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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 275

MEK On The Defensive In Albania

++ Unconfirmed reports from medical personnel in Mother Theresa hospital in Tirana suggest that at least one MEK member has died of COVID-19 in the past week.

++ MEK are on overdrive to fetch up anyone who can string a sentence together to attack Olsi Jazexhi, Gjergji Thanasi and other journalists. As usual, these MEK members are people who are not accessible, who are confined to the camp. MEK knows that anyone outside the camp – lobbyists and others who still have a place in society – will be questioned and challenged. The people in the camp have no stake in society. Analysts say this a panicked reaction by Rajavi because she is confined to Albania and has nowhere else to go. She is spending all the money and energy that she used to spend elsewhere in Albania to keep her foothold there. An Iranian analyst says it’s like she’s in solitary confinement and every now and then the door opens, and a plague of journalists is poured in. Rajavi is phobic about journalists and she is screaming with fright. Some analysts say Albania is the last graveyard of the MEK, they will sit there and rot.

++ This week marked the anniversary of the killing of 51 people in Camp Ashraf in Iraq, 10 Shahrivar 1392. Some former MEK members who were there and are now out have written about the situation. Many write about Massoud Dalili who was the 52nd victim; tortured and killed and his face burned so he would not be recognised. He was identified by the Americans from his DNA. Rajavi kept these one hundred members in the camp to get money – as leverage. Some writers remember that when they were killed, Mohsen Rezai said “never mind about 51 people, just see how much coverage we have got. If we do a hunger strike as well, we’ll get more coverage. That’s more important.” They tried to sell this to us as a victory – as they tried to sell us deportation from Iraq to Albania as a historical victory, comparing it with prophet Mohammad going from Mecca to Madina.

In English:

++ MEK has been left reeling from the inescapable reaction by Albanians to its attacks on journalists and academics. In particular, Olsi Jazexhi, who is a well know academic with a strong media presence, has invited Maryam Rajavi to a public debate about her activities in his country. In another interview, he pointed out that MEK were imposed on Albania by the US and that Albanians, since then, have protested and demanded that MEK should not be located in their country.

++ Nejat Society CEO Ebrahim Khodabandeh and member Soraya Abdullahi have both written to Maria Arena, MEP, Head of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights (DROI), describing the situation of MEK members in the camp in Albania, the families’ efforts to make contact with them and the Albanian government’s silence over their pleas.

++ Mazda Parsi writing for Nejat Society says

‘Families of the MEK members should plant the seed of hope for their loved ones’. Parsi points out that cults work vigorously to break family ties to create insecurity. “Family relation is important since our mental growth, well-being, and stability all depend on our family relations. Children brought up in a healthy family will be able to establish better bonds outside their home… A family makes all its members feel safe and connected to one another.

It provides them with the comfort of having people by their side during tough times, helping them to manage and control the stress. A family allows its members to feel safe, protected, accepted and loved despite all shortcomings. Families are the basic units of the society that teach children about relationships.

Now imagine the children who lived and grew up in a cult-like system. Children in the MEK – who are now in their thirties or forties—do not know how to build trust in others.” Parsi relates a parallel situation to MEK. Glenn Stok helped free his sister from Scientology. Stok had an opportunity to reach out to his sister at a family funeral. But MEK families have no way of contacting their loved ones.

And their loved ones have no way of contacting them. “Glenn Stock knows that some destructive cults prevent any possibility for their members and their families to communicate. ‘If you have a family member or a friend in Scientology, or any religious cult, and you’ve lost the ability to communicate, plant that seed and wait for the opportunity to help’, he suggests. ‘Do it before it’s too late, and be ready to do whatever you can when the call for help arrives’.”

++ Yaran Iran Association in Paris reported that a delegation of former MEK members visited the Albanian embassy in Paris to present over 11,000 letters and signatures of the families and friends of MEK members who have been taken hostage by the Rajavi cult. They demanded that the Albanian authorities take action to end MEK human rights abuses and enable the families to make contact with their loved ones in Albania.

Sep 11, 2020

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