Hadi Shams Haeri, March 17, 2010: It is now a few months that the families of Rajavi cult victims trapped in Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf) have come to the gates of this camp in Iraq. They have risked the dangers posed by the remains of the Baathists and Al Qaeda and the situation of today’s Iraq only with a hope that they may visit their loved ones for a short time. They have undertaken this difficult and unusual journey only with the hope that the hard hearts of the MKO leaders may give way to some leniency and humanity and they be given the chance of a visit and a hug from their family members.
Hadi Shams Haeri, March 17, 2010
link to original (Persian)
It is now a few months that the families of Rajavi cult victims trapped in Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf) have come to the gates of this camp in Iraq. They have risked the dangers posed by the remains of the Baathists and Al Qaeda and the situation of today’s Iraq only with a hope that they may visit their loved ones for a short time. They have undertaken this difficult and unusual journey only with the hope that the hard hearts of the MKO leaders may give way to some leniency and humanity and they be given the chance of a visit and a hug from their family members.
Prisons and prisoners have always been one of the most troubling problems for human beings, especially whenever a dictator is in charge, and inevitably the families are denied even their basic rights of visiting their loved ones.
On the other hand, we see that during the past few months the families of the prisoners, who are generally intellectuals, reporters and other more sophisticated layers of Iranian society, have gathered in front of Evin Prison in Tehran to get some news from their loved ones or get a visit perhaps. Their suffering is continuous.
I believe that prisoners and their families, irrelevant to ones belief or political views or affiliations, and irrelevant to whatever label – true of false – is given to them, have human rights which cannot be denied to them for whatever reason. It makes no difference whether the prisoner is a friend or an enemy. We have a duty to support their basic human rights, especially when it comes to the visits of families who have no connection to these issues whatsoever. Families have and should have the right to visit under any circumstances.
This denial of basic human rights and the suffering caused by that multiplies when it coincides with a time of celebration and rejoining of families like now, Norooz or the Persian New year. At a time when all families try to gather around the HAFTSEEN and congratulate one another on the arrival of Spring and the youngsters expect presents from the seniors, the absence of Rajavi’s prisoners is harsher on the families.
It is years now that the residents of Camp Ashraf are missing the benefits of this historical and national day and the visits of families and friends on this occasion. It is years that they are trapped in a garrison far away from any human being. And now, 7 years after the fall of Saddam still not one of their leaders want to accept that Iranians in this day gather around each other and chat and eat and enjoy the festival.
On the side of the Iranian government, meaning the prison guards and the Judiciary, at least we have witnessed some sort of acknowledgment of Norooz. At least some have been released temporarily even though with hefty bail to spend Norooz with their families. But on the side of the Mojahedin Khalq who claim to be the ‘National Liberation Army’ (that is, to liberate people) we do not even see this minimum. They have not yet allowed a even a single family who are sitting in the front of the camp to visit their children.
These families in front of Camp Ashraf of course have a different situation compared with the families in front of Evin Prison in Tehran. These families are in a foreign land with a foreign language miles away from any city. Old men and women sitting in the middle of a desert with no facilities whatsoever. Their only wish is for a glance of their loved ones. If the leaders of Mojahedin Khalq allow them.
Even if we accept the Mojahedin leaders’ claim that these old men and women are somehow affiliated to the Iranian Intelligence Ministry, still they have this minimum of right to see their children.
Does the MKO leadership have the right to refuse a visit between a father and a son in this case? If so , then what is the point of the Mojahedin’s so-called struggle for the people? If the MKO want to keep this legacy of denying rights for whoever is against me and to punish the father for what the son has done or visa-versa, and to punish a copper beater in a city for the crimes of an ironmonger in another city, then seriously what is the point?
This has been the question of many people from Mojahedin Khalq leaders for a long time. A question which has never been answered.
But on another front. Should we put our faith in the hands of the international human rights organisations and believe that there will one day be some ears to take notice of the suffering of these families?
With the hope for a very happy Norooz and with the reminder to everyone that this ancient celebration has been passed down from our very distant ancestors. We sincerely hope that one day all families could have their loved ones beside them around the table of haftseen and we ask everyone to remember the families sitting outside Camp Ashraf and pray for them.
We hope for a day that the goddess of freedom would spead her wings over everyone.
