Table of Contents:
Issues Death Sentence for Defectors
Editorial, November 2005
News in Brief
Misled Martyrs - How freedom fighters turn into
terrorists - Book launch
Foreign Office - MKO has long history of terrorism, Quotes from Hansard,
Double Standards in UK Criticized, Al-Quds Al-Arabi,
Nov. 7, 2005
Chalabi says Iraq must tackle foreign militants, Reuters, London, Nov. 7
Geldof leaves Iran demo over terror list, The Irish Examiner, Nov. 8,
2005. By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent
Revealing Conference in London
IRNA, Nov. 12, 2005
in Conference on MKO-Saddam Ties
Mehrdad Farahmand, BBC Persian Service, Nov. 10, 2005
though all my bones were breaking one by one… "
Trouw Newspaper interviews Marjan Malek in the Netherlands
Massoud Banisadr - Interview with Radio France, Nov. 19, 2005
Let's talk about regime change
Asia Times, By Massoud Khodabandeh, Nov. 30, 2005
Open Secrets - Did you know...
why 'freedom of thought' is a sin in the Mojahedin?
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MKO Issues Death Sentence for Defectors
In September this year, eighty people signed
an open letter addressed to the Interior Ministers of western countries
warning of the hidden menace in their countries. The threat identified in
the letter comes from the terrorist Mojahedin-e Khalq. Since 2003, the MKO
has transferred and regrouped its Iraqi intelligence and security operatives
in new bases throughout Europe. The headquarters for the re-grouped division
is Cologne, Germany.
After a two year reformation, which has
included surveillance activity to gather relevant information, this division
has recently been activated. Its mission is to silence critics of the
Mojahedin-e Khalq and its leaders. It is these critics which the Rajavis
believe are the root cause of the organization's present state of
disintegration and deadlock.
Successive attempts by the MKO to boost the
morale of its members and supporters through various publicity stunts -
making fresh accusations against Iran's nuclear programme, arranging
meetings inside the British parliament or demonstrating outside the European
parliament - have been set back by the constant refusal of governments to
remove the group from their terror lists.
On top of this, the MKO's involvement in the
Oil for Food programme on behalf of Saddam Hussein and in the massacre of
Kurdish and Shiite rebellions in March 1991 also on behalf of the Iraqi
dictator, have become public knowledge.
The smokescreen of deception behind which the
MKO hides its crimes and inhumanities is getting thinner and thinner. The
means by which it can convince its supporters of its righteousness are also
getting fewer and less convincing. As a result, many long time loyal
supporters are now beginning to voice their doubts about the organization's
strategies and even about its future.
The Rajavis have needed somehow to draw a
cordon around these wavering supporters and keep them inside the sphere of
control of the organization's psychological manipulations. In order to do
this, they have focused almost all the organization's time and energy and
resources on demonizing those former members who are active in speaking out
against the MKO and exposing its past and present crimes.
The purpose of this behaviour has been to
sharpen up the faded line of demarcation between the righteous MKO and the
corrupt 'rest of the world'; to reinvigorate the 'us and them' mentality
which is so integral to the MKO's ideology. Of course, those who know them
best, the former members, have been able to reach behind these defensive
lines and affect the members still inside the organization.
One of the manifestations of this latest
strategy has been the more aggressive and reckless behaviour of MKO
supporters who have been deployed to disrupt meetings held by former members
to publicise the evidence of links between Saddam Hussein and international
However, this backfired when one such charged
up supporter maliciously insulted and assaulted a journalist as she was
leaving a press conference held in London on November 10.
Rather than issue a timely apology, the
Mojahedin tried to cover its error by increasing the attacks on its critics.
The Mojahedin's television channel broadcast a series of interviews with
some of the handful of non-MKO members in its 'alter ego' the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI).
In Norway, Mr Parviz Khazai (Iran's former
ambassador to Norway under the shah's regime) likened the Mojahedin's
critics to people who betrayed the Norwegian Resistance in World War Two to
In Paris, November 26, Ms Sufi Saeedi said
that the French Resistance as well as guerrilla groups in Latin America
during the 1960 and 70s, had also suffered from such traitors.
The conclusion which both came to was that it
was entirely natural and normal in such cases to [summarily] execute these
people. The inference clearly was that it is entirely natural and normal for
the MKO to summarily execute former members which it has [extra-judicially]
judged to be traitors.
Interestingly, the people interviewed are
those most unlikely to have come to such a conclusion themselves, both being
rather ineffectual and wavering members of the NCRI. Their appearance on MKO
television has perhaps been arranged to firm up their positions and give
them some semblance of backbone.
The concept of extrajudicial sentencing of
'traitors' to death is nothing new in the MKO. It is standard practice to
deal with any obdurate critic inside the organization first by intimidation,
then imprisonment and torture and if this does not work, a death sentence is
issued against the 'traitor'.
What is new in this case is that the MKO is
now openly implicating the NCRI in its crimes.
Although this recent hardening up of
attitudes has been formulated to distract internal attention away from the
MKO's glaringly obvious rapid decline, it is not something which should be
dismissed as 'simply an internal issue'. When eighty people signed the
letter warning western interior ministers of the MKO threat, they did so
based on the presence of several hundred of Rajavi's Fedayeen forces in
Europe. These forces have no other mission in life except to kill or die on
It is all too possible that these implied
death sentences may soon become real death sentences as the critics of this
organization continue to reveal fact after fact about the MKO and the
Rajavis. This group will eliminate its opponents whenever and wherever it
finds an opportunity.
Welcome to the
December edition of Survivors' Report.
readers will have noticed, we have moved our Personal Experiences column
inside and added a new column on the back page. Where Personal Experiences
allows individuals to describe what has happened to them in the Mojahedin,
the Open Secrets series aims to open up the internal world of the Mojahedin
as a whole.
Each month we
will lift the lid on various aspects of the Mojahedin members' lifestyle as
it is lived now, and describe how such conditions came about. The Open
Secrets series is presented as a springboard to further research and
investigation, rather than a definitive description of the MKO ideology.
But, from this introduction to the inner world of the MKO, we hope you will
agree with the former members of the organisation who contribute to this
publication, that it is of vital importance to reach behind the pseudo
'democratic, pluralist and secular' mask which the Rajavis have created to
gloss over their cult activities. As each aspect of the cult is described,
it will become clear that there is a glaring contradiction between the
actual beliefs of the MKO and the image they present to potential political
supporters in the west. It should also be clear that serious human rights
abuses are ongoing in the Mojahedin cult, for not just a few, but for all
governments of those western countries where support is being courted, are
in no doubt about the facts surrounding the Mojahedin. The past month has
seen intense activity by the Mojahedin, particularly in the United Kingdom
and Europe where meetings and demonstrations have been staged regularly,
though with a dwindling number of supporters each time. Ostensibly these
efforts have been directed toward having the MKO removed from European
But the MKO's problems are much deeper than this.
The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom headed by Lord Corbett
of Castle Vale, has been created in the UK in the same
way that the Iran Policy Committee was invented in
the USA. The Committee's task is to lobby support for the Mojahedin in
parliament. Its recent activities include announcements that:
"More than half of the Members of Parliament and
122 Peers have called for the removal of the terrorist proscription of the
PMOI [MKO]", and that: "In
an unprecedented move in British legal history, 1,300 lawyers called Tuesday
on Prime Minister Tony Blair’s government to de-list Iran’s main opposition
group, the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), from the list of terrorist organisations."
Though, as usual, no supporting documents have been
supplied for such claims.
But the real agenda is not removal
of the MKO from the lists, they know too well this is impossible. Removal
from the terror lists requires the MKO to denounce terrorism, and take a
stance on issues like Saddam Hussein and the September 11 tragedy. Instead,
the United Kingdom and other European countries are now actively
investigating the National Council of Resistance of Iran for inclusion in
their lists. This could be why the Committee for Iran Freedom is already
acting as mouthpiece for the Mojahedin in Britain.
