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We, child soldiers of the People’s Mojahedin

children of Camp Ashraf - Amir Vafa Yaghmaei

THREE former members of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (people’s fighters), an Islamo-Marxist inspired movement which led an armed struggle against the Shah and then against the Islamic Republic of Iran, tell Le Monde about their imprisonment as teenagers , their warrior youth under the rule of this group and the pressures to which they were subject
Also known as the Organization of Iranian People’s mujahedin, this movement, which today presents itself as a peaceful alternative to the regime in place in Iran, has been removed from the lists of American and European terrorist entities, after renouncing the use of violence.


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I had without a doubt learned to shoot a Kalashnikov, to drive a tank, to maneuver in a minefield and to fight. It was in Iraq, in 1998: Amir Vafa was then a child soldier of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK, people’s fighters). The forty-year-old, who now lives in Sweden, accuses this Iranian organization of having separated children from their families, of having exerted psychological pressure against them and of having made them prominent warriors to overthrow the Islamic regime in power in Tehran since the 1979 revolution.
It took time for Amir Vafa fifteen years after deserting the ranks of the MEK, in 2004, to dare to speak publicly about his experience. Among his former comrades in the trenches, he was the first to have testified under his real identity, in 2019. in the Persian-speaking media Mihan TV. Following a long time under the influence of the organization, “I had to rebuild myself”, he explains to Le Monde, during a meeting in a Stockholm café. “And then, I was afraid of reprisals.”
After renouncing armed struggle and violent actions in 2001, the group in exile, also known as the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), managed to remove itself from the American and European lists of terrorist entities where it once had appeared for years. Presenting itself as a peaceful, democratic and non-nuclear alternative to the Tehran regime, it still enjoys considerable influence in the West today, particularly in the United States and France. Around 2000 members live in Albania today.

Now my life is stable and I need to tell what other children and I suffered, said Mr. Vafa calmly, now the father of two little girls. Following his example, tongues began to speak. Two other ex-child soldiers agreed to describe to Le Monde their personal trajectory within the Mujahedin-e Khalq, with their faces uncovered. Around ten former members also gave their testimony, some on condition that their anonymity was preserved. According to them, at least several dozen children passed through the organization’s battalions. Asked by Le Monde about the key points of this investigation, the MEK did not wish to respond. They subsequently sent an email to Le Monde discrediting in advance our witnesses whose identity they do not know, calling them notorious agents of the “mullah regime”. On its website, the organization claims that these children joined the liberation army of their own free will.

Born in Paris in 1983, Amir is the son of two People’s Mojahedin activists who fled repression in process. This organization of Islamo-Marxist tendencies, which appeared in the 1960s, took an active part in the 1979 uprising which dethroned Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last shah. Like the other opposition forces, it suffered the irresistible rise in power of ayatollah Khomeini, who then endeavored to eliminate them after speedy trials before the revolutionary courts.

The People’s Mojahedin responded violently. In 1981, seventy-two leaders of the young Iranian theocracy died in a series of explosions in Tehran. The injured number in the dozens: Ali Khamenei, the current supreme leader and highest authority of Iran, lost the use of his right arm in one of these attacks. That same year marked his departure into exile for members of the MEK, including Amir’s parents and their leader, Massoud Rajavi. The latter chose to set up its headquarters in France.
Born in the 1980s to Iranian parents close to Mujaheddin-e Khalq, who led an armed struggle against the Shah, then the Islamic Republic, three former recruits tell exclusively to “World” about their enlistment in this movement removed from the list of terrorist organizations of the European Union in 2009

Below is a handwritten letter from Amir Vafa’s mother, in which she invites her son to the portraits of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, leading couple of the People’s Mojahedin.

Amir VAfa Yaghmaei  as a child, in Iraq, he poses alongside Maryam Rajavi.

Amir VAfa Yaghmaei  as a child, in Iraq, he poses alongside Maryam Rajavi.

