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Survivors' Report - May 2006

Edition 24

Table of Contents:

 

Commemoration for Victims of Internal Suppression

 

Editorial, May 2006

 

News in Brief

Twelve thousand terrorism victims

Mehr News, April 24, 2006

 

SKY News in Italy

April 25, 2006

 

Warning – Mojahedin Plotting for Germany's World Cup

Bahar Irani, April 12, 2006

 

Iraq

 

How to deal with MKO members in Iraq?

By Ebrahim Khodabandeh, April 2006

 

Mojahedin and Israel

 

 * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

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Commemoration for Victims of Internal Suppression

 

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.

It was a diverse group, with many ages and many backgrounds represented. What they have in common is that they are all connected by a thread of pain which has its root in an extraordinary phenomenon; the terrible human rights abuses committed by a listed terrorist organisation, the Mojahedin-e Khalq, against its own members.

Some in the group are themselves the survivors of that internal suppression, others the families of such victims.

The voices of such people are rarely heard. Under international statutes, governments are held accountable to answer for human rights violations. When a militant group exists and acts outside its own country, when its organisational bases span several countries, and when it abides by no law, we must ask which governments or bodies have a role and responsibility in monitoring its activities? Who is aware of what is happening behind its closed doors in whichever country it operates. It is too easy to miss the cries of its victims when they are hidden behind the closed doors of a cult masquerading as a political entity.

It is easy for a group which defines itself by its opposition to a regime universally hated and distrusted, to paint itself as a positive phenomenon. But in this and many other cases, the so-called opposition acts with impunity, and it is this very secrecy and impunity and lawlessness which allow the MKO to commit, proportionate to its size, its membership and its sphere of power and influence, some of the worst violations of human rights in the world.

The people who gathered in Paris to commemorate the victims of the MKO bear witness to the fact that this organisation can and does kill with impunity. It can and does torture its members behind its closed doors. It can and does drive many of its members into the abyss of mental illness. It can, without check, send its forces into suicide missions, which can not only leave many dead, but leave many disabled and disfigured.

In such an organisation, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights has no meaning. Not one of its Articles is respected.

Of the people meeting in Paris on April 8 in this meeting, some bore witness to the suffering of those who have been killed. Some had first hand experience, some had been in Abu Ghraib prison because they dared criticise the leadership and strategies of a group which they had originally joined in order to bring freedom to their country and compatriots. Not only has the MKO spectacularly failed to bring this freedom to Iran, but it has turned on its own members to suppress and diminish them and sometimes to destroy them.

A book published by Peyvand Association was introduced in the gathering which bears the names and details of nearly 100 victims of internal suppression inside Mojahedin e Khalq organisation.

The victims of this suppression are many, and their voices are only just beginning to be heard. But the overwhelming message which emerged from this event was that these victims and their families will not rest until the Rajavis are held accountable for their crimes.

 

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Editorial
May 2006

This month's edition leads with further exposure of human rights violations committed by the MKO. The Association to Support Victims of the Mojahedin-e Khalq has chosen to highlight in particular the victims of internal suppression by the organisation. That is, members of the Mojahedin who expressed dissent or disagreement and who were severely and extra-judiciously punished for their views, even to the point of being murdered to silence them.

In this edition, we have also reported on the news from inside Iran that out of 16000 identified victims of terrorism, 12000 were killed by the Mojahedin.

Another focus this month is on the situation of the Mojahedin in Iraq. As long as Camp Ashraf has not been dismantled and its residents removed from Iraq, there will continue to be speculation as to the Mojahedin's activities in that country – whether allegations of ongoing human rights abuses, or allegations of cooperation with US and UK armed forces in sabotage and intelligence activities.

Of course it is not clear how accurate such reports are – no doubt there is political motivation behind some of them. For this reason, as well as to protect human rights, further investigation needs to be undertaken into the Mojahedin's current activities in Iraq. Certainly the organisation is being assessed and portrayed by various media as a non-benign entity whilst it remains in Iraq.

As the article on the Mojahedin's relations with Israel points out, perhaps it is time for the Mojahedin leaders to make some unequivocal statements about its position and activities in regard to various contentious issues in which it appears entangled.

