VIVIAN SALAMA, The Associated Press, Baghdad, October 29 2015:… A barrage of rockets slammed late Thursday into a former military base near the Baghdad International Airport that houses an Iranian refugee group, killing three Iraqi soldiers, officials said. The Iranian exiles said at least 20 of their people died in the attack. Iraqi police said 16 rockets …
Rockets near Baghdad airport kill soldiers, Iranian refugees
BAGHDAD (AP) — A barrage of rockets slammed late Thursday into a former military base near the Baghdad International Airport that houses an Iranian refugee group, killing three Iraqi soldiers, officials said. The Iranian exiles said at least 20 of their people died in the attack.
Iraqi police said 16 rockets hit Camp Liberty, a former U.S. base that now houses the exiled Iranian opposition group known as the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq. They said at least 16 soldiers guarding the camp were also wounded while the Iranian group, known as MEK, said dozens of Iranian refugees were wounded as well.
No one immediately claimed responsibility for the attack.
The statement from Mujahedeen-e-Khalq said that “due to darkness of the night, the exact number of dead and wounded has not been established.”
Police said that there may be casualties among the exiled group, but noted they did not report them to the local authorities so they could not determine how many civilians were hit in the attack. The MEK statement on casualty figures could not be independently verified because of the late hour of the attack and the camp’s inaccessibility to media.
A police official added that the rockets landed far enough from the airport that they did not disrupt commercial traffic. A hospital official confirmed the casualty figures. Both officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.
This was not the first attack since Camp Liberty became home to the Iranian group, which is strongly opposed to Iran’s clerical regime. Last year, the Islamic State group was said to have fired rockets near to Baghdad International Airport as it attempted to destabilize the capital.
Members of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq were welcomed into Iraq by Saddam Hussein in the 1980s during the brutal war with neighboring Iran. Their fortunes turned sharply with the Iraqi dictator’s toppling in the 2003 U.S.-led invasion.
Iraq’s current Shiite-led Iraqi government, which has strengthened ties with Tehran, considers their presence in the country illegal.
The group regularly reports worsening health conditions within their isolated camp and accuses the Iraqi government of neglect and human rights abuses.
Associated Press writer Murtada Faraj contributed to this report from Baghdad.
Suffering families try again to visit their loved ones in Camp Liberty
Sahar Family Foundation, Baghdad, September 14 2015:… The cult leaders responded to the presence of the families and threatened the UN and Iraqi officials that if the families do not leave the place they would stop sending residents to Albania. The leaders of the cult made it clear to the officials of the UN and Iraqi authorities that they would under no circumstances …
Suffering families try again to visit their loved ones in Camp Liberty
Some 24 family members of those trapped in the MKO cult in Camp Liberty in Iraq, from Iranian provinces of Yazd, Khuzestan, and Khorasan-e Razavi, who had come to Iraq to visit their relatives, went to the closed gates of the camp.
The families stayed all day long today (Monday) outside the camp with the hope to gain just a short visit, but they were denied to get the slightest news from them. Their desperate calls made the heart of every human being hurt.
Unfortunately the local officials did not let the reporters or any camera into the area. The only films and photos in hand have been taken by one of the local workers. Some families were not happy to be shown in a photo which is respected.
The cult leaders responded to the presence of the families and threatened the UN and Iraqi officials that if the families do not leave the place they would stop sending residents to Albania.
The leaders of the cult made it clear to the officials of the UN and Iraqi authorities that they would under no circumstances allow the residents to visit their families and described it as being beyond imagination.
Massoud Rajavi’s fear of the cult members visiting their families is quite understandable. He knows well that within cultic relationships; if the suppressed emotions are awakening, the effects of brainwashing would fade away and the individuals would go back to normality.
Sahar Family Foundation
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).]
Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Nejat Society, Tehran, August 21 2013: … He used his vicious tongue to lash those who are the most loyal and supportive of his followers. The Shah at least did not call those who want to leave traitors and did not insult them and was, in any case, talking to those who were against him from the beginning, and not those who had given everything for him. My addressee here …
IRNA, October 18 2014: … Scores of former members of the terrorist Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) will return to Iran following the complete collapse of the terrorist group in Iraq and after being pardoned by the Islamic establishment. Legal procedures are underway for the return of the breakaway members of the terrorist group while a large number …
Nejat Society, May 12 2014: … The four former members of the MKO who addressed the audience described the current condition of the group in Iraq. Ronak Dashti, Ibrahim Khodabandeh, Ali Ekrami and Iraj salehi spoke of the support of US and Israel for the MKO terrorist cult. Ebrahim Khodabandeh …
Press TV, Tehran, August 28 2013: … Even after the execution of Saddam Hossein the terrorist group still continues its acts of terror against the Iranians under the support of certain western powers; Iranian security sources say the assassination of a number of Iranian scientists is the result of the direct cooperation between MKO and the US-Israeli intelligence services. Last year the US …
Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Iran Interlink, February 21, 2013 … Not only is this untrue, it is yet another gaffe. The original report did not say that I was in jail at that time and the author of the article either did not bother to read the actual report, or was probably as confused as everyone else who read it as to what it was actually trying to say. The fact is that I was arrested in Syria …