Today, in Iraq’s political, legal and press circles, we are witnessing hot debates on the role of Mojahedin-e khalq of Iran in suppressing the uprising of Iraqi in 1991. The case was opened by Iraqi Chief Prosecutor Jafar al-Mousawi, when he announced that investigations prove the involvement of terrorist elements of Mojahedin-e Khalq in killing Iraqi people and that Iraq’s judiciary is determined to prosecute them, even if they have left the country.
A while ago, news agencies quoted al-Mousawi saying that 150 MKO members, including Maryam and Massoud Rajavi would be sued legally and that Iraq’s High Criminal Court will investigate the crimes against Iraqis wherever, even outside Iraq.
Prosecutor pointed to a number of measures taken in this regard and said: "We have taken steps to return and try them here. During the investigations on the crimes former criminal regime, documents were retrieved showing that Mojahedin-e Khalq committed crimes against Iraqis during 1991 uprising in southern and northern Iraq."
"These crimes include massacre, torture, arrest, misusing Iraq’s public properties and receiving a share of oil revenues from Saddam," he added.
On the other hand, MKO’s media in Camp Ashraf reject the reports and accuse al-Mousawi of intending to massacre MKO members. Some Sunni forces of Iraq also supported the MKO and rejected Prosecutor’s comments on the group’s role in killing Iraqis.
To understand the issue and the activities of so-called "NCRI" in Iraq, the case of their activities and their ties to former regime of Saddam, their presence in Iraq for two decades and their activities during uprising days in 1991, should be studied on the basis of military, intelligence and surveying and the participation of this group with Baathists in killing Iraqis should be examined very carefully. Security aspects of the issue should be reviewed, apart from media controversies (on Iran’s interference in Iraq), because it’s an Iraqi issue.
Of course, there are documents, events and facts proving MKO crimes in Kefri, Tuz Khormato, Kelar and southern parts of the country. The author of this text witnessed the crimes of this organization in Kelar in March 1991. Painful events are still in the memories of Kelar people. The victims, most of whom employees of the hospital, saw the crimes of the group.
Another important issue is the presence of Mojahedin-e khalq in Iraq. The purpose of establishing MKO’s camps and bases in Baghdad was to build a military shield around the capital. There were Khantari base in western Baghdad (between Baghdad and Ramadi), Khales base, Khan Banisa’d in the north and another base inside Baghdad. Besides, there were other bases near Kirkuk, which were occupied by this organization after Iraqi forces took the control of this city during Anfal operation in 1988.
Here I should point to a book in French, written by a former member of Mojahedin on NCRI’s killings in Tuz Khormato and Kefri in 1991. We can’t cover the details in this article, so we leave it for later. On the events in Kelar, I should add that after Suleimanieh was cleaned of Iraqi security forces in 1991, the college of fine arts was established in the city and I was a student there. At that time I lived out of Kelar. Once I went to Kelar, and I was waiting for a car to take me to Suleimanieh when Peshmerga forces announced that several tanks with white flags were moving from Jelula towards Kelar. First, we thought they were Iraqi tanks, coming to surrender. So, Peshmerga forces didn’t react. One of the tanks headed towards the north and closed city’s exit way and the other was moving towards city’s hospital.
Meanwhile, a white civilian car from the hospital moved towards the highway, carrying 25 hospital workers. Tank opened fire on them and killed all the workers. Other tanks stopped near the city’s well-known fortress "Shirvaneh". By now, Peshmerga forces had understood that these were MKO’s tanks, coming to control the city. It was only a few days since Iraqi forces have left the city.
The beginning of MKO’s war against Iraqis returns to early day’s of 1991 uprising in Tuz Khormato. At that time, MKO forces pretended to be going to Khles through Tuz Khormato. They talked to Peshmerga commanders and Kurd officials allowed them to go because the issue had nothing to do with them. However, as soon as passing the city, MKO forces closed the exit and opened fire on the city. A civilian bus with 30 passengers was hit. All on board were killed.
In a few days, MKO members forced the people to leave their homes and go to Kelar on foot. This mercenary group moved towards Kefri, killed women and forced the people to leave their homes. They were stronger than Iraq forces and Peshmerga with their old weapons couldn’t stop these foreign forces, armed to teeth with modern weapons and trained by Iraq’s Republican Guards.
It’s natural that MKO is trying to defend itself now but it can’t hide its crimes against Iraqis.
There’s no dispute in the way this organization acted, because the memory of Iraqis is full of their organized terror, committed under the supervision of Baathists. Those supporting this group should know that this group is only a burnt card, lacking even a supporter in Iran and political-military influence.
Iraqmemory.org, September 25, 2007