The National Council of Resistance in Iran (CNRI), political showcase of the movement, volts during the day in Auvers-sur-Oise (Val-d’Oise), Esmail Vafa Yaghmai and his wife are welcomed less than 15 kilometers away, in Osny , among a family of sympathizers.

The Middle East was then on fire and blood. The hostilities opened by the Iraqi president, Saddam Hussein, against his Iranian neighbor in 1980 triggered a conflict which would not stop until eight years later. In the grip of civil war, Beirut is seeing the rise of armed groups financed by Tehran. In the hope of obtaining the release of French hostages in Lebanon, Jacques Chirac, appointed prime minister in March 1986, agreed to cancel the right of asylum that France had granted to anti-Khomeini Iranian. Massoud Rajavi left France in 1986. Police operations increased in Auvers-sur-Oise. In December 1987, the expulsion order was signed.


Amir was not yet 3 years old when his parents flew to Baghdad. Saddam Hussein offered Massoud Rajavi and his supporters a welcome worthy of a head of state, a land located 20 kilometers north of the Iraqi capital Camp Ashraf, where permission was given to them to organize armed struggle against the common enemy in Tehran. Like all the children of Ashraf, Amir was then in parades. He went to school during the day. “I slept in a boarding school at night,” he says. His father, Esmail Vafa Yaghmai, official poet of the Mujahedin, devoted himself to writing songs to glorify the movement. His mother, Akram, is responsible for communications and, later, its logistics. He only sees them on sporadic occasions.

On July 22, 1988, a ceasefire, signed under the aegis of the United Nations by Baghdad and Tehran, put an end to the war. But, three days later, Massoud Rajavi announced a major offensive. Baptized.

Foroughe Javidan (eternal light), supported by the Iraqi air force, the operation aims to seize the large Iranian city of Kermanshah, located more than 150 kilometers from the Iraqi border. By its own count, the organization lost 1,304 men in the fighting.

Amir Yaghmaei at Camp Ashraf-Iraq

Amir Yaghmaei at Camp Ashraf-Iraq

The failure of this offensive will have dramatic repercussions. In Iran, first, where political prisoners – sometimes unrelated to the MEK – are executed. Within the organization, then, which is carrying out an ideological revolution supposed to bring fighters deemed unmotivated back into line. For militant couples, divorce is made obligatory; family ties would undermine the struggle. In that same year, 1989, Maryam Rajavi – who married Massoud Rajavi in 1985 after divorcing Mehdi Abrishamchi, one of the important figures of the group – was propelled to the top authority of the organization. According to former members of the movement interviewed by Le Monde, it was then that the transformation of the movement began, which began to exert all kinds of psychological pressure on the family unit, from which children in particular would suffer.
In 1991, during the Gulf War triggered by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, several hundred of them were sent far from their parents, to Europe, the United States and Canada. They became emissaries of the cause in West, where they participate in donation drives and rallies, distribute leaflets, etc. According to testimonies collected by Le Monde, the objective was also to further break down family ties. The Mujahedin-e Khalq, in their response addressed to Le Monde, reject this accusation, explaining that Amir was sent by his parents, as other children, during the war and the bombings of Tinak in 1994, to find themselves safe and secure in Sweden. Amir, then 8 years old, was taken in by the Iranian family who had already hosted him in France when he was a baby and who lives in desert but in Sweden.

