Press TV, December 06 2016:… The terrorist group of “Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization,” also called “MEK” or “MKO,” which is featured among some countries’ lists of terrorist groups is being protected in a small town only 30 kilometers from Paris, in Auvers-sur-Oise; this has resulted in neglect of public interest and freedom of speech. During the years, the organization has been responsible …
The Secrets Behind Auvers-sur-Oise
The terrorist group of “Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization,” also called “MEK” or “MKO,” which is featured among some countries’ lists of terrorist groups is being protected in a small town only 30 kilometers from Paris, in Auvers-sur-Oise; this has resulted in neglect of public interest and freedom of speech. During the years, the organization has been responsible for a lot of terrorist acts against innocent Iranian citizens both in Iran and abroad. Press TV presents its investigative documentary about the MEK headquarters in France at Auvers-sur-Oise in Ile-de France, near Paris. The life that surrounds this strange place, the movements in and out of the compound as well as the links between the organization and the neighborhood are all depicted in this informative documentary. The so-called Iranian resistance exiled in France has tried its best to look like a pacific organization in the neighborhood where they have been since the 1980s but in the recent years neighbors and human rights organizations have started asking questions of what this place is all about. On the 26th of January 2014, the French Association called “Peace” organized a demonstration against cults in France. They denounce in Auvers-sur-Oise the presence of the MEK terrorist group and the support they receive from the mayor of the town.
Still on screen: “Mind-altering practicesunquestioning commitment to the groupcult of personality
preoccupation with bringing in new members shifting alliances in exchange for power these are the guidelines of a cult. What if we told you that this dangerous cult has its base in Paris, France?”
SOUNDBITE [English] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “By some luck or maybe some unluck performance, we found that there was an organization in France, and this organization used to have some members who decided to burn themselves, so we tried to know why. Why did they decide to burn themselves in the middle of the street, in Paris, in a day of July in 2003.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “Why is there such a movement in France? Why do French know nothing about an organization which has a terrorist background and is living their country?”
Narration: The following story is so hard to believe that it could be the perfect script for a fiction film. Unfortunately, it is a true story. While France is recovering from the latest assaults in Paris and the world is focused on stamping out what has been called Islamic Fundamentalism, an Iranian organization that has featured among some countries’ lists of terrorist groups is being protected in a small town only 30 Km from Paris, in Auvers-sur-Oise.
SOUNDBITE [English] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “We found that MEK organization was a very special organization because it was a cult and it was an organization fighting, as they say, for peace, fighting or the rights of their members and fighting for Iranian people. But when we saw what we saw, those pictures of burning people in the street, those pictures and stories of people living all those yearsin the MEK organization, we knew that it wasn’t a normal organization.”
Narration: The Moudjahiddin Khald Organization, usually abbreviated to MEK or MKO, started in 1965 as an underground political party opposed to the Shah of Iran. The MEK murdered several of the Shah’s U.S. security advisers prior to the Islamic Revolution, and the group actually helped to guard the U.S. Embassy after Islamic students seized it in 1979.
The enemies of the Shah worked together uneasily for a time, but their cooperation was short-lived. Very soon after the victory of the Islamic Revolution of Iran, Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the MEK organization, left for Auvers-sur-Oise, in France. There, Massoud Rajavi created the so called National Council of Resistance of Iran (the NCRI).
Some years later, Massoud would marry another MEK member called Maryam who decided to divorce her own husband and marry the ideological leader before a gathering of MEK members in Paris. She then became the president elect of the NCRI, which she claims until today to be the only valid political opposition to the Islamic Republic of Iran.
SOUNDBITE [English] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “In general when people have problems, political problems with their country and they are trying to find a solution or maybe trying to escape a special situation in their country, France accepts those kind of people. And I think that the MEK organization and Rajavi first of all saw that there was this possibility for them. To enter in a country which will not prevent them from their liberties?”
Narration: In 1986, Paris regularized its relations with Tehran and Massoud Rajavi was asked to leave France. He went to Iraq, Iran’s eternal enemy of the time, where he created the so-called National Liberation Army and conducted several cross-border forays in Tehran. They were called the “private army” of Saddam Hussein during the Iraq-Iran war and that is why they are regarded by most Iranians as traitors and hypocrites, hence the name Monafeghin. They were based in Camp Ashraf, which is situated in Iraq, about 80 kilometers west of the Iran border and 40 kilometers north of Baghdad.
