Home » Missions of Nejat Society » Le Monde’s four-page report on child soldiers of the MEK

Le Monde’s four-page report on child soldiers of the MEK

Le Monde - child soldiers

Ghazal Golshiri, journalist of Le Monde, in a detailed report published on four full pages of the newspaper along with a number of photos recounts the fate of three former members of the People’s Mojahedin organization (PMOI/ MKO/ MEK) who had joined it since childhood and adolescence. The main title of the report is: “We, the child-soldiers of the Iranian Mujahedin-e Khalq”.

The three people mentioned in the Le Monde report were born in the 1980s and had parents who were close to the MEK. Along with photos of these three people, Le Monde mentions their real names as follows: Amir Vafa, Mohammad Reza Torabi and Amin Golmaryami.

Amir Vafa Yaghmai, who lives in Sweden today, got acquainted with the Kalashnikov weapon in Iraq in 1998, when he was 14 years old, he even learned how to drive a tank. He criticizes the MEK for separating children from their families and putting mental pressure on them to raise them as fighters.

Ghazal Golshiri writes that today the MEK presents itself as “a peaceful, democratic and non-nuclear alternative” to the Islamic Republic and “has significant influence in the West, including in the United States and France. About 2,000 members of this organization live in Albania today.”

Besides Amir Vafa, two other former child soldiers have agreed to describe their fate to Le Monde with their true identities. Others have spoken about their experiences but have preferred to remain anonymous.

Le Monde newspaper has asked the MEK’s opinion about the main points of the report, but has not received an answer. Instead, by sending an email, the organization considered the testimony of all these people as invalid without knowing their identity and described them as “known agents of the Mullah regime”.

After describing the background of the group and taking refuge in France and finally settling in Iraq, Le Monde writes that Amir Vafa was separated from his parents when he was three years old, after being transferred to Iraq like other children. His father, Ismail Vafa Yaghmai, was engaged in composing hymns as the organization’s official poet, and his mother, known as Akram, worked in the organization’s communications and logistics department. In those circumstances, Amir met his parents in very rare opportunities.

After the end of the Iran-Iraq war and the armed operations of the MEK against Iran, known as “Forugh Javidan”, an “ideological revolution” was developed by the group leaders, which was associated with the marriage of Masoud Rajavi and Maryam Qajar Azdanloo (Rajavi). From this time on, the pressure on families and children increased because according to them “family bonds harm the struggle.”

Then in 1991, when Iraq invaded Kuwait, hundreds of MEK children were sent to Europe, Canada and America without their parents. Amir Vafa also was trafficked to Sweden at the time, but finally returned to Iraq at the request of his mother. In a letter, his mother asked her son to continue the fight against “Khomeini’s mercenaries”. With this letter, she had sent two photos of Masoud and Maryam Rajavi as a gift to her son. The forty-ear old Amir says, “Masoud Rajavi was like the father of all of us, like God.”

In Iraq, strict military training and discipline shocked Amir. In addition, sessions of “self-criticism” and even confessions to sexual fantasies became mandatory. In 2001, during an operation near Iranian border, one of Amir’s friends and “comrades” named Shahram Jooyandeh lost his life in a conflict with the forces of the Islamic Republic. This incident strongly affected the spirit of Amir so that he was exempted from military activity shortly after.
Masoud Rajavi disappears

With the American invasion on Iraq in 2003, the status of the MEK changes. Rajavi tells the members to go to Iran. Amir along with his friend named Amin Golmaryami go to the border of Iran with a tank, but they are captured by the American forces. In this chaotic situation, Masoud Rajavi disappears. Some members say that he was killed in the American bombings, others believe that he lives secretly in a country like Iraq.

Finally, under the pressure of US military, the MEK accepts disarmament and remains in Camp Ashraf. Amir is also allowed to leave the organization after signing a letter in which he has to testify that he has always been treated well there. He finally went to Sweden in 2004 and ended his cooperation with the MEK forever.

But Amin Golmaryami has a different fate. After “Ashraf”, he goes to the “Liberty” camp and is finally transferred to Albania. The most ominous fate awaits the members who stayed in Camp Ashraf. 52 people are massacred in this place. The Iraqi government led by Nouri Maliki denies any kind of intervention in this crime. After escaping from Albania, Amin Golmaryami reaches Germany. Today he has German citizenship.

In 2019, one of Golmaryami’s friends named Mohammad Reza Torabi also arrived in Germany. He, who strongly believed in the MEK as a teenager, after his defection from the MEK was informed through one of the former members that his father died under torture in Camp Ashraf. After Iraq, Mohammad Reza arrived in Albania and found out the meaning of “real life” there.

Ghazal Golshiri writes at the end of the report that Mohammad Reza Torabi, Amin Golmaryami and Amir Vafa, despite insults and attacks and accusations by the MEK, are still trying to expose the “cult-like behavior” of the organization. Of course, the regime of the Islamic Republic also tries to take advantage of their statements. However, all three people still want their words and experiences to be heard. Even Mohammad Reza Torabi is thinking of filing a legal complaint against the MEK on charges of “murder and child trafficking”.

Amin Golmaryami says: “We were left in the hands of an organization that betrayed us and led us to war… Many of our friends have died. Some self-immolated. But the Mojahedin organization is still unable to accept its faults and apologize. Those who claim to fight for the freedom of Iranians must first start by freeing their members.”

You may also like

Leave a Comment