Ms Batul Soltani, former member of the Leadership Council of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), has written the following letter to the members of
My name is Batul Soltani and I was a leading member of the MKO when I left the cult about two years ago. I was born in Isfahan in 1965 and I left Iran along with my husband to join the organization in 1986. We were married for 8 months then and I was pregnant. We entered Iraq from Pakistan in 1987 when my first child was 2 months old. My second child was born in Iraq.
In 1991 the MKO leaders, Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, introduced the compulsory divorces to the members, and forced us to separate from our spouses and to abandon our children and send them all to Europe and the US. My 5 year old daughter was sent to Sweden and my 6 month old son was sent to the Netherlands, both with false identities. I have not seen them since. I objected these practices at that time but I had no choice as we were all trapped in a dangerous destructive cult. The terrorist MKO still prevents me from having normal contact with my children.
I was sent to England with a fake passport for about 3 years (1994 – 1997) and even during this period I had no chance to see my children. I was mainly based in a collective house working with a computer.
I spent about two decades of my life with this organization and I know how the people inside Ashraf garrison, which is run like a prison, feel. I managed to escape from Ashraf risking my life in late 2006 and reached the American forces base nearby and sought refuge with them for about a year. Finally I managed to settle in Baghdad. Now I try to help the MKO dissidents in Iraq. I traveled to Iraqi Kurdistan and to Turkey to help the former members of the MKO who have escaped from Ashraf garrison and who are living in a very difficult situation.
I had a series of interviews for Sahar Family Foundation in Baghdad about my experiences with the MKO. Up to number 10 of these interviews have been translated into English and you can read them at the following link:
The main issue of the MKO is the matter of violation of human rights (Human Rights Watch report – May 2005). The leaders of the MKO terrorist cult are denying the most basic rights of their members who are mentally manipulated using sophisticated psychological methods. The some 3400 individuals in the Ashraf garrison have no access to the outside world. They have been made to believe that they are obliged to stay there and like all other cult followers they think that the outside world is satanic and corrupt and they will only be saved in that heaven!
I have been informed that a resolution on Ashraf garrison in Iraq which is the headquarters of the National Liberation Army (NLA – aka MKO) is going to be discussed early next week in the EP at the request of the supporters of this terrorist cult.
As a member of the MKO for about 20 years, I wish to ask all European Parliamentarians to focus on the following basic considerations for the benefit of the inhabitants of the Ashraf garrison:
– Free access of all members to their families using communication means such as post and telephone, and letting them to visit their family members who come to Iraq to see them somewhere outside Ashraf garrison without the presence of the MKO officials.
– Free access to the general media as well as books and publications for all members without any limitations imposed by the MKO officials
– Free access of all members to the Iraqi authorities without going through the channels of the MKO officials (in this regard every individual in the Ashraf garrison must initially be interviewed privately outside the garrison by the Iraqi authorities to learn whether the person wishes to remain an MKO member or not).
I should emphasize that the major threat against the lives and morals of the inhabitants of Ashraf garrison comes from the leaders of the cult since they have warned on many occasions that if they are not allowed to run their cult as they are doing now they will force all their followers to commit self-immolations the same way they did in 10 European cities in June 2003 after the detention of Maryam Rajavi in Paris charged with planning and conducting terrorism.
I am ready to meet anyone interested, anywhere and at any time to discuss what is going on inside this notorious cultic base called Ashraf in Iraq. I also urge all parliamentarians to take into consideration the issue of human rights for the captive members of the MKO in Iraq and also the just stances of the Iraqi government in this regard.
Batul Soltani – Baghdad April 20, 2009