In the USA, the NCRI has already
been listed as an alias for the MKO. As a result, Alireza
Jafarzadeh, the erstwhile MKO representative in the USA, who then became the
erstwhile NCRI representative, is now introduced as an 'independent Iran
analyst'. As Hadi Shams Haeri says to Mojahedin supporters, 'why not join an
opposition group which makes you proud rather than have to appear in
disguise the whole time.' We wait with interest to see if Dowlat
Shahin Gobadi and Hossein Abedini take up similar 'consultancy' roles in the
As the article by Massoud Khodabandeh 'Let's talk about
regime change' reveals, the IPC has been exposed in the US, and key members
are being sued for libel after they unthinkingly regurgitated the MKO's lies
about former MKO members. We hope that politicians in Europe who are
supporting this terrorist group will weigh up whether the recompense –
whatever that may be – is worth the long term damage to their reputations.
As for the Mojahedin, surely now that both the European
Parliament and the UK have reiterated their stance toward the MKO – yes, it
is a terrorist organisation - we hope that the poor slaves can take a well
earned rest while the Rajavis take time to ponder their futures.
News in Brief
Misled Martyrs - How freedom
fighters turn into terrorists
Misled Martyrs, the latest
book by Judith Neurink was launched Thursday 3rd November, 2005. The
publisher Contact and Trouw publications introduced the book in a conference
at the Rode Hoed in Amsterdam.
Judith Neurink is a well-known journalist who currently heads the Middle
East desk of the respected Trouw publication in the Netherlands.
The conference was chaired by Harm Ede Botje, journalist from Vrij
Nederland. Mr Afshin Olian, lawyer, journalist and poet, Mr Kees Schaepman,
also a journalist and chair of the Association of Journalists in the
Netherlands and Mr Karim Haghi a former member of the Mojahedin-e Khalq
organisation were in the panel.
News of the launch of Judith Neurink's book had wide coverage in the
Netherlands and elsewhere including special coverage in TROUW newspaper
UK Foreign Office - MKO has
long history of terrorism
Quotes from Hansard,
A debate in the House of
Lords on recent comments made by Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad on
Israel was raised by Labour peer, Lord Corbett, a renowned supporter of the
Mujahiden-e Khalq terrorist group, who urged the UK government to treat the
outlawed group as a "friend."
But Foreign Office minister Lord Triesman rejected the call, saying that the
MKO was proscribed under the country's Terrorism Act 2000 and that the
government had "no plans to carry out such a review."
"Its claims to be a democratic party, fighting for a better Iran, are hard
to square with its history of violence and authoritarian acts," he said.
A similar call made by Conservative MP Brian Binley, a self-confessed paid
supporter of the MKO's alias group, the National Council of Resistance, was
also rejected by Foreign Secretary Jack Straw in the House of Commons.
Triesman told parliament the MKO has "a long history of involvement in
terrorism in Iran and elsewhere and is, by its own admission, responsible
for violent attacks that have resulted in many deaths." He admitted that
relations with Iran was "difficult" that there was no "quick or easy
resolution," but emphasized that "all means" must be deployed to keep lines
of communications open.
"When one looks at the range of options before us, it is a matter of
building carefully with those who are our friends in Iran, who are part of
the future of Iran, and not finding ourselves in an escalating position
where the steps that we take generate more conflict, rather than making an
attempt to resolve matters by peaceful and diplomatic means," Triesman told
his fellow peers.
Double Standards in UK Criticized
November 7, 2005
Following discussion of
the controversial UK Anti-Terrorism Law by the House of Commons, a prominent
Muslim figure criticized double standards of the government in approaching
This law would enable British law enforcement to keep terrorist suspects
under arrest for 90 days. Supporting and encouraging terrorist activities
are also considered as crimes.
Some MPs have criticized the content of this law.
Massoud Shajareh, a prominent Muslim leader questioned whether UK police
have double standards in approaching the issue of terrorism. Islamic Human
Rights Commission, chaired by Shajareh, had earlier asked the UK government
to ban a meeting by Iranian opposition group in UK parliament.
National Council of Resistance, political wing of the MKO (listed as
terrorist organization in UK, U.S. and EU), held a meeting in UK parliament
in which a number of MPs took part.
Shajareh told UPI: “NCRI is the political wing of the Iranian terrorist
organization, the MKO which has been banned in the US and Europe. In
addition, this council itself has been declared a terrorist group by the US
“The Terrorism Act 2000 bans supporting any terrorist organization or an
organization whose members have also the membership of a banned
organization. The punishment for violating this law can be 10 years in
He said the police appeared negligent since it didn’t act to arrest the
conductors of the meeting according to the law. He said such moves would
convince Muslims that such a law has been approved only for political
“It seems that there are double standards in fighting terrorism. For
instance, this question is raised as to why the police ignores the
activities of NCRI and allows them to raise money but cracks down on Islamic
Freedom Party,” he said.
“Do they allow Al-Qaeda, as they do an Iranian terrorist group, to hold a
conference in London on the future of Iraq and Afghanistan?” he asked.
Chalabi says Iraq must tackle foreign militants
LONDON, November 7
Iraq must do more to stop
the country being used as a base for foreign militants seeking to
destabilise its neighbours, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Chalabi said in
comments published on Monday.
In an interview with Britain's Financial Times, Chalabi acknowledged Iran's
"legitimate concern" about Mujahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group
operating in Iraq which the United States lists as a terrorist organisation.
He said there were also concerns in Turkey over bases in northern Iraq
operated by the banned Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
"We should enforce the article in our constitution that Iraq should not be a
transit point or base for destabilising neighbours," Chalabi told the
newspaper. "We should deal with these issues humanely and fairly, but
Turkish leaders complain the PKK has a safe-haven in the mountains of
northern Iraq from where rebel commanders direct operations into Turkey.
After more than 20 years of conflict, Turkish forces have failed to
completely quell the PKK's armed campaign for home-rule in the mainly
On Iran, Chalabi said Tehran had agreed to study his proposal for an inquiry
by British, Iranian and Iraqi representatives into recent violence in the
southern city of Basra.
Chalabi said Britain raised tension in the area by accusing Iran of helping
Iraq militants to plant roadside bombs which killed British troops.
He added that Iran also inflamed the situation with allegations of British
backing for militant Arab separatists in south-west Iran, according to the
Geldof leaves Iran
demo over terror list
The Irish Examiner,
November 8, 2005
By Ann Cahill, Europe Correspondent
BOB GELDOF walked away from a
demonstration on Iran after hearing that one of the groups involved was on
the UN’s terrorist list.
He was due to speak to a crowd gathered in
Brussels where the EU's Foreign Ministers were meeting and discussing
growing concerns about the regime.
The Live Aid organiser was on his way to Africa and stopped off in Belgium
to address the gathering of Iranians against the current government.
But he left after hearing that one of the group's associated with the event,
the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), was on the terror list.
There were banners demanding the PMOI be taken off the terror list, calling
the recently elected president an assassin and describing Mullahs as
Geldof, billed to speak for 25 minutes, did not appear to know the PMOI was
a proscribed organization.
"I would not have anything to do with it if they are on the terror-list. We
checked it out before we came," he said.
But after speaking to the organisers, the National Council of Resistance of
Iran (NCRI), he walked away.
The former member of the Boomtown Rats told the media he believed the
Iranian government should be referred to the Security Council of the United
"I do not know enough about the Iranian situation and I am not trying to
become an expert but it's a dangerous situation and we do not need more wars
in that region", he said.
Popularly known as Sir Bob since being knighted a few years ago, he said:
"There are executions taking place almost daily; torture we see what is
happening to women there and now the proliferation of nuclear weapons."
