Survivors' Report - May 2006
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
The Association to Support Victims of Mojahedin-e Khalq has designated April 8 as the day each year on which we will commemorate the victims of internal suppression in the Mojahedin-e Khalq.
This year in
Paris, in a suitably atmospheric old theatre midway between the Eifel tower
and Arc de Triumph, a group of people gathered together from the various
countries where they are now resident; Canada, Germany, Norway, Sweden,
Holland, Britain and France.
News in Brief
New Television Programme Very Popular
American satellite television channel Rang-a Rang is now hosting a weekly two hour programme from Payvand Television (PTV).
The programme features articles and interviews. The first programmes proved so popular that they have been repeated several times by request.
For Europe and Iran the coordinatates are TELSTAR 12, transponder: 5, frequency: 11494, polarisation: vertical, Symbol Rate: 17469 FEC 3/4, SID: 8, VPID: 264
For America the coordinates are : Intelsat Americas 5 Transponder 5 Frequency: 11836 Polarization: Vertical Symbol Rate: 20765 FEC: 3/4 SID: 8 VPID: 6
MPs Censured for Using MKO's Information
Al-Vatan, Saudi Arabia, April 5, 2006
The Dutch Parliament criticized its Foreign and Immigration ministries after
being informed that these two institutions relied on the reports of the
Mojahedin-e Khalq organization, which is listed by the US and EU as a
Commemorative Gathering in Paris
Peyvand Association, April 9, 2006
"Families of the victims of MKO's internal suppression ask for the trial of
Another MKO member escapes the cult
Nejat Association, April 12, 2006
Nejat was informed that Marzieh Ghorsi (also known as Arezou), after years
of enforced residence in Camp Ashraf, has left the cult of Rajavi and is now
living in the US-run camp. According to her parents, she has called them
from the American camp and they are very happy.
World Cup Germany - Crackdown on MKO
IRNA April 12, 2006
went on to say that Germany will use the most modern technology to maintain
security during the World Cup football matches.
Iranians Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq
Iran-Interlink, April 21, 2006
Arab Analyst Hazem Saghieh, in his article in Al-Hayat website (April 21,
2006), discussed the policies of Americans and their activities in what they
call exporting democracy to the Middle East. In his view, using military
force and resorting to exiled Iranian oppositions is wrong:
Mojahedin favours violence, even in sporting events
April 23, 2006
Taking advantage of any incident inside Iran, the Mojahedin trumpets them as protests against the Islamic Republic. Even in the most developed countries, you may witness clashes, sometimes in the bloodiest forms, between the fans of rival soccer teams or the streets are swamped with fans expressing their joy. Do you extrapolate that they are all protesting against their countries and states policies? It was the same case at the end of a final soccer game between two Iranian soccer clubs in Tehran on Friday evening.
The opportunist Mojahedin, in its internet web pages and TV programs, reported insurgent Iranian young people “staging protests and damaging dozens of buses while chanting anti-government slogans” after the game. While it is true that a number of public buses were damaged and their windows were broken, such violent acts were orchestrated by opportunist thugs, that is, football hooligans, not ordinary fans. However, this commentary again shows that violence is an approved method favoured by the Mojahedin even in sporting events.
Mojahedin fundraisers cannot challenge terrorist label
AP/ SAN FRANCISCO
April 24, 2006
Seven Los Angeles area residents indicted on accusations of raising hundreds of thousands of dollars for a terror organization lost a federal court challenge in a bid to prove their innocence.
The seven wanted to challenge a determination by the State Department that a group they funded was a terror organization.
The seven allegedly provided money to the Mojahedin-e Khalq, which “participated in various terrorist activities against the Iranian regime” and “carried out terrorist activities with the support of Saddam Hussein’s regime,” according to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
The San Francisco-based appeals court in 2004 first ruled against the seven and on Monday let the decision stand without a rehearing.
A 1996 law makes it illegal to give money to organizations the State Department has linked to terrorism.
Rarely used before the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks, the law has since been used to win terror convictions.
