Human Rights Watch, September 06 2021: (Originally Published 2005):… Ali Ghashghavi joined the MKO as a fighter in Iraq in 1989. He was arrested in February 1995 during the “security clearance” phase and was imprisoned for four months in Camp Ashraf. He told Human Rights Watch of his experience during this period.. Human Rights Watch Report – MEK Survivor: I was Imprisoned For 45 days
Conference Speech at Baghdad University to introduce the book
‘The Life of Camp Ashraf – Mojahedin-e Khalq Victims of Many Masters’
by Anne Singleton and Massoud Khodabandeh
Human Rights Watch Report – MEK Survivor: I was Imprisoned For 45 days
MEK ex-member: I was imprisoned for forty-five days
Interrogations sometimes lasted for up to thirty or thirty-six hours non-stop
Ali Ghashghavi joined the MKO as a fighter in Iraq in 1989. He was arrested in February 1995 during the “security clearance” phase and was imprisoned for four months in Camp Ashraf. He told Human Rights Watch of his experience during this period.
One night in January 1995, I was called over by my superior and told that a member of the Central Committee wanted me in her office. I was excited to be meeting such a high level official at such an unlikely hour. I assumed there was much importance attached to this meeting. We got into a military vehicle; it was around midnight. They took me to a place inside Camp Ashraf called Iskan. It is at the far corner of the camp where a series of apartment buildings were used to house families [before they were forcibly broken up]. It was a rather isolated spot – barren desert and frighteningly secluded.
There were a few people inside, five or six. I was taken to an empty room and told to wait. A few minutes later, another member, Hussein Nizam, was brought in. Hussein Nazim had spent many years inside the Islamic Republic’s prisons, so he knew something else was happening. I was somewhat naive and didn’t have much of a clue.
Suddenly the door opened and a group of people attacked us mercilessly, blindfolded us, tied our hands behind our backs, and put us inside a car. We were driven around for half an hour. We stopped inside an area that was approximately at the center of the camp. I didn’t know this was a prison until I was taken there. The prison was on Avenue 400 of Camp Ashraf near the water tanker. Until then, I had assumed that explosives or sensitive documents were guarded inside.
Our clothes were taken from us and we put on prison garb. We were led to a large cell holding nearly twenty-five prisoners. The prison cell was on the ground floor of the building; there was a small window near the ceiling for air circulation. A small toilet and shower were built at one end of the cell.
There was a period when prisoners were taken on a daily basis for interrogations and beatings. One method was to kick the prisoner’s legs and knees repeatedly with military boots with metal covers on the front. Another method was to put a thick rope around the prisoner’s neck and drag him on the ground. Sometimes prisoners returned to the cell with extremely swollen necks – their head and neck as big as a pillow.
I experienced the pain of leg-beatings firsthand. During one of my interrogation sessions, the interrogator told me that if I don’t give them guarantees that I will stay with the leaders forever, he would kill me right there and then. I asked him “what worthier guarantee there could be than my coming here to join your ranks and fight against Khomeini?” He replied that now that the ideological revolution had been instituted and life was harder, people like me couldn’t bear it and wanted to leave. He said, “I can see it in your eyes that you are dying to quit the organization.”
He went to the next room while he told me how he was going to beat me up badly. He changed his shoes and put on a pair of these military boots. He came back, and two hefty guards held me. He began kicking my legs repeatedly. My legs are still unbalanced from these beatings. Interrogations sometimes lasted for up to thirty or thirty-six hours non-stop.
Ghashghavi was released in May 1995, after a meeting with Masoud Rajavi who told him, “The judicial branch of the National Liberation Army has acquitted you.” After this experience Ghashghavi, explored ways to escape Camp Ashraf. On March 20, 1998, he was imprisoned for forty-five days and then turned over to Iraqi intelligence agents. He spent another forty-five days inside the mukhabarat prison in central Baghdad before being transferred to Abu Ghraib. He was repatriated to Iran on January 21, 2002. In Iran, he was interrogated and brought before a court that sentenced him to nine years in prison. After sixteen months of imprisonment, he was given a forty-eight hour release to visit his family. He used this opportunity to escape and leave Iran. In August 2003, he fled Iran and is currently living in Europe.