Families of Rajavi cult victims maintain their vigil outside Camp Ashraf
… For the families, it makes no difference now who will meet their loved ones first. Now the families, which are growing in number by the day, are in the sixth week of their picket in front of the camp. They have taken a collective oath not to leave the gate until they release all the children and all the hostages from Rajavi cult’s garrison …
Iran Interlink, Camp New Iraq (Formerly Ashraf), March 15, 2010
“…this son of mine was dead, but now he is alive; he was lost but now he has been found!” (Luke 15:24)
In February, when the MKO leaders realised that a group of Iranian families were to visit Camp Ashraf and would insist on visiting their relatives who were resident there, they used their propaganda to claim that the families are actually agents sent by the Iranian intelligence services and they have been sent to kill the MKO members and destroy the camp.
However, when pictures of the families were published on various websites, the MKO removed their false messages from their western funded propaganda media; their television channel, websites and print media. They suddenly realised that people are looking at them and wondering how it is that the “National Liberation Army” which was supposed to liberate a country of 70 million people, is crying foul and saying that 25 pensioners are able to destroy them in their own camp with nothing in their hands. Having said that, the 25 pensioners themselves each believe that they will destroy the cult single-handedly as they know that once the gates of Camp Ashraf are opened and people are allowed to decide for themselves, no-one would be left for the leaders of this terrorist cult and all their hostages will leave.
For the time being, Maryam Rajavi and some of her henchmen are riding on the backs of these hostages trapped in the Iraqi camp. They issue their stream of advertisement statements paid for with money stolen from Iraqi banks. The MKO began to take video clips of the families suffering outside the gate of the camp. They ridiculed them and their desperate situation while showing Maryam Rajavi portraying herself as a film star, a celebrity.
This ridiculous CIA funded and CIA backed propaganda of the cult in the west continued until the families decided to turn their banners and loud speakers towards the residents inside the camp so that any film taken by the MKO from inside the camp would have inevitably shown and recorded the simple demand of the families (or as the MKO was trying to pretend, the ‘agents of the regime’). Suddenly all the filming and broadcasting from the cult outlets stopped. They could no longer show them since the simple demand would be seen on their simple banners – let us see our children.
The MKO cult leaders then waited and expected that the old men and women with no place to stay at the gates of the camp would one by one and in a matter of days, fall ill or become tired and would eventually leave. They would not be able to survive under simple tents for much longer. This may have been true and some of the older and sick families had to leave the gate after a while and go back home to attend their problems. But the MKO leaders did not imagine that others with the same goal and overcoming the same problems would not leave. And they little imagined that there are many more who will replace the ones who can no longer continue.
For the families, it makes no difference now who will meet their loved ones first. Now the families, which are growing in number by the day, are in the sixth week of their picket in front of the camp. They have taken a collective oath not to leave the gate until they release all the children and all the hostages from Rajavi cult’s garrison.
Latest pictures from the gate of Camp New Iraq (formerly Ashraf)
Mojahedin Khalq families denied meetings with their captured children in Camp Ashraf
… The Iraqi government continued throughout the last month to convince them of the need to deal with this situation in a humane and approved way to allow meeting between Iranian families and their children, and not to accept false statements and counterfeit, which accuses the Iraqi government of violating human rights laws. The failed negotiations have resulted in the …
Almotamar, Diyala, Iraq 28 February 2010 (translated by Iran Interlink)
The Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (MEK, MKO) has refused to grant meetings to the families who have came from Iran to Iraq to meet their children who are members of the Mojahedin Khalq and who for years have been held captive by the organization’s leaders in Camp Ashraf.
Mojahedin leaders did not allow the families who came from Iran to Iraq with the consent and support of the Iraqi government to Camp Ashraf in Diyala province since last month, to meet with their children who are in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad and who have been detained by the Organization since the eighties of the last century with the cooperation and support of the former regime.
The protest surprised officials of the Organization who refuse to allow members of the Organization meet relatives for fear they will leave the organization and Camp Ashraf and return to their homeland and their families. The Organisation launched excuses such as lack of names required for the interview between the elements of the organization, or failure of the children themselves to desire to meet with their families and their refusal to communicate with their families and their relatives.
Sources said that the Iraqi government has sought the presence of the delegation of the United Nations and International Red Cross and international human rights organization to hold direct negotiations with the leaders of the organization. The Iraqi government continued throughout the last month to convince them of the need to deal with this situation in a humane and approved way to allow meeting between Iranian families and their children, and not to accept false statements and counterfeit, which accuses the Iraqi government of violating human rights laws. The failed negotiations have resulted in the rejection of the absolute leaders of the organization to this humanitarian initiative. Ultimately, to reach an end to the sit-in by dozens of Iranian families outside the gates of Camp Ashraf, the Iraqi government and international community must intervene to pressure the leaders of the organization in Camp Ashraf in order to allow meetings with their children and allow them to make personal decisions in response to their emotions and their sensations.