Since then, the MEK organization has conducted terrorist attacks against the interests of the Islamic Republic of Iran and they have been said to be responsible for the deaths of over 10.000 Iranian citizens, including many children. In Paris, Henver and Françoise, two young activists from an anti-cult organization know this group quite well and have been confronted by them on several occasions.
SOUNDBITE [English] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “When you go in the city of Auvers-sur-Oise and you ask about the MEK organization, there is no answer but some people indicate you that their group and their house is at the end of the city. So, when you decide to go in the city, near MEK organization’s house, you see that they are not normal and maybe more dangerous than we think. For example, here it is the house, and here there is a little box. This box is the security guard. There is a very, very long street in front of this house. You have the house of MEK organization and there is nobody here.
You don’t see people go inside or go outside. The guy here is here to check if you are normal or if you are not normal. By normal I mean if you are friend of MEK, you can come in, if you are not friend of MEK, they see you as a potential enemy. So they are with their talkie walkie. I don’t know if they have weapons but, in France we call it “the mirador” There is this place with the security guard and just behind there are a lot of possibilities to hide something.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “We carried out first action in Auvers-sur-Oise in January last year. We went there with some other activists and it didn´t go very well. Because we came peacefully to inform people in Auvers-sur-Oise and to ask them if they knew about the organization’s history, if they knew that they have people like the MEK members living among them.”
SOUNDBITE [French] slogans: ““The MEK is lying to you” The MEK is lying, the MEK is lying. We say no to cults and no to terrorism!”
SOUNDBITE [English] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “It was very strange to be in this city, a French city and it was like you cannot ask about this organization, you can’t even go inside the city if you are not from the city.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “We want to denounce that the members of this organization do not have the right to live freely, that they don´t have the right of freedom of expression, that they don’t have the right to see their families, that they have lost many members of their families. We don´t do politics, we just want to denounce what’s really happening.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “The people standing there didn’t seem to understand what was going on or maybe they were just not aware. But at least we met a resident who asked the major of the town at the time “is that right? What are these people doing here? We see them but we don’t know who they are” And the mayor didn’t know what to answer. But in any case, when he came to meet us, he immediately categorized us as collaborators of the “Iranian Regime”.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Group of Peace activists in Auvers-sur-Oise: “We are here to denounce the presence of the MEK Organization in France Ok. Especially their presence here in Auvers-sur-Oise. Oh! You are linked to the Iranian Regime?! No, not at all. Why do they live in a fortified camp? We see it when we walk in the street. Please, answer them. There is a bunker inside the camp.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “We were unwelcome because the MEK members arrived very quickly. They were warned by some residents who sympathize with this group. So they warned them and they arrived very quickly en masse. If I remember well they were more than 10 people. Some arrived by car and others on foot. They assaulted us and wrenched our banners from us, we were insulted and hustled away. It was very violent.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Group of Peace activists in Auvers-sur-Oise: “You are being provocative, you don’t realize the provocation you are causing. What do you mean we are being provocative? We are just denouncing something and it’s our right. We’ll be back! Thank you all. Have a nice day! Sorry for the trouble, we just wanted to inform you! It is important to know what is happening in your town, in Île de France and in the whole of France. Good luck, have a nice day! Each of us is free to have its own ideas. We are living in democracy. Long live France!”
Narration: Eventually the French police came and guided this group of young people fighting for peace to the station so that they could leave Auvers-sur-Oise safely. Even on the train the MEK members kept following them.
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “The group of MEK members that were at the station have been stopped by the French police.
But when the train arrived, three of those people got into our train and they followed us into Persan Gaumont, where the train’s security had to intervene in order to assure our safe arrival to destination.”
Narration: The European Union, Canada and the United States formerly listed the MEK as a terrorist organization, but this designation has been lifted in most of this countries since 2012 due to a strange and ambiguous support from some members of the US Congress as well as a great deal of lobbying from the organization itself, which is said to pay some politicians to gain their support. With offices in Washington, Paris and all over Europe, today, each person or in situation which has ever dared to combat this organization has being confronted with a powerful and dangerous group. Our team decides to travel to Iran and meet ex-members of this strange organization. Only the people who have been inside MEK can best tell us the secrets lying behind the political face of this group.
SOUNDBITE [English] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MEK Member: “My name is Ebrahim Khodabandeh I was born in 1953 in Tehran, I left to Britain in 1971 to study there.
