Following the start of a petition by former members of the Mujahedin Khalq (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) and families of the group’s current members against the leaders of the group, then obtaining the final verdict from the International Court of Justice in Tehran, and the following referring of it to the International Criminal Court in The Hague, as well as the growing wave of signatures of the online petition for the international trial of the leaders of the Cult of Rajavi, Mr. Ebrahim Khodabandeh the CEO of Nejat Society presented a comprehensive report on the process of the petition for the participants of the recent conference held by Nejat Society.
What is the judiciary process?
There is an International Criminal Court in the Hague. The Statute for the creation of the Court reads that “The Court will prosecute the most serious crimes that are of concern to the international community. These are crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes.”
The International Criminal Court was created to complement national courts. The Court will not begin investigating a crime if the state concerned is already investigating or prosecuting it, or even if the state has investigated it and then decided not to prosecute the persons concerned. “This has taken place in Iran,” Khodabandeh notifies. “42 people passed a judiciary process in three years to finally participate a hearing court in March 2021, in Tehran. The complainants and the witnesses addressed the court. The final verdict was issued a few months ago.”
The International Court of Justice, which has its seat in The Hague too, is the principal judicial organ of the United Nations and a section of the ICC.
“The entire documents related to the ICC including the verdict issued in the Iranian court, the petitions, the documentations and testimonies were officially translated.” Khodabandeh added. “The copies were equalized to the original documents. They were sent to our friends in Europe. Three of our friends [ex-members of the MEK] Aliakbar Rastgou, Ghafoor Fatahian and Isa Azadeh took the documents and submitted to the court in the Hague.”
Khodabandeh notified that the defectors in Europe were willing to submit the documents to the court via a demonstration which was not possible due to the Covid pandemic. “Mr. Rastgou registered the documents in his own name and delivered them to an official named KarimAsad Ahmadkhan in the secretariat of the ICJ,” Khodabandeh clarified. “The documents of the national court were actually submitted to be investigated by the ICJ. The final result will be imparted to the French and Albanian governments [where MEK leaders are located].”
What was the case about?
“The complaints should include the cases that the ICC court can prosecute,” Khodabandeh said. “The ICC prosecutes the crimes that are of concern to the international community. So, a petition was launched on an international reliable website to gather signatures. Until the day we submitted the documents, 4000 had signed the petition. To this date, the signatures have raised a lot more. This means that the crimes of MEK leaders are of concern for the international community. The signatures were filed in 182 pages and delivered to the court together with other papers. The list includes signature from all over the world. It was also accompanied with lots of text, audio and video messages in support of the petition.”
The signatures are a demo of a part of the international community who are concerned about the crimes of MEK leaders.
Which crimes that MEK leaders committed will the Court prosecute?
These crimes are crimes of genocide, crimes against humanity, and war crimes. It has been proposed that the Court should prosecute the crime of aggression but the state parties have yet to agree on a definition. Below are brief definitions of the crimes as agreed to in the Rome Statute. According to the ICC, crimes against humanity are crimes that are “committed as part of a widespread or systematic attack directed against any civilian population.” They can include acts such as: murder, extermination, enslavement, deportation, forcible transfer of population, imprisonment, torture, rape, sexual slavery, enforced prostitution, forced pregnancy, enforced sterilization, other forms of sexual violence, persecution against any identifiable group or collectivity, enforced disappearance of persons, the crime of apartheid and other inhumane acts of a similar character intentionally causing great suffering, or serious injury to body or to mental or physical health.
According to the ICC statute, the crimes that are “widespread” and “systematically” committed against a group of people, are included in the crimes against humanity. “First of all, modern slavery is a crime that worries the International community,” Khodabandeh explained. “Therefore, Brainwashing is a crime. Mental and physical pressures under the name of sessions called current operation, solitary confinement, physical torture and death penalty typically took place in the 1990s in Camp Ashraf in the era of Saddam Hussein regime. The MEK leaders suspected 700 members of their group as being the agents of the Iranian government. These people were tortured. Some were killed under torture. Some people were disappeared in the MEK. These are all cases of crimes against humanity.”
The CEO of Nejat Society stated that whatever the outcome of the trial will be, the world will know that Maryam Rajavi’s democratic gesture is entirely deceitful because she has committed the most serious crimes against her own members. “The victims of the MEK were not from their enemies but they were completely under the authority of the group. They were devoted to the cause of the group.” Khodabandeh presented some examples of cases who were killed or disappeared in the Cult of Rajavi. Yaser Akbarinasab who committed suicide due to the severe mental pressure he underwent in the cult and Soheil Khattar who was killed in the group.
About the reaction of the MEK leaders particularly Massoud Rajavi, Khodabandeh says, “Rajavi can bother himself to file his complaint against every person he would like to, in courts of Albania or France. This is what former members of his group just did and then pursued in the ICJ.”
Currently, the petition created by 42 former members of MEK is under investigation in the international court of the Hague.