On Friday August 20, 1999 The Times published an article ‘Evacuees the Untold Story’ by Heather Nicholson, herself an evacuee as a child during the Second World War,who had now written a book ‘Prisoners of War’ about her own and others’ experiences as child evacuees. Now, sixty years later these evacuees were telling their own stories.
On Friday August 20, 1999 The Times published an article ‘Evacuees the Untold Story’ by Heather Nicholson, herself an evacuee as a child during the Second World War,who had now written a book ‘Prisoners of War’ about her own and others’ experiences as child evacuees. Now, sixty years later these evacuees were telling their own stories. The article begins: “They thought that they were escaping to a country idyll, safe from Hitler’s bombs. Instead, many evacuees were taken from their parents as young children and thrust into the arms of cruel and abusive foster families.” When I read this story I had a choking feeling. There was a horrible similarity between the fate of these English evacuees and what happened to the children of the Mojahedin evacuated from Iraq in 1991 during the Gulf War. It moved me to tears to think that the same thing had happened to both sets of children, even though for very different reasons. The Times article ended by saying that “the Government had the best intentions at the time”. The same thing could not be said of Rajavi and his reasons for removing children from their parents and evacuating them from Iraq. For one thing, the English children were backed and supported by their own government and they were living in their own country with their own language and customs, and with the possibility of letters and visits from their parents. The Mojahedin’s children were scattered in various countries completely foreign to them. These innocent children were billeted with Iranian families – supporters of the Mojahedin – who themselves had had enough of life in exile in a strange country and without the support of their own culture and language. Many of these families were facing financial and social problems. They now had the inconvenience of foster children without the support of the organisation or the parents. At the same time that Rajavi was lavishing his corrupt money on propaganda campaigns which irritated European parliaments, he not only refused to pay a penny to aid the foster parents to carry out their responsibilities toward the children, but on occasion he would demand money from them in the name of aid and contributions for his campaigns and demonstrations. These families were not only expected to take the children but to help finance the organisation’s activities. Rajavi has always had two faces, one for the takers who are people he buys, and one for the givers who are people he exploits. A number of foster families were given grants and financial means of support by their governments for raising the children. Unfortunately however, many of them were tempted by greed, irresponsibility, and above all lacked any affection for the children who had been ruthlessly separated from their own parents. These foster parents would put a part of this financial support aside for themselves, treating it as recompense for the trouble they had been caused. In their minds the children were seen not in their own human state but rather as cheap business goods. The children felt the pain of this to the depth of their hearts. Many of these unfortunate Iranian children had originally come into the world as the result of Rajavi’s cynical political manipulations. In the beginning of the struggle after the 1979 revolution, Rajavi encouraged his followers to marry and have a family. He wanted to take advantage of the nation’s sense of affection by creating an image showing that the organization cared for families. In fact Rajavi was afraid the organisation would be ambushed by the same labelling as was attached to communist groups of being cold hearted and uncaring. Having once created the families Rajavi found another use for the children, in terrorist operations. An example of this was that a child would be used to sit on the arms or a box of grenades in order to smuggle them through districts or borders for operations. Once in Iraq where he did not need them any longer Rajavi decided to get rid of them, to somehow obliterate them from the organisation. In spite of the similarities between the experiences of the children, the actual reason for the evacuation of the children was fundamentally different. The English children were taken away from the industrial cities and large metropolitan areas which were in most danger of enemy bombardment, but were still living in their own country; it was for the nation’s sake and for their own safety. But for the Mojahedin’s children the situation could not have been more different. During the Gulf War Rajavi knew that his organisation would enjoy immunity from attack by the allied forces. The Mojahedin flag was hoisted everywhere to alert attacking troops to their presence. No Mojahedin bases were hit during the war even by mistake. In fact the camps were perhaps the safest places in Iraq at that time. But Rajavi saw with typical opportunism his chance to remove the children from the camp and from the affections of their parents. Rajavi had the children moved en masse from the camps to his administrative building in the centre of Baghdad, traveling dangerous roads and areas to Baghdad during some of the most intense bombing