++ In Albania, Alice Taylor for Exit News reported the arrest of two senior MEK officials for drug trafficking, people smuggling and money laundering. While MEK experts and observers responded by saying it was about time the MEK’s crimes were exposed and the perpetrators brought to justice, a parallel scandal took place as the article was expunged from the site leaving an Error 404 notice. The article reported an official source stating that the pattern of criminality by the MEK dates back to 2015. Commentators pointed out that manipulation of the media also follows the same pattern. In 2017, after two visits to Tirana, some media interviews with Anne Khodabandeh, expert in Cultic Abuse, were removed as editors and proprietors were intimidated and bribed by the MEK. Similarly, reporting on the death of Malek Sharaii was also removed after the MEK intervened. False reporting labelled Iranian visitors as ‘terrorists’. The pattern of MEK mafia-like behaviour in Albania encompasses not only the media, but includes the police, security services, judiciary and politicians from all parties. This has become so prevalent and well-known that an article in Balkans Insight by Nahzi, from BIRN, concerning America’s complaints about high-level corruption in Albania, directly mentions the MEK presence in that country as an example.
++ Gazeta Impact, Albania, published an article highlighting the difficulties faced by MEK members who try to leave or have already left the cult. The piece focuses on the Danafar family of father and two sons who requested from the MEK leadership that they be allowed to live freely in Tirana rather than continue in the closed camp in Manez. This was not a defection, simply a change to their living arrangements. They were refused. One son attempted suicide. In hospital, he was guarded 24/7 by MEK minders. The article points out that under Albanian law, inciting suicide – for example through ill treatment – is a criminal offence, as is depriving a person of their liberty. The article’s authors call for state protection of these people from Maryam Rajavi and her lieutenants. Another case is mentioned, that of Farshad, a famous singer who escaped the MEK camp. He has since been subjected to extreme psychological pressure by an MEK commander. The authors appeal to the Albanian police to protect Farshad “thus avoiding any extraordinary event such as murder, suicide or even murder disguised as suicide”. After all, the state is responsible for protecting all Iranians sheltering in Albania.
++ Nejat Society draws our attention again to the plight of MEK children who were separated from their parents by the leadership. A translation of an interview of Hanif Azizi by Linda Eliasson in folkbladet.nu describes the lucky escape he made. Azizi, who is now a policeman in Sweden, describes how he was deceptively recruited by his biological mother and the brainwashed to join the MEK fighters in Iraq. When he returned to Sweden to say goodbye to his foster family, they were able to alert him to this deception. Waiting to renew his passport allowed him time to realise he was living his dream life and he returned to Swedish society, eventually joining the police.
++ Mehdi Khoshhal in Cologne, Germany has addressed an Open Letter to Olaf Sholz, the new Chancellor of Germany. Khoshhal says that the working class and immigrants have good expectations from Sholz based on his policies. This must include guarding against the continued activities of the MEK in Germany. Khoshhal gives a brief overview of the danger that the MEK poses because of its belief in violence and human rights abuse and points out that this propensity for violence does not only affect Iran but also Europe where self-immolations were ordered. He suggests that the office of Green Party Minister Annalena Baerbock could be used to leverage human rights policies that would target the MEK’s abuses.
December 12 2021