After 40 plus years of bombings and assassinations attacks in Iran, members of the terrorist group Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization or MKO are standing trial in absentia.
Gisoo Misha Ahmadi
The international TV channel Euronews Albania participated in the event organized by the Nejat Society Albania on the occasion of Yalda night this year. The TV reporters filmed and interviewed the members and activists of the society.
Euro News produced a video report titled “The Land of Refugees” which was aired many times on this network in the first days of the new year.
This program was a thought-provoking short documentary that started with the relocation of Iranian refugees in Albania and the entry of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). The report finally covered the activities of Nejat Society Albania.
It is noteworthy that in the report called the MEK as terrorists. It also broadcast the statements of Nejat Society in full. This report even held the MEK responsible for the hacking of Albania’s internet systems and introduced them as a threat to Albania’s national security.
Broadcasting such a program from a television channel in Albania is unexampled and has never happened before.
In the past, the MEK had introduced the News24 TV channel, the Albanian-language channel of the Iranian regime, for airing an interview with Ali Zamani, a recently defected member of the group. It remains to be seen what the group will say about EuroNews Albania.
An Iranian court has held the first public hearing on a lawsuit over the Mujahedin-e-Khalq’s terror organization’s crimes in the Iranian capital of Tehran. The trial reportedly addresses the conduct of the group’s main ringleaders.
Finally, its time for a trial for terror-lined treason, domestically. And for human rights violations, internationally. Iran is calling for this, and within its own borders it held a hearing for MKO crimes.
The MKO or MEK is termed the Monafeqin in Iran, meaning the Hypocrites. The official trial-in-absence of the defendants, MKO chiefs, held today 21 Azar / 12 Dec 2023.
The ideological marriage of Maryam and Massoud  and intra-organizational obligatory divorces  constitute the strategic hallmarks of the ideological revolution within Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization [MKO] or the Mojahedin Cult as notoriously entitled. Although there is a five-year interval between the two events, ideological divorces are a complementary step to the marriage of Maryam and Massoud that deteriorated the status of family life in MKO. Mehdi Abrishamchi, Maryam Rajavi’s late husband, justifies the act of Maryam’s divorce from him and her remarriage to Massoud as removing the problem of family as a barrier in the way of Maryam and Massoud. It is the first time the structure of family life is put into challenge. He says:
Maryam had to be either unquestionably promoted to a high status in the organization released of any [conjugal] obligation, just like Massoud, and be totally devoted to revolution or had to give it up. Here, the simple issue of family was creating an incongruity.
Another possibility that led the organization to mastermind and theatricalize such a show was to open a passage out of the encountered strategic cul-de-sac following the organization’s failure in overthrowing the Iranian regime on the one hand and to deter the possibility of any organizational split or demise on the other hand.
A larger number of MKO’s separated members especially in recent years have exclusively focused on the ideological revolution and the internal objectives Rajavi sought. In his review, Hadi Shams Haeri writes:
The so-called ideological revolution in 1985 that was much a cover for the strategic failure of the organization and a move aimed at averting accusations posed against Rajavi could not achieve all its objectives and acquit Rajavi completely. Therefore, it deemed necessary to find a scapegoat for the organizational failures and the strategic impasse. The plotted conspiracy against [Ali] Zarkesh was the continuation of the conspired [ideological] revolution in 1985. As such, we come to the conclusion that the other consequent ideological revolutions were in fact conspiracies in order to overcome the challenges at hand in every stage. 
A number of other former MKO members also evaluate the ideological revolution in the same way and believe that the ideological revolution was based on the mechanism of externalizing the internal contradictions within the organization and delineating a new line of relation based on an all-encompassing and blind obedience to Rajavi.
It is worth noting that nearly two years before the development of the ideological revolution and obligatory divorces, Rajavi held a completely different idea on intra-organizational marriages and the concept of family. Believing to be modeling on some legal, Islamic ideological creeds, he encouraged marriage and foundation of family as a revolutionary act. In summarizing his one-year struggle in armed phase, Rajavi has said:
In organizational reports, there are cases in which those members who have lost their wives or husbands in armed operations are so emotionally depressed that have declared they prefer to remain single for ever… But this is not a perfect and revolutionary idea since the Prophet, Islamic Imams and also all the reformers and revolutionary leaders of the world have denounced it. Therefore, the organization advises such members, and also the unmarried, to get married to anybody they will if possible. According to the Holy Quran and the doctrines of our ideological leaders, we have to consider the marriage as a part of our struggle not something to be thrown away.
