“I do not regret what I did on June 17th 2003”, Marzieh Babakhani said in a conference held by the Mujahedin Khalq (MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ Cult of Rajvai) in Paris in 2014. This was not her first time to speak in an MEK-run event. She is often considered as the symbol of a devotee to Maryam Rajavi by the group’s propaganda.
Marzieh Babakhani joined the MEK when she was a young girl. She was soon elevated in the hierarchy of Massoud Rajavi’s cult of personality. When Maryam Rajavi was arrested by the French Police on June 17th, 2003, in Paris, Marzieh was 40 and a member of Maryam’s security team.
Marzieh was one of the ten MEK members who set themselves on fire to protest the arrest of the third wife of their disappeared leader, Massoud Rajavi. Two MEK female members, Neda Hassani and Sedigheh Mojaveri were killed in fire.
“I set myself on fire not to kill myself but for the freedom of my people,” Marzieh said. “Dear Maryam, you have several times told me that you disagreed what I did but as a human being I chose and I decided to do it because I think the Police raid on June 17th was a raid to terminate a legitimate resistance.”
In contrary to Marzieh’s claims, the MEK was not a legitimate entity. It was on the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union at the time and Maryam Rajavi had been arrested under terrorism charges. About nine million dollars were discovered by the French Police in Maryam Rajavi’s headquarters in Auver Sur d’Oise
There are a lot of evidences to prove that the Mujaheds who self-immolated after the arrest of Maryam Rajavi were coerced by the group to do so. “According to an organizational ruling issued by Massoud Rajavi, members of the MEK had been asked to set themselves on fire in France and other European countries,” Javad Firouzmand, a defector of the MEK writes. “This way, the group wanted to put pressure on France to release Maryam Rajavi.”
In an organized act, ten members of the MEK set themselves ablaze before the eyes of the citizens in France, Switzerland, Britain and Canada. Marzieh Babakhani set herself on fire in the morning of June 19th in front of the building of French intelligence and security department (DST).
On the proper day, the French newspaper, Le Parisien, stated that the spokesperson of the foreign committee of the National Council of Resistance (NCR) had called cellphones of some of its journalists to announce the name of the self-immolator. The same newspaper also reported, “After the fire was extinguished, one of the Mujaheds offered a journalist better and nicer photos of the self-immolation ceremony!”
Marzieh Babakhani is a victim of a manipulative system that coerced its members to commit what it wants. The French author, Nathalie Goulet states evidences of on such a system in her book:
“In October 2007, two Iranians Mahmoud Alami (55) and Hossein Amini Gholipour (51) were charged in a court in Paris, for encouraging Sedigheh Mojaveri to set herself on fire on June 18th 2003. The two men were members of the MEK who had been arrested in a protest run by the group in front of the DST headquarters. The two men were filmed while they were buying a gallon of petrol in a gas station. They eventually handed the gallon to Sedigheh Mojaveri.” (Goulet, Nathalie, “PMOI: How a political cult transformed to a democratic party”, page 32)
About Marzieh Babakhani, the case seems to be the same. Moreover, Marzieh was security guard for protecting Maryam Rajavi. She was always by the side of Maryam carrying a colt to protect her. Alef Abbasi, an MEK defector says, “After the arrest of Maryam Rajavi, Marzieh was under too much pressure by the group. ‘Sister Maryam is in Jail and you are still beathing,’ she was constantly told. She was continuously asked by the Cult of Rajavi: ‘What should have you done to prevent the arrest of Sister Maryam?’ “
She finally had no way out except to “decide” to pour petrol on her body and light the fire in order to stop the arrest of Sister Maryam or at least to stop the organizational pressure on herself.
The self-immolations committed by MEK members in Western capitals, are those of the darkest points in the history of the group. In western academic and political circles, self-immolations are regularly referred to in order to authenticate that the MEK has cult-like characteristics. Therefore, the MEK propaganda has to call on Marzieh Babakhani and other survivors of June 2003 to show up and declare that they tried to kill themselves with their own free will. However, every one agrees that free will is unheard of in destructive cults such as PMOI.
By Mazda Parsi