Mojahedin Dissidents in Abu Ghraib political prison, Iraq – June 2002

Mojahedin Dissidents in Abu Ghraib political prison, Iraq – June 2002


Iran-Interlink is deeply concerned about reports that several members of the  Iranian Mojahedin(*) organisation, led by Massoud Rajavi, have been imprisoned  in Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq, and that many of these have been transferred to  Iran in exchange for Iraqi prisoners of war..

The following information was issued in a statement in Farsi language by an  ex-member of the Mojahedin, named Mohammad Hossein Sobhani, who is now living in  Europe.

Mr Sobhani, who is known to Iran-Interlink, went to Iraq as a member of the  Mojahedin-e Khalq in the early 1980s. He lived in Iraq and worked in the  Mojahedin’s Security department, and various other departments since that time.  In 1992, Mr Sobhani expressed doubts about the strategy which the leader of the  Mojahedin, Massoud Rajavi, was pursuing. He then underwent a long period of  imprisonment at the Mojahedin’s Ashraf camp, north of Baghdad. Three years ago,  in 1999, Mr Sobhani tried to run away from the Mojahedin whilst he was in  transit in Baghdad. After reaching the UN building in Baghdad, he was captured  by the Iraqi authorities who then returned him to the Mojahedin. After a short  time, Massoud Rajavi made the decision to hand Mr Sobhani over to the Iraqi  authorities, on the understanding that he would be incarcerated in Iraq’s Abu  Ghraib prison. In January 2001, with the agreement of Massoud Rajavi, Mr Sobhani  was then transferred to Iran with a number of other Iranian ex-Mojahedin  members. Mr Sobhani claims that once inside Iran he managed to run away and make  his way to Europe.

Mr Sobhani has stated that besides himself, there were up to fifty other  ex-members of the Mojahedin in the Abu Ghraib prison, where they remain at  present.

On May 1st 2002, the Mojahedin issued a statement in English, part  of which concerns Mr Sobhani:

“As part of this campaign [to have the Mojahedin placed on the EU list of  terrorist entities], several Intelligence Ministry agents who formerly worked  with the Mojahedin have been sent to European countries to make propaganda  against the Mojahedin and the Resistance. One of them is Mohammad-Hossein  Sobhani, who ran away from a Mojahedin base in the Iran-Iraq border region three  years ago, after it became known that he was an intelligence agent. He was  arrested in Iraq and sent to Iran in a completely legal manner. The  Intellingence Ministry sent him to Germany recently on an assignment to work  with other Ministry agents in Europe. Sobhani has been instructed to pretend  that he had escaped from the mullahs’ prison and came to Germany from Iran in a  clandestine manner.”

In a letter of April 27, 2002, addressed to Kofi Annan, Secretary General of  the United Nations, the Mojahedin claimed that:

“Mohammad-Hossein Sobhani… has been assigned by the mullah’s regime to make  representations to different state and international agencies in Germany and  pretend that he has fled from a Mojahedin prison in Iraq and come to Germany.  The fact is that Sobhani fled the Mojahedin three years ago in July 1999, after  he was discovered to be an agent of the mullah’s regime. He was later arrested  by the Iraqi authorities and sent to Iran in an official manner…”

These are all different accounts of what happened to Mr Sobhani in Iraq. In  view of the seriousness of these allegations, Iran-Interlink requests that an  urgent and impartial investigation take place to find out:

  1. What evidence Massoud Rajavi has against any of the Iranian ex-Mojahedin prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison.
  2. Given the contradictions in the Mojahedin statements over what Mr Sobhani’s story would be, what evidence does Massoud Rajavi have that Mr Sobhani was an agent of Iran’s Intelligence Ministry at the time he was in Iraq, and what evidence does he have that Mr Sobhani is working for them now.
  3. Why has Massoud Rajavi handed Iranian Mojahedin members over to the Iraqi authorities – what relationship does Massoud Rajavi enjoy with the Iraqi’s to make this a systematic and agreed procedure.
  4. Was there any trial or prosecution against Mr Sobhani or any of the other ex-Mojahedin prisoners whether by the Mojahedin or the Iraqi authorities (with particular reference to Articles 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 of the Universal   Declaration of Human Rights).
  5. Why have the Iraqi authorities placed these Iranians in Abu Ghraib prison and not some other place of detention.
  6. By what “official” or “completely legal” manner were these Iranian prisoners, who were known as Mojahedin members, handed over to the Iranian authorities. Does Iraq have an agreement with Iran to return alleged ‘Iranian   Intelligence Ministry agents’ which it discovers on Iraqi soil?