Sarfaraz Rahimi former member of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) was interviewed by the Albanian MCN TV. He spoke of 17 years of isolation and suppression under the dictatorship of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi.
Sarfaraz who is a member of the Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA) attended the show along with Erisa, his Albanian wife. Erisa Rahimi was there as an interpreter.
During the interview, Sarfaraz talked about the restrictions and prohibitions created by the leaders of the Cult of Rajavi such as prohibition of contact with family, prohibition of marriage and even prohibition of contact with the opposite sex. He considered the MEK’s strict ideology and its manipulative mind control system as the basis for violation of human rights and in particular sexual abuse of female members of the group.
Albania’s Prime Minister Edi Rama says the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization (MKO) must leave the country if it wants to use Albanian soil to fight against Iran.
“We have had MEK in our country for several years. They are welcome but on the condition that they do not use Albania as a platform for their political operations. Our Iranian guests have repeatedly violated this agreement “, said Rama in an interview in the German media “Der Spiegel”. He added that Albania has no intention of being at war with the Iranian regime as he commented on the action of the Albanian police last week in the MEK camp.
Massoud Khodabandeh, The MEK former member and Olsi Jazexhi, historian and social activist explain more on the issue:
Albania has threatened to expel the MKO terror group if it uses the country’s soil for anti-Iran operations.
The Scandinavian country has also warned the terror group no to abuse its hospitality, saying Tirana does NOT want to be engaged in a war that has nothing to do with Albania.
After the raid, Iran said the MEK must be expelled while the US sought to distance itself from the troubled group.
A camp inhabited by several thousand members of Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK), a group opposed to the theocratic government in Iran, has been raided by police in Albania.
One person died and dozens were injured, while claims and theories on what exactly happened at the Ashraf-3 camp abound.
So who are the MEK? What are they doing in the Western Balkan nation? How does the United States fit in? And why does this matter?
The Mojahedin-e Khalq started as a leftist revolutionary-minded group that opposed the rule of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah of Iran who was overthrown by the 1979 Islamic revolution that birthed the current establishment in Iran.
They were initially allied with other revolutionaries,but had a falling out with the country’s first supreme leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, and started an armed uprising against his fledgling government that included bombings and high-level assassinations.
They eventually had to leave Iran and allied themselves with Saddam Hussein, the then-authoritarian leader in neighbouring Iraq. Members of the group launched armed offensives on Iranian soil during the eight-year Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.
The Iranian government considers them a “terrorist” group and claims they are responsible for the deaths of about 17,000 Iranians.
MEK members were for years based in a camp in Iraq, but eventually had to secure an agreement to move to Albania in the mid-2010s after Iraqi officials turned increasingly hostile to them.
Accounts by former members and numerous reports by international outlets over the years detailed how the organisation “operates like a cult”, imposing harsh restrictions on its members and subjecting them to physical and mental abuse.
Lacking legitimacy and support among Iranians, the group has also been documented to operate online troll farms, repeatedly boasting of hacking or penetrating state-linked institutions in Iran. Some of their accounts went dark on Tuesday after the Albanian police raid.
Scores of Albanian police raided the Ashraf-3 camp near Manze, a small hill town some 30km (18.6 miles) west of Albania’s capital Tirana.
Police said the raid was in accordance with a court order, which was issued after an investigation by the SPAK, or the Special Anti-Corruption Structure, into what it said were unsanctioned political activities by the MEK that went against the 2014 agreement that allowed members to reside in Albania.
The Albanian interior ministry supported the raid, and national police Chief Muhamet Rrumbullaku said he was “indignant and offended” that MEK members tried to block police officers from seizing electronic devices and that their leaders did not cooperate.
Videos and reports from the raid showed chaotic scenes, with MEK members shouting and angrily confronting police and media.
“I want to know if Albanian police are protector or terrorist,” one member told an Albanian television reporter on the scene after inserting himself into the camera frame.
