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Two years in Solitary confinement; MEK survivor

Alireza Mir Asgari

Alireza Mir Asgari was a deputy director of one of the MKO’s military units in 1994 when he started to have concerns about the organization’s links with the Iraqi military. In January 1995, he was arrested and imprisoned. In June 1995, he was released after signing a contract promising to remain with the MKO’s forces. He was arrested again in 1998 and spent eight months in solitary confinement. In 2001, he arranged to escape, but his plan was discovered and he was imprisoned again until 2003, when he was turned over to Iraqi forces who then abandoned him along the Iran-Iraq border. He described his sudden arrest in 1995.

Alireza Mir Asgari

Alireza Mir Asgari

I was arrested without notice on January 29, 1995. I was told to go to a meeting with a team who were preparing for operations in Iran. These kinds of discussions were a regular part of my duties. I was taken to a room and told to wait. Hasan Mohasel, one of the MKO’s top intelligence officers, came into the room and put a note in front of me saying that I had been arrested because I was an agent of Iranian intelligence and had infiltrated the Liberation Army. I couldn’t believe what was happening; I thought it was a joke and started to laugh. But Hasan Mohasel cursed me and told me to stand against the wall. Suddenly two or three more people entered the room and began to blindfold me and to tie my hands behind my back. I was in total shock. They put me in a car and drove around for forty-five minutes inside the camp. I was taken to a building; I didn’t know where it was. Hasan Sadat Darbandi, also known as Adel, removed my blindfold and threw me into a cell with many other prisoners. I could not believe it; I thought there had been a coup inside the organization. Each day, a number of prisoners were taken for interrogation. They were beaten badly; after they were brought back, their heads and faces were tremendously swollen.

After a couple of days, it was my turn to be taken for interrogation. They asked me why I had joined the MKO. I told them I came here to fight Khomeini’s government, but they said that wasn’t true. During the first couple of days of interrogation, they beat me mercilessly. It was very depressing; I really wanted to commit suicide. I was only seventeen years old when I left Iran and came to Iraq to join the MKO. I had spent my entire adult life in their camps.

Eventually, I gave up and agreed to sign the forced confessions stating that I had ties to Iranian intelligence. I was taken to a meeting with Masoud Rajavi, who told me that if I stayed for another two years, they would release me and send me to Spain.

Mir Asgari was released in June 1995. He spent the next two years waiting for the organization to release and transfer him to Spain. However, he was told that because of his wealth of information, he could not be released. His protests led to his imprisonment again:

On March 25, 1998, I was taken to a prison where my old case from 1995 was reopened. They said that based on my own confession, I was an Iranian agent and could not be trusted. I spent eight months in solitary confinement. During this period, I was told that my sister in Iran had been arrested and executed. Later I found this to be untrue.60

After recanting his request to leave Iraq, Mir Asgari was released. Since the organization was not going to allow him to leave, he started to design an escape plan. His plan to escape was discovered, and he was arrested again. He was kept in solitary confinement for nearly two years, from 2001 to 2003. A few months prior to the U.S. invasion of Iraq, in February 2003, Mir Asgari was turned over to the Iraqi forces who took him to the Iran-Iraq border along the Arvandrood River [Shatt al-Arab] and released him there. He is living in Europe.

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