Mahvash Jahanbani was pregnant with her second child when her husband, Ali Ebrahimi, was taken as a war prisoner by the Iraqi forces in the early days of the Iran-Iraq war. Their first son, Hossein was only two years old.
Ali Ebrahimi was an officer serving the Iranian army. As a war prisoner he had been registered by the Red Cross, so he was able to write letters to his family in Iran during the years of imprisonment in Iraqi camps. However, letters were suddenly cut off in 1989.
Mahvash who used to write about their growing kids, sending their photos to her husband, had no new of Ali anymore. The Iranian POWs were released in 1990 but Ali did not return home. The whole family were looking for him in the international offices of the RC but nobody knew about the whereabouts of Ali until the day that Mahvash found a paper in the yard of her house in which it was written: “Dont wait for Ali Ebrahimi. He is in the Mujahedin-e Khalq.”
Ali Ebrahimi and dozens of Iranian POWs were deceived by the MEK recruiters who used to go to the camps to convince the POWs to join the group. As a member of the MEK Ali was not allowed by the leaders of the group, to contact his family in Iran.
Mahavsh has not been able to contact her husband since 1989. When the MEK was located in Iraq, she went to Iraq four times. “I and other families of MEK members picketed in front of the bars of Camp Ashraf and Camp liberty for weeks,” Mahvash told Mardom TV. “I called the name of Ali Ebrahimi in the loudspeakers. I am sure that they could hear us but they just threw rocks at us. We were never allowed to visit him.”
Weeping tears, she says, “I was only 24 when Ali left. I grew my kids by my own. I miss him. Whenever, I talk about him I cry.”
Offering sympathy to Mahavash, a number of former members of the MEK commented below the video of Mardom TV’s interview with her. “I remember that Ali was under too much pressure by the MEK commanders after his wife came to the gates of camp Ashraf,” a former member recalled. “They forced him to take position against his wife labeling her as the mercenary of the Iranian Intelligence but Ali did not agree to do so. In response, he was suppressed by the commanders.”
Mahvash Jahanbanian is still seeking to visit her husband after years of separation. She calls on the Albanian authorities to aid her have a private visit or even a phone call with her beloved husband.
In the hope that her husband might see her video, she addresses Ali through the camera of Mardom TV: “Ali! I still love you and respect you the same as I did the day you left. We will warmly welcome you whenever you come back home.”