The MEK said one of its members, identified as 65-year-old Ali Mostashari, died on Tuesday and more than 100 camp residents were injured by pepper spray. Police said the man’s death had nothing to do with police action and officers took care not to use forceful action.
The Iranian foreign ministry spokesperson, Nasser Kanani, greeted the news by saying that the MEK will always be a danger to the security of its host country due to its “terrorist nature”.
“This is why the Iraqi government expelled them and other governments refused to accept them. We hope the Albanian government makes up for its mistake in hosting this terrorist cult,” he tweeted on Wednesday.
Interestingly, the US government responded by distancing itself from the MEK, a group that has been vociferously backed by a number of senior US officials over the years, including former Vice President Mike Pence.
Washington said it has been assured by Albania that the raid was conducted in accordance with the law and that it has serious concerns about the MEK, including in relation to allegations of abuses committed against its own members.
The US and the European Union delisted the MEK as a “terrorist” organisation more than a decade ago after the group promised to renounce its violent practices. Iran last year blacklisted dozens of US officials over their support of the MEK.
Last September, Tirana cut diplomatic ties with Tehran after accusing it of a major cyberattack, something Iran denied. The US and the European Union supported Albania in the incident.
Tuesday’s raid prompted MEK-affiliated accounts online to accuse Albania of engaging in practices favouring the Iranian government.
Since the raid came one day after France blocked the MEK from holding a July 1 rally in Paris – where they had gathered many times before – some users online linked the two incidents, while the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the umbrella group of the MEK, accused France of bowing to “pressure” from the Iranian government.
The online theories were only compounded by the fact that last week, Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi had a lengthy phone call with his French counterpart Emmanuel Macron. Neither side officially mentioned the MEK.
By Maziar Motamedi – Al Jazeera
State Police has published video from this Tuesday’s action in the MEK camp in Manez, Durrës. In the drone footage, MEK members are seen trying to burn some documents inside the camp when the police intervened.
Ministry of the Interior rejected the claims of MEK members, who stated that one person died as a result of the actions of the police.
“We are waiting for the forensic expertise. Not even one person was touched by the police. We will wait for the medical-legal expertise to come to conclusions, but I am convinced that we have taken due care, so as not to create incidents inside the camp”, said Çuçi.
According to Minister Cuci, MEK members have violated the agreement made years ago with Albania, in order for them to be sheltered in our country. They agreed in 2014 to stay in Albania only for humanitarian reasons and not to engage in domestic and foreign politics.
Moreover, Minister Cuci noted that Mujahideen people also broke the hospitality code as they attacked Albania Police, at a time when they had agreed to respect laws just like any other Albanian citizen.
In the end, he emphasized that Albania is not considering to put an end to the agreement for Mujahideen’s sheltering, but he asked them to reflect and ne ready to respect laws.
On the other hand, General Director of State Police, Muhamet Rrumbullaku told more details from police action. He declared that together with other police senior directors, they had a meeting with leaders of MEK Camp, informing them for the action to be held. They have agreed to the controls, but when police entered the Camp, there were objections by some of the members. Police still asked the leaders of the camp to calm down the protesters, but the leaders refused to do so. Then the police proceeded with the protocol, by using tear gas in order for protesters to retreat.
Furthermore, State Police Director underlined that 15 policemen were injured by Mujahideen’s actions, who fortunately have left hospital and they are in good condition.
Rrumbullaku explained that 96 computer devices were seized together with some documents, despite the fact that MEK members burnt some of the papers, taking advantage of the tensions created by other Iranian citizens who were opposing police actions.
In the end, he warned verification of security cameras, in order to identify those who committed violent actions against the Police, who may be escorted to Police Station and measures will be taken against them.
On Tuesday morning, hundreds of Albanian police forces, including special forces, entered MEK Camp, following an order of the Special Court for controls. There are suspicions that some people there have committed cybersecurity activity within the camp, that’s why the Special Court ordered the controls as the Special Prosecution has launched an investigation.
On the other hand, Mujahideen claim that one of their members lost his life due to police unprovoked violence. However, the Prosecution has launched an investigation to determine the cause of the death of the citizen in question, as the Albanian authorities strongly oppose having committed violence or other illegal actions.
author details EDUART HALILI CURRENT EVENT
Albanian Daily News