Organisers of the rally were upset at his decision not to address the crowd
of about 500 and said the PMOI should not be on the terror list.
The organisation was condemned by a New York-based Human Rights Watch
In September a group of members from the European Parliament investigating
the report said it was misinformed.
The NCRI was the first to say the Iranian authorities were secretly
developing a nuclear weapons programme three years ago.
Revealing Conference in London
IRNA, November 12, 2005
A British institution and
a number of former members of the Mojahedin-e khalq organization held a
press conference in London to reveal its activities and called it a
terrorist organization with inhumane internal relations.
Leeds-based Iran-Interlink institution was the main organizer of this event.
A few days ago, Iran-Interlink published a statement calling MKO leader the
criminal ally of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, and asked for his
trial beside Saddam.
Baroness Emma Nicholson, member of European Parliament and member of House
of Lords in UK supported the conference; her representative was in the
Alain Chevalerias, French journalist and the author of “Burned Alive” as
well as Anne Singleton, former member of the MKO and the author of “Saddam’s
Private Army” and a number of other former members gave speech to the
First, a documentary film on MKO-Saddam cooperation was shown. The film
showed MKO’s involvement in suppressing Iraqi Kurds and their role as a
private army for Saddam Hussein.
According to this documentary film, between 1991 and 2003 (the fall of
Saddam), former dictator trusted the MKO rather than his own forces.
According to this film, Iraqi Kurds made no difference between Saddam regime
and the MKO and Mojahedin were not allowed to commute in Kurdish regions
without escort or weapons; this was because the Kurds hated the MKO.
Alain Chevalerias, French journalist and the member of institution “Research
on Terrorism after 9/11”, was the first who spoke to the audience. His book
“Burned Alive” in French is now being translated to Farsi and English.
“As a journalist, I decided to write this book in June 2002 when Maryam
Rajavi was arrested and I saw the outcomes of that,” he said.
“At that time, a number of MKO supporters set themselves on fire and I asked
myself about this organization. What’s this organization that orders its
members to kill themselves only because someone has been arrested?”
“Across Europe, Iraq and Iran, I have interviewed current and former members
and supporters of the MKO as well as the group’s victims and I got that this
is a religious cult not a political group,” he added.
“Is the MKO a terrorist organization? The answer is simple. A group that
uses weapon to get to its goals and considers it a right to kill civilian
people is a terrorist group and any such activity in the world is
“Is it possible to use this terrorist group against undesirable regimes? Can
they be trusted? This is what a part of US administration is doing, is it
right?” Chevalerias asked. He replied himself as follows: “If we accept that
terrorist groups like the MKO can be used against Islamic Republic, we have
indeed authorized the Iranian regime to use terrorists against Western
governments to reach their goals.”
“I knew many of Bin Laden’s supporters and relatives. The way they were
brainwashed for suicide operations and the way they thought were very
similar to those of the MKO. MKO members in Iraq were not allowed to learn
Arabic language because they were not allowed to be in touch with Iraqis.
They couldn’t see any TV programs except their own programs because
receiving information from sources outside the MKO disrupts the process of
brainwashing. There is no freedom of thought in this group. All the orders
come from higher ranks and lower ranks have to obey.”
Quoting International Red Cross officials, he said: “Most MKO members would
leave the group if psychological, military and family-related pressures on
them [by the group] are lifted.”
“The example of MKO deception, to show the depth of MKO influence among MKO
leaders, is reflected to this organizations news reports in which they
claimed that Maryam Rajavi went to French Senate by the invitation of the
head of Senate. The fact was that she could go to a senate public meeting
without any official invitation. At a time, she stood beside the head of
senate and group’s photographer took a photo of this scene. Then, they
claimed that Maryam had been invited by the head of Senate.”
Anne Singleton, former member of the MKO and the author of “Saddam’s Private
Army” also spoke to the audience.
“For ten years, I was supporter of the MKO and for three more years, I was
an official member of this group. It is not a political or military group,
but a religious personal cult,” she said.
“I sold my house and my car for this organization and gave them my money. I
was a computer programmer and I quit my job for this group and joined them.”
“I’m neither a political expert nor a university researcher. I’m only one of
the victims of this organization and I like to give my experiences to
others,” she added.
“I was harassed by the group and I was under pressure but in comparison with
those who were tortured and killed in Abu Ghraib and other prisons, I was
According to Singleton, Mojahedin is a threat to the West because as a hated
cult, it has no place in the future of Iran and Western countries that have
given shelter to its members should be careful.
“They claim to be democratic, but no one can enter this group by his own
will. This is the group that should choose and recruit its members.”
“Is it a democratic organization when it encourages its members to set
themselves on fire in the streets of London and Paris?”
Singleton said: “Mojahedin try to appear different under the title of
“National Council of Resistance” while everyone know that this council is
only a cover for the activities of the MKO. I’m glad that unlike European
countries, the US has designated both the MKO and NCRI.”
“This organization never condemned Saddam and his regime and now it’s
waiting to spread its terrorist activities to all over the world in the case
of facing expulsion from Iraq. The Western government should not play with
MKO card in their struggle against Iran,” she said.
In the event, another film that was taken by hidden camera was shown.
The film shows Abbas Davari, one of MKO leaders, giving intelligence to
Iraqi officers on how to attack Khuzestan province.
The film also features MKO members receiving dollars and Dinars from Iraqi
officials. The organizers said that they had received the film from Iraqi
Karim Haghi, one of former MKO commanders living in Europe, talked about his
imprisonment experience in the MKO.
“MKO had ties with Saddam against Iran. Now, it wants to have the same
relations with George W. Bush and the US,” Haghi Said.
“Bin Laden is more honest than Massoud Rajavi because he expresses what he
wants, but Rajavi doesn’t dare to say his ideas. He always lies to push to
“I devoted myself to this organization since I was 16 but I saw nothing from
the group, except crime and betrayal,” he added.
He also said that during the conference around 10 members of the MKO
gathered outside the hotel and threatened the participants but the police
stopped them. Three of them had entered the room and tried to disrupt the
20 journalists, photographers and reporters took part in the conference.
Tension in Conference on MKO-Saddam Ties
Mehrdad Farahmand, BBC
November 10, 2005
A number of former members
of Mojahedin-e khalq organization, who’ve formed the “Iran-Interlink” group
and act to save MKO remnants in Iraq and to reveal what they call inhumane
activities of the MKO leaders, held a press conference on Wednesday
(November 10) in London’s Ambassador Hotel. They wanted to give information
to journalists about the relations between the MKO and Saddam Hussein and
the role of this organization in suppressing Shiites and Kurds in 1991 but
the meeting was disrupted with the intervention of a number of people who
seemed to be MKO supporters.
These people accused the organizers of the meeting of being the agents of
the Iranian intelligence ministry. In addition to disrupting the process of
the meeting, they threatened and even attacked reporters.
MKO, formed 25 years ago with the purpose of overthrowing the Iranian regime
through armed struggle, settled in Iraq in 1986 and attacked Iran with
direct support from Saddam Hussein. Despite the fall of Saddam Hussein and
the occupation of Iraq by the US, MKO members remain in one of their bases;
the group is a terrorist organization in the US and Europe.
In Iran-Interlink’s press conference, first a film was shown about the
suppression of Kurds and Shiites in 1991 as well as interviews with
survivors, victims and Kurd journalists. In addition, former MKO members
gave evidences and documents, proving that Saddam Hussein used MKO members
to kill Iraqi Kurds.
Another film showed MKO members giving intelligence on Iran to Iraqi
officers and receiving millions of dollars in return. The film was produced
by former Iraqi secret services.
