Iran Interlink, Baghdad, September 06 2015:… 24 Iranians who have travelled from Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan and Yazd provinces have just arrived in Baghdad. They will visit Camp Liberty tomorrow where they hope to make contact with their loved ones. These are family members of individuals in the camp and have become concerned about reports that …
Family members of Camp Liberty residents appeal for help from Baghdad
24 Iranians who have travelled from Khorasan Razavi, Khuzestan and Yazd provinces have just arrived in Baghdad. They will visit Camp Liberty tomorrow where they hope to make contact with their loved ones. These are family members of individuals in the camp and have become concerned about reports that their loved ones may be transferred to Albania without notice and wish to be able to see them. They stress that they have no political agenda and only wish to make family visits. They are not for or against anybody and don’t wish to persuade their loved ones in any way, only to meet with them. The family members appeal to anybody, including the MEK’s supporters, to help facilitate these meetings, after which they will return home.
Families of MEK hostages in Camp Liberty June 2015
Families ask Human Rights Minister to intervene to allow interviews with their relatives in Camp Liberty
Almada Press, Baghdad, June 19 2015:… In a meeting with the Iranian families and the press at the ministry’s headquarters, Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights said “We have a responsibility as a state to protect the lives of these people according to agreements made between Iraq and the United Nations, and we respect all the international resolutions …
Link to the source (Arabic)
(Translated by Iran Interlink)
Iranian families ask Iraq’s Human Rights Minister to intervene to allow interviews with their relatives in Camp Liberty
Almada Press – Baghdad
On Sunday 14th June, a number of Iranian families met with Iraq’s Human Rights Minister and asked him to intervene to allow interviews with their relatives in Camp Liberty, and stressed they need “only a few minutes” with them. The Ministry of Human Rights confirmed that the Mojahedin Khalq (MEK) leaders’ rejection of the requests of these families was based on “their relatives’ refusal to meet them because of the need to protect the lives of the members of the organization”.
Hussein, who is with the group of families, told Almada Press in an interview that, “we have many times tried to see our relatives despite the MEK’s claims that they won’t meet us, and we have had the help of all the parties involved including the Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights and the Red Cross. He pointed out that “all we want is an interview for a few minutes to check on [the wellbeing of] our relatives who have been with this organization for decades without contact with us.”
For her part, Hosna, the daughter of one of the members of the MEK Organization, told Almada Press, “I have repeatedly tried to meet with my father, whom I haven’t seen since I was born – he joined the MEK when I was only was 45 days old – but all attempts have failed. And after moving to Camp Liberty, this camp has very high walls and I cannot see him inside there even from a distance”. She continued, “the only time I have seen him was when they were in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province, when I saw him from far away without talking to him”.
In a meeting with the Iranian families and the press at the ministry’s headquarters, Iraq’s Minister of Human Rights said “We have a responsibility as a state to protect the lives of these people according to agreements made between Iraq and the United Nations, and we respect all the international resolutions, but their presence in Iraq is only for a limited period of time”. He noted, “We will not withhold any assistance that can be provided [to the families] and we will work very hard to secure the needs of these families who have come to meet their relatives in Iraq.”
Haider Hussain Mahdi, Director General of the Legal Department of the Ministry of Human Rights, told Almada Press that “the Ministry of Human Rights has received a group of Iranian families who want to visit their children and loved ones who are in Camp Liberty and this camp, as everyone knows, is home to members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran.”
Mahdi continued, “The members of this organization numbered more than 3,000 in their camp in Diyala province during the era of the former regime. Following the ouster of that regime their demands to stay in Iraq were rejected by successive Iraqi governments because their continuation in Iraq is prohibited by law and the Iraqi constitution.” He pointed out that, “the Iraqi authorities are trying to expel them from Iraq in cooperation with the United Nations and US forces (when they were in Iraq).”
Mahdi said, “The families of these individuals, now and earlier, have flocked to Iraq to see them but always faced rejection by the organization which argued that its members do not want to see their loved ones coming from Iran.”