منظمة خلق ترفض مقابلة العوائل الايرانية لابنائها المحتجزين في معسكر اشرف
ديالى – المؤتمر
رفضت منظمة (مجاهدي خلق) مقابلة العوائل الايرانية الذين جاءوا من ايران الى العراق لمقابلة ابنائهم من اعضاء مجاهدين الاسرى من قبل المنظمة في معسكر اشرف بعد مرورسنوات طويلة.
فلم تسمح المنظمة لعدد من العوائل الايرانية الذين جاءوا من ايران الى العراق بموافقة ودعم الحكومة العراقية الى معسكر اشرف في محافظة ديالى منذ الشهر الماضي وذلك لملاقاة ابنائهم من اعضاء منظمة خلق المتواجدين في معسكر اشرف في محافظة ديالى شمال شرق بغداد والذين تحتجزهم المنظمة منذ عقد الثمانينات من القرن الماضي بتعاون ودعم النظام السابق ، حين تفاجأوا باحتجاج المسؤولين في المنظمة الذين يرفضون مقابلة اعضاء المنظمة بعوائلهم خوفاً من تركهم المنظمة ومعسكر اشرف والعودة الى وطنهم وذويهم ، وذلك من خلال اطلاق ذرائع اهمها عدم وجود الاسماء المطلوبة للمقابلة بين عناصر في المنظمة ، أوعدم رغبة الابناء انفسهم من مقابلة عوائلهم ورفضهم الاتصال بذويهم واقاربهم.
وذكرت مصادر ان الحكومة العراقية من جهتها سعت وبحضور وفد الامم المتحدة والصليب الاحمر الدولي ومنظمة حقوق الانسان الدولية الى اجراء مفاوضات مباشرة مع قادة المنظمة استمرت طوال الشهر الماضي من اجل اقناعهم بضرورة التعامل مع هذا الموقف بشكل انساني والموافقة على مقابلة العوائل الايرانية لابنائهم وعدم اطلاق التصريحات الباطلة والمزيفة التي تتهم الحكومة العراقية بخرق قوانين حقوق الانسان ، وفي النهاية فشلت كل المفاوضات نتيجة الرفض المطلق لقادة المنظمة لهذه المبادرة الانسانية ، الامرالذي انتهى الى اعتصام عشرات العوائل الايرانية امام معسكر اشرف مطالبين الحكومة العراقية والمجتمع الدولي التدخل للضغط على قادة المنظمة في معسكر اشرف من اجل مقابلة ابنائهم واتخاذ القرارات الشخصية استجابة لعواطفهم واحاسيسهم. ————-
Seyed Yousef Jarfi and Abdolghader Ostadi escape the Washington backed terror group in Iraq – Rajavi cult – to join families picketing outside Camp Ashraf
… According to media reports from Baghdad two members of the Mojahedin were able to break away from the Rajavi cult and join the families in their picket outside the camp. Mr. Seyed Yousef Jafari from Ahwaz and Mr. Abdolghader Ostadi from Iranshahr spoke to reporters about their own ordeal as long-term captives inside the camp …
Iran Interlink, Baghdad, February 27, 2010
(Mr. Seyed Yousef Jarfi and Mr. Abdolghader Ostadi joined the Picket)
Reporters from Iraqi and International media are at the gates of Camp Ashraf to report on a protracted stand-off between the leaders of the terrorist cult Mojahedin-e Khalq and the families of residents held hostage in the camp. The families are demanding to meet with their relatives. The MKO have refused. The MKO leadership enforces strict isolation on its members and does not allow them to leave the camp or have access to media or communications. Because of this, their families have not had news or met up for over twenty-five years.
Since the MKO was forced to disarm by US forces in 2003, many people have travelled from all over the world hoping to find their lost relatives held hostage by the Rajavi cult. Now a group of families have vowed to stay at the gates until Iraqi officials and the international community take notice of the grave human rights abuses committed by the Washington backed terrorist group against their family members.
For some of the families, this is not the first attempt to find their relatives. Mohammad Mohammadi has travelled many times from Canada to Iraq to rescue his daughter. Somayeh Mohammadi was taken to Iraq by the MKO when she was 17 at the time of Saddam Hussein and has not been allowed to leave since. This time her sister, Hourieh has joined her father in the rescue bid. Hourieh told reporters, “This time I will not leave until I take my sister with me. We are determined to free her from this cult”.