While it is understandable that an opposition movement should be opposed to the actions or even the entire existence of any particular government in Iran, the MKO has gone further and has apparently positioned itself in opposition to Iran's national and strategic interests. The Mojahedin's relations with Israel, its activities in Iraq, and its position toward Iran's nuclear programme might lead some to question exactly how this relates to confronting religious rule in Iran.

While the MKO 'justifies' its positions on such issues by saying it is in response to the position taken by the mullahs' regime, perhaps ordinary Iranians do not see that their national and strategic interests are better served by the governments of Iraq or Israel or the USA than by their own government, no matter how profoundly the clerical regime is hated.

The problem for Iranians is their lack of freedom, the lack of accountability in its leaders and the lack of any semblance of equity in a system based on the rule of Muslim clerics framed by the religious dictatorship of the Velayat-e Faghi.

The idea that a group can overthrow this system by attacking Iran's national and strategic interests is misguided at best.

 

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News in Brief

 

New Television Programme Very Popular

April 2006

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

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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 terrorist organization.
Parliament stressed that the ideology of this organization is not based on Islam but on weapons and assassination and that the Netherlands considers it a terrorist group.
The Netherlands' Parliament emphasized that the decisions of the immigration ministry to return Iranian refugees were based on the reports of this organization.
In protest to these two ministries, Parliament asked for the interpellation of the Ministers of these two institutions. It also declared that the Netherlands should not rely on the information and reports of terrorists in dealing with foreign countries.
This erroneous move by the Ministers of Immigration and Foreign Affairs has put the government in a difficult situation and has brought the suspicion of Parliament about the accuracy of strategic information of the institutions. This comes at a time when the Netherlands, along with other European countries, is following Iran's affairs and in particular those related to nuclear programs.

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Commemorative Gathering in Paris

Peyvand Association, April 9, 2006

"Families of the victims of MKO's internal suppression ask for the trial of MKO leaders"
On April 8, 2006, during a large gathering in France, former members and the families of those suppressed inside the cult of Mojahedin-e Khalq commemorated their loved ones and stressed the need to bring the leaders of the cult- especially Massoud and Maryam Rajavi- to the International Court of Justice.
The event started with a speech by Massoud Khodabandeh; he welcomed the guests and introduced a book by Iran-Peyvand Association, which includes the names and details of nearly 100 victims of the MKO's internal suppression.
Then, Ms. Janet and Mr. Rafael, honorary members of Perse et Avenir Association announced the programme of the meeting and asked the families and witnesses to talk about these crimes.
Mother Rezvan, Behzad Alishahi, Mohsen Abbaslou, Ms. Noroozi, Abbas Sadeghi, Ali Ghashghyee and Mr. Amir Atefe were among the speakers. A film of Ms. Mohtaram Babayee's funeral in which, against all claims by the MKO, the mother of the late Mohtaram Babayee openly points to the criminal role of the Mojahedin in her death.
Several Iranians, families of the victims, former members, political figures and parties, including Kurdish parties, had taken part in this gathering.

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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.
It should be noted that her departure from the terrorist cult of Rajavi is a result of close cooperation, interaction and communication of her parents with Nejat Association in Western Azerbaijan province. There's no doubt that her parents' efforts to save her from the cult should be greatly appreciated.
Nejat Association in Western Azerbaijan province congratulates Ms. Ghorsi's family on her freedom from the cult.
We hope to see the freedom of all other members from Rajavi's cult and their return to their families in the near future.

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World Cup Germany - Crackdown on MKO

IRNA April 12, 2006

[Hanning] went on to say that Germany will use the most modern technology to maintain security during the World Cup football matches.
Elsewhere in his remarks, Hanning expressed regret over the illegal activities of some extremist groups and terrorism in the Middle East and Europe, saying that through cooperation and peaceful coexistence these activities can be prevented.
On the possibility of protests in Germany during the World Cup by some groups including the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO), Hanning said that these groups carry out violent acts in the country and noted that intelligence cooperation between Iran and Germany is necessary in order to effectively control these groups.

