Congratulatory letter of the CEO of Nejat Society to the new Albania’s Minister of Interior

His Excellency Mr. Taulant Bala
Honorable Interior Minister of the Republic of Albania
Greetings and Regards,

I am Ebrahim Khodabandeh, the CEO of Nejat Society in Iran. The Nejat Society belongs to the families of the members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MEK, MKO), who are currently based in Albania.

On behalf of the expectant families of the members of the MEK, who have been eager to connect with their loved ones for decades, I would like to congratulate you on your appointment as the Minister of Interior of the Republic of Albania and wish you continued success in your new position.

As you surely know, the MEK, after it was expelled from Iraq and no country was willing to accept them, based on the agreement made in 2014 between the then Ministry of Interior of Albania, the then State Department of the United States, and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, and the MEK in Geneva, was moved to Albania based on humanitarian considerations. This transfer was completed in 2016.

At first, these people were supposed to go to other countries as refugees after a period of rehabilitation and a short stay in Albania, but this did not happen, and instead of this, they were able to find their promised paradise, an isolated and remote camp in the outskirts of Manëz, which is twice the size of the city. It is used for isolating the members and disconnect them from the outside world, especially with their families.

During the past seven years, this organization had all kinds of support from the government of Albania, and at its headquarters in Albania, using the unlimited Internet of Albania, it targeted the psychological and physical security of the people of Iran, as well as numerous cases of law and regulation violations, including fraud and money laundering and human and goods trafficking, which were reflected in the media, and even suspicious cases of murder inside the camp were reported.

When the Albanian government, based on its sovereignty and national security interests, after receiving numerous complaints even from other European countries, decided to search this camp on June 20 this year for the first time in 7 years, the operating police forces faced violent countering and attack. Since then, this organization has taken a hostile attitude towards the Albanian government and police in its propaganda and has forgotten all the previous humanitarian support they enjoyed for several years at once.

During these years, a large number of members of the MEK, who no longer wanted to be members of a terrorist organization and denied continuing to experience new slavery, separated from this organization. Some left Albania and some still live in the country. A group of these people formed the Association for the Support of Iranians Living in Albania (ASILA) with the help of a number of Albanian citizens, which is supported by the Nejat Society and Families in Iran.
Unfortunately, in contrast to the freedom of action that the MEK, especially for traveling outside of Albania, the members of this association face all kinds of restrictions. Including the fact that so far, the government of Albania has not given visas to their families to enter Albania, in order to satisfy the wishes of the MEK, and on the other hand, they do not have the possibility of obtaining travel documents to visit their families in a third country.

The MEK violates the most basic human rights of its members, including the right to communicate with the family, and this issue has imposed severe suffering and deprivation on their families for decades, and unfortunately, despite the fact that the families have repeatedly written to the Albanian statesmen and requested to establish this communication, but no attention has been paid.

Recently, on June 30 this year, nearly 700 families gathered in front of the Turkish Embassy in Tehran, which protects the interests of the Albanian government in Iran, and expressed their gratitude for the responsible action of the Albanian government towards the MEK and their demands. They presented themselves to the Turkish Embassy through a ten-point final statement (attached), which requests contact with their loved ones.

Once again, on behalf of the expectant families, I wish you success in your new position and my readiness as someone who has held many responsibilities in this organization for 23 years, especially in the international relations department, to provide any help in any field. I am ready to provide what is needed, especially in order to know more and better about the MEK and the mentality of the leaders and their performance.

Ebrahim Khodabandeh
CEO of the Nejat Society
July18, 2023

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