++ Former MEK member Ehsan Bidi, who had been detained without charge for two years at the behest of the MEK working with corrupt officials, was finally released this week. The MEK did not acknowledge this whatsoever. It simply shows that the MEK has been defeated by one man, with no support, in a country like Albania which is a stronghold for the US, Saudi, Israel anti-Iran coalition. Among many reactions to this, some ex-members wrote: ‘This is what they do to us in Albania, and that’s why they don’t allow our families to come. They have this hold over us that we have no support.’ One wrote: ‘After 30 years working for them. I had to choose between being an informer for the MEK among the ex-members or run away and hide. I chose to run away and had to live for weeks in a cave’. Many have written that the release of Bidi after two years, alongside the issue of ID cards to MEK members represents a huge blow to Maryam Rajavi. Although she is keeping face, she is really shivering because this shows that her backers are not that interested anymore. She has already been deported from the EU and has nowhere else to go. There are only two outcomes: she will either rot in Albania or vanish like her husband did. Either way, this is the end of the MEK.
++ The MEK have gone fully overboard in trying to get their name associated with David Amess MP following his murder in the UK last week. In Albania, Maryam Rajavi has hailed him as a martyr for freedom in an inappropriately gaudy, crass ceremony in their camp. The question for many is ‘why?’ Amess was only a lobbyist for the MEK, just doing his job and being paid for it. Some point out that with the amount of money they spent on him, the MEK want to get their money’s worth. Others say that Maryam Rajavi lost him at a bad time. They don’t have any major lobbyists left – Bolton, Giuliani and etc have gone. Others point out that this has been an opportunity for Maryam Rajavi to remind the members that they do have some support; an MP in the UK. Rajavi is very much afraid of losing the members even though they are stuck in Albania. In the last week 3 members have left. Political analysts say that David Jones MP – who has already replaced Amess – was second in command in the lobby group in parliament. He replaced Amess just as Amess replaced Robin Corbett when he died. The problem for Rajavi is that when they are moved up, they expect more money. So, it is a loss for her. From a different perspective, some of the MEK families have issued a warning and asked for intervention. They write that because there is a shortage of lobbyists for the MEK, it is clear they will try to bamboozle Amess’ family – his wife and children – to misuse them for propaganda purposes in Albania. As ordinary people they won’t understand the danger the MEK represents to them. Amess was a politician and knew who he was dealing with. He wasn’t prepared to join them on any ideological level and give up his family. But are his family so aware. The British services need to intervene to protect his family from this cult.
++ Phil Simmons wrote a piece for Human Lives Human Rights titled ‘Women Inside MEK Cult’. The piece charts as background the history of the MEK up to its expulsion from Iraq to Albania. Here, writes the author, the group’s treatment of women has come under scrutiny. Behind Maryam Rajavi’s many glamorous public appearances, the women members are reputedly subject to many human rights abuses, including forced marriage and separation from their children. Simmons says many allegations against the MEK ‘are to be taken with a grain of salt’ as the sources are from Iranian media. However, there are still legitimate concerns: questions over female members’ access to medical care and personal hygiene products, and forced intimate relations with multiple partners. Questions also remain about the advanced age of the female members and the likelihood that they could be replaced by younger female Afghan recruits. Simmons concludes that by not allowing human rights organisations to investigate such question, the MEK has allowed, by default, Iran’s media to tarnish the group’s image by publishing unsubstantiated reports.
++ Press TV reported that a senior official of Iran’s Judiciary has asked Iraq to identify and bring to justice the perpetrators in the assassination of Qassem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis. In a meeting with Iraqi Justice Minister Salar Abdul Sattar Muhammad in Tehran on Tuesday, Kazem Gharibabadi, the secretary general of Iran’s Human Rights Office, said the two countries firmly pursue the assassination case. The activities of the MEK were also discussed as the two countries pledged to cooperate over human rights investigations.
Oct 22, 2021