And in 1980 I was recruited by the Moudjahedin Khalgh Organization, MKO. I was working full time in the organization, mainly in Europe for 23 years. In 2003 I was sent to Syria for a mission and I was arrested there along with my colleague. We were carrying about 2 million dollar cash. We were supposed to carry the money from Iraq to Paris. I served 2 months in a prison in Syria, then we were extradited to Iran where we were taken to even prison. In Even prison I used to find myself still committed to the organization. I committed myself not to even watch the Iranian television, not to read the Iranian papers and I wouldn’t talk to anybody anything against the organization. I used to think that the only person I can trust in this whole world is Massoud Rajavi. So, it took about one and a half or two years that I was totally convinced that I was subject of mind manipulation and brain washing. When I was in even prison, gradually I started to study about mind control and mind manipulation. There was this book, written by Mrs. Margaret Talasinge, my brother sent it to me and I started reading it. It was called: “Cults in our mists”” And I found the techniques used for mind manipulation by destructive mind control cults, exactly are the same techniques used inside the organization.
When I realized that I was deceived into this organization and that everything they told me was wrong, I was sort of mentally paralyzed. And I found everything meaningless and sort of hollow. It took me some time by the aid of psychiatrist that I managed to come to the normal life.”
Narration: When the organization was first established, both men and women joined to seek a brighter future, but one day, Massoud Rajavi announced the “Internal Revolution” he came up with a new idea about marital life; it was detrimental to the future of the organization. For him, marital love was an obstacle that could definitely hinder the progress of his plan. Therefore, Rajavi called for a compulsory divorce of all MEK members. From that moment on, Rajavi’s cult techniques proliferated and the oppressions to the MEK members multiplied.
SOUNDBITE [English] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MEK Member: “Now I would like to talk a little bit about MKO’s base in Paris, in Auvers-sur-Oise, which some people call Maryam’s garrison. It consists of few bungalows attached to each other and very tall walls with barbed wires and a lot of cameras around. And it’s nothing like the area, I mean, when you go to the area, the maximum height of the walls are half a meter, but the walls of this place are more than 3 meters. Nobody knows what is going on inside there. The atmosphere inside this camp is like any other cult, it’s very restricted. People have to have special permission from the higher authorities to leave the camp or to get into it. Some few hundred people live there, who have not left the place for many years.”
There should be a reason, a good reason for leaving the place, like going for medication or for doing tasks. Otherwise there is no point to leave there. Men and women work totally separated and there are dormitories for girls and for boys separated from each other. And people work 24 hours. They are deprived of having rest; this is a cult technique, to put the people under so much psychological and physical pressure that they will not think about their future and their surroundings and all that.”
Narration: In 1994 the main building, where Maryam Rajavi lives was deliberately set on fire. The new building has a garage underneath, the walls have been reinforced with concrete to withstand RPG7 missiles, and windows are bullet proof. B is the main entrance to the compound except for Maryam Rajavi but she has a special door connecting A and B.
Massoud’s brother has a separate residence. He is very well known by Auvers.sur-Oise residents. Saleh Rajavi has a licensed gun which is given to Rajavi’s security people located in front of A and B. The Rajavis have always seen security as a way of showing their importance and it is known that Maryam Rajavi always insists on hiring French security. She pretends they are French police. Our team goes to Auvers-sur-Oise to check what Ebrahim Khodabandeh had told us about the area. We had no problems filming anywhere. We then confirmed that most of the houses in the area have law walls or none at all and some even have their gates wide open. But when we approach the MEK’s house, things became rather different…
Conversation [French] Between two men: “-Hello
– Are you a journalist?
– No. I am not a journalist. I am a tourist, and I have a friend who wants to make a film in the area and so I came to visit here.
-Why? You told me it is forbidden to film here.
-Why is it forbidden here?
-Because we have security
-Security for what?
-Because I am just filming.
-I know, you can pass by and film before or after (our building).
-Why is it not possible here?
-Because this is where the Iranian Resistance lives.
-So what? I have nothing against Iranians
-Why can I not film here?
-If you want to film here you have to ask for permission.
-Ask whom for permission?
-I am in the street without a tripod.
-So you can pass in the street.
-Yes, of course I am going to pass but I don’t understand, I filmed the whole town.
-Do you want to take pictures or film?
-I am filming because my friend wants to film here or maybe in a different town.