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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:
"The US would be making a mistake with Iran, just like they did with Iraq, if they think that Iranians are waiting for US-stamped liberation.
He pointed to the support of some US politicians for the MKO and possible interaction between the US and MKO:
"Stranger than this, is the bet by some US administration figures on the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO),… while the movement's leader, Maryam Rajavi, is still refusing to declare a renunciation of violence in return."
On the MKO's current status and Iranians' views on the Mojahedin, Saghieh wrote:
"In fact the MKO's military importance fizzled out during the final years of the war on Iraq. Its remaining fighters, estimated by the New York Review of Books to be around 3500, were disarmed by the US forces and detained in a camp on the Iraqi-Iranian borders. The MKO has all the elements that Iranians have hated, and which remind them of collaboration with outsiders: they had collaborated with Saddam Hussein, and in 2002 offered sensitive information regarding Tehran's nuclear program, allegedly provided by Israeli intelligence."

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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.

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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.

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MKO is Terrorist, UK Minister Says

Monitoring London, April 24, 2006

BRITISH MINISTER OF STATE FOR THE MIDDLE EAST EMPHASIZES THAT THE MKO IS TERRORIST. 
Dr. Kim Howells answered the question of Patrick Mercer, Conservative MP for Newark and Retford, on the UK's stance toward the MKO's military capabilities.
"The UK government put the MKO on terror list in March 2001," Howells said. "This list is reviewed and revised every two years, but there is no information on the MKO that can change its status," he added.
In recent months, a number of British politicians supporting the MKO, including Patrick Mercer and Lord Corbett, have tried to take the name of this group out of terror lists in UK, US and European Union. These efforts have failed to date.

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Country Reports on Terrorism 2005

US State Department, published April 28, 2006

Excerpts:

"Strength

"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."

"Activities

"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."

http://www.state.gov/s/ct/rls/crt/c17689.htm

 

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Twelve thousand terrorism victims

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.

According to the political correspondent of Mehr News, Mohammed Javad Hasheminejad, who represents the families of victims of terrorism, referred to terrorism as the common pain of both Iran and Iraq, saying: "The US prevents the expulsion of terrorists from Iraq and this is against the will of Iraqis. Therefore, the concern is that the problems and issues of Iran on terrorism may continue."

He pointed to the fact that the MKO is considered a terrorist organization by all humanitarian groups and added: "The continuation of the activities of this group, backed by the US, proves that Americans are going to take advantage of this group in a specific time."

On the 16000 victims of terrorism in Iran, he said: "according to our documents and evidence, out of this number, 12000 are those directly killed by the Mojahedin-e Khalq. We will publish these documents in the near future and we are going to pursue some of the cases in Iraqi courts via the Iranian judiciary."

He said the purpose of inviting Iraqi journalists was to illuminate the crimes of the MKO. "During the past few months, a number of Iraqi lawyers came here and they received death threats from the MKO when they returned to Iraq. But, this was not reflected in Iraqi newspapers."

In the meeting, secretary of "Association for Supporting Iraqi Journalists" Galan Motrafi emphasized that "Iraqi people are aware of the crimes of the terrorist MKO and that's why the leaders of this group are seeking a place among Iraqis by making contact with Iraqi groups, including tribes. In this way, they have spent a lot of money."

He said the MKO's traces can be seen in recent explosions in Iraq. "Pursuing the expulsion of terrorist groups requires moving through formal and legal channels."

(Mohammed Javad Hasheminejad is the son of Abdulkarim Hasheminejad, who was assassinated by the MKO in Mashhad in 1981.
)

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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.

In its report, SKY referred to the dark character of the MKO, adding: "the MKO is a terrorist group, founded to fight the Shah's regime; but it left the country after the revolution in 1979 and declared a war against Iran which has killed and wounded thousands of people.

The MKO's base is in Iraq, called "Camp Ashraf", but the leaders are in European countries. Some people believe that the group could be used by Americans for destabilizing Iran."

The report continued with some pictures from Nejat Association and a number of former members: "Mahmoud and Behrouz were in the organization for over 10 years and they escaped from the MKO's camp in Iraq only a few months ago to return to their country. We met them in Tehran in a building that belongs to Nejat Association; this Association wants to help those who want to leave the MKO."