raids of the war. The building was adjacent to a Mokhaberat building, an obvious military target! The children were billeted in a six story building and at each alarm they had to rush down about 100 stairs in terror to the basements. The lack of electricity and water made everything harder. This was despite the fact that because of the eight year Iran-Iraq war, the Mojahedin had the best shelters and facilities in their camps including independent water and electricity supplies. At the same time a fake food shortage appeared. We had never previously had that kind of problem. Throughout the period of Iraqi sanctions Rajavi’s lavish entertainment and propaganda system never faced any obstacle in Iraq or elsewhere in the world. The Mojahedin’s standard of living was so high that in a searching article, one journalist questioned the difference between the Iraqi people’s suffering and the Rajavi’s colourful tables. What Rajavi had done was to place the children in direct danger and he did this to force parents to agree to their removal and evacuation. The parents were desperate.They didn’t want to send their children to live with strangers, and many had no friends or relatives or even acquaintances in other countries who could take them. The protesting parents were declaring the last fragments of their affection before Rajavi finally crushed them. When the children were inhumanly wrenched from their parents, Rajavi promised an exact time of six months separation. But the organization never kept its promise. The arrangement has lasted from the winter of 1991 until the present. As the children arrived in the Mojahedin’s bases in various countries, mostly Germany and Scandinavia, they were hurled straight out to Iranian foster parents without any real checks on the circumstances they were to live in. And although the majority of families tried to accommodate the children, some had become disturbed and unmanageable and were returned to the Mojahedin bases only to be sent to other families. Some were not fortunate in finding even toleration for their desperate plight. In at least three cities in Sweden, numbers of children have been registered by the police as at risk, including one little girl who had not even begun talking. She was in the horrific custody of an Iranian couple many times worse than described by Heather in her own story, and was a prisoner in a dark dressing room in an atmosphere of terror and horror. She was finally freed when police were alerted and took her away with injuries and her body blue with bruises. Comparable to the story of a sadistic woman on a farm in the English story, is that of three boys in Sweden. They were all sons of martyrs killed in some of Rajavi’s armed terrorist operations. These boys were placed under the control of one of the most ferocious men. They passed a very painful period of their life under his control, actually they lost a period of their lives. The poor young boys were forced to shave their heads completely because they had showed some interest in their hair. In spite of their pride, which youngsters of their age have, they had to share one banana in front of some other guests even though their necessities were paid for completely and generously by the welfare system. Even that was given by the foster mother; otherwise they wouldn’t even dare to ask for that half of a banana. No doubt taking care of three young boys is a really hard job for a family in exile. But the real criminal is the ruthless man who forced parents to give away their children in the first place. The foster families cannot carry all the blame. They had accepted the situation under pressure from Rajavi using insistence and persistence, and with the pledge that the arrangement would only last for six months (it didn’t). The foster families in the main were not true volunteers and were not at all ready for the responsibility. But Rajavi achieved his aim of dismantling the family unit so that he could use the members more fully in terrorism and sabotage against their own country. He was developing people without any questions or ideas. The suffering and unhappiness of the children could not have been unknown to Rajavi who has his own internal spying and intelligence service. But he didn’t allow investigation into the cases because the foster families represent a group of extras for faking attendance numbers in gatherings and subscribers for his cheap newspaper. On the other hand, for his own purposes it wasn’t bad at all if the children couldn’t enjoy a happy and carefree life in Europe and Canada. That way, once they were aged 15 to 16 he could bring them back without too much trouble to the Iraqi desert as members of the organization. In the stories of the English and Mojahedin evacuees there are several bitter similarities. As with D in England, Sh a young evacuee girl in(Ostergoِtland) Sweden was sent to an Iranian family. Some time later the family tore apart; the father was sent to prison, and Sh was sent to a Swedish family. It is unlikely that her mother ever got to know about what happened to her daughter. The same thing happened to M, a girl in another city in Sweden. Two other boys were taken from other Iranian foster family suffering from nervous exhaustion. According to my last information, they have not recovered yet. Their new Swedish foster family sadly don’t know what to do. Their Social Worker had a simple wish, a telephone call to their parents to explain the situation. The