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Left homeless, poor and sick after over thirty years of serving the MEK

Barani Dehghani declared his defection from the MEK

Barani Dehghani

Barani Dehghani, former member of the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) officially declared his defection from the group.

Barani Dehghani, from Fars province, was a soldier of the Iranian army in Iran-Iraq war in 1987. He was taken as a hostage by MEK forces in the front, in March 1987. As he was not registered as a war prisoner, he was intimidated to stay in the Cult of Rajavi in Iraq.

“They convinced us to stay with them by threatening and deceiving us,” Barani writes. “We were constantly told that ‘if we got back to Iran we would be arrested and tortured by the government’.” Barani was deceived by the fraudulent tactics of the MEK leaders and became a member of the cult.
“During all those years of membership we had to listen to long-time arguments in meetings in order to accept that the MEK is the best place to stay in,” he describes the brainwashing sessions.

Barani Dehghani

Barani Dehghani

After the fall of the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, and the disarmament of the MEK by the US military, the group was no more welcome in Iraqi territory. With the assistance of the US government and the UN High Commissioner of Refugees, the group was relocated in Albania. Barani was transferred from Iraq to Albania in the fourth group of MEK members in 2016. Barani explains about the living conditions of MEK members in Albania:
“In Albania, we were taken to a base called Giti. Cult-like pressure by the group leaders kept on in Albania and even worse than when we were in Iraq. Although the UNHCR paid for housing, food and welfare of the MEK members for two years, we were deprived of all facilities the MEK leaders. Even the appliances that the UNHCR has given to us were confiscated by them.”

Therefore, Barani decided to leave the MEK but it was not simply feasible. “When I wanted to leave, they forced me to sign a large number of documents and I signed just because I was determined to leave,” he writes.
“I was told to sign an engagement to confirm that I would stay a sympathizer of the group and in exchange they would help me financially”, he writes about the preconditions of leaving the cult. “They asked me to report everything I get to know about other defectors of the group. I had to give the reports to the office of the MEK. I was asked to monitor both defectors and current members of the group when I see them in the streets of Tirana.”

Thus, Barani was still under the cult-like pressure of MEK commanders although he had left the group. Eventually, he decided to leave Albania. He asked the group to provide the money but they did not contribute. However, he moved to Greece on his own but after a while he was again stuck in financial difficulties. He asked the MEK for help. “The conditions were the same,” he says. “Their donations were little and late but I had no choice.”
Homeless and moneyless he moved to Serbia last year. Once more, he asked the MEK for money but they did not pay attention. Following his illegal journey in the Balkans, he went to Bosnia and then to Croatia where he was arrested and sent back to Bosnia. He was jailed in the capital of Bosnia.

He is now sick and poor, residing in a refugee camp after serving the MEK for over thirty years. “Now that I am writing this, I am in a terrible situation,” he writes. “I am sick. I am living in camp trying to make a living as a street vendor but I believe that being linked to the notorious MEK is more disastrous for me. The group has nothing for me except misery and despair. The farther I am from the MEK, the more comfortable I am.”
Ending his statement, he declares his complete dissociation from the PMOI. He states, “From now, there is no link or relationship between me and the group. The group that cheats on its own nation and cooperate with the enemies of the Iranian nation does not deserve support.”

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