The defendants claimed the law violated their First Amendment right to contribute money to groups they claim are not terror organizations, and they argued they should be allowed to prove the groups did not belong on the State Department’s list.
In 2002, U.S. District Judge Robert Takasugi invalidated the law, saying it did not provide the groups a proper forum to contest their terror designations.
On Monday, the 9th Circuit said those accused of supporting the listed groups cannot challenge the list.
Lawyers for those indicted asked the appeals court to review the 2004 decision with a panel of 15 judges, which the San Francisco-based appeals court declined.
Judge Alex Kozinski voted to rehear the case, writing that determining whether an organization is engaged in terrorism is crucial. Kozinski said the prosecution in the case runs contrary to “two of our defining traditions,” free expression and justice.
MKO is Terrorist, UK Minister Says
Monitoring London, April 24, 2006
BRITISH MINISTER OF STATE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST EMPHASIZES THAT THE MKO IS
Country Reports on Terrorism 2005
US State Department, published April 28, 2006
"Over 3,000 MEK members are currently confined to Camp Ashraf, the MEK’s main compound north of Baghdad, where they remain under the Geneva Convention’s “protected person” status and Coalition control. As a condition of the cease-fire agreement, the group relinquished its weapons, including tanks, armored vehicles, and heavy artillery. A significant number of MEK personnel have voluntarily left the Ashraf group, and several hundred of them have been voluntarily repatriated to Iran."
"The group’s worldwide campaign against the Iranian Government stresses propaganda and occasionally uses terrorism. During the 1970s, the MEK killed U.S. military personnel and U.S. civilians working on defense projects in Tehran and supported the takeover in 1979 of the U.S. Embassy in Tehran. In 1981, the MEK detonated bombs in the head office of the Islamic Republic Party and the Premier’s office, killing some 70 high-ranking Iranian officials, including Chief Justice Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, President Mohammad-Ali Rajaei, and Premier Mohammad-Javad Bahonar. Near the end of the 1980-1988 war with Iran, Baghdad armed the MEK with military equipment and sent it into action against Iranian forces. In 1991, the MEK reportedly assisted the Government of Iraq in suppressing the Shia uprisings in southern Iraq and the Kurdish uprisings in the north. In April 1992, the MEK conducted near-simultaneous attacks on Iranian embassies and installations in 13 countries, demonstrating the group’s ability to mount large-scale operations overseas. In April 1999, the MEK targeted key military officers and assassinated the deputy chief of the Iranian Armed Forces General Staff. In April 2000, the MEK attempted to assassinate the commander of the Nasr Headquarters, Tehran’s interagency board responsible for coordinating policies on Iraq. The normal pace of anti-Iranian operations increased during “Operation Great Bahman” in February 2000, when the group launched a dozen attacks against Iran. One of those attacks included a mortar attack against the leadership complex in Tehran that housed the offices of the Supreme Leader and the President. In 2000 and 2001, the MEK was involved regularly in 213 mortar attacks and hit-and-run raids on Iranian military and law enforcement units and government buildings near the Iran-Iraq border, although MEK terrorism in Iran declined toward the end of 2001. The MEK leadership ordered its members not to resist Coalition forces at the outset of Operation Iraqi Freedom, and they surrendered their arms to Coalition forces in May 2003."
Mehr News, April 24, 2006
"According to documents and evidence, out of 16000 victims of terrorism in
Iran, 12000 have been directly killed by the terrorist group Mojahedin-e
Khalq. These documents are to be published in the near future and we are
going to move some of the cases to Iraqi courts via the Iranian judiciary,"
secretary general of Habilian Association said to Mehr News.
SKY News in Italy
April 25, 2006
Italy's SKY news channel (SKY-TG24), one of Italy's leading news channels
with more than 20 million viewers, aired a report on the terrorist MKO
group, including interviews with some former members of this organization.
