Alireza Mir Asgari tells of his personal experiences inside Mojahedin Organization
My involvement with the MKO goes back to 1979. I learned about the organization through my uncles who where members,and even though I was very little, I started going to their demonstrations and meetings.
After the start of armed struggle in 1981, my only contact was Radio Mojahed. In 1987, friends of my uncles who were freed from prison (including Ghorban Ali Torabi, later killed under torture by Rajavi’s agents in the prisons of Ashraf camp), connected me to the remainder of the organisation inside Iran. In 1988 was smuggled by an MKO agent through Iran’s eastern border into Pakistan where I spent about a month in Karachi before being transferred to Iraq. On arriving in Iraq, I had to undergo Ideological, Political and Military training and between 1989 and 1994 was given various responsibilities in Ashraf camp. By mid 1994 I started voicing questions and criticisms which led to my arrest and transfer to an MKO prison in Street 400 of Ashraf camp.
From the start I was tortured by MKO prison guards including Hassan Mohasel and Bahram Jant Sadeghi. I was released conditionally in 1995, but since I had witnessed the torture and death of Ghorban Ali Torabi and Parviz Ahmadi in Street 400 prison, I was under severe restriction and the organisation would not let me leave.
A message from Massoud Rajavi was delivered by Batoul Rajai, that if I sign an agreement to work for them for 2 years so that others would not discover my situation, then in 1997 they would send me to Europe. I accepted and worked for them in various positions for 2 years at the end of which I mentioned the signed agreement. After receiving no answer and after protesting in 1999 I was again sent to prison and placed in solitary confinement.
I was under severe and constant physical and psychological torture and after a few months I was so crushed that I signed whatever they put in front of me and agreed to go back to work for them again.
In 2001 after Rajavi’s unrealistic analyses of the ways the Iranian regime could be toppled, and widespread unrest among the members, the leadership decided to make the internal atmosphere even more terrifying. They began a series of pseudo court cases and sent a number of ordinary and executive members to solitary confinement.
I was one of those arrested and under severe conditions for one and a half years.
During these years many ordinary and executive members had been sent to Abu Ghraib prison in the hope that they would either die in the horrific conditions or they would come back and work for the organization (quoted from Massoud Rajavi in 2001). The aim was to silence the organisation’s internal critics and not to allow this news to reach the outside world. But after some of these ex members successfully reached European countries and started talking about their suffering and Rajavi’s crimes, the organisation began a new tactic with its critics which unfortunately ended in the loss of many lives. I was also designated to be such a victim.
Before the American attack on Iraq, Mahvash Sepehri, one of the MKO’s highest ranking commanders, called me into the prison yard and told me: “the organization would like to send you to Iran so that you can go about your business”.
At first I did not accept, but due to the effect of solitary confinement and the physical and mental pressure, and with guarantees from Massoud Rajavi himself that they would take me back to Iran safe and sound, I ended up accepting the proposal.
I was handed over to the Iraqi Intelligence service of Iraq (Mokhaberat) by Abbas Davari, who was deputy to Mehdi Abrishamchi (the MKO’s contact with Mokhaberat). After two days I was transferred to a village near Basra by two Iraqi Intelligence officers. At night time myself, an Iraqi officer and a local man got into a boat which was towing another small boat and started moving along the Iraqi side of the Arvand Rood (the river bordering Iran and Iraq). After a while, the Iraqi officer, who could barely speak Farsi, ordered me into the small boat at gun point and said “we cannot escort you further than this and this is the order of your organisation”.
I had no choice but to board the small boat and start rowing. I hadn’t even reached the middle of the river before I heard Iraqis shooting from behind me and instantly heard the Iranians returning fire from in front while I was stuck in the middle with no cover. I was shocked at the total betrayal of years of trust and how I had deliberately been set up to be killed. My little boat was soon hit by bullets so I got into the water and swam towards Iranian soil. I knew Abadan and was able to reach a safe place. I managed to leave Iran for Turkey clandestinely and from there reached Europe.
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