Mohammad Reza Torabi (Ray Torabi) seeks the trial of the MEK leaders for the murder of his father under torture in the group’s prison. His father Ghorban Ali Torabi was killed in the MEK’s internal prisons in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, in 1994. As a member of the MEK, Mohammad Reza did not know about his father’s killing until he left the group, in 2017.
Mohammad Reza Torabi who is one of the former child soldiers of the MEK has recently began denouncing the MEK for violation of human rights, in the social media. He was also a victim of the MEK cult-like system. Unlike his father, he survived an 18-year-long membership in the group and could manage to leave it 4 years ago.
Mohammad Reza’s biological mother, Zahra Seraj, is still under the MEK’s brainwashing structure and denies him as her son because, as she says, “he is a traitor to the organization”. In his recent Facebook post, Mohammad Reza asks the MEK leaders to explain how his father was killed under the torture in the group’s prison.
“28 years after the death of my father, I just got to know about the whereabouts of his grave,” he writes.
“My Mujahed mother and aunts and those who killed my father did not tell me about it but I was told by witnesses of their crime. When I arrived in the MEK’s base in Iraq in 1999, I realized that my father had died 5 years earlier. I should state that I was just informed how and by who he was killed after 23 years when I left the MEK in 2017. My Mujahed mother and all those who call themselves unique revolutionaries lied to me for a long time.”
Mohammad Reza Torabi regrets all those years that he lived in close connection with the killers of his father. “I used to work with those who are responsible for the killing of my father in Camp Ashraf,” he writes. “I used to live with them, eat with the, kiss and hug them, look in their eyes while I did not know anything about what they did to my father.”
Four years after his defection from the Cult of Rajavi, the son of Ghorbani Ali Torabi is now ready to receive any information on the murder of his father by the side of the witnesses. “I’d say that I am ready to talk to any individual receiving any document and testimony in order to find the truth about my father,” he writes.
It is worth to know that the internationally documented testimony about the murder of Ghorban Ali Torabi was first published by the Human Rights Watch, in April 2005. The report was titled “No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the Mojahedin Khalq Camps”. Even in the summary of the HRW’s report, the case of Torabi as a person who was killed by the MEK torturers was brought up:
Human Rights Watch interviewed five of these former MKO members who were held in Abu Ghraib prison. Their testimonies, together with testimonies collected from seven other former MKO members, paint a grim picture of how the organization treated its members, particularly those who held dissenting opinions or expressed an intent to leave the organization.
The former MKO members reported abuses ranging from detention and persecution of ordinary members wishing to leave the organization, to lengthy solitary confinements, severe beatings, and torture of dissident members. The MKO held political dissidents in its internal prisons during the 1990s and later turned over many of them to Iraqi authorities, who held them in Abu Ghraib. In one case, Mohammad Hussein Sobhani was held in solitary confinement for eight-and-a-half years inside the MKO camps, from September 1992 to January 2001.
The witnesses reported two cases of deaths under interrogation. Three dissident members—Abbas Sadeghinejad, Ali Ghashghavi, and Alireza Mir Asgari—witnessed the death of a fellow dissident, Parviz Ahmadi, inside their prison cell in Camp Ashraf. Abbas Sadeghinejad told Human Rights Watch that he also witnessed the death of another prisoner, Ghorbanali Torabi, after Torabi was returned from an interrogation session to a prison cell that he shared with Sadeghinejad.
At the time, the No Exit report was expectably labeled by the MEK’s paid lobby a group known as Friends of a Free Iran (FOFI), comprising four Members of the European Parliament – Alejo Vidal Quadras, Paulo Casaca, Andre Brie, and Struan Stevenson, as “orchestrated by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence”!
Thus, in February 24, 2006, HRW published a “statement on Responses to Human Rights Watch Report on Abuses by the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO)”, in which the testimonies about the killing of Torabi were once more confirmed:
Their responses, in the view of Human Rights Watch, confirm the credibility and reliability of their original testimonies in No Exit. The Human Rights Watch report contained allegations by witnesses that two MKO members, Ghorbanali Torabi and Parviz Ahmadi, died as a result of abuse suffered in MKO detention. The FOFI document challenged these testimonies.
With regard to Ghorbanali Torabi’s death, the FOFI delegation interviewed two MKO members in Camp Ashraf who disputed these testimonies. These two MKO members, Zahra Seraj, Torabi’s wife, and Masoume Torabi, Torabi’s sister, told the FOFI delegation that he had died of a heart attack, and not as a result of beatings at the hands of MKO officials. Neither of them claimed to have been present when he died. According to a communication to Human Rights Watch from Lord Avebury, who said he had interviewed Masouma Torabi by telephone on June 13, 2005, “Masouma saw Ghorbanali a week before he died.”
Human Rights Watch again questioned Abbas Sadeghinejad, one of Human Right Watch’s original sources on these events, about Torabi’s death. Abbas Sadeghinejad confirmed his earlier testimony, based on his experience of sharing a prison cell with Torabi. He again told Human Rights Watch that late one night, after Torabi had been taken out of the cell for two days, two men carried Torabi back to the cell, threw him inside, and locked the cell again. Torabi, Sadeghinejad said, was not breathing and his face showed signs of severe beating. He said that other cellmates examined Torabi more closely and believed that he had suffered broken bones. Sadeghinejad acknowledged that Torabi may have died of a heart attack, but maintained that the MKO had severely beaten Torabi, apparently during interrogation.
Alireza Mir Asgari corroborated the fact of Torabi’s detention and ill-treatment at the hands of the MKO, based on his own direct experience. Mir Asgari told Human Rights Watch that the MKO also detained him at the time Torabi was detained. He said that he knew Torabi well as a child in Iran, and that Torabi had recruited him in Tehran at the age of seventeen to join the MKO ranks in Iraq. Mir Asgari told Human Rights Watch that during his detention in 1995, he encountered Torabi face-to-face during an interrogation session. He said that the interrogators questioned them both about Torabi’s motivation for recruiting Mir Asgari to the MKO camps in Iraq and accused them of working for the Iranian government. Mir Asgari said that when he met Torabi during this interrogation, Torabi’s body showed signs of beatings and physical abuse.
Mir Asgari told Human Rights Watch that when he raised the subject of Torabi’s death with MKO leader Massoud Rajavi, Rajavi alternately responded that Torabi had committed suicide and that Mir Asgari and other prisoners had themselves killed Torabi because they suspected him of being an informant. He said Rajavi at no point claimed that Torabi had died from a heart attack.”
Besides, there are numerous testimonies presented in Persian by other former members of the MEK about the death of Ghorban Ali Torabi under torture. Mohammad Razaghi, Siamak Naderi, Alireza and many others who do not want their names to be exposed, testified that Ghorban Ali was brought to the cell where twenty other MEK members were imprisoned. He had bean beaten to death. It was just two weeks to the Persian New Year, in the winter of 1994.