According to Massoud Khodabandeh, one of the organizers, they had received
the films from Iraqi Kurds and experts had verified that authenticity of the
films. In addition, the content of the tapes matched the confessions of
former Iraqi intelligence agents.
Then, Alain Chevalerias, French researcher and journalist and the author of
a book on the MKO spoke for the audience. Anne Singleton, former member of
the MKO and author of a book on the MKO activities gave her speech. When
these two authors said they were ready to answer the questions of reporters,
some people among the audience started supporting the MKO and prevented
journalist from questioning the former members.
These people even insulted the journalists and called them the agents of the
Iranian regime. VOA correspondent was even assaulted by MKO supporters when
she was leaving the place and she was returned to the building under the
protection of police.
These moves caused police to come to the scene and the invitees had to leave
the place under police protection.
Security concerns (fear from MKO members’ violence in the meeting) forced
the organizers to change time and place of the meeting and Baroness Emma
Nicholson, UK representative in European Parliament, who was supposed to
take part in the meeting was absent.
Although the organizers had tried to limit the event to researchers and
journalists (including the correspondent of MKO TV channel), some people
joined the meeting with cover names and then disrupted the event.
For instance, a man said he was working for the Congress and US security
service but he was supporting the MKO and even attacked reporters.
As though all my bones were
breaking one by one…
Trouw Newspaper interviews
Marjan Malek in the Netherlands
Marjan Malek has recently
returned to the Netherlands to join her two daughters.
In 2000 she
was sent by the MKO to Iran to carry out terrorist attacks where she was
arrested and now, after serving her sentence, she tells her story.
She explains: … "the
Mojahedin Khalq Organisation claims to be the sole alternative to the
present regime of Iran…but is itself destroying the lives of its members,
who have been brainwashed."
Marjan Malek believes that
even after leaving the organisation, the effects of brainwashing stay with
you for some time.
The interview is part of a
book, Misled Martyrs' written by the chief editor of Trouw, Ms. Judit
Neurink which will be available from Monday [November 3].
… Elahe, 15 years old is
explaining, … "I miss her. It is very difficult to explain. I want to be
with her but I don't want to go there." Then she stops and lowers her head.
It is difficult for her to talk about the woman who raised her since she was
only six years old, when her real mother was sent in 1997 to the Iraqi camps
of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation. "Can you forget someone who has cared
for you for eight years?" It seems that she is answering this question with
"I have learned a lot about
what my mother has seen and felt in this organisation. I didn't know that
they are that bad." She talks emphatically. "I had even heard many good
things about them."
From October 2005, Elahe and
her sister Almira (10 years old) have joined their mother Marjan Malek (32
years old) who has left Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. Now her daughters have
moved from Zwolle to Arnhem, where they attend their new school. Elahe is
playing shy but manages to say that she wants to be an air hostess. Why?
"Because I like it."
The temporary asylum granted
to Marjan brings to an end her painful past. A past in which parents were
put under pressure to sacrifice their children for a greater cause!
Massoud Rajavi, the leader of
the MKO, needs help to get into power. This is claimed to be the only way to
save the people of Iran. For years, Marjan believed this idea until the year
2000, when she found herself in a prison cell in Iran. She could not believe
that under the influence of the teachings of the MKO she had been carrying
out an operation which could have resulted in the deaths of tens of innocent
residents. She is horrified. This could not save Iran from the mullahs, or
bring it even one step nearer.
I visited her in Tehran when
she was desperately trying to re-establish her contact with her daughters in
the Netherlands. She explains how in 1994 she was recruited by the Mojahedin
in a refugee camp.
Sadly, at that time she was
in the process of being deported along with her husband and her daughter
Elahe, just after the birth of their second child. They were an easy target
for the Mojahedin.
The MKO helped her to get a
new lawyer and provided the family with a good new story and a new identity.
She moved into one of their houses where they live collectively and where
she prepared to move to their bases in Iraq. Once there she moved to a camp
from where they carry out operations inside Iran.
She explains how the MKO
engulfed her and started changing her from within. "In the isolated houses
of the Mojahedin," she explains, "they talk to you about the torture and the
very bad conditions of women in Iran". I asked her, how could you believe
these stories? You hadn't been out of Iran for long. It seems that her
belief grew out of the constant repetition of the story over and over again,
as well as the strong belief of the people who surrounded her. Finally, she
accepted to believe it. As she accepted to believe that Massoud Rajavi is
capable of freeing his country.
"We now had a far greater
goal than our children." The organisation was asking for much more loyalty
from its members and Malek was under pressure to leave her husband and her
children. She later admits that separating from her husband was not that
hard because he usually beat her up. "I didn't have the courage to look at
my children's photos" she adds.
But separating from her
daughters was a different thing. For over three years the Mojahedin had been
working on me to separate myself from my children. It was too painful. It
was as though all my bones were breaking one by one.
She says several times, "I
asked myself how can a mother separate herself whole heartedly from her
children?" But they would point out others who had separated from their
children. I wasn't less than them was I?
My children could not come
with me to Iraq. Even if they could have, we would not have been able to see
each other easily. They would have been taken to the children's department,
run by a few MKO women.
Elahe says: "I hardly knew
her. She had very little time for us. She had to gather money for the
organisation." Malek would take a file full of photos of what had happened
in Iran and like other Mojahedin members she was sent onto the streets to
convince the people of the Netherland to pay money to help the poor Iranian
people who are really under pressure…
When Malek was sent to Iraq,
her children were given to another MKO mother to raise. Hamdam Emami, 57
years old is not young, but she is a loyal member. Her daughter is already
in the Mojahedin and her two sons have been executed for having relations
with the organisaton…
Malek underwent military
training to perform operations inside Iran, and in the year 2000 travelled
to Tehran where she was arrested. The Iranian government announced her death
during the operation and the Mojahedin with noisy propaganda announced her
as yet another 'Sacred Martyr'.
I ask Elahe what she
remembered from that time? Was she proud of her mum? That she was a noble
She answers: "I was not proud
but very sad." In April 2005, her mother told Elahe about the time that the
Mojahedin removed her from all their literature including their book of
Martyrs and introduce her as an agent.
Elahe says: "I thought that
what she was doing was good. She was fighting for our country. I still think
so but that operation caused a lot of problems." What problems? "The problem
that she ended up in prison", she replies.
Elahe must have heard from
the Mojahedin that her mother was now regarded as a traitor and an agent.
In reality, for Marjan, Evin
prison had worked more positively than before being in prison. It has been
an opportunity for her and her children to renew their contact.
Marjan used to call Elahe
frequently on her mobile from Tehran. This has changed and now Elahe's
contact with her former foster mother is by telephone.
Malek doesn’t like these long
phone conversations. She clearly believes that the Mojahedin are trying to
enter her life again.
"They are working on
gathering information about me and that is why I don't want Elahe to spend
her Christmas holidays in Zwolle. I will not let them ruin my life." She is
still worried about the effects the Mojahedin could have on her children.
She is aware that they may try to send her children to Iraq when they reach
16 years old.
She says: I don't want them
to choose the way I went. She is worried that they maintain their contact
with the Mojahedin and says that they should lead a normal life. I can
understand her fear. Before Marjan returned [to the Netherlands], Ehahe had
told me that she has contact with children of the Mojahedin. She does not
read Netherlands' newspapers and when I asked her about Iran, she could only
repeat the Mojahedin's words…
After they were reunited in
Arnhem (Malek and her children) Elahe showed not even the slightest of
desire to read the newspaper I left, or the book I left them the next time.
Her closest friend still is Sanam whose mother and father are in the
Mojahedin living in Zwolle…
Before anything, Marjan and
Gholam (her new husband) need to get asylum from the Netherlands. But they
are ex members of an organisation whose name is in the list of terrorist
entities in the European Union. The organisation for its part is trying its
utmost to stop them from getting asylum.
