq just because we are in the process of leaving.' Representative Sherman was referring to the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), about three thousand radical Iranians held in Camp Ashraf in Iraq who oppose the Iranian government. Baghdad has no sympathy for the MEK because it assisted Saddam Hussein in suppressing Iraqi Shi'a and Kurds. The US withdrawal could result in a piranha-like feeding frenzy as both Iraq and Iran exact revenge.
MEK also participated in the 1979 take-over of the US Embassy in Tehran and so its members, as designated terrorists, are not eligible for resettlement in the US. Camp Ashraf, however, postpones the inevitable and risks becoming another Guantanamo Bay. MEK members who took part in acts of terror should face justice, possibly through an ad hoc United Nations tribunal that would ensure a fair trial. Those exonerated should then qualify for resettlement.
Even more desperate than the MEK are the estimated one hundred thousand Sahwa members, Sunni insurgents who initially fought against Americans in 2003-4 but then cooperated with them against Al Qaeda from 2005-8. Al Qaeda targets Sahwa members for betraying them, Shi'a militias despise them for working with the Americans, and the Shi'a government is reluctant to include the former insurgents in either the police or security forces.
Like MEK, Sahwa insurgents do not qualify for resettlement in the US. However, without Sahwa's assistance, US forces would almost certainly have been defeated. Having signed a deal with Sawha we should uphold our end of the bargain by protecting remaining members from being picked off by Al Qaeda or Shi'a militias. We should help Sahwa families join the US refugee programme; restrictions on resettlement should not apply to innocent spouses and children. The credibility of America as a strategic partner in the Gulf depends in large part on how we treat our Arab allies, including Sahwa members.
As the military withdraws, thousands of Iraqis will lose their jobs as translators and assistants. Along with income loss they will face death threats for having worked with Americans and will no longer have the protection of nearby forces. Those who want to be resettled in the US should have quick and efficient access to the Refugee Assistance Program. For those who do not wish to leave Iraq, generous severance packages should benegotiated, taking into account their increased need for security as US troops depart.
On August 31, there may not yet be a new government to escort the US out, let alone take responsibility for the country's security. People will undoubtedly still suffer from severe electricity shortages, with no air conditioning or refrigeration for most at the hottest time of the year. Clean water will be scarce and crops will be dying. There will be long, angry lines at fuel stations, rubbish mounting in the streets, and occasional explosions with accompanying screams and sirens. Basically, most people's idea of hell. But separate we must.
Rachel Schneller, Foreign Service Officer, US State Department, currently International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations. The views in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of the US Government or State Department
Interior Ministry announces receipt of arrest warrants for 38 leaders
and members of
Mojahedink Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult)
... The source said, in an interview with Alsumaria News, that the Mojahedin is accused of killing thousands of Iraqi citizens in coordination with the Iraqi security forces to suppress the uprising of March 1991, indicating that the investigations carried out proved the participation of members of the MKO in quelling the rebelling southern provinces and the north. " ...
The Ministry of Interior on Saturday announced it had received the arrest warrants issued by the Iraqi High Tribunal against 38 leaders and members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq (aka MKO, MEK, PMOI) on charges of involvement in crimes against humanity. A source in the Criminal Court said the MKO who are wanted had been involved with Iraqi security forces in quelling the uprising of March 1991.
Aydan Khaled, Under Secretary of the Ministry of Interior for Police Affairs said in interview with Alsumaria News, "The Ministry received the warrants from the High Court against 38 leaders and the Mojahedin accused of committing crimes against humanity."
According to Khaled, "The Interior Ministry circulated judicial orders to all police stations in Baghdad for their implementation and investigation". He noted that "the Ministry does not have complete information on the whereabouts of the elements of the MKO wanted for arrest, whether they are inside or outside Iraq."
The Undersecretary of the Ministry of Interior for Police Affairs said that "the ministry had no statistics or information for the pursuit of elements of the Organization for crimes at this time", pointing out at the same time "the breaches of law by the elements of the Organization in Ashraf camp included attacks on Iraqi police officers and prevention of families of members of the organization coming from Iran to visit their children and their families within Camp Ashraf ".