Warning – Mojahedin Plotting for Germany's World Cup
Bahar Irani, April 12, 2006
Sporting events and international competitions never fail to attract public attention for a variety of reasons. Hundreds of millions of people worldwide attentively follow sports competitions either through the media or as spectators. It is an accepted fact that international competitions have always eclipsed any prevailing political issues. It is also true that because of their focal importance, any number of opportunist political movements, and even terrorist groups, take advantage of this circumstance to further their sectarian or political objectives. Such activities, from both the militant and political point of view, bear repercussions long after the event itself and the subsequent propaganda blitz can long engross public opinion. The 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich, for instance, had an appalling, long-standing effect on people's minds because of an armed, terrorist group’s hostage-taking. It ended after the hostages and terrorists were killed and history recalls it as the bloody Olympic Games.
Now, nearly 34 years after that incident, Germany will again host the World Cup. The ongoing security measures indicate that Germans are alert to the possibility of any threats, and precautions are being made to neutralize even minutely suspicious moves in order to prevent any repetition of the past nightmare.
It cannot be altogether ignored that the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, MKO, are historical imitators of other armed, terrorist organizations, followers of some Palestinian combatant groups as well, and should be listed among the first on Germany’s watch-list. Although the group has recently inaugurated a new policy of denying its past terrorist misdeeds, perpetuation of its ill-will and hostile propaganda minimizes the effects of its claims. At present, the group is doing its best to refocus public opinion and to distract attention. The methods it utilizes are in some cases too horrible and violent to forget them easily. For instance, the scattered self-immolations in European countries after Maryam Rajavi’s arrest by French police coerced the French judiciary to release her to halt the practice of these barbaric, sect-like acts.
The Mojahedin are real experts in the practice of psychological warfare. The world should not dismiss doubts about the ability of its sympathizers to show vigorous agitation over Iranian attendance in international assemblies or wherever nations come together on certain occasions. Among these, the World Cup games are the Mojahedin's best opportunity. To refresh our minds, let us go through the details of Mojahedin’s activities during the course of the 1998 World Cup in France; transformed into a sensitive, full-attention grabbing sporting event by the presence of Iran's national team.
Utilizing its usual mafia-like methods, the Mojahedin obtained a pile of tickets for the play offs of the Iranian team and distributed them freely among its sympathizers so that they would be in position to disturb the peace during the games. Several of these pseudo-fans were arrested by French police on the allegation of causing disruption. Mahmoud Malek Afzali, son of an old, Iranian singer serving the Mojahedin, was seriously traumatized by Mojahedin agents during the Iran-America game because of his objection to his mother’s association with the Mojahedin:
Mahmoud Malek Afzali, who opposes the Mojahedin is the son of a famous Iranian singer who cooperates with the Mojahedin. He was seriously injured in the face by Mojahedin agents during Iran-America play. 
Malek Afzali further disclosed that he and his companions, a number of Iranian singers resident in the US, who had come to watch Iran play, had to recurrently change their accommodation in Paris to escape the Mojahedin’s persecution. 
A French daily also reported the apprehension of four Mojahedin sympathizers:
Four Mojaheds are in custody on charges of burning a flag and provoking people. According to AFP, four Iranian political refugees arrested on Saturday are still in custody. According to a French judiciary official, one of them, a Dutch citizen, is alleged to have burned the Iranian flag and the other three, coming from Canada and the US, were provoking people into acts of violence. 
In another report we read:
French police had banned people from carrying any banners and portraits except for Iranian national flags for the Iran-America game. The question is how they had smuggled the Mojahedin’s arms and portraits of Massoud and Maryam into the stadium.
No doubt they were carrying them under their clothes. An eye witness confirmed that once a French police officer asked the portrait bearers whose portrait they were carrying and they slyly answered they were Iranian football players! So the police let them carry the portraits. 
Recently in New York, the Mojahedin caused disruption during the Iran-America wrestling competitions:
The US police arrested a Mojahedin sympathizer on charges of disturbing the Iran-America wrestling competitions last Sunday. The intruder had the competition halted for a few minutes. 