Not only has Marjan's name
been posted on their websites as an agent who is giving false information to
get asylum, but also that she is asking for asylum to start work as a spy in
the Iranian community.
The loyal members of the
Mojahedin have also contacted the IND claiming that in Iran Malek had given
information leading to the arrest of some of her colleagues.
Malek says: "I don't even
know these people." And about one specific person she explains: "he had gone
to Iran about two months before me to carry out an operation. He was
arrested two months before I even got to Iran."
Her future is in the
Netherlands… She says: "here the children are doing alright, their studies
were not so good before. Before it was impossible to reach Almira, she would
wet her bed every night and her foster mother didn't have enough love and
affection for them. Before, they were under pressure and did not have
adequate clothes and shoes."
Gholam continues: "I think it
will take years until they accept me. They have never experienced the love
and affection of a normal family. They have been raised in an atmosphere
created by the organisation; an atmosphere without love and affection.
But they have got used to me
fairly quickly. They now call me Dad."
Banisadr-Interview with Radio France
November 19, 2005
interview with Massoud Banisadr, former member of the Mojahedin-e khalq
Farangis Habibi: “Memoirs of an Iranian Rebel” in 516 pages, written
by Massoud Banisadr and translated by Farhad Mahdavi, has been published by
Khavaran Publications in Paris. This book was first published in English in
the UK. In his book, Massoud Banisadr relates 20 years of his activities in
the MKO, as a supporter, then a soldier and later a high-ranking member;
activities that were accompanied by love, faithfulness, doubt, criticism,
depression, anxiety and pain and finally led to his separation from the
group. The book puts the reader at a crossroad, which is a passage for the
history, culture, individual and mass psychology of a part of Iranians.
Therefore, it’s a good document for study because it reveals the author’s
experience of different stages of living in the MKO and at the same time
displays the internal relations and affairs of the organization. That’s why
one can see the details of a mechanism that may be working in many other
people, in other places and other times.
Mr. Massoud Banisadr. Your book is full of notes and we have not enough
time. Let’s start with one of the most shocking notes if you agree, and
that’s the position of the individual in MKO’s internal relations. At one
point, you have asserted that the organization said that you had to 'throw
out our own legs and feet and walk with those of Maryam and Massoud Rajavi'.
What was the meaning for an individual human being in the MKO?
Banisadr: what I should say is that how the MKO could turn an eastern
mystical thought to a political one and apply it in a political
organization. As our mystics believe in forgetting oneself and relying on
their leaders, the Mojahedin follow the same rule and force people to cut
relations with the outside world and focus their emotions and thoughts on
the leader. In other words, they should forget their own feet and walk on
those of the leader. In the book, I wanted to show how this was done from
the beginning of the movement and led to its height in the MKO's ideological
revolutions when everybody was encouraged to forget their own personalities.
They had to forget all their past and the final stage of the “ideological
revolution” was called “divorcing oneself”. You had to forget everything of
your life, even the moments you were proud of. Even, you had to criticize
yourself for such moments. Even if one of your relatives was considered a
“martyr” in the MKO, you had to have no feelings toward him. In other words,
having any kind of relations in the MKO was banned. All relations passed
through the MKO leadership’s triangle.
Farangis Habibi: the other notable issue in your book, Mr. Massoud
Banisadr, is the position of women in the MKO. Women, as you wrote, became
superior human beings in a part of ideological revolutions. Are they
superior human beings or are they tools?
Massoud Banisadr: this issue should be viewed from within the MKO’s
system of thought. In that system you are superior when you are not yourself
anymore, you forget everything and ask everything from the MKO’s leader. So,
according the Mojahedin itself, regarding women's social and historical
restrictions, they do not need to try so hard to forget their past and focus
on the leader. In other words, they said that women in our society are
generally dependent on their fathers or brothers, so they can easily divert
this dependence to the leader.
Farangis Habibi: Mr. Banisadr, in this book, you expressed your story
without hatred towards anyone, and this is rare among the people who’ve had
political experiences. Why?
Massoud Banisadr: I believe that I would be still in the MKO if I was
able to hate. I mean one of the reasons I separated from the organization
was this pressure that forced me to learn hatred and act on it. What took me
toward the MKO was love; love towards people, country, advancement and
people’s welfare. But I gradually understood that the issues are moving on
hatred toward the regime in Iran and several other things instead of moving
on love. The MKO had created a bipolar world. They were one, and the Iranian
regime was the other and everybody had to choose one of these two poles.
What caused me to leave the group was that I couldn’t base my evaluations on
only love and hatred.
Let's talk about regime change
By Massoud Khodabandeh
November 30, 2005
As the standoff over Iran's nuclear program
steadily deteriorates into a crisis, Washington's policy on the Islamic
Republic is coming under sharp scrutiny. While a group of hardcore
neo-conservatives want a decisive confrontation with the Iran, the broader
US policy-making community is all too aware of the futility and dangers of
The case for regime change in Iran has been most enthusiastically taken up
by the Iran Policy Committee (IPC) , which is largely composed of retired
senior military officers and solely administered by a former Central
Intelligence Agency (CIA) operations officer. Benefiting from close links to
the Pentagon, the IPC has been tasked by the Iranian opposition group,
Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK), a proscribed terrorist organization, to provide
professional lobbying and public relations services.
On the other side are those who seek engagement. They won something of a
victory on Monday when the State Department announced that the US ambassador
to Iraq, Zalmay Khalilzad, had been given permission to meet with officials
from Iran. "It's a very narrow mandate that he has," spokesman Sean
McCormack said. "It deals specifically with issues related to Iraq."
The IPC is likely to be undaunted, though. Lobbying on behalf of a
proscribed and notoriously anti-American organization like the MEK would be
controversial enough, but the IPC gives the impression that it has gone
beyond advocacy and is now, to all intents and purposes, representing the
MEK in the US.
While such sensational gestures generate useful propaganda against Iran in
the short term, the doomed fate of the MEK means that individual IPC members
are at serious risk of destroying their reputations in the long term.
Regime change in Iran?
A proper understanding of the relationship between the MEK and the IPC
requires an understanding of the broader regime-change debate now under way
in Washington. While the US built a case against Iraq over its alleged
possession of weapons of mass destruction, the neo-conservatives' case
against Iran is more complex. President Mahmud Ahmadinejad's recent
ill-judged comments on Israel (that it should be wiped off the map), coupled
with long-term US concerns over Iran's nuclear ambitions, have enabled the
neo-conservative camp to build up a case against Iran that leaves little
room for negotiation.
In 2003, Senator Sam Brownback introduced the Iran Freedom and Democracy
Support Act, which was backed by senators Rick Santorum and John Cornyn.
After some changes to the bill, now sponsored by Representative Ileana
Ros-Lehtinen, it was finally passed on April 13 this year as the Iran
Freedom Support Act (HR 282). The act allowed for "financial and political
assistance ... to entities that support democracy and the promotion of
democracy in Iran and that are opposed to the non-democratic government of
Iran". While Brownback had envisaged the fund going to Reza Pahlavi and
pro-monarchist groups and the media, Ros-Lehtinen promoted the MEK as the
best recipients for millions of taxpayers' dollars.
The act was opposed by many Iranian groups, while the National Iranian
American Council gave expression to the argument: "while supporters argue
that any step short of regime change is unlikely to bring about change in
Iran, opponents argue that making regime change official policy eliminates
the possibility of diplomacy and makes confrontation between the US and Iran
inevitable". Among those groups which lobbied for the bill were the
Institute for Public Affairs, the Iranian American Jewish Federation (IAJF)
and the Washington-based IPC.