"Behrouz was 15 when he joined the organization, during the Iran-Iraq war. After the Iraqis arrested him as a civilian, he was handed over to the MKO."

"We passed a real and tough military training course. We had to become familiar with different kinds of weapons and explosives. They trained us to be ready to act at anytime against our own country," he said.

"However, Mahmoud was recruited by the MKO in Turkey, where he wanted to go to Europe in quest of a job. He was very young then and therefore the terrorists of the MKO could easily take him to Camp Ashraf, where he entered its Special Forces."

"They told us we shouldn't be arrested alive. In addition, we always hid some explosive under our clothes. They gave us cyanide capsules to have in our mouths. As soon as the capsule is broken, rapid death follows, and there were many who experienced this," Mahmoud said.

"There were many women in Camp Ashraf. Their role changed since 1999 and after an important mission failed. The Leaders of the group believed that marriage prevents members from focusing (on their goal), therefore they forced them to divorce. They appoint a woman at the top of each group to keep the members together by her feminine attraction."

SKY's reporter asked "Do you agree that Americans want to use this group to pressurize or overthrow the Iranian regime?" and Behrouz answered: "Relations between the MKO and Americans is not a new thing since the MKO stoked the fire of the nuclear issue by exposing Iran's plans in Natanz and Arak. I'm personally aware of the meetings they had in Iraq. However, I disagree with this idea because, contrary to what we thought in Camp Ashraf, Iranians do not support the Mojahedin. In fact, they hate the MKO, because the MKO backed Iraq during the eight-year war. Due to the unpopularity of the MKO, I try not to talk about my former membership in this group."

Mahmoud said: "But I believe that Americans can use the MKO against Iran and the MKO is waiting for this. It is true that Iranians hate them and are ready to take up arms against this group, but we should not ignore foreign support for Iranian opposition groups."

 

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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. [1]

 

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. [2]

 

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. [3]

 

 

 

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. [4]

 

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. [5]

 

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.

 

Notes:

 

1 -    Nimrooz, No. 479, 30 June 1998, 3.

2 -    ibid.

3 -    Nimrooz, No. 478, 26 June 1998, 3.

4 -    ibid.

5 -    Nimrooz, No. 488, 31 July 1998, 4.

 

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Iraq

 

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.

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Turning Ashraf into a Terrorists' Township

Nabz Al-Shabab, No. 141/Iraq
March 16, 2006
The new Iraqi constitution has stopped the terrorist plots of the Mojahedin-e Khalq.
The terrorist MKO conducted ugly operations in Iraq for many years and still today, it is using Camp Ashraf as a place for undertaking suspicious acts by cooperating with US forces. Since the organization lends itself to the planning and performing of treacherous missions, it is unable to survive independently. Therefore, it goes from the shadow of one regime to that of another and in such a situation, it is able to practice its evil plans.
The presence of this organization in Iraq is a threat to international regulations. Iraqis have asked for the expulsion of this organization, yet it has been given such status as to allow it to remain in Iraq and to perform its plans against our nation. We don't know who has granted the right of Camp Ashraf's independence to this organization? It seems as if this organization is on its own soil instead of Iraqi territory!
 We talked to Dr. Mohsen Jom'e, professor of international law about the presence of this organization in Iraq and its misuse of our revered land to create a military township. He says:
"Occupation of Iraqi lands by the MKO after the expulsion order was issued for this group is clearly in breach of the law. Our law allows those who are given political refugee status to establish a camp for settlement and this can be done only with the permission of the government. But their refugee status has been canceled by the decision of the Iraqi government.
Therefore, the presence of this organization is against the will of our government and is in contradiction with the regulations of granting refugee status to refugees."
Dr. Hassan adds:
"This group's misuse of Iraqi land and also plundering the revenues of the country are in contradiction with the law, and the Iraqi government should do something to stop this breach of law".
In this regard, professor and lawyer Riadh Sa'doon, says:
"The presence of this organization in Iraq after the decision of the interim government is against the law; it's an illegal presence. This organization has no right to misuse Iraq's … land and it shouldn't establish its military camps here. The presence of the group in Iraq is illegal and is against all international regulations.
"You know that this organization uses the subsidies considered for Iraqi citizens and this has surprised political observers. We have documents showing that the group sent a letter to the Trade Ministry, asking for its share of subsidies during the past months. This organization has killed the children of this nation and is now using their services! It has gone even further; we were informed that the power to Camp Ashraf is never cut and its members use water refined using the budget of Iraqis. But what is happening inside Camp Ashraf is a crime against our nation.
"This organization has committed the worst kinds of crimes against our nation and today, they interfere in our internal affairs. For instance, they have rejected and condemned our constitution and have asked for major changes in some articles of the constitution. Now the question is 'who has given this organization the right to interfere in Iraqi affairs?' The constitution has been designed to bring stability and security for Iraq's people, but the terrorist organization of Mojahedin-e Khalq doesn't want the people of Iraq to experience stability and security; it always creates chaos.
"Today, the presence of the Mojahedin-e Khalq in Iraq is a threat to the security and stability of this country. This is exactly what has been considered by legislators in the constitution to put an end to the presence of such criminals in Iraq.
"This organization has well understood the meaning of this article in the constitution; its leaders know the fate of terrorist organizations, including their own group. After years of appearing as the executioner, the organization is now presenting itself as a victim.
"The Iraqi constitution has not allowed the country to become a safe haven for this terrorist organization; the constitution has nullified the ugly plots of the terrorist MKO. The constitution says that Iraq won't be a haven for this terrorist organization."