problem of bed wetting and using it to humiliate the child has also sadly been experienced. I met a girl, living with a family in Stockholm, who was shivering with shame and fear that other children would laugh at her. This poor girl had to call the unkind foster woman, ‘mother’. One boy, the son of a poet and as sensitive and thoughtful as his father, suffered beating and abuse at the hands of two boys of the family during the whole period of their puberty. To escape from his tormentors, in a dream to see his mother again, he begged to be sent to Iraq aged 14. Above all of this problem is the issue of censoring letters. Even in this age of instant international communication, Rajavi’s victims do not have even a simple post system. So the unfortunate parents of the children don’t know anything about what happened to them. One little boy, had coincidentally met his own father in one of Rajavi’s gatherings in Paris. The man took a risk to be close to him for a short while. Later the boy happily talked about a nice uncle who gave him a little ball; he didn’t know his father at all! Another similarity with the English story is that mothers charged older children with responsibility for not being separated from their siblings. Alas, it was easier to control children in conditions of isolation and loneliness and so siblings were separated from each other from the start. I know of one situation in which two brothers were openly separated. One family had accepted to foster three children, but were allowed to foster only one brother. The other was sent to a different family, even though it had been possible for the two brothers to stay together. It is apparent that the basic difference between the English and Mojahedin’s separation of families is that the latter was not even the slightest for the children’s sake but was a link in the chain of Rajavi’s crimes and scandals. They have been Rajavi’s two bladed dagger, each side of which was cutting for him. When Rajavi first decided on splitting up families, his original plan was to send the children to Iran. At that time, every parent was stifling one question inside, drowning in Rajavi’s mud and paralyzed of any thought. Here is the question: If the Iranian regime is as horrific as we have been taught, how dare we send our children over there? While we are here on the border of Iran’s enemy armed and always waiting to attack?! In fact there were no more than two outcomes; the children would be accepted to live in the homes with their relatives, in which case there was no hope left for parents to see them again until the collapse of the regime. An outcome suited to Rajavi’s plan for destroying familial love. Or the children would be swallowed up in the anger and vengeance in Iran. This would also be good for Rajavi too, feeding his propaganda machine, showing more crimes by the regime to the world and allowing him to wear his puppy face of innocence in a script written by himself. In the end he had to pull this plan simply because it was not possible to send around 600 children to Iran all together. Then he worked out his other plan, getting rid of the children by sending them to other countries. It is a story reminiscent of Oscar Wilde’s The selfish giant, in which a wicked giant banished children from his garden and winter descended on the garden. Rajavi’s evil aim was to expel children from the garden of their parents affection and to split up every couple, leaving each person alone and vulnerable before himself. According to his own openly ugly, incredible confession; love and affection for each other creates an obstacle between members and the leadership. A part of every member’s sense and affection which they should present to the leadership, has been spoiled by giving it to beloved ones. And he wanted all from us. This madness more than anything displays the lack of people’s support. Otherwise how would anyone dare to draw such picture of himself to a religious and traditional nation like Iran, or any other nation for that matter?! In the beginning of the revolution, Rajavi enjoyed popularity and had the possibility of keeping that image. He wore a mask of respecting the family. At the time of his scandalous marriage to his best friend’s wife [Maryam Azdonlou wife of Mehdi Abrishamchi], he used an example from the prophet Mohammad: ‘marriage is my tradition, and whom takes the opposite, is not with me’. Impudently, he didn’t bother himself to give some explanation about this holy quotation when later he brutally annulled the marriages of all his followers, tearing the families completely apart. The unfortunate experiences outlined above arose in only a couple of states in Sweden, a highly civilized country which leads the world in children’s rights and also has a just welfare system. Image what could have happened in other countries. The Times article concludes by saying “I doubt that parents today, even if a nuclear war were imminent would agree to sent their children to live with strangers”.Alas, painfully, 60 years after those events, a mad man in a desert has shamefully done worse. And still in the world of politics, he has been allowed to send his representatives to ’Conferences on Children’. For those who turn a blind eye to the evil crimes of this man, you should know that believing in Rajavi is easy with closed eyes, misinformation is all you see. But believe me, this does not work for long.

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