“I missed my parents a lot”, he remembers today. “I was convinced that they would soon free Tehran from Khomeini’s yoke and that we would all return there to live together. The little boy doesn’t know it, but his father has decided to move away from the hard core of Ashraf. When we were still in Europe, I had read philosophy books written by Voltaire and Spinoza, the latter tells us. “Little by little, I lost faith in Islam and the ideology of organization. I felt that this would not allow us to access democracy.” In 1993, he left the Iraq for France, where he joined the CNRI, the political body of the movement, in Auvers-sur-Oise. Esmail Vafa Yaghmai broke with the organization in 2004 and has since lived in Paris


Father and son meet again in France in 1992. Amir lives again. He learns French, he is a good student. During his free time, he goes to Auvers-sur-Oise, where he meets children his age, with a background similar to his own: “I had already met some of them in Iraq, they were like my brothers and sisters.” The center provides them with history lessons glorifying the fight against the Shah of Iran and then against the first Islamic regime: “It was exultant, it was like the scenario of an action film in which we were the heroes called to liberate Iran.” Amir is not the only one to feel this attraction: More and more teenagers wanted to join the fight in Iraq. Several are leaving. In Auvers-sur-Oise, Amir sees comrades in videos projected in the center, where they are filmed in uniform, brandishing a Kalashnikov or on top of a tank, to the background of martial music: “They had become real fighting so much. In front of the camera, they claimed that their previous lives were insignificant”. At the same time, he received a letter from his mother, who remained in Ashraf, urging him to join her. “You know better than me the number of your friends who are here”, she wrote to him, in February 1998. “When I see them, I asks when my dear Amir will finally come. When you have joined our army and I see you in these formal clothes all my dreams will be fulfilled except that of bringing, together, aunt Maryam Rajavi to Tehran.” She adds: “Don’t think that you are too young. You are better than me that the mujahedin who fought against Khomeini’s mercenaries. When we were still in Iran were younger than you.”

In the envelope, his mother slipped two photos: one of Massoud Rajavi, the other of his wife. Maryam Rajavi, proclaimed by the organization as the future president of Iran in 1993, is revered by the group and its sympathizers; she embodies the revolutionary woman who will bring the Islamic regime to its knees. Within the MEK, the highest military functions are often entrusted to women, a singularity put forward by the organization to prove to the West its commitment to gender equality. For young Amir, Massoud Rajavi is the father of all, an impeccable man, like a god, and Maryam, the leader, he wants to go and fight in Iraq. His father is opposed to this, insisting that he obtain his baccalaureate in full. Amir does not give in. “I felt inferior to the other children because my father had left the field for politics, which was considered less prestigious. All my friends were going to Iraq, I wanted to join them.”

“I fought for him to stay”, his father assures us today. Then he resigned himself, signing a form which authorized Amiz’s departure. He left for Jordan on July 7, 1998, in the company of Sara (a pseudonym used at the request of his father, still an active member of the group), a minor like him. With around ten other children, he was taken to Baghdad: “My mother was there, waiting for me.”

Akram, who hasn’t seen her son for seven years, looks happy. Amir, for his part, has the feeling of being with a stranger. Reunions with comrades from Auvers-sur-Oise in the dusty alleys of Camp Ashraf comfort him. Then begins military and ideological training for hours, square bed, revolutionary songs, shooting and combat lessons to learn how to kill the Pasdar adversary [member of the Revolutionary Guards, the ideological army of Tehran) with the bayonet. The rules are strict. Diversity is forbidden. No one goes out without special authorization of this camp surrounded by barbed wire, towers of observation and guards in their bunkers. Soon, teenagers must, like their elders, engage in public sessions of self-criticism. From the beginning of the years 2000s, once a week, everyone must write out his sexual fantasies. Friendships also are supervised. It was forbidden to lunch twice in a row next to the same comrade, insists Amir.

A deleterious atmosphere hidden from view, confirmed by a 2009 study carried out by the think tank close to the American army, RAND Corporation. The organization is described as a sectarian movement, most of whose recruits were introduced illegally in Iraq. Trapped in this country after the confiscation of their identity papers, they are subjected to military-type discipline, to strict separation of the sexes, and must observe an almost religious devotion to the Rajavis. Descriptions that the MEK refute.