-Where do you live now?
-Where do I live now?
-I live in Paris.
-Hello. I don’t understand. I arrived in this street because
-I have been filming around the town, for a friend, and this guy tells me it is forbidden.
-But I am in a public street.”
Narration: MEK members believe that they can be attacked at any moment. This fear has been installed inside the organization and forms part of cult techniques. Years ago there were barriers both sides of the street protecting the compound even more from the outside. These were set up by the French authorities but were then taken away as they have never believed a serious threat exists. The bollards in front of the house were put there by the MEK organization to prevent car bombs. In June 2003 the French police raided the MEK’s base in Auvers-sur-Oise, under the orders of the anti-terrorist magistrate Jean-Louis Bruguière, following suspicions that the MEK organization was planning to bomb Iranian citizens in Europe. 158 people inside the compound were arrested. The police found 8 million 600 thousand USD dollars in cash in the safe in Maryam Rajavi’s bedroom.
SOUNDBITE [French] Commissar Duval, the Central Office for Fighting Major Financial Crime in France: “We will do everything that is technically within our powerregarding the traceability of the funds.Both the funds in accounts and in cash.We will try to answer two questions:where does the money come from andwhere is it going?”
Narration: Investigators from the central financial crime bureau in France, tried to determine the origin of that amount cash, but they were unable to do so. Maryam Rajavi was released following several self-immolations by members of the organization that took place in France and the rest of Europe.
SOUNDBITE [English] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MEK Member: “From the beginning of establishing international relations of the organization I was a member of it. I traveled to more than 20 countries and in each country I did political work for the organization. I was one of the responsible people there, in many cases I met a lot of politicians, tried to convince them to support the organization and this went on for 23 years. Trying to give a very horrible image of the Islamic Republic of Iran and show the MKO as the only alternative. We were trying to tell the western people, trying to frighten them from Iran, saying that Iran is after nuclear weapon, they are trying to send terrorist to Europe and all that. We used to fabricate a lot of lies against Iran to gain our way and all this has been justified, to do that because we thought that we have an aim, a goal and to reach that goal, we are allowed to do whatever possible. So, we knew that we were lying and we would do that because we thought that this is for the benefit of the people of Iran.”
Narration: We continue our journey to Shiraz to meet a victim from the MEK’s terrorist attacks.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Zahra Noorbakhsh, Victim of Mek’s Violence: “These are the marks the Monafeghin (the Hypocrites) left on me. Since my childhood, when I was four years old, I have been carrying these marks until today; 33 years have passed since that event.
I lost all my beauty, my hands, my head, my body, my face. These are the traces the Monafeghin left on me. May God curse them. We were on the bus. It was Eid Al-Ghadir celebration and we wanted to go to Shiraz on pilgrimage to the Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum. We were on the bus and there were a lot of people. Four women got on the bus and they had firebombs on them. They threw the firebombs into the middle of the bus. The bus caught fire. When the bus went on fire, we were in the middle of it and everyone run towards the doors to get out. My sister and I were in the middle of the bus and we were engulfed in flames. My sister got completely burnt, she was burnt to death. And I was injured. I immediately took to hospital. I had very bad injuries on my head, my hands and my face.
Why do the western countries support the Monafeghin? Why do they give them shelter, money and everything they want? Who is accountable to individuals like me, to listen to us?”
Narration: Not far from where this family lives, we meet two ex-members of MEK.
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamed Sarrafpour, Former MEK Member: “I am Hamed Sarrafpour. Almost 35 years ago, when I was 14, I got acquainted with the MEK. After that I was in Iran for 7 years with the MEK. I left Iran and went to Pakistan. Through Pakistan I went to Iraq. Then I spent 22 years in Iraq with the MEK in different camps. Of these 22 years, I was kept prisoner by the Americans for four years. And a few years after being released by the Americans, I went to France and stayed there for almost four years. Almost for two years, the operations we undertook were along border zones, until we started with the operations that was later called “Mersad” and which the MEK called “Forough Javidan”.
After that we entered new phases since a ceasefire had been established in the Iran-Iraq war.
So there could not be any armed conflict along border zones. Therefore, Massoud Rajavi started new training afterwards. He blamed the defeat we suffered in the “Forough Javidan” operation on the members of the so-called [National] Liberation Army [of Iran].
To cover his failure over and blame others, he said, “It was your fault that we were defeated.”
