Ali Asghar Zamani, officially announced his defection from the Mujahedin Khalq (MEK). Zamani escaped from the group’s headquarter Camp Ashraf 3 near Tirana, Albania.
Ali Asghar Zamani left the MEK on Thursday, September 14th, 2023. In an opportunity that his commanders lost control over him, Zamani escaped the group and turned himself to the fourth station of Tirana’s Police. He then joined his friends at Nejat Society Albania.
Zamani was born in Tehran, in 1959. In 2003, he joined the MEK together with his family –his wife, son and daughter—because the MEK agents had promised him to transfer them from Iraq to Europe and help them find a good job and a happy life there.
“Some time after we got there, I realized my mistake and I realized that I was deceived, that the MEK does not provide us with any possibility to go to Europe and get asylum there,” he writes in the statement to announce his official defection from the group.
At the time, Zamani’s son was 17 years old, a good target for the MEK’s child soldier army. “They separated my son from me,” he states. “They had taken him as a hostage. I was not allowed to talk to him.”
As a soldier of the MEK’s army, his son was forced to wear military uniform. He was intimidated and indoctrinated with fear that his return to Iran will end with his arrest and death penalty. “Indeed, they had kidnapped my son,” Zamani writes.
Zamani was ordered to divorce from his wife. He did not accept. Zamani, his wife and their daughter could manage to return to Iran but without the son. In 2005, Zamani got back to Iraq to rescue his son, but he fell into the MEK’s trap once again.
“At that time, I had no choice,” he recounts. “I had to tolerate the condition. I wanted to take my son with me in any way. But even though my son was not far from me, I was not permitted to visit him in those inhumane conditions that prevailed there. They didn’t show my son to me, and if I happened to see him, I would be under Rajavi’s control; we couldn’t talk or contact each other. Because every family contact was considered against the organization’s ruling.”
When the MEK was relocated at Camp Liberty, under the supervision of the UN authorities, the son could manage to find an opportunity and ask the UNHCR to aid him leave the MEK. He succeeded to leave but the father was sick, hospitalized in Baghdad, under sever control of Rajavi’s agents.
Ali Asghar Zamani was not able to escape the Cult of Rajavi until two weeks ago after of writing several requests to the group leaders for leaving. Their answer was always no. As a dissident member, he was jailed in a room when the Albanian Police raided Ashraf 3 two months ago. “When the Albanian police came to the camp for inspection, they locked me in the proper room where I was living,” he writes. “Two members watched over me so that I could not go to the police and ask for asylum.”
“I could not trust them anymore and I knew that after a year they would come up with another excuse and not let me leave”, he writes about the leaders’ false promises. “Because of this, during a trip to Tirana for shopping while I was under the control of my supervisors, I managed to escape and turn myself to the Albanian police and apply for asylum.”
Ali Asghar Zamani is happy with the way the Albanian Police treated him. He is also pleased that he is free now but, he regrets the 20 years he lost behind the bars of the Cult of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi. “After my release, I realized that my beloved mother has passed away and I cursed Rajavi a thousand times in my heart,” he writes with sorrow and anger.