Iran Policy Committee
The IPC, a think tank established in February by Raymond Tanter, professor
of political science at Georgetown University, is supported by several
neo-conservative politicians and analysts, including Douglas Feith, Frank
Gaffney, Michael Ledeen, Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Donald Rumsfeld,
Condoleezza Rice, Tom Tancredo and Bob Filner.
Ostensibly, the IPC's platform echoes the neo-conservative view that Iran
poses a threat to US national security and that regime change is the
preferred solution. Leaving nothing to doubt, the IPC's website banner reads
"Empowering Iranians for Regime Change". A policy paper released on February
10 extends this view to state that "Iranian opposition groups ought to play
a central role in US policymaking regarding Iran". It also perfunctorily
adds that "diplomatic and military options" should be kept open.
A review of the IPC's first white paper reveals language and propaganda that
is eerily identical to that used by the MEK, thus leaving well-informed and
experienced analysts in little doubt that the paper was in part, if not in
whole, written by agents of the MEK in the US. This style is also evident in
the IPC's two subsequent white papers released in June and September. The
promotion of the so-called "third way", oddly implicating the Shi'ite
Islamic Republic in the spread of al-Qaeda-style Salafi jihadism (which is
anti-Shi'ite through and through), and falsely accusing Iran of being the
central force behind the Iraqi insurgency, are pure MEK disinformation
Interestingly, the June white paper, entitled "Sham elections and regime
change", was primarily a response to a Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that
accused the MEK of torturing its dissident members and engaging in other
forms of human-rights abuses. Yet again, using language that is the
exclusive trademark of the MEK, the IPC had this to say about the HRW
The IPC appointed a task force on human rights to investigate allegations
about the MEK and its related groups and claims against that organization by
the HRW. IPC research concludes that the "credible claims" of HRW are
actually statements by agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and
Security [MOIS], especially Mohammad-Hossein Sobhani and Farhad Javaheri-Yar.
Tehran sent most of those interviewed by Human Rights Watch from Iran to
Europe for the purpose of demonizing its main opposition, the MEK.
This reads like MEK propaganda. But leaving aside this important detail,
what is striking about the IPC is that nobody on its board is in fact an
Iran expert, let alone an expert on the bloody history and intricate
cult-like ideology of the MEK. It is perhaps not surprising then that the
IPC scrupulously avoids a debate with former members of the MEK.
Leaving aside the highly questionable relationship between the IPC and the
MEK, the solution offered by the former to the policy differences on Iran is
not altogether convincing. In the IPC's first white paper, the authors
review the appeasement and military options before concluding that
"Washington should consider a third alternative, one that provides a central
role for the Iranian opposition to facilitate regime change". The problem
for the IPC is that the US government instinctively distrusts the MEK, which
has a history of anti-Western propaganda, is the only Iranian organization
that has admitted to killing Americans, and was for nearly 20 years an
unwavering ally of Saddam Hussein.
Moreover, the IPC's lukewarm enthusiasm for the use of military force
against Iran is, at best, deceptive. Indeed, if the IPC is serious about
promoting MEK interests, then it must realize (as the MEK readily does) that
only massive US-led military force against Iran could make marginalized
exiled groups like the MEK even remotely relevant.
Furthermore, a brief glance at the IPC co-chair biographies reveals why this
MEK-connected think tank secretly lobbies for war against Iran. Composed of
retired senior military officers, a former ambassador, and Claire M Lopez,
former operations officer with the CIA (and the sole administrator of the
IPC and its main point of contact with the MEK), these individuals'
expertise and career paths are based on the promotion of military options
rather than peaceful ones. Moreover, several of the principals are
affiliated with the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) and its
related think tanks.
MEK: A bad investment
The IPC's emergence as the representative of the MEK in the US is directly
tied to the proscription of the latter in 2003. Up to August 2003, the MEK
was capable of running its own propaganda campaign through the National
Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the personnel of both being almost
The NCRI was outlawed in the US in August 2003 when the State Department
added the cover organization to the list of terrorist entities as a
pseudonym for the MEK. Similarly, the MEK's small military wing in Iraq, the
so-called "National Liberation Army of Iran" was bombed, disarmed and
dismantled by US forces in April and May 2003. Having lost the patronage of
Saddam, the MEK is now looking to the US government and Israel-linked lobby
groups in Washington for support.
As part of this push to gain acceptance in the West, the MEK has presented
itself as a pluralistic, secular and pro-democratic group which promotes the
role of women and supports human rights. Its tools in this exercise have
been the feminized image of its head, Maryam Rajavi, in civilian clothes,
and the placing of the MEK's long-time US spokesman, Alireza Jafarzadeh, in
the Fox News network as an independent analyst on Iran.
But even this was not enough to shift perceptions, and congressional support
has been falling off as representatives are made aware of the manipulations
which led them to sign up to documents purporting to condemn the Iranian
regime, but having in their small print support for the MEK.
The creation of the IPC has arguably been the best publicity asset for the
MEK in its efforts to reinvent itself. But no matter how the MEK markets
itself, it cannot escape its past. The specter of young, brainwashed
devotees burning themselves to protest the arrest of Maryam Rajavi in Paris
in June 2003 continues to haunt Europe.
Moreover, there is now a determined and organized effort by former members
to bring the organization's leaders to account. On November 24, a group of
anti-war activists and former MEK members held a press conference in
Washington DC, entitled "Saddam's links with international terrorism". The
conference showed videos secretly filmed by Saddam's own security services
which evidenced the financial, logistical and intelligence relations between
the former Iraqi regime and the MEK. Additionally, a documentary exposed the
MEK's involvement in the suppression of the Kurdish uprising in 1991,
immediately after the first Gulf War.
The day before this press conference, the MEK issued a statement alleging
that former MEK members had been sent by Iran's Intelligence Ministry to
prevent the organization being removed from the US terror list. The
following day, the IPC issued a statement repeating these unsubstantiated
accusations. Unfortunately for the IPC, United Press International picked up
its statement and printed it. It was clear that the IPC had simply rehashed
the MEK's statement and had not checked its information independently.
Consequently, Tanter and other IPC members are now being sued by those they
While promoting regime change in Iran is a legitimate discourse, supporting
terrorist organizations with a documented history of anti-Americanism
clearly is not. IPC members might want to reconsider their position and
decide whether supporting an organization that is nearly universally
despised by Iranians of all political persuasions is worth the price of
Massoud Khodabandeh is a former
member of the Mujahideen-e Khalq, and mainly served in the organization's
intelligence/security department. Khodabandeh left the Mujahideen in 1996
and currently lives in the north of England, where he works as a security
consultant. He has been active in Iranian opposition politics for over 25
years. He works closely with the Center de Recherche sur la Terrorisme in
Paris as an expert on Iran.
Personal Experiences: Hoora
In the name of God,
A short while ago, I saw and read photos and
interviews of my sisters on [Mojahedin's] Iranefshagar website, so I decided
to write a brief answer.
First of all, I should say that seeing the photos of you three dear lovely
sisters made me so happy.
When I was in the organization, they didn’t allow me to meet you privately.
Any meeting with you, with the presence of commanders, took no longer than
one hour. But now I thank God that I could at least see your photos without
being disturbed by anyone. I also took your beautiful photos for mom to see
your pretty faces after so long a time.
I’m also happy that this interview caused you sit beside each other,
something that the MKO doesn’t want.
I know well that you can barely meet to share your sisterly emotions because
Rajavi is essentially a big obstacle against emotions.
I never forget that he opened my letter, which I had written for my
6-year-old girl, and never posted it to Iran.
I can never forget that they deceived me on the issue of bringing you to
Camp Ashraf. They had brought you there but didn’t allow me to know that.
However, they had to inform me because they knew that I will meet you on my
way to Iran for conducting an operation. We had not heard of each other for
four years and they let us meet only for forty minutes, under the
supervision of high-ranking officials.
