Alireza Taherloo joined the Mujahedin Khalq Organization (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajavi) after the Iranian 1979 revolution. He used to work in the political phase of the group. In 1982, a year after the MEK launched a bloody armed struggle against the newly established government of Iran, Alireza was arrested by the Iranian security forces.
He was freed in 1992 after he served his ten-year-long sentence. “He was looking for a job after he was released,” Alireza’s sister told Nejat Society. “Because of his criminal record, it was too difficult for him to find a job so he traveled to Turkey to find a good job.”
In Turkey, Alireza was once more recruited by the MEK’s active recruiters there. “He was no more interested in working with the MEK but they deceived him and took him to Iraq,” his sister said.
Alireza arrived in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, in 1993 but only one year later, he was jailed in Camp Ashraf under the accusation of being the agent of the Iranian government. At the time, a large number of MEK members had been accused of such allegations. They were imprisoned, violently interrogated and tortured by their own commanders in Ashraf.
Nasir Heidari who was one of the suspected members of the group recalls: “They took Alireza Taherloo to our cell. He had been terribly tortured. His mental and physical conditions were not normal. We all had to sign a paper to confess that we had come to Ashraf to kill Massoud Rajavi otherwise tortures would be continued.”
After months of imprisonment and torture, Alireza was released but he was not mentally balanced. He was kept in isolation because he usually opposed commanders’ orders.
On April 8th, 2011, when Massoud Rajavi ordered his disarmed members to attack Iraqi forces who were supposed to build a station in Camp Ashraf, Alireza was coerced to commit suicide.
Khodabakhsh Miri, MEK defector who witnessed the deadly clashes in the morning of April 8th, testifies about Alireza Taherloo’s killing: ‘’He was in a car sitting next to his commander, Kianoush Salahpour. The car stopped. Alireza was listening to the commander. He took off the car and went towards Iraqi forces and set himself on fire.” Alireza burned alive before the eyes of Iraqi forces and his commander.
On April 8th, 2011, Massoud Rajavi ordered his members to scarify themselves to stop Iraqi forces from entering Camp Ashraf. Thirty-six members of the MEK were killed and hundreds were injured in the clashes between the MEK’s rank and file and Iraqi army. Iraqi police were supposed to return the lands in north of Camp Ashraf to their original owners, Iraqi farmers of the region. The lands have been confiscated from the farmers and donated to Massoud Rajavi by Iraqi’s former dictator, Saddam Hussein.