Employing its usual propaganda blitz, the Mojahedin leaders are convincing Western media and political circles that these families are dangerous, evil agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry who have come to suppress the Mojahedin. But media reports direct from the camp entrance tell a different story.
Al Iraqia TV channel broadcast a full report on its 8 pm news programme yesterday.
According to media reports from Baghdad two members of the Mojahedin were able to break away from the Rajavi cult and join the families in their picket outside the camp. Mr. Seyed Yousef Jafari from Ahwaz and Mr. Abdolghader Ostadi from Iranshahr spoke to reporters about their own ordeal as long-term captives inside the camp.
They expressed their joy at gaining their freedom and claimed the Mojahedin Khalq leaders have been deeply involved the murder and torture of Iraqi civilians and have carried out scores of terrorist activities during their stay in Iraq. They say they have unequivocal evidence to prove their claims. Iraq’s Judiciary is already investigating the many crimes committed by the leaders of this terrorist group.
The Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (Saddam Private Army) was disarmed by US military in 2003 as an enemy force, but the Pentagon ordered the US military to protect the group until the hand over of security to Iraqis in January 2009 despite the fact that the group has been listed as a terrorist entity in the US since 1997.
A report by RAND in August 2009 about the failings of the US army in dealing properly with the Mojahedin Khalq, said that 14 US army personnel were killed and up to 60 injured while providing protective escort services to the terrorist group’s leaders on their shopping trips to Baghdad.
MKO supreme leader Massoud Rajavi has been in hiding (believed to be under the protection of the CIA in Iraq) ever since the occupation. His second-in-command and 3rd wife Maryam Rajavi was discovered and arrested in Paris in 2003 where she was hiding with millions of dollars allegedly stolen from the central bank of Iraq.
Fear and Slavery in the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult
… This threat does not come from outside agencies, but arises directly from the cult nature of the organisation itself; hence the MKO leaders’ hysteria over eight family members knocking at the camp gate asking to see their relatives …
Anne Singleton, November 2009
The families in Iraq announced on Friday 6th that they had finally been able to meet with their relatives, but were far from satisfied with the circumstances. They said that when the MKO leaders discovered that they were coming to the camp accompanied by several Iraqi and American reporters, they accepted to negotiate. The MKO agreed that the families could meet with their relatives for a few hours on condition that they do not talk to the media. The families accepted and held meetings.
However the families also said that their loved ones told them not to pursue the issue any further and said they must cut all further contact with them otherwise they will come under severe pressure from the cult leaders.
The families have now decided to pursue the issue of the camp with the Human Rights Ministry of Iraq in private.
* * *
Fear and Slavery in the Mojahedin-e Khalq cult
By Anne Singleton, November 2009
For those still interested enough to follow the dwindling fortunes of the foreign terrorist cult, Mojahedin-e Khalq, isn’t there something faintly ludicrous in the group’s desperate denunciation of anyone and everyone who does not fall on their side of a red line, drawn excruciatingly tightly around the organisation and its backers, as “agents of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry”? Is it really a case of ‘us few against the rest of the world’?
An examination of the current crisis the MKO is facing reveals that it is not involved in a pitched battle to overthrow the Iranian regime – or has that aim been abandoned without them telling anyone – but the arrival at the doors of its camp in Iraq of eight elderly Iranian folk seeking contact with close relatives – sons, daughters, husbands –inside the camp, who they have not seen for many, many years and with whom they wish to meet. All eight have been denounced by the MKO leaders as “agents of the Iranian secret services” who have been deliberately sent to dismantle the camp and take its residents back to Iran.
These eight – and the other small groups and individuals who have arrived at the camp over the past six years – are terrifying agents capable of destroying Rajavi’s dedicated, self-sacrificing, totally committed force of Mojaheds? Surprising then that they have not come armed with dynamite and bulldozers, but instead come with kindness, warmth and words filled with both love and sorrow. They come with news and messages from family and friends, about births, deaths, marriages and all the little minutiae of ordinary life.
How interesting. How revealing. What a sad admission of the fragility and nihilism of the Rajavi cult that they are truly terrified by this.
Are we to believe that Iran’s “main opposition” – to quote its own self-publicity – which purports to be able to overthrow the Iranian regime in its entirety and establish a democracy in its place, is full of individuals terrified that their Mum or Dad will come along and pull their ear and make them go home? (And we must not forget that these are individuals with an average age of around 50 years.) Is it really that easy to turn a dedicated individual away from their struggle?
Isn’t the only rational interpretation of the MKO’s current hysteria that Massoud and Maryam Rajavi can only keep hold of their followers through deception and coercion and that the visit of these families will threaten to undermine that.