These events dispel any doubts that the Mojahedin will stay idle during the days when the Iranian team plays in Germany this year. The group has already orchestrated a vast psychological blitz opposing Iran’s presence in the World Cup, but it was hushed-up before making things worse for proposing so absurd and preposterous a demand. Structurally, the Mojahedin is an extremist, violent organization that ideologically believes in armed struggle. It masterminds violent measures with the provided professional expertise. Such operations are commonly followed by exaggerated maneuvering over the accomplished feat which fuels its propaganda machine for long afterward to be the focus of public opinion.
Reports indicate that the Mojahedin is kicking off preliminaries to play its role in Germany. It is obtaining and purchasing bundles of tickets to distribute among its sympathizers and whoever consents to cooperate with them. It is a golden opportunity for the organization to bypass the political impasse it is mired in the short term; the three year absence of Massoud Rajavi, revoking the asylum status of some members in Germany, its uncertain future and increasing number of defectors in Iraq, terrorist charges in France, and a lot more are some of the crises the group is currently facing.
German authorities should be cautious about the threat of the Mojahedin. A terrorist group that has betrayed its own people, hardly ever respects the interests of other nations. Plotted turbulence and disorder, even on a small scale, may call into question Germany’s security capabilities followed by a backlash from public opinion that it does not trust Germany to host any further International competitions. It is a responsibility for Germany, and whoever believes in peace, to maintain security during the World Cup football matches and to squelch politically motivated activities that threaten to disturb the peaceful atmosphere of these international games.
News that the Bulgarian unit has arrived in Iraq to start its mission in Camp Ashraf coincided with revelations by one of the former captives of the camp, Mohsen Abbasslou, about the ongoing condition of the Mojahedin members there.
Abbasslou spoke of continued mistreatment, imprisonment and torture being carried out inside Camp Ashraf by the MKO. He described conditions as those of a concentration camp in which the camp's inhabitants are like slaves, with forced labour imposed on them and having no rights to any personal freedoms.
While conditions in TIPF are very different, Abbasslou stressed that there too the former members of the MKO remain as captives without any clear plan for their futures. In essence, their only options are to voluntarily return to Iran in the near future or to wait for an unspecified time in the hope that a western country will offer them asylum. But there is little prospect of this and, it seems, little hope that their futures will be resolved quickly or even to their liking.
It is clear that the Iraqi authorities, under whatever government forms over the next year or so, will not accept the continued presence of the MKO in Iraq over the long term.
Over the past month there have been several media items which emphasise that the Mojahedin continue to pose a problem to Iraq, to US Forces and to international humanitarian bodies the ICRC and UN.
Turning Ashraf into a Terrorists' Township
Nabz Al-Shabab, No. 141/Iraq
MKO and Massacre of Kurd and Turkmen Iraqis
Shilan Talibani April 12, 2006
In our region, most of those who
celebrated the liberation of Kefri city (from Baathist occupation) on March
11, 1991, were our Turkmen neighbors. I remember well that Peshmerg forces
were welcomed by the citizens and everyone was happy. People shouted "down
with dictatorship" and didn't know how to express their happiness.
Unfortunately, this happiness didn't last long in Kefri because the
mercenaries of the MKO, backed by a bombardment by the Baathists, entered
the city and suppressed the people's jubilation.
MKO's Military Operation in Iraq
From Mehr news, April 13, 2006
terrorist group Mojahedin-e Khalq plans to bring civil war to Iraq. Several
Iraqi papers have pointed to anti-Shiite moves by the MKO, revealing this
group's divisive plots.
Bulgarian Forces in Iraq – Guarding Camp Ashraf
Sofia News, April 15, 2006
non-combat unit, which will perform the tasks of a military-humanitarian
mission at Camp Ashraf in Iraq was deployed in the camp area on April 11,
the Bulgarian Defence Ministry said.
Iraqi Kurds Say MKO must leave
Mehr news, April 23, 2006
Interview with Abdulsattar Majid, member of the Political Office of
Iraqi Kurdistan's Jamaat Al-Islamia
MKO's latest terrorist operation in Iraq
IRIB News, April 25, 2006
Members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq organization, wearing the uniforms of Iraqi
Interior Ministry officers and backed by US forces, took part in last week's
attack on Baghdad's A'zamiah Sunni district.