This was the beginning of his gradually intensifying his repressions. Then the persecutions started. From that moment I was not authorized to… I lacked individual freedom, it was not possible to have any contact outside the MEK, I could not contact my family by telephone or even by letter, any kind of individual rights, the rights that every human being as an individual should benefit from, I had none of them. From that moment I felt that the atmosphere became more and more oppressive for me there.”
Narration: Back in France, Henver and Françoise are ready to carry out a new action. They are going back to Auvers-sur-Oise to speak with the new mayor of the town. This time they bring no banners or slogans, they are visiting to make sure the new mayor knows about the presence of a dangerous organization in town. Apparently Henver and Françoise have been recognized.
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “We don’t know who warned them. I am sure it is that man. I saw him going in, it must be him.”
Narration: Is she reporting some MEK enemies in town? Does she really need the picture? or is it an intimidation technique?
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “-It is going to be quick.
-Hello, I am Dos Santos,
-And she is Mrs. Philippe.
-We represent Association PEACE,
-which is an association working to inform the community about cults.
Narration: Strange reaction! An organization fighting against cults so surprising? or maybe she knows who Henver is talking about?
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “-We came last year, we organized a…
-Oh, so it’s you who organized that demonstration?
-OKz! Oh my God! OK!”
Narration: Confirmed, she knows who Henver. Is talking about and also who he is.?
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”:
“-We just want to have your opinion.
-You can’t take a photo of me, I forbid you to do so, it is out of the question.
-We won’t do it without your consent.
-You know…I am the mayor of all the people in Auvers-sur-Oise, Exactly!
-I am committed to a citizen list and I can’t position myself.
-If you want my opinion, that kind of demonstration bothers me a lot.
-Why is that?
-Because I think it is violent and it scares people, I don’t like that.
-But we came only with banners, to inform people.
-Yes, no problem, but it bothers me and I don’t authorize much this kind of thing in this town.”
Narration: She doesn’t authorize demonstrations in town?! In France? Where is freedom of expression?
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”:
-And what about the presence of the MEK Organization in your town?
-Why do you want me to talk about that?
-Because we are…
-I just answered you, I am the mayor of all the people living in Auvers-sur-Oise.
-Is it not enough for an answer?
-It will be my answer for today.
-Being the mayor of all the people in Auvers-sur-Oise for us doesn’t justify…
-I am in favor of peace and I am the mayor of all the people in Auvers-sur- Oise.
-I am committed to a citizen list and I act for the welfare of my town.
-And it is important.
-That’s all I will say.
-Have a nice day!
-By the way, did you receive our email from last year?
-Goodbye for now.
-Thank you, goodbye for now.
-It is good to know the mayor’s position.
-Now we know what to expect.
-It’s better, isn’t it?
-She wants more pictures of us.”
Narration: What is she hiding. How can a so called peaceful organization act so strangely?
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”:
“-We could even say…
-maybe with her they are also in cahoots…”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamed Sarrafpour, Former MEK Member: “We have no doubt that the mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise and the mayors from the 1st and 2nd districts of Paris receive financial help from the MEK. And that is why they protect them. I had not been to Auvers-sur-Oise because even the surroundings were very dangerous for us; we couldn’t even get close. We had only gone to Cergy and nearby, as far as Villepinte, not nearer than a few Kilometers
from Auvers-sur-Oise. Even in Cergy we were attacked.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MEK Member: “How come, and organization has such a free hand to do everything they want they even harass their own members to do whatever they like in the western countries and get away with it.
Some elements in the west believe that they have to support this organization, as it could be used against the Iranian Regime. But that is a total mistake. They have experienced it many times. Supporting terrorism doesn’t help anybody. They are experiencing terrorism now in France, but they could prevent this from the beginning when they were supporting them in Syria, when they were supporting them in Iraq. They give open hand to the terrorist for the short time benefits, but they get long time loses.”
SOUNDBITE [Persian] Hamed Sarrafpour, Former MEK Member: “Two years before I left Iraq, I was accepted as a refugee through the United Nations. After we arrived in Paris, there, for a long period of time, for a year or a year and a half, our file was blocked.
And they wouldn’t allow any lawyer to take up our case, to help us obtain refugee status there sooner. Amnesty International would assign a lawyer to open our file and see what was wrong.