The violence which broke out in Camp Ashraf which was demilitarized after the transfer of responsibility for camp security from American troops to Iraq in July 2009, has led to the deaths and injuries of nearly three hundred members of the Mojahedin organization, including 25 women, with 110 of the Iraqi security forces among the wounded and dead…
It is noteworthy that in late January of last year, 2009, the Mojahedin had been taken off the European Union list of terrorist organizations. The Iranian government strongly condemned the resolution, and the Government of Iraq has long tried to close the camp and find a solution to relocate the residents inside, either through return to Iran or through transfer to places deep in the desert or to a third country, but things remained the same.
For his part, a source in the High Criminal Court said that "the arrest warrants issued against 38 of the MKO members comes against the background of charges of killings and torture against Iraqi citizens in 1991."
The source said, in an interview with Alsumaria News, that the Mojahedin is accused of killing thousands of Iraqi citizens in coordination with the Iraqi security forces to suppress the uprising of March 1991, indicating that the investigations carried out proved the participation of members of the MKO in quelling the rebelling southern provinces and the north. "
The source, a judge in the Criminal Court who asked not to be named said the "most wanted leaders of the MKO, include leader Massoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam Rajavi."
The regime of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein assigned the members of the MKO to the Iraqi Army and Republican Guard in its military operations in the provinces of the North and South to end a popular uprising in March 1991 against the regime of Saddam Hussein after his defeat in the Kuwait war. The MKO's role is especially important because of the survival of its military arsenal which was safe from any damage due to [U.S.] aerial bombardment of Iraqi sectors, and the destruction, most of which was in Kuwait and its surroundings in the ground offensive of the Allied forces in the twenty-fourth of the month of February 1991…
UK government denies any contact with Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult) terrorists
... “The British Government has no form of contact with this organization, as a point of principle,” Foreign Office spokesman Barry Marston said. “The MKO was responsible for a number of horrible acts of terrorism against ordinary Iranians and have never unambiguously renounced violence,” Marston told IRNA. Marston said Britain “condemned acts of terrorism in Iran by criminal groups like Jondallah & the MKO, particularly horrific attacks against Mosques, security forces & innocent people.” ...
London June 17, IRNA -- The British Foreign Office Thursday denied any links with the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MKO) terrorist organisation despite removing the anti-Iran group from its proscribed list two years ago.
“The British Government has no form of contact with this organization, as a point of principle,” Foreign Office spokesman Barry Marston said.
“The MKO was responsible for a number of horrible acts of terrorism against ordinary Iranians and have never unambiguously renounced violence,” Marston told IRNA.
“Neither do we believe this group enjoys any kind of popular support inside Iran,” he said after British Ambassador Simon Gass was summoned to the Foreign Ministry in Tehran following accusations of UK involvement in terrorist plots.
The MKO were among the first terrorist groups to be outlawed in the UK in 2001, but also became the first to be deproscribed two years ago, leading to suggestions that the move was politically motivated coming at a time of deterioration in relations.
The UK government has always accepted that the anti-Iran group have never categorically given up terrorism but insisted that it was forced to remove it from their banned list after losing a court ruling that was supported by many MPs in 2008.
Marston said Britain “condemned acts of terrorism in Iran by criminal groups like Jondallah & the MKO, particularly horrific attacks against Mosques, security forces & innocent people.”
“Accusations that Britain has had any involvement in supporting such groups is ridiculous and untrue,” he said, adding that the UK government takes “terrorism extremely seriously, so in principle we'd be ready to cooperate with the Iranian authorities relating to credible evidence of genuine acts of terrorism."
Official American version of events at Camp Ashraf
... There were allegations during the year that some of the 3,400 members of the MEK terrorist organization located at Ashraf were denied the right to leave under threat of reprisal from MEK leaders. These allegations were corroborated by several former Ashraf residents who had fled the camp. Individuals claimed to have been subjected to psychological and physical abuse ...
On July 28, clashes erupted at Ashraf in Diyala Province when the ISF attempted to establish a police presence inside the more than 3,400-person compound of the terrorist Iranian dissident group Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The clashes resulted in the deaths of 11 MEK members and injuries to 30 ISF officers. The government credibly claimed the MEK provoked the clashes by staging a violent demonstration to block the ISF from entering the compound.
d. Freedom of Movement, Internally Displaced Persons, Protection of Refugees, and Stateless Persons
There were allegations during the year that some of the 3,400 members of the MEK terrorist organization located at Ashraf were denied the right to leave under threat of reprisal from MEK leaders. These allegations were corroborated by several former Ashraf residents who had fled the camp. Individuals claimed to have been subjected to psychological and physical abuse, including threats of reprisal against family members and solitary confinement in Ashraf to discourage defections.