Mahdi said, “We are trying to provide all the facilities possible to enable these families to see their loved ones, and we will take their names and the names of those who they want to see in order to complete this interview process between the individual parties involved”. He pointed out that “all previous attempts failed because the leaders of the individuals inside the camp always rejected such visits or interviews”.
Rajavi panic families picketing at Camp Liberty!
Nejat Bloggers, June 13 2015:… Therefore, the cult’s propaganda machine under the order of Massoud Rajavi propagate that these families of Liberty residents have come to kill them and to destroy the Camp! The cult claims that elderly parents The Mehdifards and Shabanpours, the grieving brother of Parviz Heidar zade and the suffering daughter of Abdulhassan …
Rajavi panic families picketing at Camp Liberty!
A number of family members of the residents of Camp Liberty gathered in front of the camp demanding the visit of their beloved ones.
On June 9th, 2015 several family members of Mujahedin-e Khalq hostages – who are kept in Camp Liberty, Iraq having no access to the outside world and under the severe brainwashing practices – established a permanent stake in front of the Camp entrance. The families’ only demand is to meet their beloved ones whom they have not visited for long years. The leaders of the Cult of Rajavi do not allow members to have any contact including visits or phone calls or even letters with their families.
The families say they would insist on their legitimate demand and won’t leave the Camp unless they would meet their loved ones.
The MKO leaders who consider the families as their cult’s arc enemy has reacted to the families’ legitimate demand by swearing at them.
The Cult leaders definitely remember the bitter experience of the rise of defection within their cult after the families four years of picketing in front of Camp Ashraf before its shutdown.
Therefore, the cult’s propaganda machine under the order of Massoud Rajavi propagate that these families of Liberty residents have come to kill them and to destroy the Camp!
The cult claims that elderly parents The Mehdifards and Shabanpours, the grieving brother of Parviz Heidar zade and the suffering daughter of Abdulhassan Ahangari are agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry and Quds Force!
REPORT – FECRIS Marseille 2015
Family Survival Trust, May 24 2015:…Anne Khodabandeh, representative of The Family Survival Trust, was in a unique position to brief M. Blisko and the audience about this issue. She explained that it is possible to construct a model for describing and analysing the use of cultic abuse by terrorist entities without mentioning religion. Anne then went on to describe …
REPORT – FECRIS Marseille 2015
The FECRIS Conference provides a forum for the world’s leading experts in cultic abuse to meet and talk and to share ideas, knowledge and experiences. The Conference is a safe place for researchers, practitioners, campaigners and support groups to mingle with former cult members and families of people who remain trapped in cultic relationships. The value of this unique forum was acknowledged by the board during the AGM.
After several years as Chairman of FECRIS, Tom Sackville retired and was replaced by Danièle Muller-Tulli. Good wishes to Danièle for success in this important role.
The theme of this year’s Conference which was hosted in Marseille by GEMPPI, was ‘Deliberately Planned and Encouraged Confusion Between Cults and Religion’. Serge Blisko, President of MIVILUDES, presented the opening speech which outlined this subject. He said that the widespread use of exploitative cultic abuse undermines democratic institutions and social functions. Those who employ these methods deflect criticism by claiming that their critics want to deprive them of ‘freedom of belief’ or that they are not accorded proper status as ‘religions’. Blisko also talked about the growing problem of ‘religious’ terrorism and its links to cultic behaviour.
Anne Khodabandeh, representative of The Family Survival Trust, was in a unique position to brief M. Blisko and the audience about this issue. She explained that it is possible to construct a model for describing and analysing the use of cultic abuse by terrorist entities without mentioning religion. Anne then went on to describe the deceptive recruitment and brainwashing methods used by terrorist groups and said that from her fifteen years as an activist in this field she was able to suggest solutions to tackle this phenomenon. This briefing was greeted enthusiastically by M. Blisko and the audience.
President of MIVILUDES Serge Blisko with Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) of the FST
There were several informative and interesting talks and also first-hand testimonies. Some stood out as particularly interesting. Pierre Le Coz Director of the Department of Social Science at the Faculty of Medicine, University Aix-Marseilles, gave a fascinating presentation in which he described step by step how individuals can be brought under the influence of a manipulator using specific psychological techniques.
