Details on the sufferings of child soldiers recruited by the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MEK/ MKO/ PMOI/ NCRI/ Cult of Rajavi) have recently come to light by former child soldiers of the group but the Child Soldiers International exposed it twenty years ago.
Child Soldiers International (formerly the Coalition to Stop the Use of Child Soldiers) is an international human rights research and advocacy organization. They seek to end the military recruitment and the use in hostilities, in any capacity, of any person under the age of 18 by state armed forces or non-state armed groups. As they state advocate for the release of unlawfully recruited children, promote their successful reintegration into civilian life, and call for accountability for those who unlawfully recruit or use them.
In 2001, the Child Soldiers International’s report on Iran was published by the Refworld which is the leading source of information necessary for taking quality decisions on refugee status by the UN’s High Commissioners of Refugees and other international bodies and states.
According to the report, as an Iranian opposition group the MEK is listed as an entity that recruited and deployed children under 18 for military use when it was located in Iraq. This part of the report says:
This group includes the National Liberation Army (NLA) of Iran as an armed wing and the Muslim Iranian Student’s Society as a front organisation. It is the largest and most active Iranian opposition group outside the country. The MKO was founded in 1965, advocating an anti-Western platform which combines Marxism and Islam. It is now based in Iraq.928 The MKO has launched an international campaign against the Iranian Government through propaganda, street demonstrations and violence. Women play a prominent role in the organisation.
There are reports that children under 18 have been recruited from Sweden to MKO camps. In 2000, following a visit by President Khatami, the German Government closed hostels that were reportedly used by the MKO to raise money and train cadres. There have also been regular but unconfirmed reports of the MKO trafficking children from camps in Iraq to Europe and North America.
As a cult-like extremist group with a record of violent activities, the MEK is now located in Albania, Europe. The cases of hundreds of child soldiers of the MEK have been ignored since the publication of the Child Soldiers International’s report. Regarding the growing revelations made by former child soldiers of the MEK, the threat of the Cult of Rajavi to Albanian youth and children should not be neglected.
Moreover, the leaders of the MEK should be brought to trial for violation of the rights of at least eight hundred children they separated from their parents and trafficked to the west in 1991 and mentally and physically abusing at least 300 of these children who they brought back to Iraq to train and deploy as child soldiers of their so-called NLA.