Human Rights Watch, May 2005
Human Rights Watch Report – MEK Survivor: I was Imprisoned For 45 days
MEPs intrigued by accounts of newly arrived escapees from Camp Ashraf
Discussion of the Mojahedin-e Khalq/National Council of Resistance and its activities in the EU Parliament
… Ms Ebrahimi said she saw Mr Paulo Casaca when he visited Camp Ashraf. We were not allowed to approach him and speak to him, she explained to delegates. If they had somewhere to go, she told delegates, without doubt ninety-nine percent of the people in Camp Ashraf would leave the camp and the MKO…
Reported from EU Parliament, Sep. 09, 2008
On Tuesday 9 September a meeting was held by the Delegation for Relations with Iran in the European Parliament. The meeting focused on ‘Discussion of the Mojahedin-e Khalq/National Council of Resistance and its activities in an exchange of views with:
Ms Anne Singleton expert on the MKO
Representative of the NCR (declined invitation)
Three Residents of Ashraf Refugee Camp who arrived from Iraq in the last couple of weeks: Ms. Ebrahimi, Mr. Hassan Piransar and Mr. Hamid Siah Mansoori.
Also present were former MKO members Karim Haggi, Mohammad Sobhani, Hadi Shams Haeri and Ali Ghashghavi, who accompanied the new arrivals to provide support to these vulnerable people.
Ms Angelika Beer, President of the Iran Delegation (Greens/EFA), began by describing the MKO and its activities up to the present time.
Anne Singleton briefly described her own involvement with the MKO for over twenty years.
Asserting that the MKO will not give up the use of violence to achieve its aims, Ms Singleton went on to explain why, in spite of that, she believes that the MKO has currently little to do with the Iranian political scene, but that precisely because it is a cult, its danger is that it interferes in parliamentary democracy in western countries in ways that may even involve criminal activity.
Whilst agreeing that the MKO’s platform of ‘total regime change’ in Iran could be attractive to some politicians in the west, Ms Singleton challenged the delegates to consider whether the MKO would be able to achieve its stated aim – ‘will it do what it says on the tin’? Since its last major offensive against Iran in 1988, the MKO has achieved little to further its aims. She told delegates that they should also consider the possibility that, even if they believe the MKO has changed tactic and intends to pursue its aims only through political opposition, the MKO may not actually be ‘fit for purpose’ She urged them to consider the evidence of the three former residents of Camp Ashraf who have arrived in Europe from Iraq only in the past few weeks, and who would speak later in the meeting about conditions inside the MKO.
Ms Singleton asserted that Iranian people – as those delegates who have visited Iran are aware – are not waiting to be rescued by the MKO and are capable of opposing their own government. Iranian women are not waiting to be taught about feminism by Maryam Rajavi who leads an organisation which – as Batul Ebrahimi will testify – badly abuses women members.
Then Ms Singleton described the current situation of the MKO in Iraq. Control of Camp Ashraf, the MKO’s headquarters, has been transferred from the American military to the Iraqi military. Ms Singleton said that Iraqi government officials are angry at reports which suggest that the MKO would be ‘massacred’ if the Americans handed over Camp Ashraf.
Instead, the people inside the camp are facing a humanitarian crisis because they are not allowed even basic freedoms such as the right to enjoy contact and visits from their families. A rumour has arisen that the Americans have removed around 300 of those captive in Camp Ashraf and left the others. Ms Singleton said that if this is the case then she would consider the remaining 3000 individuals in Camp Ashraf to be ex-members of the MKO. They should be brought to western countries as soon as possible.
Finally, Ms Singleton presented delegates with one solution to the crisis at Camp Ashraf, remove the MKO from the European terrorist list and bring ALL 3,300 residents to Europe where those who are mentally, physically and emotionally sick would be able to receive help.
Ms Singleton finished by reminding delegates that continuing support for the MKO would, of course, mean that the European Parliament accepted to have a cult operating in its midst and continuing to interfere in parliamentary democracy. However, if that is the decision to be made, then so be it.
Ms Beer thanked Anne Singleton for her contribution and asked the three recently arrived, former Camp Ashraf residents to speak.
Ms Ebrahimi (speaking in Farsi) told delegates that she had gone to Camp Ashraf when she was sixteen years old and although she quickly realised she wanted to leave, she was captive there for another ten years. She described conditions for women in the camp. Not only does the MKO not allow women to marry, women are made to work in the scorching sun for hours at a time so their complexions are ruined and they become ugly. This is so they do not develop the vanity to think they could be attractive to a man, she told delegates.