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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.
The city resisted against the MKO mercenaries for a long time, and many were martyred, but finally the mercenaries and the forces of Saddam occupied the city, and Kurdish and Turkmen citizens began moving toward the borders of Iran; the army of Saddam then plundered people's properties and set fire to the library…

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MKO's Military Operation in Iraq

From Mehr news, April 13, 2006

The 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.
Al-Shahid newspaper published a report on April 11 and added: "While there is permanent cooperation between US forces and members of the terrorist MKO on the issue of spying on Iran's atomic reactors, 80 MKO members are serving alongside American forces in Iraq in US military uniforms." Other reports also refer to the MKO's military cooperation with US forces in joint operational teams, revealing that one MKO member was killed or injured in a military operation against Iraqi people.
This terrorist group tries to create chaos in Iraq and is plotting to foment civil war among Iraqis.
The MKO denied the reports and denied any role in current events in Iraq.

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Bulgarian Forces in Iraq – Guarding Camp Ashraf

Sofia News, April 15, 2006

Bulgaria's 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.
The 153-strong contingent will be responsible for order and administration at the repatriation centre and for the escort of refugees in the camp and will guard facilities within its perimeter.
On March 29 Bulgaria sent off its first non-combat unit to guard the Iraqi refugee camp of Ashraf.
Bulgaria's parliament approved the government decision to send up to 153 troops to guard the Iraqi camp of Ashraf, about 70 km north of Baghdad. The unit should stay in Iraq for a year.

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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

Habilian: What is the opinion of Jamaat Al-Islamia about the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK)?

Abdulsattar: Mojahedin Al-Khalq is a terrorist and mercenary group. This organization was for a long time the mercenary of the Baath Party and was involved in criminal and terrorist acts against Iraqis, particularly Iraqi Kurds. During the uprising of 1991, along with Baathist forces, they killed Iraqi people. In addition, this organization has acted against the Islamic Republic and this is what we don't accept because we observe freedom and democracy for all religions and races.

Habilian: The leaders of this group claim that Iraqis support their presence in Iraq. Is that true?

Abdulsattar: Iraqis have never supported an organization like the MEK that took part in massacring people in the north and south. The only group in Iraq that supports the MEK is the Baath Party and its remnants.

Habilian: How do you see the future for this group?

Abdulsattar: I believe that the MEK can't stay in Iraq, and the only thing that has allowed the group to remain in Iraq to date is the presence of US forces, which is itself a sign of double standards in US policies on fighting terrorism. They are going to use this organization as a pressure tool against Iran.

Habilian: What is the view of Iraqis about this group?

Abdulsattar: Kurds won’t stand their presence in Kurdistan and Iraq and if you look carefully you can see that this group has had no presence in Iraq.

