Opinion

The defectors testimonies point to deteriorating Human Rights conditions in Camp Liberty. Still the Camp residents have no voice. Nobody takes care about their fates and their sufferings. The MKO Cult leaders on their turn have been "actively obstructive, indeed provocative, toward those wishing to investigate and alleviate this suffering" as Ann Singleton put it correctly.

 

Nejat Society
The Mujahedin Khalq ringleaders are desperate to use any means possible to gain the support and favor of the West. They stage rallies, hold conferences and events and hire prominent political figures as paid speakers to speak out on their behalf.

The latest show of MKO was held on the eve of Human Rights Day in Paris, in which Maryam Rajavi marked the Human Rights Day and also tried to link its group to Nelson Mandela as his funeral and commemoration of his life and legacy was coincided with the HR Day. Needless to say that Mandela was a global symbol for the struggle for Human Rights.

 

The sight of Maryam Rajavi offering condolences for the passing away of Nelson Mandela was disturbing, considering that her husband as the fugitive leader of her group actively opposed and criticized Mandela's legacy.

 

Unlike Mandela, who earned profound international respect, Rajavis cannot claim that they have sought to establish policy and practice in order to protect fundamental Human Rights.

 

Despite concrete evidences and most shocking examples of the group's callous disregard for Human Rights, the deceitful cult leaders claim charming support for democracy and Human Rights.

 

On MKO website under the title of "NCRI position on Human rights" the third Agenda is: [the NCRI] "Promotes and adheres to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights". [1]

 

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris. The Declaration represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. [2]

 

This UDHR is proclaimed as a common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations, to the end that every individual and every organ of society, keeping this Declaration constantly in mind, shall strive to promote respect for the rights and freedoms entitled and enlisted in the 30 articles of the declaration.[3]

 

Based on the agenda inserted on its website, the Mujahedin Khalq Organization aka MKO/MEK/NCRI has obliged itself to respect the Human Rights declaration. Thus the group should implement it within its own organization as a sample society of the bigger it wishes to create and govern. Yet the group doesn't apply even one out of 30 articles of the Declaration. U.N. envoy Martin Kobler accused the leaders of Mujahedin Khalq of human rights abuses. Kobler told the Security Council:" Of increasing concern are the human rights abuses in Camp Hurriya itself by the camp leadership,...Hundreds of daily monitoring reports suggest that the lives of Camp Hurriya members are tightly controlled."[4]

 

A glance at the Declaration's articles shows that none of them are being applied by the group.

 

To name some; the third article of the HR declaration reads: "Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person." The forth articles reads:" No one shall be held in slavery or servitude; slavery and the slave trade shall be prohibited in all their forms." And the fifth Article reads:"No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment."[5]

 

Yet according to Human Rights watch report the former MKO members reported abuses ranging from detention and persecution of ordinary members wishing to leave the organization, to lengthy solitary confinements, severe beatings, and torture of dissident members.[6]

 

The MKO violates the Article 9, which urges no unfair detainment.

 

According to Human Rights Watch report the MKO held dissidents in its internal prisons during the 1990s and later turned over many of them to Iraqi authorities, who held them in Abu Quraib. One of the former MKO members interviewed, according to the report, recalled that during the mid-1990s a prisoner died after an intense beating. Two other former MEK members said they were held in solitary confinement for extensive periods of time, one for five years, and the other for eight and a half years.[7]

 

The MKO violates the article 12, which insists on the right to privacy. Nonetheless, authoritarian control, confiscation of assets, sexual control (including mandatory divorce and celibacy), emotional isolation, forced labor, sleep deprivation, physical abuse, and limited exit options are examples of the group's leaders abusing the followers. [8]

 

The MKO violates the Article13, which urges the freedom to move and take residency.

 

According to the RAND report, to prevent MEK/MKO members from departing the camps, almost all MEK/MKO recruits were obliged to turn over their identity documents to the MKO for "safekeeping". By bringing members into Iraq illegally and then confiscating their identity documents, the MKO was able to trap them. [9] Among the numerous references to the Mujahaddin e-Khalq (MEK) revealed by Wikileaks were cases of forced detention at Ashraf:"The MEK was also violating human rights by holding residents at Ashraf against their will." [10]

 

The MKO violates the Article 14, which asserts the right to seek a safe place to live.

 

The deadly incidents in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty caused all concerned individuals to be worried about the fate and life of MKO members to be worried about their fate. All parties concerned have reached to the consensus that the only way to resolve situation of Camp Liberty residents is to relocate them somewhere out of Iraq. António Guterres, UNHCR chief insisted: "The residents of Camp Hurriya urgently need solutions to relocate out of Iraq".[11] Still the leaders of the group are reluctant to let members relocate to third countries as this way they will lost their cultic hegemony on members.