After military training, Amir became a soldier. In April 2001, his unit was ambushed by Iranian regular troops near Dehloran, Iran. One of his comrades, Shahram Juyandeh, was killed. This 42-year-old former Iranian soldier had been captured during the Iran-Iraq war and locked in an Iraqi prison before becoming a Mujahedin-e Khalq fighter. “His death changed me forever”, says Amir. Back at the camp, the survivors of the unit are welcomed as heroes by their superiors. A hearty dinner treats them, but the teenager feels nauseous. By attending so much of the funeral of his martyred friend, he could no longer bear the touch of his Kalashnikov. Two months later, during an extraordinary congress in Iraq, the organization announced that it was putting an end to its military activities.


The Iraqi invasion by the United States in March 2003 changed the situation. Massoud Rajavi brings together the fighters whom he urges to go to the border with Iran. Amir was there:
Massoud told us: “In this conflict, we are neutral, but the first rocket that falls on us means that we are no longer welcome here and that we will have to leave Iraq immediately. If the Americans ask us to leave, we’ll answer them. We’re going home.” Other members present during this speech and who have since left the group told Le Monde about identical memories. After these words, Amir maintains, we all shouted: “Here we go.” No one was afraid anymore, we thought we were finally going to get out of this purgatory.

The departure remained etched in Amir’s memory. It was after the night of the Fire Festival, the last Tuesday of the Iranian year, which is traditionally celebrated with family – March 18, 2003. He and his comrades climbed onto tanks and headed to the Iranian border. “I was a gunner in a 735 (Soviet Hlindé), at my side, Amin Golmaryami, who loaded the shells.” In the evening, the vehicle was simulated in the trenches. “In the morning”, he added, “we had political sessions.”
The plan to attack Iran will never happen. One day, Amir’s unit was targeted by the American army. “Their soldiers had surely mistaken us for Iraqis”, he believes today. Upon seeing the Gl, the young man is overwhelmed by a wave of hope: “I thought that the West would save us from the organization”. In the meantime, Massoud Rajavi has disappeared. The organization has never stopped broadcasting written or audio messages attributed to the enigmatic leader but some former members believe he was killed in an American bombing. Others imagine him leading a clandestine life in a country other than Iraq.

The soldiers of the US Army are in Baghdad. Iraq is a new political chessboard that Washington believes it can master. From the American point of view, the MEK fights a common enemy – the Iranian Islamic regime, but are historical allies of the deposed dictator Saddam Hussein. The organization has powerful relays in Congress, but it remains labeled terrorist. Ultimately, these are troublemakers who must be neutralized. Under the influence of an ultimatum, the MEK signed a disarmament agreement on May 10, 2003, and agreed to regroup in Camp Ashraf alone. Under the 4th article of the Geneva Convention, their members enjoy, from the summer of 2003, the status of protected persons.

The organization agrees to let Amir go, not without having him first sign a certificate according to which he has always been well treated. This document will be used to discredit him when he breaks the omerta, in front of the cameras of Mihan TV, in 2019, to reveal his past as a child torn from his family, raised in the Rajavi cult and prepared, from the youngest age to become a soldier. “The MEK would never have let me leave without this paper”, but they are careful not to specify that, Amir is indignant. Once he left the organization, he briefly worked as a translator for the dentist at an American military base. For the first time in his life, he has access to the Internet. He dreams of returning to Europe, but the lack of identity papers makes it difficult for him. Initial approaches to France failed. Sweden responds favorably. On October 5, 2004, he flew to Stockholm, definitively abandoning all activity within the MEK.