The Mojahedin have declared in their own publications that their members are  handed over to the Iraqi authorities when they are ‘discovered’ to be agents of  the Iranian Intelligence Ministry. Yet, so far, to our knowledge, no evidence  has been provided and no trial has been held. Iran-Interlink is extremely  concerned about this action and about the repatriation of ex-Mojahedin members  to Iran when this will place them in extreme danger.

Iran-Interlink is concerned that Massoud Rajavi may be responsible for the  gross violation of the human rights of these prisoners, and other individuals in  the Mojahedin organisation, and we urge that the United Nations High  Commissioner for Human Rights be commissioned to investigate this situation  without delay.

June 2002

(*) Mojahedin-e Khalq, (MKO, MEK) also known as:
The People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI)
The National Liberation Army of Iran (NLA)
The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCR or NCRI)
The Muslim Iranian Student’s Society (MISS)

List of Mojahedin dissidents presently held in Abu  Ghraib prison in Iraq

1 Arkan Ahmadi Kermanshah
2 Ashraf Baz Sefidpar Kermanshah
3 Akbar Akbarzadeh Khoramabad
4 Behnam Behzadi Yasoj
5 Behnam Goudrozi Boroujerd
6 Ja’far Hosseini Shiraz
7 Hassan Pourzare’ Tehran
8 Hamid Dehdar Tehran
9 Hamid – known as Hamid Afghani Tehran
10 Jamshid (father’s name is Eskandar) Tehran
11 Rassoul Mohammad Nejad Oroumieh
12 Rashid Moradi Kermanshah
13 Seyed Jalal Eskandari Anzali
14 Ja’far Hossieni Rasht
15 Abbas Yazdani Tehran
16 Aziz Assadi Kermanshah
17 Ali Reza Zadeh Tehran
18 Ali Sarkhian Ahvaz
19 Farhad Beshreh Qasr Shirin
20 Mohsen Rassouli Zadeh Mashad
21 Mohsen Hashemi Abadan
22 Mohsen Parsa Tehran
23 Mohammad-Baqer Momenzadeh Shiraz
24 Mahmoud Zavalfaqari Tehran
25 Mahmoud Alineqi Tehran
26 Morad Zar’ai Ilam
27 Mostafa Qanimati Fard Tehran
28 Manouchehr Beheshti ?
29 Namdar Hosseini Sarpol Zahab
30 Yousef Parsapour Eslamabad
31 Shahmorad Namdar Ilam
32 Manouchehr Kermanshah
33 Hassan East Azerbaijan

There are also between ten and fifteen others in Abu Ghraib prison whose  actual names and other details are not known. Another dissident, Bahram  Khavajoui from Kermanshah, who attempted suicide by burning himself, has been  sighted in the Mojahedin’s internal prisons.

List of Mojahedin dissidents transferred by the Mojahedin and Iraqi  authorities to Iran

  1. Akbar Sh’er Baf
  2. Hassan Moussavi
  3. Karim Abdollah Nejad
  4. Taleb Jalilian
  5. Sadeq Baroutian
  6. Amir
  7. Illias Shir
  8. Rassoul Sanjabi
  9. Bizollah Jahani
  10. Hassan Sadeqian
  11. Esmail Ma’roufi
  12. Habib Ali Asqarpour
  13. Kazem Balouie
  14. Jamshid Pourjam
  15. Mohammad Hossein Kouchaki
  16. Jaledeh Hashemi Zadeh
  17. Reza Safi Zadeh
  18. Iraj Atarian
  19. Abdol-Rassoul Goudarzi
  20. Assad Pak
  21. Farhad Arash
  22. Qolam-Hossein Qasemi
  23. Hamid-Reza Barhoun
  24. Hossein-Ali Ali Zadeh
  25. Ali-Reza
  26. Seyed Hassan Sharifi
  27. Safa Abdolrahman
  28. Rostam Abdolvand
  29. Mohabat Moshtaqi
  30. Jasem Matroud Zadeh
  31. Touraj Rokhzadi
  32. Fariborz Darikound
  33. Ali Panah Kabiri
  34. Touraj Mahmoud Kolaieh
  35. Ali Ashraf Amin
  36. Farzad Qamri
  37. Abolfazl
  38. Edward (a Christian)
  39. Abdol-Majid Abdolahi
  40. Ramin Darami
  41. Ali-Akbar Amin Abbasi
  42. Massoud Beheshti
  43. Jahangir Samani
  44. Barzou Rezai
  45. Ali Qashfavi
  46. Kamal Fazlali
  47. Farhad Javaheri Yar
  48. Mohammad-Hossein Sobhani

Two more persons are not named above. Of this list, three or four were handed  back to the Iraqis in Qasr Shirin either because they were not from the  Mojahedin or they had an Iraqi mother or father.

These lists were compiled by Mohammad-Hossein Sobhani based on information  available in January 2001.

Published in June 2002.