If I had not revealed that I was going to take you to Iraq, they would have
never allowed me to meet you. I always asked for permission to meet you and
they always refused. Once, Laya Khiabani, who was in charge of Reception,
asked me if I knew why they didn’t let me see you. “I don’t know. Perhaps,
they think that we would exchange information,” I said. She laughed and
said, “You and your sisters have no information to exchange. They should
give you permission to meet them.” However, this never happened and I
couldn’t see you while I was in Iraq.
Once, I had prepared a birthday gift for Rabi’eh and some other presents for
all of you. I knew that I would be criticized for doing so, but I asked my
commanders to give them to you. A month and half later, I was shocked to see
the gifts in my locker. This is Massoud Rajavi’s affection! They don’t want
families and relatives to have emotional relationships. Everything should be
devoted to Massoud Rajavi.
I should remind you, dear sisters, that I have never had any quarrels with
you and I will not. I believe that you are of my flesh and blood. No one can
separate us, not even that organization which has always tried to do so.
However, I won’t let the organization’s dreams come true and won’t quit my
efforts until I see you out of the cult. I know that they have forced you to
talk against your own will. So, I was not bothered by what you said. I am
criticizing the organization, which has put you in such a condition because
I know you, and I know that we have not had any such affairs in our sisterly
relations. This is MKO’s method to create disputes inside families in order
for itself to escape from replying to criticisms.
In all these five years that you were away from our mother, weren’t you
allowed to have a phone call for at least a few minutes to ask about your
sick mother and your prisoner father? Who has given you this information? It
was better for this affectionate organization to let my sisters call their
parents and then do the interview. Then, you would have correct information
and there were fewer faults. I announce that my father has never been
tortured and he can testify to that himself.
What has happened that they suddenly decided to tell you about his
You all know that my father is in prison. He can have a phone call to his
home for an hour everyday. We can also meet him each week for forty minutes,
without any controls or guards.
A simple comparison between my father here and my sisters in the prison of
Rajavi shows the difference. My sisters were banned in these five years from
writing a letter, from a brief phone call and we had no information on their
status. This situation has made my mother sick. Now, who is the prisoner, my
sisters in the cult or my father in Evin?
As I said, I don’t want to complain about my sisters because I know that
they are the captives of Rajavi. I have always loved my sisters and I say
that your family is ready for your return.
Now, the Rajavis should answer my sick mother. If they have not imprisoned
my sisters, they should allow them to make a phone call to my mother.
No one in the world, except the heads of the cult, bans emotional
relationship between members of a family. Apart from this, the organization
should answer my little girl. She has been away from her father (Moahmmed
Karimi Rahjerdi, member of MKO) since she was two and half years old. She is
now nine and still asks about her dad. This girl has no image of her father
and can’t remember him. She says her father is unfaithful, doesn’t like her
and doesn’t pay attention to her.
You are responsible for cutting these ties. What will happen if a little
girl hears the voice of her father from a long distance and feels calm? Why
must she always look with wistfulness at other children of her age who are
with their fathers and why must she always ask herself where her father is?
“Where is he that he can’t send a photo and a letter?” she asks. However,
she’s happy to have a grandfather. My little girl can’t understand and
analyze that her father is living at a place where “love” is forbidden, even
if that love is of the kind a father has towards his little girl. She can’t
understand that her father can’t mention her name and that he can’t even
think about her. He has to confess to Camp Ashraf’s guards if he remembers
his little girl. He has to deny everything under the heavy pressure of
“purification” sessions and he has to devote all his love to Massoud and
Maryam. My little girl doesn’t know that Maryam and Massoud have taken her
father’s heart and that they have left no place for her. My little girl
doesn’t know that her father is captive in a place where “the art of love”
is forbidden. I know how much her father loves her, but he’s afraid to
express that. All parents love their children, but their fears force them to
hide everything, even these divine emotions.
My little girl sleeps with the photo of her father and wishes to hear his
voice. Each year, at her birthday, she expects to have her father beside
her. She went on fasting during Ramadan and wished to have her father back.
She resorted to the Qoran and prayed for her father.
There are many girls and boys with similar conditions. The daughter of
Maryam Arab (Mona), Parivn Firoozan’s son (Sepehr) and many others....
Who is responsible for these suppressed emotions? Mr. and Mrs. Rajavi, how
do you want to answer God about these children? Why did you break up the
families? You know better than I that the way you’re following leads to
nowhere. You know well that you separated children from their parents only
to be able to survive perfidiously under US’s flag and to legitimize
Maryam’s staying in France. How do you want to stand before God and answer?
You can’t bring back the wasted years of these children, can you? The damage
inflicted on these children, because of the absence of their parents, can’t
be compensated. You should be accountable for this lost generation. You
should be held accountable for the suppressed emotions of mothers and
I can remember that you used so-called “militias” (very young soldiers in
MKO) to claim that young forces join the NLA; these militias were even
banned from meeting their parents. I will never forget Mahboobeh Jamshidi’s
daughter, Maryam Jamshidi, 14, who wept each night because MKO leaders
didn’t let her see her mother. Her mother was in touch with her through
e-mail and computer messages. Maryam Jamshidi cried and said that she didn’t
want a “computer mom”. “I want to sit beside her but here I can’t meet her,”
she said. No human being can stand these painful images, but your stony
hearts prevented you from allowing their meetings. There were several others
like Maryam Jamshidi.
These girls, who couldn’t feel maternal emotions in MKO, wanted to leave the
group but the MKO never allowed separation because in the case of their
separation, the MKO was not able to justify the case. These children had a
disastrous situation and no one helped them because their parents were also
captives of Rajavi. I’m sure that the same conditions applied for “boy
militias” in the organization but I have not enough information because I
was in the Women’s section.
Meanwhile, Maryam Rajavi’s daughter (Ashraf Abrishamchi) and Massoud
Rajavi’s son (Mostafa) had a very different situation.
I myself witnessed the relationship of Ashraf Abrishamchi with her mother
and father. She occasionally disappeared for a month or two. Later, we
learnt that she was staying with her father or mother. Maryam spent a month
with her daughter because Ashraf should feel the emotions of her parents.
The situation was similar for Massoud Rajavi’s son.
At a time when MKO leaders banned family relationships and called it
“illegitimate”, it was “legal” and “legitimate” for Maryam and Massoud.
Everything “illegal” for members in the organization is “legal” for the
leaders. Only the leader should have spouse, but it’s forbidden and illegal
for others. While mothers in the MKO were not allowed to look at the photos
of their children, Maryam was fully authorized. Only the leader should have
his children beside himself, and it’s illegal for others.
We saw these contradictions and discriminations everyday but we had to
ignore them. Their justification was that “Maryam and Massoud have passed
these issues but you have an exploitative view and therefore you shouldn’t
have a family”!
My little girl and I are waiting for my husband to return to the family. I
hope to meet my sisters again in an open atmosphere. I am sure that in the
near future, the real nature of Rajavi will become clear for you all.
… and you, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, you should stand before God and
answer for the crimes you have committed.
Note: Hoora Shalchi was a long time member
of the Mojahedin-e Khalq in Iraq. She was arrested
in Iran in 2000 alongside Ms Marjan Malek after they carried out a terrorist
operation [mortar attack] in Tehran. The two women were tried and imprisoned
on terror charges. Both have now been released after serving their
Did you know… Why
'freedom of thought' is a sin in the Mojahedin? Why every single member of
the Mojahedin is required to write a daily report about every thought which
comes to their mind during the day?