Habilian: As you said, this group has committed crimes against Kurds. Now, can the victims go and complaint against the group? Are the conditions suitable?

Abdulsatar: The Iraqi judiciary, like in other countries, is independent and anyone can go to the court and file a complaint; however, I believe that such complaints won't be considered as long as Iraq is occupied by US and Israeli forces. You know, until Kurdistan and all parts of Iraq are under the supervision of Iraqis.

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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.
Al-Bayenah Al-Jadidah newspaper wrote: "Security forces arrested a number of these people and realized that they were Iranians. In the investigations, they found that the detained people belonged to the terrorist Mojahedin-e khalq organization.
A'zamiah in Baghdad witnessed clashes between armed men and popular forces last week.

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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.
These MKO members (the number of whom is not clear) have been placed in a former palace of Saddam Hussein in Basra and several US forces escort them.
British soldiers have stayed in the palace over the past 3 years.
The settlement of MKO members in Basra occurs when US forces have come close to the Iranian border in Shalamcheh.
Earlier also, a number of MKO members were cooperating with British forces and Saddam's Estekhbarat (secret service) on Iran; they trained terrorists to perform sabotage in Khuzestan province.

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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:

"Camp 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.
"They have a gated community up there," came the genial reply. "Not really guarded - it's more gated. They bake really good bread," he added, smiling.

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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.

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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.  

 

Copies to:

-          International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC)

-          Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights

-          Temporary International Presence Facility (TIPF)

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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.
Following this tack, the Mojahedin has repeatedly asked Israel - through its lobby in the US and UK - to support and back the group financially. The organisation repeatedly met officers of the Israeli security services in the UK and wondered why they had not spent the energy they used to attract Clinton for instead winning the support of the Israelis.
However, as usual, when it came to the formal decision of the government, even Israel refused to back them.
The Israelis clearly expressed their view of an Islamic cult with which they are more than familiar:
"Israel does not want to place its credibility on supporting a terrorist organization."
However, it seems that the MKO does still believe that its only hope, the only sponsor that can replace Saddam,
is Israel, especially now when it is entangled in internal and regional crises. The MKO has resorted again to its Zionist supporter, Rabbi Daniel M. Zucker, Chairman and founder of Americans for Democracy in the Middle-East, to formally convey their request to the Israelis.
In an article published by Israelinsider.com newsmagazine on April 14, 2006, Zucker writes:
"It is time for Israel's Foreign Ministry to start thinking 'outside the box'. What is meant here is for Israel to take the offensive in its ideological war with the Islamic Republic of Iran and seek a regime change to an anti-fundamentalist government. If Israel had to create such a group, one would call the idea 'fantasy'. However, there already exists exactly such a group of Iranians who have a forty year track record of opposing despotism and a quarter century history of fighting Islamic fundamentalism 'tooth and nail'. That Iranian group is the Mojahedin-e Khalq (MeK), also known as the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), and its political alliance, the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) of which the MeK is a constituent member…On the other hand, Israel could well afford to find new friends in her less than safe and friendly neighborhood. Turning her number one enemy into a friend and ally is definitely an act of enlightened self-interest."
In fact, by posting this article under the name of Zucker, the Mojahedin want to show-off their regard for Israel to America, otherwise they would not have claimed to have gained the attention of Foreign Minister Tsipi Livni and Foreign Ministry Director General Prosor.
Zucker writes:
"Why the MeK and the NCRI and not some other dissident Iranian group? The MeK and NCRI have the best credentials as anti-fundamentalists. They also have the longest track record of opposing Khomeinism and Islamic fundamentalism. But more important still, despite all the false information suggesting the contrary, MeK and NCRI have the support of the majority of the Iranian people, both inside and outside of Iran."
The Israelis, with their own experts on Iran affairs, are well aware that these claims are baseless and if they support the terrorist MKO it won't be based on these words but because they recognise the MKO as a convenient and cheap tool to pursue their own agenda for Iran.
Putting aside the content of Zucker's message to Israeli officials and the motives behind this message, surely here is a chance for the MKO to clarify its position as regards this message and Israel, and to explain why they are in contact with people who many of the region's Muslims consider their number one enemy?

 

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