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Atefeh Sebdani: the dirt on the MEK’s activities and criminality is just beginning to be told

Atefeh Sebdani

Atefeh Sebdani, one of the children the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK) whose lived experience within group has been depicted in the recently released documentary “Children of Camp Ashraf”, states that the revelations on MEK’s crimes against their own children has just begun.

Children of Camp Ashraf, directed by Sara Moien and produced by Linda Mutawi is based on testimonies of four young Swedish citizens, Amir Yaghmai, Parvin Hosseinnia, Hanif Bali and Atefeh Sebdani. The latter has also published her autobiography in Swedish language. The book is titled “My Hand in Mine” which is the story about Atefeh’s growing up with no one to hold on to but herself, of abuses made by the MEK agents who smuggled her from Iraq to Sweden and the MEK sympathizers who fostered her and her two brothers.

Prior to the release of Sara Moien’s documentary, Atefeh posted a note on her Facebook. She began with the Goteborg Film Festival’s description about the film:

“When they were children, they were taken from their parents and sent to Sweden with the aim of one day returning as warriors and overthrowing the current regime in Iran.”

Atefeh Sebdani finds the year 2024, the time for MEK children to find the courage to tell their stories:

“A few times I’ve hinted at things to be released in 2024. A few other times I’ve hinted that the dirt on the Mujahedin’s activities and criminality is just beginning to be told…”

This is what she writes about Children of Camp Ashraf:

“It is a documentary film that was recorded over several years, where I was with them for three years. We get to follow Amir Yaghmai above all, but also Parwin Hoseinia, Hanif Bali and me. Children of four Mujahedin soldiers with different destinies. I think the film festival’s text describes it well. The purpose of more or less kidnapping us to foreign followers and at the same time keeping us away from our parents was to one day be able to recruit us as warriors.”

Sebdani speaks of those MEK children who are not alive any more because they were killed in Camp Ashraf when they were recruited as child soldiers of Massoud Rajavi’s army. Hamid is one of her foster brothers who had also been smuggled from Camp Ashraf to Sweden but one day he was disappeared. Atefeh has written about Hamid’s sad destiny in her book too. Here she states:

“Some of us already as children, like Amir. Others as young adults, who never came back alive. Like my brother. Which I still have a hard time talking about.”

She promises the audience that in the documentary they get to see the story from the beginning. She speaks of the large number of MEK children who have just been motivated to tell their stories after the book and the film were released:

“Do you see, my beloved Mujahedin siblings? See, all of you out there writing to me all the way from Australia and in between? Our withheld, strangled story is slowly being told.”

Sebdani appreciates the film’s director and producer:

“Huge thanks to the incredible director Sara Moein who picked up on the clues about us and chose to start digging. You have no idea how many people’s lives you will touch and what historic victory you will contribute to. I am forever grateful to you. Thanks also to Linda Mutawi, the amazing producer who against all odds made this happen.”

Finally, she promises a roaring wave of traumatized children of the MEK who will reveal more facts about the crimes of the group leaders:

“Hold on, because we grew up, shook off our fears, found each other’s hands and like a chain around the world we are now unstoppable. Gothenburg Film Festival, wow. And then we’ve only just begun.”

Mazda Parsi

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