The secretary of US embassy exposed Mojahedin Khalq(MKO, MEK,PMOI, Rajavi cult) leadership
... The second secretary of the American embassy in Baghdad, published a documented report on the crimes committed by the MEK’s leaders who bloodshed their own colleagues, raped the women of Ashraf, poisoned and executed dozens of the defectors ...
The Second secretary of US embassy report on the horrible crimes of MKO leader
The second secretary of the American embassy in Baghdad, published a documented report on the crimes committed by the MEK’s leaders who bloodshed their own colleagues, raped the women of Ashraf, poisoned and executed dozens of the defectors.
According to FNA reporter in Baghdad, the second secretary of American embassy in Baghdad, William, revealed the bloody violence of Masud Rajavi, MKO leader, against the dissident members, in the third and forth chapter of the report on the actual situation of Mujahedin.
The American official, who investigated the documents and files on Mujahedin, has been one of the authorities who control Camp Ashraf. The report reads:
Like Malik Farough, the former king of Jordan, Masud Rajavi abuses even his female colleagues.”
In another part of the report you can read:
” Rajavi has expanded sexual relations with the female military, political and administrative ranks of the group. He also ordered the doctors to do hysterectomy surgery on some of them.
He noted that he has watched the films of the confessions of the women.
The second secretary of the American embassy mentioned that Rajavi sent the husbands to the deadly operations so as he can reach the wives and possess them in Napoleon’s way. In the existing documents in Ashraf you find out that some of the deaths in the group were not random but intentionally planned. In his long report William noted three cases of the planned deaths and wrote:
”the confessions of some of group members reveal that Rajavi was involved in 19 cases of death personally ordering the assassination.”
This American authority points out poisoning of the members and writes:
“Rajavi ordered the silent death, poisoning some friends or colleagues.
Now, it is clear for the US that MEK’s leader was involved in the suspicious death of his colleagues who were killed under his order but their death was reported falsely as the result of sickness or accident.
He continued mentioning that the forces of MEK are disappointed at the present time in Iraq and present no benefit to the US administration in the current Iraqi scene.
In a part of the report he writes:
Most of Mujahedin forces are suffering dangerous mental diseases and are likely to commit suicide or homicide.
Besides the Iraqi security authorities stressed that the Americans investigated some individuals who confessed that the MEK leader was involved in the assassination of Iranians residing abroad and some defectors of the group. To commit the assassinations, MKO enjoyed the assistance of embassies of the Saddam’s regime and his security organizations.
British Minister of State: We believe it is in the interest of residents to cooperate peacefully with Iraqi authorities
... Government of Iraq would deal with the residents of the camp with respect for their human rights in co-operation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We believe it is in the interests of the residents to respect and accept the decision made by the Government of Iraq, and to cooperate peacefully with the Iraqi authorities ...
To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what recent representations he has made to the government of Iraq on the situation in Camp Ashraf; and if he will take steps to ensure that residents of Camp Ashraf are not driven from Iraq.
Ivan Lewis (Minister of State (Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs), Foreign and Commonwealth Office; Bury South, Labour)
We have discussed the situation at Camp Ashraf with the Iraqi Prime Minister, the Foreign Minister, the Human Rights Minister, the Minister of Internal Affairs and the Iraqi Government's Ashraf Committee. I met the Iraqi Foreign Minister in Baghdad in December 2009 and underlined the need for the Iraqi authorities to deal with the residents of Camp Ashraf in a way that meets international humanitarian standards. In addition we discuss the issue with the UN, US, and the EU.
The Iraqi authorities have told the residents that they can no longer stay at Camp Ashraf but has given assurances that no residents will be forcibly transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution, or where substantial grounds exist to believe they would be tortured. The Iraqi Human Rights Minister confirmed to our ambassador on 27 January 2010 that the Government of Iraq would deal with the residents of the camp with respect for their human rights in co-operation with the UN and the International Committee of the Red Cross. We believe it is in the interests of the residents to respect and accept the decision made by the Government of Iraq, and to cooperate peacefully with the Iraqi authorities.
UK Parliament - some sensible answers to Mojahedin (Rajavi cult) claims
... In the case of occupied territory, the Convention continues to apply for a year after the general close of military operations, and partially thereafter if the occupying power continues to exercise the functions of government. The occupation of Iraq formally ended on 30 June 2004...