MKO members in Saddam's Basra Palace
Fars News Agency, April 25, 2006
Security sources in southern Iraq reported that a number of MKO members
supported by US forces have been settled in Basra.
U.S. Terror Accomplices
Asia Times, April 25, 2006
According to Asia Times Online, an Islamic Republic insider has provided intriguing details about US covert operations inside Iran accusing it of indulging in creating disorder and masterminding insurgent plots across the Iranian border that are carried out by paid terrorist accomplices.
The US authorities, however, have not refuted anything. Richard Sale, intelligence correspondent for United Press International, referring to charges that the US is using the Mujahideen-e Khalq (MEK) organization and other groups to carry out cross-border operations, states: "The Iranian accusations are true. But it is being done on such a small scale - a series of pinpricks - it would seem to have no strategic value at all."
Asia Times further discloses that:
Warhorse is the major US military base in the strategic Iraqi province of
Diyala that borders Iran. Last month, Asia Times Online asked the US
official in charge of all overt and covert operations emanating from there
whether the military and the MEK colluded on an operational level. He denied
any such knowledge.
What is happening at TIPF
Omid Puya, April 8, 2006
According to a separated member of the Mojahedin, the process has begun in TIPF, a US run camp near Camp Ashraf, to decide about the escaped members staying there. The process to expedite settlement of the defectors in other countries irreparably affects the atmosphere in Camp Ashraf because there are a great number of discontented members who, for various reasons, prefer not to return to Iran. They are waiting to see what happens to TIPF’s refugees so they may follow that line. The anticipation of a positive fulfillment of this plan has thrown the Mojahedin into a new internal crisis and, as a precaution, the group is attempting to defer the accomplishment of the process.
Following Saddam’s downfall, many members escaped Camp Ashraf to take refuge in TIPF. To stop the outflow of its forces, the Mojahedin rumored that TIPF refugees were physically and psychologically tortured and abused by American forces. Besides, the heavy media censorship inside the camp has left the members unable to make a sound decision. They have been forced to sign papers admitting they are individuals residing in Camp Ashraf deliberately as 'dissenters of the Islamic Republic'.
International bodies, however, are not ever duped by the group’s duplicity in such issues and they are trying to inform the Ashraf residents about their rights. The main problem is the restrictions imposed by the leaders in charge of Camp Ashraf who also act as scaremongers by screening film showing some of the Americans’ harsh treatment against Iraqi people. At present, Ashraf residents are classified into three groups; the leading cadre at the top, the operational teams who perpetrated terrorist activities inside Iran, and at the bottom, constituting the great majority, are apathetic, dissatisfied members.
The first and second groups will never consent to return to Iran and prefer asylum in western countries because they are afraid of being tried for the atrocities and terrorist plots committed against people. The third group is mainly in a dilemma; they cannot make their own decisions because of the dominant psychological pressures and channeled misinformation. This last group’s destiny is intertwined with the appropriate functioning of the international and UN bodies active in Iraq. There is evidence of abuse and mall-treatment against these members inside Ashraf, as published by Human Rights Watch. Humanitarian organizations should enforce their authority to make direct contact with these members to inform them of their rights.
Reports of those returned to Iran indicate that at a minimum nothing has threatened their life or liberty in Iran. Indeed, the costs would decrease and the TIPF residents could be relieved of their plight much sooner if the responsible bodies adopt an unbiased course - regardless of other disputes between the states involved - and help them by providing reliable, up-to-the minute information from which they can arrive at their own analysis of their situation and the best path for their future. These people deserve to have a free life and, at present, the responsibility for this lays on the shoulders of the UN and similar bodies.
How to deal with MKO members in Iraq?