After pursuing the case, the lawyer would abandon the case saying that for security reasons they had been advised to drop the case, and they would fear and quit the case. We talked to those responsible for French security on many occasions. We would ask them, “Why can Maryam Rajavi live so easily in Paris as a refugee while she has been our commander and the MEK leader?”
Why can she do freely whatever she wants in Paris as a refugee under your protection?
You take care of her who is on your terrorist blacklist whereas you block our file even though we have left her and her group.” They would not reply; they would just say, “This is a political issue and we can’t answer. This case goes beyond our responsibilities. You have to wait for your case to get out of the OFPRA (French Office for the Protection of Refugees and Stateless).”
June 22, 2012 We had organized a demonstration at Saint Michel Square in Paris.
We wanted to reveal MEK’s terrorist activities and oppression and highlight what went on during their meetings. But they had sent their people in advance. About 10 to 20 of their members had been sent to Saint Michel Square before we arrived. There, they assaulted us and stopped us from carrying out our plan of action. At that moment the police… the French police had not yet arrived to protect us, so they attacked us. As you can see… This is one of the MEK women; she has an umbrella and hits us with it. They are MEK’s vigilantes who attacked us with sticks and cudgels. The woman started first and the others, some of whom had covered their faces, followed. Many many times, on Maryam Rajavi’s orders, we were beaten on the streets of Paris. Our videos are available on YouTube. It can be seen how the MEK would attack our revelatory demonstrations, which had legal authorization from the city of Paris, and prevented us from organizing our meetings… A group which pretends to be a democratic one in France and is supported by many of French authorities, mayors and senators, so even though it is under their protection and pretends to be democratic, it can’t stand the slightest criticism in the middle of Paris from its opponents. Generally speaking, we didn’t feel safe. Every time we would go out, we had to take care if the MEK or Maryam Rajavi herself might have sent their people to beat us up on the street since they had issued threats.
In 1995, in one of the meetings, known as the Hoz (pool) meeting, where I was present, Masoud Rajavi said, “I am telling you, and I ask you, if we are ever defeated, kill all those who have separated from the MEK and made revelations on the streets of Paris and Europe. I will give you the weapons and the money. You just have to kill them. I will be in charge of the weapons and money, and you will be in charge of the killings.” In other words, since 1995, almost 20 years ago, he ordered the murder of his opponents in Europe. So it is not a secret. Naturally, when we walked in the streets of Europe, We expected the MEK to attack and kill us.”
Narration: Our team wanted to know why? If western authorities know about the terrorist past of this organization, why do many politicians agree to attend their rally in Villepinte every June where thousands of people gather to support Maryam Rajavi and the MEK Organization?
So we came to the meeting this year and to our surprise we found hundreds of buses with thousands of people from all over Europe and the Middle East: Afghans, Syrians, Poles, Ukrainians, Checks, Germans, however the Iranians attending the meeting were the minority.
Conversation [English] Crew member & some boys attending the rally in Villepinte:.
“-Did you come all over here just for this weekend?
-Yeah! Just for that conversation here.
-But they invited you.
-Yes, of course.
-Like everyone else here.
-So, have you been inside?
You don’t understand right?
-Too much speaking, speaking and it makes me sleep. So we came outside, drink, eat, relax.
-But you have to spend the whole day here.
-Yeah, that’s what we are doing.
-But tomorrow no.
-No. Tomorrow we go to Paris. Just take pictures and things like that.
-When did you arrive?
-Ahh….Today, in the morning, at 11:00.
-And when do you leave?
Conversation [English] Crew member & A girl attending the rally in Villepinte: “-Where do you come from?
-And did you come all over here just for the meeting?
-Yes, and to Paris too.
-But they paid for the whole trip, right?
-No, we had to pay something but a small amount of money.
-OK. And, where you inside the meeting?
-Yes, for 3 hours.
-And what do you think and what did you understand?
-I think it’s a strategy to bring us here because it is Paris and they made it very cheap so they can have their rally but we are not allowed to go out to the buses or to the hotel because otherwise they won’t give us the key to enter the hotel. It is the only way to keep us here.
And we are on the grass seating because they are just trying to support this woman who is outside of Iran and won’t change anything because she doesn’t have enough support. So we are the only ones here and we ate forced to stay.”
Conversation [English] Crew member & A girl attending the rally in Villepinte:.“-How do you feel after having seeing what is inside?