Yaghmaee and Golmaryami

Yaghamee and Golmaryami- Anti-MKO protesters at a court in Hamburg in April 2021. (Twitter)

Many do not dare to take this step. This is for example the case of Amin Golmaryami, who was in the same tank as Amir during the American invasion. “Being afraid of what awaited me outside because, according to the propaganda in Camp Ashraf, the Mujahedis who left the organization were often raped by the Americans”, remembers Mr. Golmaryami, during an interview with Le Monde in April 2023, in Cologne, Germany, where he has lived since leaving the organization ten years ago. Today he regrets not having followed Amir

Born in 1985 in Iran, Amine spent part of his childhood in Iraq. His father was killed during Operation Foroughe Javidan, launched in 1988 by Massoud Rajavi against the army of Imam Khomeini. In 1991, he traveled to Germany with his two older brothers. The three boys were passed through several shelters supervised by the movement. In Cologne, Amin is a teenager of his time, peroxided hair, pierced ears, who listens to rap and goes out with girls. Nothing that seems to predestine him to a future as a fighter for a group with Islamo-Marxist aspirations in Iraq. But there are the summer vacations spent at the MEK headquarters, in Auvers-sur-Oise. And what he is told tirelessly: “in Baghdad, he could find his mother and the affection he misses so much.” It is this hope that pushes him to leave in 2001.

“But they never told me that I would very rarely be allowed to see her and talk to her,” says Amin, who felt manipulated.
The reunions are frustrating and the military training repels him. But the fate reserved for dissidents paralyzes him. According to an investigation carried out in 2002 and 2003 by Human Rights Watch, published in 2005 under the title Prohibited Exit on violations of human rights in the MEK camps, dissident members are sent to the jails of Abu Ghraib by the organization so that they are under good control. Some are repatriated in exchange for Iraqi prisoners of war. [Their release of prison] made it possible to obtain direct information on the conditions prevailing in the MEK camps, information previously inaccessible to the outside world. The MEK described this report as biased and oriented.


After 2003 and the American invasion, living conditions became even harsher. After the mysterious disappearance of Massoud Rajavi in Iraq, his wife, Maryam Rajavi, was arrested on June 17, 2003, in France. Pierre de Bousquet de Florian, then head of the Territorial Surveillance Directorate (DST), does not mince his words, this terrorist type organization, sectarian and with autocratic functioning, has always been compared with movements like the Khmer rouge. The reaction of his supporters, however, was unexpected. Attempts at self-immolation by fire increased in Paris.

London and Bern. The charismatic leader was released a few days later and the accusations of terrorism were not substantiated. In 2014, the charges for financial crimes were dismissed.
Far from the media agitation, in Iraq, a young comrade of Amin committed suicide. Yaser Akbari Nasab and could no longer bear the absence of the leading couple, he was a fragile boy who lacked direction: he killed himself by self-immolation, in Camp Ashraf, in 2006. That same year Nouri Al-Maliki came to power in Baghdad. The new Iraqi prime minister maintains close relations with the Iranian Islamic regime, whose influence in Iraq is strengthening. The Mujahedin are no longer welcome in the country. The closure of their camp is imminent. Violence around Ashraf is increasing.
Faced with the police who were shooting at us, we only used boxes and stones to protect ourselves, Amin remembers. In 2009, at least eight mujahedin were killed, several hundred were injured. Another raid, in 2011, resulted in the death of more than thirty mujahedin

Like other witnesses interviewed by Le Monde, Amin believes today that their leaders did not seek to protect them: On the contrary, they sent us in front of the bullets to increase the number of victims. Their goal, he believes, was to put pressure on Europe and the United States to remove the organization from terrorist entities and to facilitate the resettlement of its members in another country. In 2012, the forced displacement of some 3,000 residents of Ashraf, parked in the former American base of Camp Liberty, in the suburbs of Baghdad, and the absence of any attack confirmed by the group for more than a decade ended up convincing Washington to remove the group from its blacklist, three years after the European Union.

