Following the released reports of two Mojahedin-e Khalq members going on trial before a French court for allegedly helping a third member burn herself to death during a 2003 protest, the Mojahedin-run media are engaged in a vast propaganda blitz to disclaim allegations. The two are charged with ‘provoking suicide’ and allegedly providing gasoline for a woman to set herself on fire in broad daylight. The propaganda machine of the organization, by furnishing details from the trial, attempts to instill that:
– the committed self-immolations in Paris were unorganized but self-initiated deeds
– the deeds were carried out in opposition to the members’ presumed expulsion from France
– Mojahedin disclaim allegations of involving in terrorist acts against civilians and masterminding self-immolations
– the presence of at least one of the victims of the self-immolations, Marzieh Babakhani, in the course of the trial to announce that her self-burning was a self-decided act is a ploy to vindicate allegations of ‘provoking suicide’ and that, suicides were not pressured by the organization
– although not indicated in the file in the process, defendants insist to disapprove allegations of the group’s being engaged in cult-like activities
Any of the above cases can be discussed in detail, but of the importance is the absence of any acceptable evidence to acquit the defendants of the allegations. According to the existing videotaped evidences, the prosecution can charge that the two were not only aware of the suicide’s intention but also provided for her to commit self-burning. It alleges that the two men on trial were filmed on June 18, 2003, buying fuel from a gas station in the vicinity of the scene where she was abetted to set herself on fire.
In none of the defendants’ defences, as reported by Mojahedin-run media, there can be found evidences in relation to the file in process. For instance, the defense argues that Sediqheh Mojaveri, one of the two women who died of self-burning injuries, set herself ablaze because she had been threatened with expulsion from France to Iran. Not only there exists no evidence to her claimed cause of self-immolation, but in no way such defense acquits the suspects of their allegations. In fact, Mojahedin intend to distract the social opinion of the main issue for which the trial is set. Furthermore, they can present no proven evidence that the French government at the time had reversed her right to asylum.
Her expulsion as a refugee required certain procedures and her political condition as well as any possibility of risking her life would be taken into consideration. Besides, unless she had violated the regulations, the French government had no alibi for her expulsion. Indeed it raises a question that how two people contribute to the act of suicide for their third colleague to save her on the poor supposition that her life might be at risk.
The engagement of the refugees, being known as the members of a notorious terrorist cult, in such appalling activities in opposition to what is not beyond mere supposition indicate that Mojahedin hardly respect the regulations of the country wherein they have been granted asylum. It can also be concluded that they resort to cult-like practices against the civil and democratic laws of a country even before they are put into practice for any justifiable reason.
The propaganda scenario prepared by Mojahedin also attempts to clean Maryam Rajavi’s name of the allegations that her arrest was the cause to initiate such cult-like suicidal operations. But it is so easy a task to prove that encouragement of the members to commit self-immolation was an exalted strategy in the process of the organization’s ideological revolution as a working leverage against any made restriction by France. To wash Maryam Rajavi’s hands of the perpetrated self-immolations following her arrest, Mojahedin’s media quotes Pierre de Bousquet, the DST’s director at the time, saying “unfortunately, Mrs. Rajavi, because of the custody conditions, lost the opportunity of being immediately informed of the events happening outside to stop them”.
Such claims further prove the key role of Maryam Rajavi as Mojahedin’s she-guru to instigate or frustrate these cult activities. Even at the same time, Pierre de Bousquet had said the organisation could no longer claim that its aim was to defend human rights and bring about democracy. He said, as reported by the Observer, “The attempts at self-immolation to protest against the arrest of Madame Radjavi are proof of a new fanaticism. Auvers was to become the Mujahideen’s world headquarters after the loss of bases in Iraq.”
Stated in Mojahedin leaders’ messages at least in the past four years, suicidal activities have been advocated as working leverages against French legal bodies’ verdicts especially after the ruling of the European Court of Justice on December 12, 2006 to unfreeze the organization’s assets. Although the court has never ruled that MKO should be removed from the list of banned organisations, but under the pretext of the ruling, the organization chances orchestrating other activities.
How Mojahedin’s leaders accredit suicidal operations as solutions to encountered problems while denying cult allegations is a matter of consideration. The evidences being so evident, how can they convince the court that the committed self-immolations were the result of an abrupt and self-initiated outburst for personal reasons? And how do they justify their paradoxical mannerism of calling the victims of the immolations as heroes and martyrs?
Regardless of any verdict that the two suspects might face if convicted, for those who have developed a deep understanding of Mojahedin’s internal relations within Camp Ashraf and their European headquarters there remains no doubt that such suicidal activities are provoked by the organization itself. The two on the trial are not the only indictable suspects of the alarming elf-immolations. None of them can truly exemplify the model of the cult and terrorist entrepreneurs who, in both hideout and broad daylight, encourage and provoke such inhuman, undemocratic practices for ambitious, cult causes. They are the chief indictable villains escaping the law.