The fundamental, unavoidable fact behind all this is that the MKO is a dangerous, destructive mind control cult which holds its members in a state of modern slavery.
And the significance of this is far greater than the story of these eight families and involves the geopolitical future of Iraq and the region.
In brief, the MKO is described as a dangerous cult because it believes in using violence to achieve its stated aims. It is destructive because it destroys the lives, minds and spirits of its membership. The majority of the members are held incommunicado, with no access at all to the outside world. Within this isolation they are subjected to a systematic daily regime of psychological manipulation and coercion.
One of the most potent tools used by cult leaders to control their members is through the inculcation of irrational fears, or phobias, in the minds of cult members. Every cult has its own version of phobia. But all will be focused on creating an irrational fear in a cult member of critics and opponents of the cult, especially former members and family members; who of course are best placed to understand the cult mindset and be able to penetrate it. The member will become fearful anytime the phobia is activated. In the case of the MKO, the ‘code’ which activates the phobia is the tag ‘agent of the Iranian Intelligence Ministry’. No empirical evidence is required as the phrase works exactly to arouse irrational, not real, fear.
Members of the MKO live in a state of almost perpetual fear. It is through fear that the MKO not only enthrals its members but deceives uninformed politicians and media persons. The use of the word terror in this article is not for the sake of exaggeration. It describes the employment of irrational fears to ‘terrorise’ the subject. Western parliaments, media and humanitarian agencies are being ‘terrorised’ by a sophisticated campaign of psychological manipulation in which MKO lobbyists arouse a subtle level of irrational fear of spurious, deceptive spectres (usually these will be tagged ‘agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence’) facing the “main Iranian opposition movement”, the MKO.
Ironically this unarmed ‘terrorist’ campaign is waged by the MKO to avoid exposure and activation of the real existential threat hanging over the group. This threat does not come from outside agencies, but arises directly from the cult nature of the organisation itself; hence the MKO leaders’ hysteria over eight family members knocking at the camp gate asking to see their relatives.
But, those still interested enough to keep on following the dwindling fortunes of the foreign terrorist cult Mojahedin-e Khalq, will already know that this is not the whole story. Not even the real story. And those who may squirm at seeing see the emperor’s nakedness should look away now.
For six years the American Army provided protection for the MKO in Iraq, a group which both the U.S. and Iraq designate as a foreign terrorist entity. The RAND National Defense Research Institute report ‘The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq – A Policy Conundrum’ published in August 2009 describes the U.S.’ failure to deal decisively with the group; to dismantle it as should have happened, as successive Iraqi governments since December 2003 required should happen. According to the report, “Approximately 14 U.S. soldiers were killed and 60 wounded as they provided security for convoys escorting MeK [MKO] members to Baghdad to purchase supplies. Thus, it was often unclear just who was in charge of Camp Ashraf”. According to the report, the order to protect this useful little mercenary terrorist cult came from the very top, from former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.
Just as the MKO leaders denied families access to their relatives inside the camp, the firmly closed doors of the camp against this existential threat proved an extremely convenient location to reassemble members of the former Saddam Hussein’s regime. Over six years the MKO has played host to supporters and officials of the former Iraqi dictator’s regime. Insurgent violence in the Diyala province has been coordinated from the MKO camp under U.S. protection.
So, when eight family members arrive at the gates of the MKO camp, it is not only the MKO leaders who fear the existential threat to the cult, but the group’s western backers. For over two decades, the Mojahedin-e Khalq has been promoted by western interests as Saddam Hussein’s private army. Since 2003, the group’s Zionist and neoconservative backers, fronted by Lord Corbett in the U.K., Struan Stevenson and Alejo Vidal-Quadras in the European Parliament, Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the U.S. Congress, and U.S. lobbyist Raymond Tanter, have not been supporting the MKO for humanitarian reasons (otherwise they would surely support these family visits). They are protecting and promoting the group as a proxy for reintroducing Saddamists into Iraqi politics.
Those terrorised into believing they support the MKO for humanitarian reasons to protect them from destruction by the Government of Iran need to summon a little energy and a little courage to look beyond this false, superficial reasoning and really examine the facts. In doing so they will be faced with a stark choice: support the MKO as a proxy for the re-emergence of pro-western Saddamists in Iraq, or support the elected Government of Iraq as an independent, sovereign government.
That is clearly a political choice. But in the meantime, remember, the real victims of the MKO’s terrorism are the cult’s own members who are enslaved by fear.