UK Parliament, April 20-21 2009
Written answers Monday, 20 April 2009 Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs Iraq: Mujahedin-e Khalq David Drew (Stroud, Labour) To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what reports he has received of alleged attacks on residents in Ashraf City by members of the Iraqi secret service; and if he will make a statement. Bill Rammell (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Harlow, Labour) holding answer 20 March 2009 We are aware that such allegations have surfaced in the Iraqi media. We have discussed these allegations with the US, who retain a presence inside Camp Ashraf, and with the Iraqi government. We have seen no evidence to support the allegations.
Written answers Monday, 20 April 2009 House of Lords Iran Lord Maginnis of Drumglass (Crossbench) To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they have taken to ensure that Camp Ashraf residents who are members of the People's Mujaheddin Organisation of Iran are not expelled to Iran by the Iraqi authorities; and what alternatives to that they have proposed through the United Nations. Lord Malloch-Brown (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Labour) Responsibility for the security and administration of Camp Ashraf was transferred on 1 January 2009 from the US to the Iraqi authorities. Prior to this handover the US received assurances from the Iraqi authorities towards their clear commitment to the humane treatment and continued well-being of the camp residents. The US retains a presence at the camp in an advisory/monitoring capacity. The Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights visits the camp and has delivered assurances to a representative body of the residents. The International Committee of the Red Cross follows developments at the camp closely and continues to visit. It also discusses on a confidential basis all of the issues surrounding the camp with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MEK) and the Iraqi and US authorities. The UN High Commission for Refugees has previously determined that Camp Ashraf residents do not qualify as refugees. While there is no evidence to suggest that the Government of Iraq intend forcibly to relocate the residents, our Embassy in Baghdad has requested a call on the Ministry of Human Rights to make known the level of interest in this issue in the UK and to remind the Iraqi Government of their earlier assurances. Our Embassy in Baghdad is also pursuing the possibility of a visit to the camp by a consular official.
Written answers Tuesday, 21 April 2009 House of Lords Iraq Lord King of West Bromwich (Labour) To ask Her Majesty's Government what representations they have made to the Government of Iraq to safeguard the human rights and safety of Iranian residents in Ashraf City; and with what results. Lord Malloch-Brown (Minister of State, Foreign & Commonwealth Office; Labour) The US held responsibility for the security and administration of Camp Ashraf until 1 January 2009. Responsibility was then transferred from the US to Iraqi authorities. The modalities of the transfer had been discussed by both sides with UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq. Prior to the transfer, the US received assurances from the Iraqi authorities towards their clear commitment to the humane treatment and continued wellbeing of the camp residents. The US retains a presence at the camp in an advisory/monitoring capacity. The Government of Iraq have stated that no Camp Ashraf residents will be forcibly transferred to a country where they have reason to fear persecution. The Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights visits the camp and has delivered assurances to a representative body of the residents. The International Committee of the Red Cross follows developments at the camp closely and continues to visit. It also discusses on a confidential basis all of the issues surrounding the camp with the People's Mujahedin of Iran (MeK) and the Iraqi and US authorities. While no specific representations to the Government of Iraq have been made, our embassy in Baghdad has requested a call on the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights to make known the level of interest in this issue in the UK and to remind the Iraqi Government of its earlier assurances. In addition to this, as stated by my honourable friend, Bill Rammell, Minister of State for the Middle East, during an adjournment debate in Westminster Hall on 25 March 2009 (Hansard, col. 90WH) "the British embassy in Baghdad is pursuing the possibility of a visit by a consular official to Camp Ashraf" to ascertain whether any of its residents might be entitled to consular assistance.