In contrast, Alexey Voat a researcher from Moscow, gave a very pertinent presentation on the Aum Shinriyo cult’s use of the internet for deceptive recruitment. Voat had undertaken to act as a recruit to delve deep inside the cult’s workings. His revelations were instructive for understanding any other cultic recruitment over the internet.
Olivier Faelens, President of SAS Seckten from Belgium, inspired the audience with his advice on how to avoid false arguments presented by groups such as The Church of Scientology, with its continual demands for debate on the subject of whether or not it is a true religion. The real issue, said Faelens, is the internal harmful practices. It is these we must insist on addressing when debating cultic abuse.
Anne Edelstam, journalist, talked about Fundamentalism. She described the history of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and how in spite of the people’s revolution, its creation of alternative social structures dedicated to the reintroduction of fundamentalist strictures on society still have the potential to undermine the country’s democratic processes.
Finally, leading cult expert Janja Lalich explored the struggle for justice in the American legal system. She described several case studies and talked about her own experience as an expert witness and how the cults deliberately exploit ignorance and misconceptions regarding cultic abuse. This talk linked the various issues raised in previous speeches with the subject of the Conference: ‘Deliberately Planned and Encouraged Confusion Between Cults and Religion’.
Alessandrini, Lalich, Khodabandeh (Singleton), Corvaglia
During the Conference the audience participated with lively and informative questions and discussions at various points in the day. A light lunch was served al Fresco in a convivial atmosphere. The host association GEMPPI is to be congratulated on the success of the Conference. The simultaneous translators are appreciated for their hard work in bringing the full content of the speeches and interjections to all the audience. The new Chair of FECRIS, Danièle Muller-Tulli closed the Conference and thanked the outgoing Chairman Tom Sackville in his absence for all his hard work.
Anne Khodabandeh representing TFST at the FECRIS Conference, Marseille 2015
[Note: FECRIS – European Federation of Centres of Research and Information on Cults and Sects – created in 1994, serves as an umbrella organisation for associations which defend cult victims in more than 30 countries, including 5 non-European organisations. FECRIS is active at an international level with representation at the UN (ECOSOC).]
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran (letter to Federica Mogherini)
Massoud Khodabandeh, Middle East Strategy Consultants, London, December 09 2014:… By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ, Tunne KELAM, Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President, Eduard KUKAN, José BOVÉ, Julie WARD, and Rina Ronja KARI are …
MEPs support for MEK terrorists undermines human rights pressure on Iran
Open Letter to Federica Mogherini, the new EU foreign policy chief
As you are aware the Iranian Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group works through the “Friends of a Free Iran” in the European Parliament. This parliament is to give a platform today (December 10) to the second-in-command of this group Maryam Rajavi (a private room has been hired in the buildings by one of the MEK’s lobbyists purely for lobbying purposes). Not only that, a group of MEPs has boldly written to you demanding you change your policy to suit this woman. What possibly can be their motive? As a European citizen and an expert in the field of cults and terrorism, I cannot agree that you ignore such a presence in the parliament. It cannot be in the best interests of the European Parliament as a home to democracy to give a platform to for what is an undemocratic stance toward the people of Iran.
By publishing an article directed by the MEK, a group of MEPs has played directly into the hands of Iran’s hardliners. The MEPs Gérard DEPREZ (ALDE – Belgium), Tunne KELAM (EPP – Estonia), Ryszard CZARNECKI EP Vice-President (ECR – Poland), Eduard KUKAN (EPP – Slovakia), José BOVÉ (Greens – France) Julie WARD (S&D – UK) and Rina Ronja KARI (GUE/NGL – Denmark) are members of the MEK’s ‘Friends of a Free Iran’ in the European Parliament.
The article starts with the claim that Ban Ki Moon said people should hold their governments to account. He did not say that the EP should interfere in the internal affairs of another country. Certainly these MEPs have no mandate to hold another country’s government to account in this way. It is not their elected government, but that of a sovereign nation with its own electorate. It is certain Ban Ki Moon was referring to this electorate when he made this statement.