In order to remove hope from the women of ever having a family, they are being sent under surgery for spurious medical conditions to have their wombs removed [hysterectomy] and around ten percent of women in Camp Ashraf have now undergone this surgery. When they tried to impose it on her, Ms Ebrahimi ran away. She begged delegates to take doctors to Camp Ashraf to check the veracity of what she was telling them.
The MKO told her that if she left the camp and went with the American soldiers, they would rape her. For this reason it took two years before she was able to have the courage to escape.
Ms Ebrahimi said she saw Mr Paulo Casaca when he visited Camp Ashraf. We were not allowed to approach him and speak to him, she explained to delegates. If they had somewhere to go, she told delegates, without doubt ninety-nine percent of the people in Camp Ashraf would leave the camp and the MKO.
Mr Hamid Siah Mansoori (speaking English) told delegates he had been in the MKO for over twenty five years. He described how he had gone to Iraq from Canada. He had a good education, and a good life in Canada and had his own business before leaving everything behind in the mid 1980s to go to Iraq. He then described the MKO’s attitude to family. He said no one is allowed to contact their family, except in a few cases where people were told to contact their family to get money from them. He said the MKO told his family he was dead. They came to look for him five years ago – at the beginning of the American occupation – but were told he was dead.
Mr Hamid Siah Mansoori said he had arrived only a week ago, but had lost any contact details for his family. Nevertheless, his first priority now was to make contact with his parents and the rest of his family.
Ms Beer asked delegates if they had questions. One delegate asked how the MKO continued to be financed which allowed them to continue to undertake such expensive campaigns in parliament and elsewhere. Another delegate asked for more detail about the role of the Americans in supporting Camp Ashraf when the US State Department so strongly describes them as a terrorist group.
Anne Singleton answered these questions, pointing out that during the reign of Saddam Hussein the MKO had received almost unlimited finance from Saddam Hussein, as well as from Saudi Arabia and some western governments from behind the scene. Now, however, although it is clear that MKO finances are dwindling somewhat, it was unclear how the MKO could continue to spend so much money, and the only people to answer that are the MKO themselves.
Ms Singleton pointed out a five year rift in policy toward the MKO between the US State Department – which has a very thorough knowledge of the MKO – and the US Defense Department under Donald Rumsfeld. Some in the US Administration wanted to use the MKO in confronting Iran and therefore Camp Ashraf has been protected by the US military in Iraq for five years. Ms Singleton conceded that this protection was beneficial in keeping the MKO out of danger in the midst of a war zone. But that the Americans had also flouted the UN Fourth Geneva protocol by not allowing MKO to meet their families and not enabling them to leave the situation.
Ms Beer then introduced Mr Mohammad Sobhani who had previously addressed the Delegation. Following that meeting he had been the subject of unfounded accusations of having attacked MKO members in Paris. Instead, Mr Sobhani was the victim of a violent attack when some fifty MKO supporters ambushed a meeting at which Mr Sobhani was a speaker.
Following this, Mr Hadi Shams Haeri briefly pleaded with delegates to help him have contact with his children whom he has not been allowed to see for eighteen years. He asked that Mr Paulo Casaca accompany him to Camp Ashraf and help him meet with them again.
At the end of the meeting Ms Beer expressed her appreciation for the speakers and said it had been a valuable meeting. One which, given the ongoing situation at Camp Ashraf, might soon be repeated.
After the meeting, several of the attendees stopped to talk to the visitors – in particular the three who had just arrived from Iraq – and asked them to keep them informed of developments.
Mojahedin Khalq is a cult, an inhumane organization, against Iranian people and against the women’s rights
(aka; MKO, MEK, Rjavi cult)
Open letter of Mrs. Ebrahimi to Mrs. Rita Sussmuth Chairman of the Advisory Council on Immigration and Integration,2002-2004 In Germany
… I , Nasrin Ebrahimi , one of the former members of the people’s mujahedin organization with 10 years record of service of close cooperation with the people’s mujahedin organization , would like summarily inform you of some issues about the people’s mujahedin organization according to your recent speech and support of this group in Villepint in Paris. First , I must declare my deepest regret that it is unbelievable for me such prominent political figure like you who had been the chairman of the advisory council on immigration and integration , 2002-2004, in Germany , had supported the people’s mujahedin organization …
Nasrin Ebrahimi, Iran Pen, July 28 2012
I , Nasrin Ebrahimi , one of the former members of the people’s mujahedin organization with 10 years record of service of close cooperation with the people’s mujahedin organization , would like summarily inform you of some issues about the people’s mujahedin organization according to your recent speech and support of this group in Villepint in Paris.
