The story of another victim of the Mujahedin Khalq, Mehran Gholami, was published in part one of this series of articles.
Bahman Atiqi was born in 1973 in Mahsharhr, Khuzestan, Iran. He was brought to Camp Ashraf, Iraq by one of the MEK’s recruiters in June, 1997. The recruiter teams of the MEK smuggled people to Iraq on a promise of immigrating to Europe through Iraq. Bahman was told that his temporary stay in Camp Ashraf would be in order to gain visa for traveling to Europe. However, he was never transferred to Europe as he got stuck in Ashraf.
He had recently come to Ashraf when I met him in a dinner party, for the first time. At the time, Bahman had been settled in the reception unit of the camp together with Mehdi Baymani and Rasool Ghanavati –who were also victimized by the Cult of Rajavi later. They were receiving military and organizational trainings. As we were from the same home town, they had requested the reception authorities to visit me. I visited them in the reception unit at a Thursday night of July, 1997.
The authorities had organized a musical event for them, in which Mehdi Baymani sang folkloric songs of southern Iran and Bahman and Rasool played musical instruments of the region. After the show ended, we greeted hugging each other. I had not visited them before. I think they had not been even born when I left Mahshahr. I was curious to know how they knew me. Mehdi and Rasool said, “We were your neighbors on Sharifi street. So, we knew about your activities and that you had left Iran. We really liked to meet you.” They seemed so honest and kind to me.
A few minutes later, we were sitting at the dinner table enjoying talking about our hometown memories. Among us, Bahman Atiqi seemed shy and did not talk a lot. As we were chatting, I got to know that they had no idea about politics and particularly about the MEK so I asked them about the reason of their presence in Camp Ashraf.
They answered, “job conditions in Iran were not satisfying and we also dreamed about living abroad. A fellow citizen –actually an MEK sympathizer– told us about a human smuggler who transfers people to Europe via Iraq. We got so happy and hopeful for a better life in Europe. We asked him to introduce us to the human smuggler. A week later we arrived in Camp Ashraf.”
The smuggler had told them they would stay for a short time in a camp called Ashraf and their visa for Europe would be ready during this time. I was shocked to hear that. I asked them several times, “Are you sure?” Their answer was “yes”. Although it was absolutely unacceptable to me, I trusted the MEK; I convinced myself that there was probably a new agenda that I did not know about.
By the way, after that visit, I was transferred to another unit and I could rarely see Bahman. After I defected the group and returned to my home town, I visited Bahman’s family and told them about his conditions in the MEK. They said that they had gone to Camp Ashraf to visit Bahman, in 2003, after the collapse of Saddam Hussein. His family had asked him to leave the group but he had promised them that he would not participate in the group’s military acts. As he told his family, Bahman hoped that the US State Department would help them transfer to Europe.
During the visit, the MEK authorities asked Bahman’s family for financial aid but the family did not admit to help them. Thus, the MEK leaders formed a plot for Bahman’s family in order to terrify them and prevent them from coming to Ashraf again. The MEK authorities planted some CD’s and announcement papers to call people for riots, in a pastry box, and gave it to Bahman’s father. The father opened the box accidentally a few minutes before they got to the Iranian border. He threw it away right away.
Bahman’s family traveled to Iraq to visit Bahman a few more times but they were never allowed by the group leaders who called them Iranian agents in their propaganda. Siavash, Bahman’s brother picketed in front of the gates of Camp Ashraf four times. Not only he was not able to meet Bahman, but also, he was attacked and insulted by the group elements.
In April 8th, 2011, MEK leaders made members encounter with Iraqi security forces who had just taken control of Camp Ashraf. Iraq forces entered the camp to build a station there. The rank and file of the group were instigated by their commanders to lie down under the Iraqi military vehicles. Bahman was injured in the spinal cord.
In the pictures taken and published by the MEK propaganda media, Bahman was shown bleeding severely but the group agents were only filming him instead of taking him to hospital. Nevertheless, the MEK media propaganda later announced that Bahman died on My, 2012 at the age of 38.
Bahman Atiqi was deceived to join the Cult of Rajavi on the charming promise of taking refugee in Europe but he turned victim of the warmongering policies of Massoud Rajavi. He passed away while he was young and he had still so many wishes to come true.
By Ali Ekrami, former member of the MEK