However, let us allow that Iran’s human rights record, like that of every other country of the world, should come under proper scrutiny. The proper bodies to conduct such research are those quoted by these MEPs – the UN – in particular the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights in Iran – Reporters Without Borders, Amnesty International. The reports of these bodies are public knowledge and widely available.
(Interestingly, in addition to all these human rights bodies, there is hardly a group or organisation or government, and not a single Iranian opposition group inside or outside Iran which has not condemned the Mojahedin Khalq for its human rights abuses time and time again.)
Now, if the MEPs do indeed see fit to challenge Iran over this issue on International Human Rights Day, is it not proper to do so directly, through dialogue, communication and diplomacy, rather than a futile rant. A rant which, in addition, quotes the second-in-command of the Mojahedin Khalq terrorist group, Maryam Rajavi. This group of MEPs has been persuaded – somehow – to have her words put into their mouths as though they cannot make their own statements or figure out their own political arguments. (The MEK shoehorned one of their favourite words, ‘embolden’, into the piece but didn’t manage to get another favourite, ‘appeasement’ in.)
As a result they stupidly allow themselves to say such things as “Tehran has also been the center [sic] for the expansion of terrorism and fundamentalism throughout the region, endangering world peace and security.” The article cannot and does not present any evidence for this opinion. Indeed, most sensible people anywhere would point first to Saudi Arabia and other Gulf States as the source of increased terrorism and fundamentalism in the region. But then, the MEK are known advocates of ISIS and other terrorist groups.
Relying on this argument, these MEPs are demanding less dialogue with Iran, not more. Again, back to the ‘let’s bomb Iran or at least disrupt dialogue’ narrative.
Such nonsense has delighted Iran. The semi-official Fars News Agency has immediately translated the article for distribution among Farsi speakers in Iran and worldwide. What better argument could the hardliners have that the issue of human rights is being politicised than to have the leader of a notorious terrorist group put their words into your mouth.
These MEPs really need to get to grips with the fact they are being manipulated into pursuing an agenda not of their own making, which ultimately serves to worsen human rights in Iran and to help crush any indigenous opposition movements and activities. Any Iranian not associated with the MEK terrorist group – on any side of the argument – will tell them this.
Holly Dagres, Huffington Post, December 12 2014:… Maryam Rajavi’s marriage to one of the original founders of the MEK symbolized the transformation from an organization to a “cult of personality.” With the money provided by Iraqi President Saddam Hussein–they formed an alliance due to a deep disdain for the Iranian regime–to “construct self-sufficient camps” …
Soraya Sepahpour-Ulrich, Foreign Policy Journal, November 08 2014:…In addition to the “Iran experts”, Washington has found itself other sources of ‘intelligence’, foremost; the Mojahedeen Khalg (MEK) terrorist cult. This group feeds Washington information provided them by Israel. Previous to this assignment, the cult was busy fighting alongside Saddam …
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton), Iran Interlink, November 01 2014: … When a supporter of ISIS sits in the French parliamentary building and attacks President Obama, the cracks are seriously beginning to show in the West’s approach to resolving the whole Middle East situation. Observers may not be sufficiently informed to tell Western governments what to do in …
Azar Hossein Nejad, Hossin Nejad weblog, January 01 2015:… I am contacting you to ask for your help regarding the situation of my sister, Zeinab Hossein Nejad, a 36 years old woman who is living in Camp Liberty in Baghdad, Iraq. I never saw my parents or sister during my childhood and youth as all of them had to run for their lives. They left Iran along …
Farideh Farhi, Lobelog, April 22 2014: … members (some of them with links to the exiled Iranian opposition group, the Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK), such as Spanish EPP member Alejo Vidal-Quadras and British ECR member Struan Stevenson) proposed amendments deleting the call for an opening of the EU office in Tehran, fully in line with the position of their supposed enemies — Iranian hardliners …
Nejat Association reporting from , Ashraf news, April 21 2014: … Massoud Rajavi has ordered the officials of the Camp to intensify the limitations against women especially after the revelations by Batoul Soltani and other dispatched members who bravely exposed the internal affairs especially the sexual scandals of the cult leader such as ‘Salvation dancing’