Hassan Atash Afzun, MKO former member, tells his memories of the 18 years he spent in the group.
I was born in Bandar Abbas in 1968. I didn’t know the MEK just like most Iranians, however those Iranians, who know them, hated them due to clear reasons but I wasn’t even interested to know about them.
In 1983, I traveled to UAE illegally to find a Job. After 6 years of working there, when I was likely to be able to get citizenship, in 1989 I met Majid Shekouhi, he suggested working in Europe and I accepted the suggestion ambitiously. In the late 1989 he took me to Dubai airport to board the plane with a false passport! At the airport when I was boarding, I found out that there was no trip to England and the plane was supposed to take me to Baghdad. So my fate was going another way.
In Camp Bagher Zade I heard of Mujahedin Khalq for the first time! I was not able to communicate with them at all so I complained asking for leaving the camp but they began to threaten me saying that “Because you entered Iraq illegally, we have to hand you to Iraqi forces who will send you to Abu Qoraib prison.”
They recommended that after a three-month period of military training! I would go to Europe. Once I saw Majid Shekouhi in a ceremony and complained to him because he had deceived me, so he promised that I would go to Europe in thee months.
They tried to convince me to stay in Iraq. They even resorted to methods to control my mind, for example they would let me watch Indian films if I was ready to watch the films of their suicide operations. I was controlled by threats, alluring, terrifying, so I stopped complaining. I always had a question in mind: why do they urge on recruiting some one by deception and then keep him by force? A question I could find answer for when I entered MKO’s relations: the MEK seriously needed to show Saddam Hussein that their number is everyday on the rise in order to prove their legitimacy and also they could get more facilities due to their new recruitments.
I was organized in NLA which was in fact a complicated part of Saddam’s army and, in 1991, I attended the operation that ended with the death of Kurdish people in Touz-Kefri road. I could personally see five Kurds who were killed by the MEK.
Masud Rajavi said about “Pearl Operation” :
“we are defending our landlord – Izat Ibrahim commands over the MEK and if he wasn’t here, they would not give the tanks to us- we paid the price of the donated tanks by Kurds’ blood.”
Saee’d Manouchehri, Mohammad Reza Tari, Mohammad Reza Pour Daghi, and many other MEK members who participated in the operation told us quoting from the Rajavis:
”Take the Kurds under your tanks ,keep the bullets for revolutionary guards.”
During the first Gulf War, when the Iraqi forces left Baghdad ,Izat Ibrahim was in charge of the MEK ( in fact he was ,after Saddam, the main supporter of the MEK). It seems that at the present time, the MEK is trying to stay in Iraq in the hope of Izat Ibrahim’s supporters and the return of Baath remnants.
I had challenges in the organization where I was punished due to the least complaint; in 1993 when Mahmoud Qaem Shahr saw my insistence to leave the group told me to write down and sign that I was regime’s agent , then I would be allowed to go!
In fact, this was a way to prevent forces’ defection and the other way was to threaten the members that they would hand them to Iraqi government and imprison them in AbuQoraib. Once more I wasn’t in doubt, so I was sent to “Traffic control” section to serve as the guard for authorities of MEK. Mostly I was with Ozra Alavi when she wanted to go to Habib base in Basra.
At the time, they showed too much concern for me and even Masud Rajavi sent a message to me that :
” you should become Shiite due to the organization and your ideological leader and you should declare that you are not a Sunnite anymore and you have converted to Shiite religion!” but I didn’t accept.
After the fall of Saddam Hussein, the MEK had a hard time because their main supporter in the world was overthrown, they were disarmed and controled. Mozhgan Parsaiee was so afraid of the time when the American forces figure out that the Mujahedin cheered and celebrated the September Eleventh attack so their problems increase. I remember that I got the news of Sep.11th attack when I was in the soccer field.
We started cheering and chanting. They announced to go indoors so as the American satellites cannot notice us! In a meeting that was held after September 11th attack, Masud Rajavi told to Maryam Rajavi:
”if your forces had revolted, they would have launched such an operation” and he also addressed the pilots :”Dear pilots, you must be prepared for such operations.”
The situation was so disturbing after the fall of Saddam Hussein and American’s settlement. Also some members were complaining so the organizations officials had to deal with both internal and external problems. Mozhgan Parsaiee said in the meetings:
”we will not stop the armed struggle but we have to postpone it because of our preferences.”
For their maintenance in Iraq, after Saddam, they used any trick including paying large amounts of money to people to sign petitions asking for MEK’s stay in Iraq. I was transferred to this section because I knew Arabic. I was in charge of gathering signatures and paying money to the signatories. Hamid Mausavi and abu Heidar (Iraqi) were also recruited by MEK to collect signatories in Iraqi tribes. For each signature 150,000 Dinars were paid. I was supposed to revise the signatures and divide the money. The problem was that out of the 400 signatures, 390 were the same. This reminded me the time when the members were marching in Camp Ashraf and each member had to pass in front of the scene several time but in different forms so as the number of members seemed more!
When I was working in MEK’s social headquarters (The meeting room for their visits with Iraqis), I had a TV and I could receive Iranian channels. When I saw the film “wolves” [which was made by Iranians on MEK’s relations with Saddam Hussein] and I found out the close relationships between Saddam Hussein and Masud RAjavi,I was deeply decided to escape towards TIPF but my decision was denounced. Since that time I started disobeying the organization’s orders. Finally I could come to TIPF where I immediately contacted my family whomI was not allowed to contact with for many years.
Since I came to Iran, I have been assured that the MEK have been spending their time in a cave called Ashraf for two decades. The MEK’s world is a dark, tight world where everything is black and white and iced. This is a fact that you can not find out unless you face the Sun. Now I am under a sun named Iran.