Mahin Najafi’s brother, behind the bars of MEK’s camp

Mahin Najafi, the sister of Mohammad Jaafar Najafi, a captured member of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK)

Mahin Najafi, the sister of Mohammad Jaafar Najafi, a captured member of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq (MEK), tells the story of her brother’s captivity and her encounter with the group.

I am Mahin Najafi. My brother Mohammad Jafar Najafi was a soldier during the Iran-Iraq war. He completed two years of military service and went to Kurdistan to settle his accounts and get his Military Service Completion Certificate.
My brother’s departure to Kurdistan coincided with Mersad operation [the MEK’s cross border military operation against Iran, named Forough Javidan]. He was captured by the MEK forces. They took him with them.

Our family was waiting for my brother’s arrival. We were prepared to celebrate the end of my brother’s service. We waited for a few days, but there was no news from my brother.

One or two months passed, but there was no news of our brother. We were worried. We had to travel to Kurdistan. We went to the military barracks where my brother was supposed to get his certificate, and they said that there was an operation in Kurdistan, and the MEK violated Iran’s borders. They had no news of my brother. We followed my brother for a few days and finally the answer they gave us was that the MEK had captured my brother and took him to Iraq. We were stunned! We did not know what to say and what answer to give to our parents. Finally, we had to return to our hometown.

We pursued the disappearance of my brother in our own province, we wanted to reach a conclusion. After some time, they informed us that your brother was in Iraq and in the barracks of the MEK called Ashraf Barracks! Ashraf Barracks was an unknown name for us. It was explained to us that Ashraf Barracks is related to the MEK. We were shocked wondering where Ashraf Barracks was?!

We had to tell the story of our brother to our parents. They were also shocked. It took a few years and we were waiting for our brother to call us or send us a letter telling us about his condition. But there was no news! When the Iraqi dictator Saddam was overthrown by the US-led coalition, they informed us that we could travel to Iraq. Traveling to Ashraf Barracks was allowed. It was good news for our family. After a few years, I could meet my brother Mohammad Jafar again.

I traveled to Iraq for the first time together with a group of fathers and mothers from our province. When we arrived in Baghdad, we changed our vehicle and went to Camp Ashraf. I was very happy on the way, I told my fellow passengers that I would hug my brother after years (I had no idea who I would face with).

I approached Ashraf Barracks; I was surprised when I saw the scene. It was strange. The surroundings of Ashraf barracks were nothing more than ruins. We settled next to Ashraf barracks. Before us, people from other provinces had gathered there. Mothers and fathers and sisters who had not seen their loved ones for several years. I was very happy to meet my brother after many years. We rested for one day and the next day I approached the barbed wire of Ashraf.

One of the people from inside Camp Ashraf shouted, “Go and get lost, mercenaries!”. I said, “who are talking to? Are you talking to us?!” In response, he said, “Yes, I am talking to you”. I said that we were not mercenaries and we had come to see our dearests after many years. Two or three people from Ashraf came near Fence and started telling us nonsense. They said, “Your loved ones are not here. Get lost!”.

However, I said, “My brother Mohammad Jafar Najafi is here, tell him to come here. I want to see him.” In response, they said that they did not have a person with this name, and if you did not move away from the barbed wire, they would hit us with rocks.

They did not pay attention to whatever we said. I and all the families were determined to see our loved ones. I stayed by the side of the fences of Ashraf barracks for almost 15 days. My fellow provinces, Ms. Habibi, whose daughter was in Camp Ashraf, tried hard to meet with her daughter, but she did not succeed, as well as Ms. Fatemeh Jafari, whose daughter Tayyabeh Nouri was in the camp too. Tayyabeh managed to leave the notorious MEK a few years ago. She released herself and began a new life. In the photo, Mrs. Fatemeh Jafari and Mrs. Mahin Habibi are by my side in front of the gates of Camp Ashraf.

I traveled to Iraq three times and tried very hard to meet my brother, but unfortunately, I did not succeed. To my surprise, the leaders of the MEK were so brazen. They did not respect the elderly parents. They threw rocks at us. The leaders of the notorious MEK should not think that they have bought our loved ones. Our loved ones belong to us. I seek the release of my brother and I will not back down. I am sure that my brother will release himself. I am hopeful.

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