“Any contact with UN agents (from the UN High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR)) who regularly went to Camp Liberty had been forbidden to us by the leaders [of the MEK]”, assures Amin Golmaryami. The young man tries a ploy: he discreetly slips a distress message into the bag of a UNHCR employee, written in English by a friend and hidden inside a packet of cigarettes: “I hope that you will understand the urgency of this meeting that I am requesting because I feel a strong pressure regarding my future”. You can read this undated missive that Le Monde was able to check with the UNHCR.
He was quickly summoned for an interview which, at his request, was repeated every two weeks: “At this study, it was important that the Mujahedin knew that my case was being closely followed. Faced with pressure and reprisals from the group, it was a guarantee for my safety.” His request will not succeed, but while Camp Liberty is in turn the target of attacks, the Mujahedin obtain, under pressure from the United States and from the UN, permission for Albania to settle on its territory, near Tirana. Amin and his two brothers were among the first to go to this new headquarters, in May 2013. The members there were still few in number, and the rules were relatively flexible: “We had picnics in the mountains around Tirana. We could finally speak to each other freely and have friendly gestures.”

In Iraq, a dire fate awaits the last holdouts from Ashraf. On September 1, 2013, violence resulted in a massacre. United Nations investigators counted fifty-two corps, most of them executed. Pointed out, the Iraqi government denies any responsibility in this bloodbath. Far from this hell, and at the gates of Europe, Amin only has Germany in mind. He escaped in 2014 and ended up returning to the country of his adolescence. His first act as a free man was to go eat at McDonald’s, the second was to ask for political asylum, which he obtained the following year. Today he has German nationality.

Mohammad Reza Torabi

Mohammad Reza Torabi


In August 2019, he was joined in Cologne by one of his comrades, Mohammad Reza Torabi, a former soldier of the Mujahedin-e Khalq like him. The man experienced a similar journey, with an adolescence in exile in a family of welcome to Canada. His sympathetic speeches promising reunions with his parents who remained in Iraq made him decide to leave in 1999. He was then 17 years old.

The first contact is disappointing. His mother is cold and distant, his father is not present. The next day, she said that he had died a few years earlier of a stroke, but there were details in his story that were wrong, recalls Mohammad Reza Torabi, during an interview with Le Monde, organized, in April 2023, in Cologne, where he also lives. His doubts do not shake his faith in the organization. It then seemed natural to him to continue a fight started by his parents and uncles. For him, as for many other members, the People’s Mujahedin are, above all, a family affair.

Mohammad Reza Torabi’s uncles were executed in the early years after the 1979 revolution. His parents were arrested in 1982 while trying to flee Iran. He was still just an infant. Sentenced to five years of incarceration, his mother, Zahra Seraj, kept him with her during the first year, in Evin prison, in Tehran. He was then sent to his grandmother. His father, Ghorbanali Torabi, was imprisoned for seven years. Upon his release in 1989, the family fled to Iraq to join the MEK.
Returning to Ashraf at the age of 17, Mohammad Reza Torabi is a zealous member. He was quickly assigned the task of picking up the young arrivals. Our objective was to brainwash them, to make them forget their previous lives in order to instill in them the ideology of the People’s Mojahedin, he states bluntly. “My dedication was flawless.” With hindsight, he judges that he himself was the victim of manipulation while regretting the evil (that he) committed in the context of these functions.

In 2003, he was sent with a combat unit to the Iranian border. His spring appeared in a book published the following year by journalist Saul Hudson working for the Reuters agency. Embarked in the American army, the journalist questions Mohammed Reza Torabi, who declares himself very happy to have women as commanders: “As I spoke English, I was the spokesperson for my unit with the American troops,” underlines he today

His unwavering loyalty has earned him the rare privilege of accessing the Internet. This is how, by entering his father’s name in the search engine, he discovered a short article published on the website of the Nejat organization, considered by some to be close to the Iranian intelligence services. The author of the article, Alireza Mirasgari, knew Mohammad Reza’s father well before leaving the MEK and returning to Tehran in 2003. According to this dissident, Mohammad Reza’s father died in 1994, following torture inflicted in a detention center at Camp Ashraf. For the young man, these revelations can only be a web of lies, elaborated to fuel the enemy’s propaganda. But doubt sets in.