With the introduction of the "Second Phase of the Ideological Revolution" in
1989, married couples and children were separated from one another in a bid
to divert all personal love and affection towards the Ideological Leaders –
Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. The Revolution did not stop at that point
however. Soon, unmarried people were also expected to 'divorce' in their
hearts and minds everything to do with the opposite sex. They should not
allow themselves to think about the opposite sex at any time during the day
– even, for that matter, during their sleep and dreams. A sex related dream
or, remembering your child or, a passing memory of a girl or boy you knew
perhaps as a teenager, were all declared to be signs that a person is
"drowning in a world of sexuality", and that therefore they "needed the
The problem outside of Ashraf Camp was that members would meet and talk over
the phone with people of the opposite sex, see billboard advertisements, and
even sometimes watch uncensored television. Inside Ashraf Camp the
refectories were separated, men and women would not sit in the same car, and
even the petrol station had separate timetables for men and women so that
they would not meet. This resulted in a different level of thoughts about
the opposite sex.
The Rajavis' compulsory daily report was introduced thus: "once you write
down all these 'contradictions' and read them aloud in the meeting at the
end of the week, then the collective presence [peer pressure] will shame you
sufficiently that you will reduce and will ultimately eliminate these bad
thoughts or 'contradictions' to the point that your heart and mind will
eventually belong solely to the leader."
Once people were forced to write down their 'contradictions', the daily
reports began to read along these lines: "I used the petrol pump after
sister x, and I felt aroused", or "I saw two birds together in a tree and I
had an erotic thought", or "when I sat on the chair that sister x has just
left, I felt…". The more that time passed, the more ridiculous the reports
became. And the more they wrote, the more they had things to write about. It
became clear that most members over the years came to the conclusion that
the daily report is something they have to do in order to get the leaders
off their backs, and that what they actually think and do (when they get the
chance) is not really what they should write about. After all, the reports
should show "progress". If not, you will be accused of resisting "Massoud
and Maryam's Ideological Revolution". And of all other crimes only this is
Although no one has claimed,
and is unlikely to claim, that any individual can ever achieve this totally
pure state of mind (Massoud and Maryam Rajavi declared that from the start
they did not have this problem, and that is why they are the ideological
leaders and that is why they can remain married without corruption), the
process intensified year after year to the point that the daily report has
evolved into the 'daily collective meeting'.
These meetings are held on a daily basis under any circumstances, even if
there are only two or three people together for any task or mission. In the
daily meeting, daily reports have to be read out in turn (except for the
head of the meeting who must attend a separate meeting with peers in the
hierarchy), and the others have to attack the writer, swear at him or her as
hard as they can and in their own words "crack" the person by whatever
means. If anyone comes down soft on the target, he or she will be accused of
having something to hide inside, and of not taking the side of the Leaders
in confronting the outside savage world. These meetings nowadays frequently
result in physical fighting and abuse. Those who resist are labelled as
agents of the intelligence ministry of Iran, who have no claim to any rights
and can be treated according to the will of the Ideological Leaders. (In
fact, such 'traitors' are ideologically condemned to execution by the
Leaders. Actual execution of the order depends on the circumstances, and
according to the whim of the Leaders. For instance, sending a 'traitor' to
Abu Ghraib prison was equivalent to putting into practice the death
sentence, since the victims were unlikely to survive there.)
As this psychologically cohesive method combined with other manipulations
have been exercised over the years, the behaviour of people in the
Mojahedin, including the way they see other non-member people, the language
they use and even in some cases the physical tone of the voice, face and
body features and even the day-to-day desires of members have changed.
For instance, it is not abnormal any more to see women who have more
pronounced body and facial hair growth. The practice of self satisfaction
[masturbation - which in Islamic teachings is forbidden] has become
something so widespread for both men and women, that it has even been
mentioned by Maryam and Massoud Rajavi in the general meeting as a problem
which has arisen after banning sex.
The extent of the problem is such that in Ashraf Camp, new regulations for
men's dormitories emphasise among other things that:
No two men are allowed to
stay in the dormitory without the presence of a third man.
In the case of two people
being sick, a third man should be chosen to stay with them.
People are not allowed to
change their clothes in the dormitory except behind a screen.
Rubbing medicine on the
back or chest of a patient should preferably be carried out by an older
member and supervised by a third man at all times.
Taking a shower or bath
should only take place at certain times of the day and only according to
And for the people outside
Ashraf Camp (in Europe, etc):
Men are not allowed to
report to or talk in private to their women commanders except in the
presence of another member, and vice versa.
Members who need to go
online. They should be a minimum of two people and one should ask frequent
questions about the other's need to visit sites or download emails.
Members who have to go to
meetings with politicians, etc. There should be at least one other person
present at all time during travel outside the base until return.
There are many other rules
and regulations similar to the above which govern the daily minutiae of life
in the Mojahedin.
It is interesting that now in some cases it is preferred to send a supporter
to monitor a member while outside. This is because more and more frequently,
two members would plan together to go to a cinema, sex shop, etc and agree
not to tell the commanders. Distant supporters are told that because they
have come from the Iraqi deserts, such members need their help until they
get used to their new environment.
It seems that not only have these regulations brought no real relief or for
that matter "love of the Ideological Leaders", instead they have overwhelmed
the hearts and minds of members. During recent years, crimes like "rape and
related murder and other crimes" against women in Ashraf camp, which had
never been seen in the Mojahedin before the Ideological Revolution, have
increased to shocking numbers.
The major problem for the Mojahedin are those who have regular contact with
supporters as part of their work. Supporters report that after any long
visit by a member to their homes or places of work it is usual for them to
receive bills for long hours of connection to sex websites. Many supporters
now refuse to allow their children into the presence of MKO members and
prefer only to meet them in the streets or in the MKO safe houses in Europe.
Women members are expected not to concern themselves with the minimum of
hygiene and personal grooming. As a result, most of the women members who
are no longer as young as before suffer from all sorts of mental and
physical disorders, including the above mentioned coarsening of beards and
moustaches which is mainly due to hormone imbalance or disorder. Woman are
denied treatments or any kind of make up, bleaching or waxing, etc. - except
for Maryam Rajavi and the women she chooses to have looking acceptable.
While Massoud Rajavi has been dying his hair for the last fifteen years and
all of his, and Maryam's family, have had the most expensive cosmetic dental
treatment possible, ordinary members are expected to have no more than a
backpack to contain all their belongings; that is, all their clothes, books,
mementos etc. These backpacks are regularly checked for forbidden items
including any trace of contact with, or pictures of, family or friends.
At its inception, the daily report accompanied by follow-up
"ideological meetings" served the leaders' purpose to keep a grip on the
members on one hand and on the other hand provided blackmail material for a
rainy day in case any member found the courage to try to escape the cult. It
is now, however, increasingly working against the Rajavis as they attempt to
whitewash their image as heads of an Islamic Marxist terrorist cult who have
used their members to attack the interests of the west as and when needed to
pursue their own agenda.
Mojahedin members (which includes around 97% of those claiming membership of
the NCRI) are indoctrinated in the Rajavis' anti-imperialist ideology. They
are motivated by their promise to destroy world imperialism and replace it
with what the Rajavis call "the divine, classless society". It is with this
motivation that they submit to the suffocating strictures imposed on them by
the Rajavis. Following the fall of Saddam Hussein, such members cannot
reasonably be expected to change their ideological direction without a total
re-programming of their world view. The Rajavis know this only too well.
However, an explanation is needed for these members, who are very much
needed for activities like the self immolations of June 2003 to protest the
arrest of Maryam Rajavi, as they see current Mojahedin behaviour in
contradiction to everything they have been taught to believe.
The explanation is that "fooling the Americans and their allies" is a
tactic. The ideology has not changed, but the path to "the divine classless
society" at this point of time, must pass through this tactic, until we are
ready to confront "imperialism and the world devourers" again. Members are
praised for their superior understanding, and the leader is worshiped as the
members are taught to realise that they could not have passed this phase of
the struggle to save humanity if it had not been because of the ideological
leader and the introduction of the "ideological revolution" at the very