Transcription of the speech delivered by Mr. Sobhani to the European Parliament
In an assembly held on March 27, 2007 at the invitation of the European Parliament in Brussels, the topic of "maintaining the Mojahedin-e-Khalq Organisation (MKO) in the list of proscribed terrorist groups after the verdict of the Luxembourg Court" was discussed. The assembly was chaired by Ms Angelika Beer, the member of the European Parliament responsible on the Iranian affairs. In this Assembly more than 70 individuals including members of the EP, particularly from the Green Party, experts on the issue of terrorism, and journalists were present. Groups of former members of the MKO who represented some human rights and anti-cult and anti-terrorism societies and centres were also present in this assembly.
Mohammad Hossein Sobhani:
I salute the respected ladies and gentlemen here. I particularly wish to thank Ms Angelika Beer the respected chairperson of the assembly. I also thank Senator Josie Doubiee for his valuable speech on the MKO. I am most pleased to be present in your assembly and I will try to use the limited time that I have to describe my bitter experiences during three decades of my activities and cooperation with the MKO as well as my research on this religious cult. My past organisational position in the MKO is quite clear according to the organisation’s publications and documents. I was a member of the central council of the organisation; therefore I am presenting my own experiences of my close involvement inside the organisation. I have gained these bitter experiences through much suffering and pain. I spent more than eight years “ I emphasise more than eight years “ in the solitary confinement of the MKO in Ashraf Camp since I criticised the strategy of armed struggle and terrorism and cooperating with Saddam Hussein. The related documents have been published in Mojahed publication No. 592 dated August 2002; you can see the actual publication here. According to this document, the MKO has published my handwriting which they forced me to write under torture. This of course is my handwriting, but as I explained, I was forced to write it under torture. According to this letter in my handwriting which has been published in Mojahed, the weekly publication of the MKO, No. 592, page 3, I was jailed in solitary confinement in Ashraf Camp on September 1992. Then after eight years, by the order of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi the leaders of the religious sect, I was submitted to Saddam Hussein’s intelligence and security prison in Baghdad. I was in that prison for 35 days and then I was transferred to Abu-Ghraib prison in which I remained for one year. What I am unfolding now are not just my own experiences and are not just those which were imposed on me. There are a number of individuals in this assembly who were also subjected to violations of human rights and there are many others who could not appear in this session. Therefore I must declare that Ms Angelika Beer’s valuable speech based on the report given by Human Rights Watch is a drop in the ocean of the violation of human rights in the MKO religious sect. I have been invited to this assembly and I deliver my speech here as an expert and researcher on the MKO affairs. If there was a session to speak about the violation of human rights in Iran, I would naturally speak about that subject.
The point I wish to bring up is the fact that the MKO claims they have not attempted any armed or terrorist operation after the fall of Saddam Hussein. The organisation has therefore presented this to the Luxembourg Court as evidence to require its name be extracted from the list of terrorist groups issued by the EU. Nevertheless it is well clear that when the former dictator of Iraq was toppled, the organisation had no backup of arms and ammunitions to carry on any sabotage activities. Therefore the matter brought forward by the MKO that they have not committed any terrorist activities since the invasion of Iraq, by no means proves that the organisation has ruled out the idea of armed struggle. The MKO is based on a deep cultic ideology which was well shown in the speech delivered by Senator Josie Doubiee and I along with my colleagues have witnessed these matters very closely. The position of the leader in the organisation is such that he must be totally praised. Several times a day, in the mornings at noon and in the afternoons, the slogan of salute to Rajavi must be shouted loudly in special ceremonies and this is repeated everyday. I would like to ask those who support the MKO, and I am glad that they are present here at the moment; would a liberal or democrat individual submit to the self invented rule of abandoning marriage? Why is the marriage of men and women forbidden in the organisation and why is the punishment for adultery the death sentence? Why was Ali-Naqi Haddadi executed on this charge? Why have many discontented members of the organisation been jailed in Abu-Ghraib prison? An organisation which violates human rights within its own establishment could not call for democracy and claim to be striving for it. The MKO, falsely, I emphasise falsely, claimed after the verdict given by the Luxembourg Court on 12th of December, particularly in Ashraf Camp, that the name of the organisation has been removed from the EU list of terrorist groups. Referring to the explanation given by Mr Passau as one of the legal counsellors of EP in this assembly, such claims are baseless and not true. I draw the attention of those who support the MKO (Mr Sobhani was referring to Mr Paulo Casaca MEP from Portugal) and other participant in this session to an interesting point. You are now seeing a publication which belongs to the MKO and it is its official organ. In the emblem of the MKO a Kalashnikov firearm appears as a symbol of armed struggle. If the MKO is serious about ruling out terrorism and the use of violence, why do they not change this emblem and remove the sign of violence and terror?
Since my time is very short and Ms Angelika Beer has already spoken relating to this matter, I wish to pay my gratitude to the Council of the Ministers of Economy and Finance of the EU which issued a declaration relating to the EU Court verdict and emphasized that the MKO is a terrorist group. I also wish to draw the attention of MEPs to the very fact that since the MKO is a terrorist group with deep cultic structure, we should not neglect them due to the problems with the Islamic Republic. This would be in contradiction with the primary principles of human rights and democracy. One should bear in mind that the MKO has a record of assassination of Americans in Iran in the era of Shah and has carried out hundreds of street clashes and assassinations during the rule of Islamic Republic. They have also killed many of their own discontented members both before and after the revolution. Therefore my colleagues and I, as persons who have illustrative experiences from this organisation could not easily accept that the MKO be removed from the list. Unless the leadership of the MKO, namely Mr Massoud Rajavi and Mrs Maryam Rajavi, bear their responsibility of more than two decades of bloodshed, armed struggle and terrorism which delayed the process of moving toward democracy in Iran. In this case there are International Courts which, naturally, would deal with the matter according to their own rules and regulations.
My time is over now, I am most grateful for your attention to my speech.