By Ebrahim Khodabandeh, April 2006
The allied occupation of Iraq, and the collapse of Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship on April 2003, placed the Iraqi based Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MKO) in a very awkward situation. As a foreign terrorist entity, Iraq's new constitution does not allow the organisation to remain in Iraq. The captives of Camp Ashraf face a gloomy and uncertain future. For seventeen years the MKO enjoyed the full support of Saddam Hussein, enabling Massoud Rajavi to establish an isolated base in which to freely brainwash his followers. There is universal consensus today in categorising the organisation as a cult. That is, the members are subjected to psychological manipulation so they will submit themselves to the cause and desires of their so-called spiritual leader. One example of this is the acts of self-immolation after the arrest of Maryam Rajavi on terrorism charges in Paris on 17 June 2003.
The problem facing the Iraqi government and the other parties involved is how to best deal with these people. Although disarmed as an army, the MKO has retained the isolation of its establishment and, more importantly, retained its cult ideology.
Should the MKO members be left in Iraq as refugees or should they be transferred to third countries, perhaps in Europe and North America? What kind of threat might they pose to the people of those countries?
Currently around 3500 MKO members are captive in Camp Ashraf. Since the organisation to which they belong is designated as terrorist, the main objective of the international community must be to render these people safe so that they no longer constitute a threat. As a first step to fulfilling this aim, they must be removed from the cult which both trains them and maintains them as terrorists. After this, perhaps, they can be rehabilitated back into normal civilian life. But this is by no means an easy task. Some of these people have been in the organisation for many years, and have undergone a great deal of ideological training – or, brainwashing.
Before being returned to ordinary society these people must have their normal mental and emotional functioning restored. The communal values to which they are faithful at present are contrary to those of ordinary people and a healthy society. What might be considered quite acceptable to them would appear completely outlandish to everyone else in society and vice versa. So, not only should these people be physically separated from the organisational structure, but the mentality and thoughts inculcated by the organisation also need to be demolished in their minds.
Although belonging to a terrorist organisation, it is necessary to consider the present members of the MKO as victims who need to be helped to regain a normal, peaceful life alongside their families, rather than as people to be persecuted or prosecuted. However, they need to receive specialised care and understanding before they can be gradually returned to society. The current dilemma for those responsible for their treatment is that since they will not be able to remain in Iraq much longer they must find a new location. However, before they can be settled without posing a threat, they must receive necessary treatment to remove the cult mentality. In other words, if these people are transferred to third countries without treatment and as an organisation in toto then it is essentially akin to repositioning a land mine without diffusing it. In this state, MKO members would certainly pose a threat to the citizens of any country they might live in. Simply, they would remain people willing and able to perform suicidal acts of violence to further the cause of their organisation; therefore we can presume that they could easily cause harm to others for the same reason.
It is for this reason I urge that the MKO be treated as a group of individuals rather than as an organisation. As a cult, the MKO imposes a system of absolute control over every member to maintain its power. For this reason, members need – under the supervision of the International Committee of the Red Cross and the UN OHCHR - to be completely removed from the cult and transferred to separate locations for rehabilitation treatment. They can only really be helped out of the reach of the Organisation and its manipulations. Only in this way can they come to decide freely and independently what sort of a life they wish to pursue other than life inside the organisation. Simply moving them to a third country does not necessarily mean that their minds would move too. Those who have previously managed to leave the organisation have extraordinary experiences to tell about how the minds of members are dominated and how they are mentally forced to commit outlandish deeds, and how members find themselves totally obliged to obey the commands of their superiors.
I urge the authorities in Iraq (both Iraqis and non-Iraqis) to give very careful consideration to this matter. The current members of the MKO must be removed from Iraq, but definitely not as an organisational whole. Individual members can and deserve to be helped out of their present misery and returned to a decent life. In this respect they certainly need special outside assistance and the invaluable experience of former members ought to be used accordingly.
Mojahedin and Israel
Since 1981 when it fled wholesale from Iran, the Mojahedin organisation has looked to foreign powers for support and has never been able to operate independently. The terrorist MKO's latest appeasement of foreign powers results from its ongoing struggle for survival now that it has lost its Iraqi backer.
After being rejected several times by western governments, MKO
leaders are still sending out messages announcing that "we are the ones you
are looking for"; openly advertising as mercenaries because it is virtually
impossible for them to find another supporter like Saddam Hussein who
flouted international rules and regulations.