Families of MEK Victims Want Same Visiting Rights as U.S. Detainee Families

Families of MEK Victims in Camp Ashraf, Iraq Want Same Visiting Rights as U.S. Detainee Families in Iran 

A group of Iranian families today asked the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Christopher Hill, for his help in negotiating with the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organisation (aka Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCRI) to give visiting rights to the detainees in Camp Ashraf in Diyala province.
 Families of MEK Victims in Camp Ashraf, Iraq Want Same Visiting Rights as U.S. Detainee Families in Iran
The parents of captives in Camp Ashraf were responding to news that the mothers of three young Americans detained in Iran, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, are on their way to visit their children in prison there.

They said, "We are so happy for these families that negotiations with Iran have resulted in allowing these visits on compassionate grounds. Everyone in the world knows the strength of the bond between parent and child. We hope they will achieve their wishes in Iran."

For nearly four months the families have been encamped outside the camp which houses members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq terrorist cult. The cult leaders refuse to allow ordinary members to have any contact with the outside world and will not negotiate with external bodies. Some members have been trapped inside the camp for over twenty years.

Although the Government of Iraq is responsible for the camp, officials say their hands are tied because the MEK have powerful backers in Washington, even though it is on the U.S.’s own terrorism list. The families told Mr. Hill, "We witnessed ourselves that American soldiers intervened on behalf of the MEK leaders when Iraqi soldiers tried to help us get inside the camp."

Urging Mr. Hill to intervene on their behalf with the leaders of the MEK the families said, "Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds… But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families."

* * *
Open Letter to the U.S. Ambassador to Iraq, Mr Christopher R. Hill
Dear Ambassador,

We are Iranian families who have travelled to Iraq to find relatives enslaved by the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation (aka Rajavi cult, MEK, MKO, PMOI, NCRI) in Camp Ashraf. We families have been encamped outside the gates of Camp Ashraf for nearly four months now, and still not been helped enough to meet with our relatives.

We now have news that the mothers of three young Americans, Shane Bauer, Sarah Shourd and Josh Fattal, detained in Iran are flying over there to visit them in prison.
We are so happy for these families that negotiations with Iran have resulted in allowing these visits on compassionate grounds. Everyone in the world knows the strength of the bond between parent and child. We hope they will achieve their wishes in Iran. We share the same anguish as these three mothers, with the difference that our children have been held captive in Camp Ashraf for over twenty years, not by the Iraqi government but by the very leaders of the group they are with. And conditions inside Camp Ashraf are worse than any prison; our children are not allowed to telephone or even to write to their families, they have been enslaved.

Up until 2003 we could not approach the camp where our children live because the Mojahedin-e Khalq were armed. We became hopeful when U.S. Forces disarmed the group and rounded them up into one place. At last there was hope of visiting. But the U.S. Army failed to get the group to surrender, even though it is on the U.S.’s own terrorism list as well as being a foreign terrorist group in Iraq. Even when we travelled to Iraq to find our children, the U.S. Army did not help us. Those few members who were lucky enough to meet their families always had MKO minders with them to prevent them from escaping.

When the Government of Iraq took control of the camp in January 2009 we again had hope that we could visit our children. But the MEK leaders refuse to cooperate and have not only kept the gate locked but threatened us with violence if we don’t leave. Now the Iraqi government is doing what it can to help us, but for almost four months we are still stuck at the entrance gate without news.

Over these four months we have talked to everyone we can; UNAMI, the Red Cross, human rights groups, Diyala tribal leaders, Iraqi and foreign press, Iraqi government officials and the military personnel responsible for the camp. In private we have been told over and over again that the Iraqi government cannot do more to help us because the Mojahedin-e Khalq has powerful backing in America (where it is on the U.S. terrorism list). We witnessed ourselves that American soldiers intervened on behalf of the MEK leaders when Iraqi soldiers tried to help us get inside the camp.

Now we are finally convinced that no one but America has control over this group – and even then we see that the tail is wagging the dog.

Your government successfully arranged for the mothers of U.S. detainees in Iran to visit their children on compassionate grounds and we wish them every joy that such a meeting must bring. But, if America can negotiate this with Iran, we certainly expect that you can negotiate with this small terrorist group so that its members can meet freely with their families.
We ask you as a matter of urgency, as Ambassador of the USA to Iraq, to use the considerable influence that you have to force the Mojahedin-e Khalq in Camp Ashraf to allow, on compassionate grounds, for our children to meet freely with us

The families of MEK members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq

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