First , I must declare my deepest regret that it is unbelievable for me such prominent political figure like you who had been the chairman of the advisory council on immigration and integration , 2002-2004, in Germany , had supported the people’s mujahedin organization .
I must inform you that the people’s mujahedin organization is known as an inhumane organization , against Iranian people , and against the women’s rights among the Iranian people who have been the victims of pmoi terrorism as well as the dissidents of this organization who had worked closely with this organization for years . This organization as Saddam’s private army , had served the dictator of Iraq a lot in killing the Kurds and suppression of the Saddam’s opponents in Iraq .
You are maybe surprised that why I am calling this organization as ¨¨against the women’s rights¨¨ .
Probably you have no idea that Massoud Rajavi , the spiritual leader of this organization , has been using the women in this organization as tools to preserve his leadership power and keep his ideological supremacy and hegemony upon the members of this organization consecutively and forever.
Do you know that a great number of women have forcibly taken out their wombs by the direct order of Rajavi ?
Do you know that Massoud Rajavi has sexually raped a number of women who are the members of the pmoi leadership council?
It is worth knowing that the majority of the members of this organization ,who have been under severe psychological pressures , haven been kept forcibly and misused by the leadership of the organization.
Do you know that the people’s mujahedin organization besides that has done hundreds of terrorist operations , has formally and officially supported the Al-Qaida terrorist organization.
The world will never forget the human catastrophe on 9/11 which took the life of thousands innocent people but Massoud Rajavi ordered directly to celebrate this catastrophic event through different banquets and gatherings and we have never forgotten that Massoud Rajavi said, quote¨¨ this is the fundamentalist Islam which has created such event (9/11) , let wait for the revolutionary Islam when it will emerge like a typhoon.¨¨
The people’s mujahedin organization which its anti-American and anti- Iranian content and essence has not been covert and hidden for anyone , after the US-Iraq war and the downfall of Saddam Hussein ,who was the pmoi’s most powerful supporter and backer , the people’s mujahedin organization began utilizing a new wave of deception by using a new policy. The mujahedin who were chanting anti-American slogans such as ¨¨ Down with USA¨¨ ,and they had different kind of anti -US books and archives and …………etc in Ashraf garrison before the US invasion of Iraq, the pmoi leadership ordered burning and annihilating all those anti-US books and archives, consequently after that there was not any sign of those books and films and ……….etc in AShraf anymore .they began showing themselves as modern organization and pro-USA to whitewash their past and even the killing and assassinating of the US -military advisers in 70,s in American minds. Then they began spending the huge amount of money and making different lobbies to delist themselves from the terrorist list .
They began attracting and bringing the refugees and refugee seekers in European countries to their meetings and gatherings by spending money to show that the Iranian people are still supporting them whereas it is very easy to find out through the internet that the Iranian people know this terrorist organization as the factors and the elements of killings and crime and they have not supported pmoi in the past or in the present whatsoever.
These shows that Mrs. Rajavi establishes in Paris is to deceive the American politicians and to pretend that as if they have the support of the Iranian people.
The people’s mujahedin organization has not renounced and denounced its violent record yet and for this reason every year they commemorate the anniversaries of its different killings and the violence through celebration and banquet .
They are still threatening and intimidating their opponents throughout the world and they suppress any kind of criticism severely and violently either inside or outside of the organization.
This organization has kept its own members as slave and has not ended the misusing of them and their slavery in Ashraf and Liberty yet. This organization plays with the members’ lives and sacrifice them for the sake of its leadership ominous requests. this organization utilizes its own members for the blackmail vis a vis USA and the Iraqi government…..
The actions of this organization clearly show that they have equipped themselves just with the deceptive looks and just because they have been disarmed and they do not have any access to the arms , temporarily they do not carry out any terrorist operations but in future they will use any chance and opportunity to carry out their terrorist assassinations and violent deeds. Rajavi was always saying that quote¨¨ Finding arms for this organization is a very easy task¨¨, and they are just waiting to come out of the terrorist list to begin the killings much easier and by less limitation .
Delisting this organization from the terrorist list is a treason against the Iranian people and it will pave the way for this organization for more terror , violence and threat against the Iranian and the American people.
At the end , I would like to inform you that my friends and I are ready to submit to you more information regarding to the people’s mujahedin organization by more evidence , and documents through face to face meetings or by the mail.
All the best