The first public presentation of the documentary, “From Tirana to Tehran”, was held on Thursday, November 15th.
From Tehran to Tirana presents an account on the grieves of families of those held as hostages in the camp of the Mujahedin-e Khalq in Tirana, Albania. The movie premier was held by Nejat Society in cultural center of Water and Sewage Organization of Tehran where a number of defectors of the MEK and families of current members of the group gathered together. The event was covered by several journalists from news media.
The documentary has been produced by Press TV in order to enlighten public opinion about double standards of the West regarding human rights and to bring the voice of the suffering families to the world.
The opening speech was delivered by the CEO of Nejat Society, Ebrahim Khodabandeh. “From Tirana to Tehran depicts the stories of defectors of the MEK,” he stated. “I believe that today it is vital to know about the group which has an active role in the chaos of protests. Members of the group target the Iranians’ Psychological security by the fake news they launch with their fake accounts.”
A heart-broken mother
Soraya Abdollahi, the mother of Amir Aslan Hassanzadeh who have been looking forward to contacting his son, hijacked by the MEK addressed the audience: “Our beloved children are in captivity of the destructive cult of Rajavi and the monstrous Mujahedin. We, mothers, picketed in Iraq for 4 years only to hug our beloved children but they did not allow us.”
Expressing pleasure for those who have managed to escape the group in recent years she said: “My son has been taken as a hostage in the MEK for 20 years. I and other families have written a large number of letters to human rights organizations but there has been no response. However, we are still standing firmly calling for the release of our loved ones.”
A mother waiting for traveling to Albania
Fatemeh Hosseini, the mother of Hassan Heirani, director of the Association for the Support of Iranian Living in Albania (ASILA), spoke of her son: “My son was in the prison of the MEK for 15 years. Now that he has defected the group, he has been labeled by the group as terrorist! We requested the Albanian government for visa but they did not grant us. MyY son has founded ASILA in Tirana to help release other members of the group but the group makes efforts to disrupt their activities.”
A sister crying with one eye and laughing with the other
Narges Beheshti who had two brothers imprisoned in the MEK also addressed the meeting: “My two brothers were recruited by the MEK in 2001. My older brother was killed in the MEK in 2011 and my other brother Milad defected the group two years ago and he is now a member of ASILA.” Narges recalls the days she was picketing in front of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, by the side of other families. Expressing hope for the release of all captives of the MEK she said, “Despite all economical issues, we raise funds to send to Albania to support ASILA.”
A suffering mother to address Maryam Rajavi
Once she was up on the stage to take photos, Mother Saadat whose three children are in the MEK told the audience: “I have not seen my children for 35 years. I raised them with difficulties and now I miss them a lot. They do not write letters and they do not call me. I am addressing Maryam Rajavi. Do you believe in another Islam? Are you allowed to get married with two husbands but our children are deprived from marrying and visiting their parents? I am an old heart-broken mother. I might pass away and never see my children.”
ASILA, a light of hope for families
Addressing the event from Albania, Erisa Rahimi one of the Albanian members of ASILA, spoke via a video connection. She is the wife of the MEK defector, Sarfaraz Rahimi. “Rajavi has built a hell here,” she said, “We appreciate your support for ASILA. You are in a difficult situation but I am sure your children will be liberated from this hell someday.”
Bakhsh Ali Alizadeh a defector of the group also delivered a speech. “I lost 27 years of my life in the MEK,” he said. “I finally could manage to escape the group in Albania and to return home to join my family. It is the MEK evil tactic to call all defectors as traitors. If the MEK members speak of their families, they will be severely punished. 200 members have demanded to leave the group. Instead, they have been faced with punishments and they are being held in isolated units, detached from others. Due to the oppressive atmosphere ruling the group so many people have so far committed suicide.
Hassan Heirani the executive director of Asila spoke to the families via a video connection too. He emphasized that Rajavi is terrified by ASILA. “The Cult of Rajavi makes efforts to impose pressure on us. This is while our association is a legal establishment founded by Iranian defectors of the group and some Albanian citizens. They want to break our resistance.”
An appeal to Albanian government
At the end of the meeting, families signed a petition to ask the Albanian authorities to aid them release their beloved ones imprisoned in the MEK, Massoud Rajavi’s cult of personality. A part of the petition reads: “We ask the Albanian state to answer the numerous questions asked by the families. We are determined to rescue all captives of the Cult of Rajavi. Voicing our support for the Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Tirana, we hope your government that claims for freedom and democracy ends the illegal imprisonment of our loved ones.”
“From Tirana to Tehran” was played for the audience in the hall. It will be first published publicly on Press TV on Tuesday, November 22nd, at 7pm.