Mohammad Reza Torabi was one of the last mujahedin to leave Baghdad for Tirana in August 2016. In this city, he began life again and fell in love with freedom. Former comrades, who have already left the movement, are urging them to defect. He reconnects with his host family in Canada: They helped me a lot, giving me self-confidence and supporting me financially. After laborious negotiations with his superiors, he managed to escape from the group on March 3, 2017 – a date he will never forget – and moved in with a former member of the organization, in Tirana.

Still obsessed with his father’s death, he resumes his research and finds the report of Human Rights Watch, dating back around dozen years, which denounced the purges carried out within the organization between 1994 and 1995, against members suspected of harboring divergent opinions: Abbas Sadeghinejad (a dissident ) told Human Rights Watch that he witnessed the death of another detainee, Ghorbanali Torabi after the latter returned from an interrogation session in the cell he shared with him.

The break is clear: “It’s as if, all these years, everyone – except for me – knew the truth about my father’s death. Certain executives that I had frequented were directly responsible for his death. Even today, this idea pisses me off.” In August 2018, Mohammad Reza crossed the border into Greece on foot, managed to obtain a false passport and eventually arrived in Germany, where he obtained refugee status in April of the following year.


Currently, Mohammad Reza Torabi is married to a German woman, their first child was born in January 2024. He is a supervisor in a primary school. He regularly sees Amin Golmaryami, and both are in permanent contact with Amir Vafa in Stockholm. With other former mujahedin children, they exchange news about the organization on Whats App groups and support each other. Many have fallen into drug addiction or alcoholism, or suffer from psychological disorders, they lament. All three are among the lucky ones who were able to reconnect and build a stable and healthy life.

Amir Vafa obtained a certificate which has recently enabled him to work as a soil pollution control engineer. He appears in a documentary film, The Children of Camp Ashraf, released in Sweden in March. Sara, the teenager who went to Iraq with him in 1998, never left the MEK. His father visited him, under the supervision of the organization, at the end of 2016, in Tirana. Amin Golmaryami has been studying visual arts at the Academy of Media Arts in Cologne since October 2023. One of his projects focuses on mujahedin child soldiers. When his son was born, in 2022, he had the word home (house in English) tattooed on his hand. “I finally have my own family, a home of my own”, he says.

The previous year, he had agreed to tell his story to the weekly Die Zeit. The MEK sued the media outlet Justice for disseminating false statements, demanding the removal of the article. In January 2023, the organization lost the lawsuit. Even before publication, Amin Golmaryami’s mother sent a letter to the weekly denouncing disgusting manipulation. She also accuses the author of the article, Luisa Hommerich, of being in the agent of the mullah’s Gestapo. “This subject was one of the most difficult, the most distressing and the most passionate of my career”, testifies Luisa Hommerich. “I am happy to have done it and am grateful for the courage shown by my reciter.”

Amir Vafa’s mother spoke on the People’s Mujahedin television channel, Simay-e Azadi, after her son’s confessions to the Persian-speaking media Mihan TV, according to her, sold to the Iranian intelligence ministry. Amin, Amir and Mohammad Reza continue to denounce the group’s sectarian practices on social networks, despite the outpouring of insults and the online smear campaigns carried out by the Mujahedin-e Khalq and their sympathizers. Of course, their comments are taken up by the Islamic Republic of Iran. But these men, who have no sympathy for the regime in Tehran, want their story to be heard. Twenty years after the death of his father, Mohammad Reza Torabi is just beginning to mourn. He wants to file a complaint against the MEK for murder and child trafficking.

“We were entrusted to this organization, which betrayed us and led us to war”, states Amin Golmaryami. “Many of our friends are dead. Some set themselves on fire. Today, the Mujahedin are incapable of admitting their wrongs or asking us for forgiveness. The very people who claim to be fighting to restore freedom to the Iranians should start by restoring it to their members.”


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