news

But the Baghdad government says the rest were shot by the Camp Ashraf guards themselves. This plays to widely circulated reports that the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), which controls the 3,400 people in the camp, has become a cult. Former members and human rights organizations have reported the leadership bans anyone leaving on pain of death and maintains prisons where torture is frequently used. Some escaped PMOI camp inmates claim the organization recruits young people from overseas Iranian communities, including Canada. In 2004, Canadian officials visited the camp

Vancouver Sun

During the night of April 8, there was a hail of gunfire at Camp Ashraf, about 60 kilometres north of the Iraqi capital of Baghdad, in which 34 people were killed and another 325 wounded.
The victims are Iranian dissidents who fled their country in the early 1980s and were given refuge in Iraq by Saddam Hussein, then at war with the new Islamic regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran.
But why these people were killed and wounded two weeks ago, and by whom, is a matter of bitter and angry disagreement that a United Nations investigation will try to sort out.
The Iraqi government of Prime Minister Nuri Kamal al-Maliki admits its troops killed three of the Camp Ashraf Iranians when they threw rocks at army vehicles.
But the Baghdad government says the rest were shot by the Camp Ashraf guards themselves.
This plays to widely circulated reports that the People's Mujahideen Organization of Iran (PMOI), which controls the 3,400 people in the camp, has become a cult.
Former members and human rights organizations have reported the leadership bans anyone leaving on pain of death and maintains prisons where torture is frequently used.
Some escaped PMOI camp inmates claim the organization recruits young people from overseas Iranian communities, including Canada.
The youths go to Camp Ashraf for a "tour" of several weeks and in many cases have not been allowed to leave or have chosen not to.
Some human rights organizations have documented dozens of cases of both teenage boys and girls remaining at the camp after their "tours."
In 2004, Canadian officials visited the camp to interview a young woman, 17-yearold Somaye Mohammadi, on behalf of her Iranian-Canadian father, Mustafa Mohammadi, who believed she was being held against her will.
The purpose of the interview was frustrated when PMOI officials refused to allow the Canadian diplomats to interview the young woman in private.
A 2006 report from Toronto's Centre for Thought, Dialogue and Human Rights in Iran names seven Canadian girls and three boys among the dozens of teenagers at Camp Ashraf.
Their status now is unknown.
The PMOI is listed as a terrorist organization by the United States and Canada, and until recently was on a similar European Union list.
But supporters of the PMOI, including among the Iranian diaspora from which the group draws its funds and considerable political support, say the attack on Camp Ashraf was a planned and purposeful massacre by Iraqi troops on behalf of, or as a favour to, the Iranian government in Tehran.
PMOI leaders, such as Massoud Rajavi and his wife Maryam, point out that like Iran, Iraq is now ruled by the country's Shiite Muslim majority after the 2003 ouster by the U.S.-led coalition of the secular Sunni Muslim regime of Saddam Hussein.
This scenario carries some weight because in July 2009, six months after the Americans handed over control of Camp Ashraf to the al-Maliki government, Iraqi security forces raided the camp.
Eleven Iranians were killed and 500 injured.
The al-Maliki government has said PMOI will no longer be allowed to mount operations against Iran from Iraqi soil.
In the past few days, Baghdad has said that all camp members must leave Iraq by the end of this year, either for Iran or some third country.
The PMOI was founded in Iran in 1965 by a group of Islamic Marxist college students opposed to the corrupt and degenerate rule of Shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
But the group has always, and continues to arouse, strong emotions not least among American movers and shakers.
Some, such as hard line officials in the administration of former president George W. Bush and including his vicepresident Dick Cheney, see the PMOI as a liberation movement and a useful ally against the Iranian regime.
Officials claim to have received from PMOI important intelligence about Iran's nuclear development program.
Others point out that PMOI began life as a vehemently anti-American organization that used terrorist attacks to kill at least six Americans in Iran during the reign of the Shah.
This view holds that nothing much has changed, that despite the PMOI claiming to have become purely a political party, its ideology remains antipathetic to American and western civic values.
Iran with the PMOI in power would be no better than the Islamic regime now ruling in Tehran, says this view.

New Articles

The Cult of Rajavi and the Obsession of Trump Support

With Trump’s apparent determination to withdraw from the Iran nuclear deal, the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/MEK/PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) has just found more room to move around the US...

Female victims of terrorism offer recommendations at UNHRC

The women victims of terrorism called for strengthening international cooperation to reduce the problems of women affected by terrorism in the world in the 36th session of the UN Human...

Who Is “Republicans’ favorite Democrat”?

Joseph Lieberman, long regarded as the “Republicans’ favorite Democrat” because of his militarist foreign affairs agenda and support for a number of right-wing domestic policies, represented Connecticut initially as a...

Former MEK members petition the UNHCR in Albania

Some nearly 70 former members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization yesterday approached the UNHCR in Albania (RAMSA) with a petition signed by all of them demanding their rights.

MEK rightfully named father of ISIS

Representing families of Iranian victims of terrorism, Habilian Association organized a conference themed “Iran victim of terrorism; From MEK to ISIS” on the occasion of national day of combating terrorism...

Most viewed

Iran and the Holy Warrior Trap

Is the West about to make the same mistake with Iran that it made with Afghanistan when it backed the Sunni mujahedin against the Soviet invaders? The Soviets ultimately were...

The MKO, the essence of North Korea

The tensions between North Korea and the United States have escalated in the past days. The United States is preparing for all options, including a “preemptive war,” to stop North...

Iranian film sheds new light on security services

 The Iranian film "Midday Adventures," directed by Mohammad Hossein Mahdavian, begins in Tehran on June 19, 1981, 26 months after the Islamic Revolution and nine months after the outbreak of...

We Hate Mojahedin-e Khalq: SNS Respond to a Conference of the Iranian Opposition

Dr. Raz Zimmt investigates Iranian social media responses to the annual conference of Mojahedin-e Khalq, an Iranian opposition group whose support for Iraq during the Iran-Iraq War remains a searing...

The Trump administration wants regime change in Iran. But regime change usually doesn’t work

President Trump is no fan of Iran. As a candidate, he had promised to tear up the Iran Nuclear Agreement. Having been frustrated in his attempts to do that —...