 

Martin Kobler, the former Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Iraq, several times deplored the lack of cooperation of the residents and of their leadership with the UNHCR and UN monitors. In an interview with The Associated Press in Baghdad Kobler said that "residents of an Iranian dissident camp are denied freedom of movement by the exile group."[12]

 

Wendy Sherman, the Undersecretary of State for Political Affairs also noted that the MEK's leadership in Paris was obstructing the process to resettle MEK members.[13]

 

The MKO violates the article 16 which avows the right of marriage and family.

 

Cult leaders instructed members not just to move into gender-segregated housing but also to divorce their spouses, maintain complete celibacy, and even cut off communication with friends and family, both within and beyond MeK compounds. Love for the Rajavis was to replace love for spouses and family. Martin Kobler former UN envoy in Iraq addressing the UN Security Council on July 2013 said that Camp Liberty residents are not free to "contact family members outside Iraq, or to have contact with other relatives even within the camp itself " [14]

 

The MKO violates the article 18 which insists on the freedom of thought.

 

MKO members are required to keep daily records of their thoughts and nighttime dreams, as well as observations about their fellow members. They must submit their journals to their supervisors. The leadership requires members to study MKO ideology and to participate in indoctrination sessions that are characterized by a mix of propaganda and fear tactics. Group members are required to watch films of the Rajavis' speeches. They are allowed to listen and watch only the group's own broadcasts. The members are allowed to read only internal reports and Bulletins. Violators are punished. [15] The increasing number of defections and those willing to leave the Camp Liberty has caused the leaders to push more pressure on members implementing constant bombardment of indoctrination and manipulation cult methods.

 

The MKO violates the article 19 which avers the freedom of expression.

 

Former MKO members say that punishment is frequently meted out for such offenses as expressing or fomenting disagreement with the political or military strategy of the MeK or sharing individual political views with other members.[16]

 

All mentioned above are just instances of harsh human rights abuses taking place within the affairs of the Mujahedin Khalq Cult. This is why the people being trapped within the double prison of MKO camp risk everything to run away. In one case for example, Zahra Bagheri crawled combat-style over a kilometer for hours in the dark to escape Camp Ashraf. Her body was so lacerated and bleeding that the Iraqi soldiers who found her were shocked and shed tears by seeing her deplorable condition.[17]

 

The defectors testimonies point to deteriorating Human Rights conditions in Camp Liberty. Still the Camp residents have no voice. Nobody takes care about their fates and their sufferings. The MKO Cult leaders on their turn have been "actively obstructive, indeed provocative, toward those wishing to investigate and alleviate this suffering" as Ann Singleton put it correctly. [18]

 

By: A.Sepinoud

 

References:

[1] Nejat bloggers are either former MKO members or have a family member who is currently held in Camp Ashraf. They have suffered deeply because of Massoud Rajavi's crimes. While the Nejat Bloggers recognize that citing sources of information is essential ,we, as a society feel so strongly against the MKO that we have agreed to not include the group's websites or links in our articles because we consider it as kind of publicity for the cult.

[2] Universal Declaration of Human Rights ,Wikipedia

[3] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,UN.org,

[4] Charbonneau, Louis, Iran dissidents in Iraq, accused of rights abuses, slam UN envoy, Reuters News, July16,2013

[5] The Universal Declaration of Human Rights,UN.org,

[6]Human Rights Watch, NO Exit, May2005

[7]ibid

[8] Goulka, Jeremiah, Hansell, Lydia, Wilke, Elizabeth, Larson, Judith, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq, A Policy Conundrum, RAND, August2009

[9]ibid

[10] WikiLeaks Releases involving Mujahaddin e-Khalq (MEK) , National Iranian American Council (NIAC),September 9,2011

[11] Bobb, Donn, UNHCR welcomes Albanian offer to Hurriya residents, unmultimedia.org, March 2013

[12] SCHRECK, ADAM, AP Interview: UN Iraq rep Martin Kobler urges exile cooperation, Associated Press, June 27, 2013

[13] NIAC, MEK leader in Paris obstructing the process to resettle members, October 4, 2013

[14] Charbonneau, Louis, Iran dissidents in Iraq, accused of rights abuses, slam UN envoy, Reuters News, July16,2013

[15] Goulka, Jeremiah, Hansell, Lydia, Wilke, Elizabeth, Larson, Judith, The Mujahedin-e Khalq in Iraq, A Policy Conundrum, RAND, August2009

[16] ibid

[17]Singleton,Ann, Silencing the victims of the MeK to promote Maryam Rajavi's phoney feminism,March7,2013

[18] Singleton, Anne & Khodabandeh ,Massoud, The Life of Camp Ashraf - Mojahedin-e Khalq, Victims of Many Masters, September 2011

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