Library of the House of Commons In brief: Camp Ashraf and the Geneva Conventions Standard note: SN/IA/05022 Last updated: 20 March 2009 Author: Arabella Thorp Section: International Affairs and Defence Section What is Camp Ashraf ? Ashraf is a settlement in Iraq’s Diyala province, near the border with Iran, which houses the headquarters of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI), also known as Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK) or Mujahideen-e-Khalq Organisation (MKO). The PMOI is the main body in the coalition of Iranian opposition groups known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), and is regarded as a terrorist organisation by a number of states but has now been removed from the UK and EU lists of terrorist organisations. It sided with Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, but following the US-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 the PMOI surrendered to US forces and 3,800 PMOI members were disarmed and cantoned in Camp Ashraf. Some 370 have since been voluntarily repatriated to Iran , and in 2004 restrictions and controls were removed. The Iraqi government has stated its intention to close the camp and expel all PMOI personnel from Iraqi territory. Who is responsible for the inhabitants of Ashraf? The main responsibility to protect civilians lies with the states that have effective control over them. From 2003 until 31 December 2008 US forces protected Camp Ashraf. Then on 1 January 2009, control passed to the Iraqi Government, under the new US-Iraq Status of Forces Agreement. Both the US and Iraqi governments have given assurances that, within the framework of Iraqi national legislation, Ashraf residents will be treated in accordance with international humanitarian law and with the principle of non-refoulement in particular. The UK considers the issue primarily a US rather than a UK responsibility. What are the main concerns? Lliving conditions at Ashraf are not generally a cause for concern, although an explosion damaged Ashraf’s water-supply station in February 2008. The main concern is that its inhabitants would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights violations if they were to be returned involuntarily to Iran. Iraq has reportedly given Ashraf’s inhabitants two options: return to Iran or find a third country for exile. Iraqi officials have however stated that PMOI members would not be forcibly repatriated to Iran and have called upon the international community to offer asylum to Ashraf’s occupants. People who have left Camp Ashraf voluntarily have reported 'brain-washing', forced indoctrination and rough treatment by the PMOI of those who wanted to leave the camp. This information is provided to Members of Parliament in support of their parliamentary duties and is not intended to address the specific circumstances of any particular individual. It should not be relied upon as being up to date; the law or policies may have changed since it was last updated; and it should not be relied upon as legal or professional advice or as a substitute for it. A suitably qualified professional should be consulted if specific advice or information is required. This information is provided subject to our general terms and conditions which are available online or may be provided on request in hard copy. Authors are available to discuss the content of this briefing with Members and their staff, but not with the general public. Do the Geneva Conventions apply? In July 2004, the PMOI forces in Ashraf were declared by the US to be ‘protected persons’ under the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, because they had not been belligerents during the Iraq War. The Fourth Geneva Convention protects civilians who, as the result of an international armed conflict or of occupation, find themselves in the hands of a country of which they are not nationals. It states that in no circumstances shall a protected person be transferred to a country where he or she may have reason to fear persecution for his or her political opinions or religious beliefs. In the case of occupied territory, the Convention continues to apply for a year after the general close of military operations, and partially thereafter if the occupying power continues to exercise the functions of government. The occupation of Iraq formally ended on 30 June 2004. What other international law is relevant? Under the international law principle of non-refoulement, no-one should be deported, expelled or repatriated if there is a real risk that they may be subjected to any kind of ill-treatment, or that they may face persecution on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion. The US has ratified international conventions embodying this principle (the 1951 Refugee Convention and the 1984 UN Convention Against Torture), but Iraq has not. However, non-refoulement is widely recognised as a principle of customary international law that binds all states. Further reading Jane’s Terrorism and Insurgency Centre, Mujahideen-e-Khalq (MEK), 5 March 2009 [available through the Parliamentary Intranet] Juan-Pedro Schaerer, Iraq: ICRC activities in behalf of Iranian nationals living in Ashraf, 3 December 2008 Zouhair Al Hassani, ‘International humanitarian law and its implementation in Iraq ’, International Review of the Red Cross Vol. 90 No. 869, March 2008 Knut Dörmann and Laurent Colassis, ‘International Humanitarian Law in the Iraq Conflict’, German Yearbook of International Law 47 (2004), 293–342 International Committee of the Red Cross, Protected persons and property and international humanitarian law [viewed 20 March 2009] Amnesty International, Iraq: No Iranians in need of protection should be sent to Iran against their will, 28 August 2008 Amnesty International, Security agreement puts 16,000 Iraqi detainees at risk of torture, 28 November 2008 Massoud Khodabandeh (former member of PMOI), Camp Ashraf: a test of US-Iraqi relations, 7 April 2008 Iran Interlink, Nejat Society Asks UK to Support Iraqi Government Plans for Camp Ashraf Victims, 11 December 2008 Hon. David Kilgour, J.D., ‘Catastrophe on horizon for Camp Ashraf refugees’, Middle East Times 8 October 2008 House of Lords debate, Iraq: Ashraf City, HL Deb 2 March 2009 cc504-6
... A RAND study examined the evolution of this controversial decision, which has left the United States open to charges of hypocrisy in the war on terrorism. An examination of MeK activities establishes its cultic practices and its deceptive recruitment and public relations strategies. A series of coalition decisions served to facilitate the MeK leadership's control over its members. The government of Iraq wants to expel the group, but no country other than Iran will accept it. Thus, the RAND study concludes that the best course of action would be ...