-I feel very disappointed because I came here because there was this organization which proposed this trip to Paris in order to know about this conference which I was told it was about human rights of Iranian people. I was excited about this because I study journalism, for me this is interesting. But when we arrived here, the first thing I saw was the bad organization, which meant something strange to me because when you come to an event like this they are supposed to be more organized and take care of the guests. We were waiting for two hours outside to get inside. Then once we were inside t was like we were in some kind of performance, like a political rally. And they didn’t speak about the topics I was told. They only spoke about supporting this lady and it seems as if they didn’t care about people around because people were doing other things and not paying attention. So I feel I was lied.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City: “How many people are here today? 100.000? a 110.000? How often have you come here?”
Narration: So the real question is not how many people are here today but how many Iranians are here and also how many people here have not been brought with a trip to Paris as bate to attend this meeting. Let us explain how the people are distributed inside the building where this rally is taking place. All the tourists occupy 90% of the space, in each seat they can find t-shirts, flags and all sorts of gadgets to look like good supporters in front of the cameras but closer to the stage we have a VIP zone where all the Iranians are meant to be sitting.
One would think that in such a huge meeting this zone would be packed but here is a still taken from the MEK’s official video where we can see a lot of empty seats. And not only that, you have to have a bracelet to get in, we obviously had not been invited as VIP’s but we found a young lady from the MEK organization distributing those bracelets for the VIP zone in a kind of hidden place. So there we go inside the VIP zone to find some Iranians, the only supporters they got, MEK members and plenty of empty seats.
SOUNDBITE [English] Rudy Giuliani, Former Mayor of New York City: “A country, a country and an Ayatollah who dedicates himself to the destruction of one of our strongest allies, the State of Israel. Who almost every week says, “destruction to the State of Israel”
We unequivocally support a non nuclear Iran. Now what does a non nuclear Iran mean?
It doesn’t mean two months away from being able to have a nuclear missile, it doesn’t mean one year away from having a nuclear missile. It doesn’t mean an Iran that will become a nuclear power in ten years.”
SOUNDBITE [English] Ebrahim Khodabandeh, Former MEK Member: “The first time the organization had revealed some facts about Iran’s nuclear activities; this information was given to the organization by the Israeli intelligence. Since they didn’t want to reveal it themselves, they wanted some Iranians to do that, they went to the monarchists and they didn’t accept to do that. They said that they would not do against the interest of their country. But the MKO accepted to do that. And this was the start of the Iranian nuclear crisis. After that, MKO had no role in it, but they wanted to keep their role because they claimed that they got this information from their sources inside Iran. So each time they used to fabricate some lies, give it out as Iranian’s nuclear activities, which was not true. And many times it was proven that it was not true. They wanted to be part of this western manufacture of crisis against Iran.”
Narration: When MEK political rallies taking place in Villepinte, former MEK members demonstrating against MEK and the Rajavi in the vary centers of Paris.
SOUNDBITE [English] Protesters in Paris: “Rajavi, terrorist! Terrorist, Rajavi!
Rajavi, Daesh! Daesh, Rajavi!
Rajavi, Daesh! Daesh, Rajavi!
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “I am afraid that something can happen to me or to my family. And it’s true that when you have someone that is ready to the trend you in front of police, in front of security guards, in front of any kind of security of official authority, I am a little bit afraid. Yes, I am a little bit afraid.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “For me, those people are not normal. What they do is not normal, what they did in the past is not normal. Today they tend to show their seemingly peaceful face to the world, but we don’t know today what they are capable of doing.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Henver Dos Santos, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “It’s true that they succeeded in a kind of way, they succeeded to stop us by their threat, by their violence. Because… If I can ask you something, what do you do in front of someone ready to burn himself? They are very dangerous. I think we can continue our action and we will continue our action because freedom has to win. But for none, we decided to continue in another way, by communication, communication is the key.”
SOUNDBITE [French] Françoise Philippe, Activist against Cults Association “Peace”: “Many secrets remain in Auvers-sur-Oise that our team has not been able to unearth. But one thing we know is that in the very heart of Europe, a group of young French activists have been threaten by a so-called peaceful organization. They are afraid of carrying on with their plan of combating cults. In Auvers-sur-Oise, there are still many residents unaware of the origins of the terrorist group, living in their town, right beside them.”
