They asked me to sign a paper and admit that I couldn’t bear the conditions of the MKO. I signed the paper anyway. They asked if I was going to stay in their camp or to stay in US camp. I said that I wanted to join US-run camp.
I’m Seyed Shoja’ Seyedlatifi. I left my country in 2002 and went to Turkey to find a job there. One of my friends accompanied me. After ten days in Turkey, he was introduced to someone whom he called “contact”. That man took us to a safe house. We stayed there for 6 days and then decided to leave Ankara and go to Istanbul. The man said that his organization would give us job and money and that we could return if it was not good. My friend encouraged me to go there. In Istanbul, another man went to Iraqi embassy and provided us with passports and we went to Iraq. We stayed for a few hours in a hotel before they came and took us to another hotel, which was their headquarters. They greeted us warmly and pretended to be very good people. They took us to a room in the 4th floor. We were there for 4 days without leaving that room. After 4 days, they started interrogating us. “Where are you from? Where in Ahwaz? And …,” they asked. There was a club at the basement of the hotel. Once, we went down and wanted to play ping-pong when I started quarreling with one of them. He said it was not a proper time to play and I said that I knew it myself. “You mind your own business,” I said. I wanted to fight with them but others stopped us. At that point, I started to think about returning. After 8 or 9 days in Hotel, they took us to Camp Ashraf with a bus at midnight. At Ashraf, there are some places called “Quarantine”. In that place also, I quarreled with them once or twice. After 15-16 days, they separated my friend from me. They sent me towards the Entrance, but my friend remained there and I could never see him again. I was in the Entrance and I was there for 3 months. They asked for my biography and full ID and … This caused fresh dispute with them. I asked them to treat me kindly. After three months, I was transferred to the MKO’s army. I stayed in Reception for a year and half. I didn’t accept their organization, their relations, their “current operations” and …I had no way to stay there but I was looking for an opportunity to leave the group. They took me to Bagherzadeh Camp. There, I saw other people who were with me in the Reception section. They had restricted us to an area. There, they divided the members among divisions. Later, they sent me to Habib base in Basra. I forgot to mention that before dividing the members they came and said that two of my children who wanted to come and see me had been captured in Pakistan when the MKO was smuggling them. When I was in Baghdad hotel, MKO had taken photographs of me. They took the photos while I and my friend were sitting on glorious chairs… I didn’t know their purpose. Mojahedin said that my children had contacted the MKO and asked to see me but that they had been captured in a hotel for illegal traveling. “You don’t worry. Our people are working on it. We have employed a lawyer for them and they would be freed in a week or two,” they said. This was suspicious. If they had only crossed the borders illegally, there was no need to bring lawyers for them from Canada! I understood that they had a bigger problem. Once, we were supposed to be moving from Bagherzadeh to Habib base. I asked about the situation of children. They said that I must go and that they would inform me in the case of any event. I was concerned about them. I accepted none of their plans. I was under heavy mental pressure. I always wanted to know about my children. “Wait a bit more, we have employed a lawyer and …,” they said. They lied to me and their promises were baseless. I never took part in their programs. I was always away from them and I acted against what they said. Later, I found that there’s not a bit of humanity in these people. They always had something to say when I asked about my children. They wanted to impose their ideas. Fortunately, three months later they returned to Camp Ashraf due to the news on upcoming war. I was in a very bad situation. I could not eat anymore. They held meetings for me, threatened me and said that I was doing wrong.. once, I said that I wanted to return. At that time, Roghayeh Abbasi was in charge of our unit. I used to act against their orders. A man called Seyed Hussein came and said that some of ranking members wanted to talk to me. I thought that they wanted to talk about my children. Hussein Abrishamchi, Jafar Pasandideh, Hassan Roodbari, Ramezan Zare’, Behnam Fooladi were all there. They asked what my problem was. I said nothing but I wanted to know about the status of my children. They asked why I didn’t take part in the sessions? “Why aren’t you with others? Why don’t you join others’ programs?” they asked. I said that I preferred that way. After an hour or so, Hussein asked if I had written a letter for Roghaye Abbasi and I said that I had done it. “I would break your leg if I knew that,” he said. As he said this, I stood up and challenged him. They attacked me and I found that they use whatever I say against me. I was under heavy pressure. I decided not to answer them anymore. I believe that it was not possible to negotiate with them. The more they pushed me, the more I resisted. They didn’t let me rest at night. I said that I would do nothing unless I see my children or I hear something from them. They tried to satisfy me because they believed that I had a negative effect on new members. “Separate me from others. Take me to a place where I could be alone,” I said. However, they had no logic. Then, the war began. For at least 9 months, we were in Habib Base. We had to spread on the ground because of the war. On the road to Jelula, our forces clashed with Kurds and we lost two of our forces. We had to stay on the ground. Then, they ordered us to return to Ashraf. I felt that it would be better for me to be killed in the clashes than returning to that Camp. I was always under supervision and I couldn’t find any opportunities to escape. We returned to Camp Ashraf. After a month, they came and asked what my problem was? I said that my children were in prison and that I wasn’t going to stay there. “You lied to me,” I said. “Is this your last word?” they asked, and I said yes. Once, I disrupted a meeting that they had organized for me. At night, one of the members came and said that I had to go to headquarters if I wanted to leave. There, Mahnaz asked if I was determined to leave the group and I said yes. They asked me to sign a paper and admit that I couldn’t bear the conditions of the MKO. I signed the paper anyway. They asked if I was going to stay in their camp or to stay in US camp. I said that I wanted to join US-run camp. After two days, they transferred me to the US camp. I stayed there for about 20-21 months. Once, they said, “you have to register your names if you want to return to Iran.” We thought that they were lying and wanted to see what happens. However, the first group left for Iran and we understood that it was real. I immediately registered my name to return to Iran but I had to wait for others because I was alone. After a long time, US forces said we should prepare for leaving and that we will meet representatives of regime and Red Cross. They took us to the airport by a helicopter. Red Cross representative and an official from Iraq Human Rights came and asked if we were going voluntarily and that whether we needed their help. Our answer was positive. Then, they took us to Iran by the airplane of the Red Cross. Now that I’m talking to you, I still can’t believe that I’m in my own country. It was surprising. I never thought that I could leave the MKO and return to see my own family. The officials treated us well here. I’m so happy to be with my family in my country. To read “MEK and Human Smuggling”, please click here.

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