Five years in solitary confinements of MEK camps

Farhad Javaheri-Yar is a former fighter with the MKO in Iraq. He served in various capacities in intelligence and security operations. In 1995, he became aware of dissident members being imprisoned inside the MKO camps in Iraq. He wrote a letter to his superiors requesting to be released from his duties and expressed his desire to leave the organization. His superiors tried repeatedly to intimidate him into staying. After his refusal, he was incarcerated in various prisons inside the MKO camps in Iraq from November 1995 to December 2000. He was subsequently turned over to the Iraqi officials and held in Abu Ghraib prison until January 2002, when he was repatriated to Iran.

Javaheri-Yar joined the MKO in August 1982 in Tehran and became active in their underground armed resistance. He was arrested in October 1984 by the Iranian authorities and spent the following four years inside Evin, Ghazal Hisar, and Gohardasht prisons in Iran. Upon his release, he contacted MKO operatives in Europe and was smuggled to Karachi and from there to Iraq. He entered Iraq in 1989 and became an active member of the MKO’s armed wing.

Javaheri-Yar became disillusioned with the MKO in 1995 after learning from a number of other MKO cadres that they had been recently imprisoned by the organization:

In July 1995, I returned to Camp Ashraf from a reconnaissance mission. During the preceding months, I had noticed a number of my friends had “disappeared.” I was told that they were inside Iran to carry out missions. I met two of them, Akbar Akbari and Ali Taleghani, who told me that they were imprisoned inside Camp Ashraf during this period and were forced to sign false confessions indicating their ties to Iranian intelligence agents and [promising] that they would never leave the MKO.

I could not believe that the Mojahedin would engage in acts of torture and forced confessions similar to what the Iranian government used. I wrote a number of reports for my superior. In these letters I expressed my disapproval of the mistreatment of members and submitted my resignation. My request was repeatedly ignored.

Javaheri-Yar persevered with his request to leave the MKO, but was told that the organization could not relieve him of his duties because of his extensive knowledge of MKO’s activities. Once Javaheri-Yar realized he would not be free to leave, he escaped from Camp Ashraf on November 28, 1995 and attempted to reach the Jordanian border. On November 30, 1995, he was arrested by Iraqi security forces near the city of Tikrit. He pleaded with the Iraqi forces not to return him to the MKO camp, but his pleas were ignored and he was handed over to the MKO forces in Camp Ashraf. During the next five years he was held in solitary confinement in various locations inside the MKO camps, from November 1995 to December 2000.

During the first two months, I was kept inside a pre-fabricated trailer room called a bangal. I was told that I could not leave the camp but could resume life inside the camp if I chose to do menial labor, such as making bread or sweeping streets. I refused their offer, and their response was harsh. I was moved to a prison cell in Avenue 400 of Camp Ashraf. The cell’s dimensions were three by two-and-a-half meters [nine feet by eight feet]. It was connected to a narrow hallway – one meter [three feet] wide and three-and-a-half meters [ten feet] long – that led to a small toilet and sink.

In February 1996, I made very loud verbal protests from inside my cell. To punish me, they confined me inside a bathroom for three consecutive weeks. I was miserable. There was no room to stretch or lie down. The tiled floor was wet and cold. It was a terrifying experience.

The MKO’s leadership, including Masoud Rajavi, promised Javaheri-Yar that he would be released “soon,” but each time they broke their promise. Javaheri-Yar was imprisoned in solitary confinement inside Camp Ashraf, as well as Camp Parsian, until December 2000, when he was turned over to the Iraqi intelligence forces (mukhabarat). He spent one month in a mukhabarat prison before being transferred to Abu Ghraib prison. He was repatriated to Iran on January 21, 2002. He left Iran and is living in Europe.

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