At the beginning of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Coalition forces classified the Mujahedin-e Khalq, a militant organization from Iran with cult-like elements that advocates the overthrow of Iran's current government, as an enemy force.
The MeK had provided security services to Saddam Hussein from camps established in Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War to fight Iran in collaboration with Saddam's forces and resources. A new study from the RAND Corporation, a nonprofit research organization, looks at how coalition forces handled this group following the invasion.
Although the MeK is a designated Foreign Terrorist Organization by the United States, coalition forces never had a clear mission on how to deal with it.
After a ceasefire was signed between Coalition forces and the MeK, the U.S. Secretary of Defense designated this group's members as civilian "protected persons" rather than combatant prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions. The coalition's treatment of the MeK leaves it – and the United States in particular – open to charges of hypocrisy, offering security to a terrorist group rather than breaking it up.
Research suggests that most of the MeK rank-and-file are neither terrorists nor freedom fighters, but trapped and brainwashed people who would be willing to return to Iran if they were separated from the MeK leadership. Many members were lured to Iraq from other countries with false promises, only to have their passports confiscated by the MeK leadership, which uses physical abuse, imprisonment, and other methods to keep them from leaving.
Iraq wants to expel the group, but no country other than Iran will accept it. The RAND study suggests the best course of action would have been to repatriate MeK rank-and-file members back to Iran, where they have been granted amnesty since 2003. To date, Iran appears to have upheld its commitment to MeK members in Iran. The study also concludes better guidelines be established for the possible detention of members of designated terrorist organizations.
On June 20, 2009, the Fox News Channel devoted the entire day of live programming to coverage of the unrest in Iran. For supporters of the Iranian communist MEK (MKO, PMOI, NCRI, Rajavi Cult, or Pol Pot of Iran) terrorists, there was no need to watch their Sima Azadi television channel via satellite. Throughout the day, the Fox News Channel provided favorable coverage for the communist terrorists. Some examples were:
During the 11:00 – 11:30 AM (PST) segment, Fox News Channel showed MEK supporters in front of the White House waving their communist flags. The panelists for this segment, Charles Krauthammer and Courtney Kealy, failed to identify or to condemn the supporters of the communist terrorists. These terrorists have murdered American military officers, Rockwell International employees, and large numbers of Iranian and Iraqi civilians. In September 2002, former President George W. Bush’s White House published a background paper for Bush’s remarks at the United Nations listing the MEK as a pretext for the Iraq War. In 2003, American and coalition forces attacked and killed some of the MEK terrorists at Camp Ashraf, Iraq.
In a later segment, Congressman Darryl Issa (Republican—California) commented that empowerment of people has changed Communist China for the better!
During Shepard Smith’s segment, Smith showed a video of the MEK rally in Paris, France and identified them as the PMOI. The only negative reference to the MEK occurred when Amy Kellogg speculated that the MEK might be responsible for a possible suicide bombing at Ayatollah Khomeini’s shrine in Tehran. Shepard Smith neither responded nor indicated that PMOI and MEK are two names for the same communist terrorist organization.
During Geraldo Rivera’s segment, former Senator Rick Santorum, who was a strong supporter of the MEK in the United States Senate, noted that former Senator (and now Vice President) Biden had originally opposed the Iran Freedom Support Act.
Then, Geraldo Rivera showed video of Maryam Rajavi’s MEK rally in Paris, France and interviewed Fox News Channel Foreign Affairs Analyst, who headed the NCRI office in Washington, DC until the Federal Government closed the office.
In 2007, Fox News Channel viewers could claim to have been duped by relying upon the Fox News Channel for news. Now, Fox News Channel viewers have no excuses. Those who rely upon the Fox News Channel as a source of accurate news are traitors to all Americans who fought or died fighting communists. Americans do not need to look to Iran or to the Middle East in search for America’s worst enemies. America’s worst enemies are in America.
(Daniel Zucker, Maryam Rajavi and ALi Safavi)
(Ali Safavi as the commander of Saddam's Private Army in Iraq)
(Maryam Rajavi directly ordered the massacre of Kurdish people)