Open Letter to Susana Klien and Caroline Haworth of Womankind Worldwide
A number of survivors of Rajavi cult, August 31 2015:… This summer, your charity floated an engaging invitation on its Facebook page for women to nominate their ‘women’s rights idol’. Sadly, perhaps inevitably, Womankind was then inundated with nominations and praise for Maryam Rajavi. The effect has been to hijack the page and spoil its intent. The Mojahedin are …
(Received with many thanks – Iran Interlink)
Open Letter to Susana Klien and Caroline Haworth of Womankind Worldwide
As the outgoing and the incoming CEOs you will both be sensitive to the enduring reputation of your valuable charity Womankind Worldwide. We hope therefore that you are aware by now that you have become the latest target for another of the Mojahedin Khalq’s deceptive propaganda campaigns.
This summer, your charity floated an engaging invitation on its Facebook page for women to nominate their ‘women’s rights idol’. Sadly, perhaps inevitably, Womankind was then inundated with nominations and praise for Maryam Rajavi. The effect has been to hijack the page and spoil its intent.
The Mojahedin are not doing this to promote women’s rights and cannot point to a single real-life example of what Maryam Rajavi is supposed to have done to help women. Instead they are trying to whitewash their savage past and evade the court cases and allegations of gross human rights abuses inside the organisation.
We are all witnesses to the cruelties Maryam Rajavi has inflicted on the female members of the cult she created with her fugitive husband Massoud Rajavi. Maryam Rajavi is indisputably responsible for the deaths and mistreatment of tens of women members. And this is an ongoing problem. Only this month Maryam Rajavi’s response to a young Iranian Canadian woman who visited her headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise, France, searching for her sister, was to send a gang of thugs into the street to beat her up. This is not the action of a defender of women’s rights.
Have no doubt, Maryam Rajavi’s notoriety is known worldwide – from the US State Department and Human Rights Watch to the Human Rights Ministry of Iraq. And closer to home, the Foreign and Commonwealth office and the Home Office in the UK.
Although we are confident that you have no intention of allowing the reputation of Womankind Worldwide to be tarnished by association with this cult and its leaders, we thought a friendly heads-up to be appropriate at this stage. All of us are happy to provide more information on this issue. The following links are a good starting point.
Batoul Soltani – Germany
Open letter of Iranian Women’s Association to Mr. Otto Bernhardet: Do you know who Maryam Rajavi is?
Homeyra Mohammad Nejad – Germany
Open letter to Mrs. Jane Holl Lute
Nasrin Ebrahimi – Switzerland
Beware of Maryam Rajavi’s deception (open letter to Régine Deforge)
Anne Khodabandeh (Singleton) – U.K.
Silencing the victims of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, PMOI, NCRI …) to promote Maryam Rajavi
And some relevant links:
In 1997, the Home Secretary excluded Mrs Rajavi from the UK on the ground that “ We need to take a firm stance against terrorism”. That exclusion remains in force.
Mujahadeen-e-Khalq (MEK). Backgrounders
No Exit: Human Rights Abuses inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps
UN: continued concerns about abuses committed by the PMOI/MeK leadership.
New document on Mojahedin Khalq released by RAND (The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq, A Policy Conundrum)
State Department’s Report on Mojahedin Khalq Orgainsation, Rajavi cult
Iran Interlink Fourth Report from Baghdad
Comrades in Arms – Sexual abuse by Massoud and Maryam Rajavi
An Unfinished documentary for my daughter – Trapped in Rajavi cult, Mojahedin Khalq
Miss Mohammady: Our story thus far: Another Mojahedin attack on two fathers and the sister of MEK’s captives
Behind the deceptive face of Maryam Rajavi’s Women’s Day meeting in Berlin
Silencing the victims of Mojahedin Khalq (MKO, MEK, Rajavi cult, PMOI, NCRI …) to promote Maryam Rajavi – March 2013
Anne Singleton (Khodabandeh), Middle East Strategy Consultants, March 06 2013: … These women face a backlash of ‘power and money’ to stop them talking, while the same ‘power and money’ grooms the perpetrator, Maryam Rajavi, to talk about the rights of women and criticise marriage laws and say how they should be changed in the favour of women. ‘Power and money’ believe the MEK should not only be removed from terrorism lists but should be paraded in parliaments as exemplars of feminism. ‘Power and money’ are so dishonest that they cast the MEK in the role of victim while condemning the former women members as torturers, spies and agents …
In this context what are we to understand about Maryam Rajavi’s claim to feminist credentials?
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’ …