A new round of activities of Sahar Family Foundation
Patience, Dawn is Breaking
A word with our readers
As we enter a new round of activities of Sahar Family Foundation and announce the launch of the site a new format, we wish to communicate with readers of the site and friends and supporters of SFF.
SFF was established in Baghdad around three years ago by some former members of the Rajavi cult (Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization – MKO) who had managed to escape from this destructive cult and get out of Ashraf garrison. They started everything from scratch, with practically nothing in hand.
The aim in establishing this Foundation was to help those freed from the cult in Iraq, as well as the families of those still trapped inside Ashraf garrison, who had wanted to visit their captive beloved ones for more than two decades.
This responsibility seemed difficult from the beginning and the process proved to be even more difficult than it looked in the first instance. Our facilities and resources were very limited compared to the enormity of our task. Nevertheless, our fellow countrymen in various countries as well as humanitarian organizations and individuals in Iraq helped us in this regard.
As some of our members moved to Europe and because of the high amount of legal work involved in participating in the legal file opened against the MKO in the Iraqi judiciary, and also taking care of the travel and residence arrangements of the desperate families and the former members, the SFF site was practically in a state of stagnation and our resources were used for what was considered to be more vital. During this period the task of issuing information was mostly done by the sites of Iran-Interlink in Britain and Nejat Society in Iran who effectively did what was actually our job.
During this period, the office of SFF in Kazemein was subject to a terrorist attack. We decided to keep silent in this regard and all we did was just to move our office to a new place. Of course we continued with our job even more seriously. The site too was attacked by hackers. Our friends in Europe managed to turn it back to normal after sometimes using a lot of efforts. These subversive activities however did not stop us from fulfilling our duties and responsibilities.
Now we feel obliged to praise and thank all those who helped us during past three years and truly did not hesitate in aiding us. In particular, it is essential to thank the following people on behalf of the families and the former members. May God be with them all the time.
Mr. Massoud Khodabandeh, the manager of Iran-Interlink in Britain who travelled to Iraq several times (Baghdad, Erbil, Kirkuk, Dahuk, Suleimania, and etc.) and played a key role in sorting out the affairs of former members just freed from the cult and also the families of present members. His help in different periods were absolutely vital.
Ms Batul Soltani, former member of the MKO Leadership Council, who was very active in dealing with the affairs of the SFF in Iraq. Her trips to Iraqi Kurdistan and to Turkey along with Mr. Khodabandeh paved the way for the success of SFF.
Mr. Arash Sametipour and Mr. Samad Nazari and other officials of the Nejat Society in Iran who made several trips to Baghdad and also sorted out the trips of the families and helped us by providing facilities and legal advice.
Mr. Reza Sadeghi, Mr. Asghar Farzin, Mr. Ali Biglary and others who were managing the activities of SFF unstintingly and courageously.
Mr. Mehdi Khoshhal and Mr. Ali-Akbar Rastgou who travelled from Germany to Iraq to help SFF, even though they faced many difficulties.
The families of Nowruzi and Mohammadi from Canada, Bashiri from Norway, Akbari-Nasab from Germany and many others who beside striving to free their beloved ones helped us in many ways.
We also must thank all Iraqi and non-Iraqi lawyers and citizens in Iraq who sincerely helped us with the affairs of SFF. Without them we could not establish and run SFF. In this respect we would like to particularly thank Mr. Tariq Harb the head of Iraqi Lawyers Association, the Government of Iraq (especially Dr. Muwaffaq Al-Rubaii the former Iraqi National Security Adviser, and Ms Wijdan Mikhael the Iraqi Minister for Human Rights), all tribe chiefs of the province of Diyala, the officials of the United Nations and UNAMI, the Iraqi police stationed in Ashraf garrison, international bodies such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch, the Iraqi political parties (except the supporters of the Iraq’s toppled regime who support the Rajavi cult), reporters and the media and finally the individual American soldiers based at Ashraf garrison who were kind, considerate and respectful.
You are aware of the political events in Iraq as far as they are related to the presence of the MKO in Iraq. In January 2009, responsibility for Ashraf garrison was transferred to the Iraqi Government. The Iraqis at first promised that when they took responsibility for Ashraf garrison they would let the families to see their beloved ones trapped inside the cult. But this did not happen since there was a lot of foreign interference and the involvement of some elements with particular interests; the international Zionist lobby including, Lord Corbett of England and Struan Stevenson of Scotland as well as the supporters of Saddam Hussein in Jordan, who are the only backers of Rajavi in the region and who are striving to bring back the toppled regime of Iraq and use every means to let the MKO (Rajavi destructive cult) reach this goal contrary to the wish of the suffering families.
For more than four months, some determined families have made a picket line in front of Ashraf gate and refuse to move until they visit and talk with their relatives freely. More are joining them day by day. The activities of these families, despite the fake propaganda and sabotage of the leaders of the cult, enjoyed positive coverage in the Arabic and international media. The BBC Persian television broadcast a report under the title of "useless efforts of Iran and Iraq to close down Camp Ashraf" and mentioned that "leaders of Mojahedin-e Khalq are keeping individuals in camp Ashraf forcefully". Associated Press and United Press International as well as Reuters and also international Arabic papers such as Al-Sharq Al-Awsat of London and many Iraqi and non-Iraqi television channels and newspapers gave coverage to the sit-in of the families. The widespread coverage of this issue by various media contrasts strongly with the fact that the MKO had to resort to paid advertisements to spread misinformation and relied on its apologists in various parliaments to advocate for them by deception.
But it is interesting that this destructive cult claimed "the Iraqi forces are preventing families visiting with their loved ones". Rajavi shamelessly calls the picketing families "enemies’ terrorist conspiracy" and claims that all these families are "enemy spies and mercenaries". Perhaps he meant that they ambushed their headquarters in Iraq with machine guns and bazookas and night vision equipments. The photos of these families, some over 75 years old, breaks the heart of every human being, particularly bearing in mind that they are labeled ‘aggressive, agent and spy’ by the leaders of the MKO. Can someone find a more wicked man in the modern history of Iran than Massoud Rajavi? Are any boundaries for corruption, mendacity and cruelty known to him? Can a person be more loyal to the motto which denotes the cults in world history that "the aim justifies the means"? How far can a human being go forward to "gain power at any cost" in lying and indecency and harassment of innocent people? How far can a person sacrifice hundreds and thousands of individuals?
In a meeting with an official of an international organization in Baghdad the person mentioned that "I really feel ashamed facing these families and I am amazed how during the war and bombings in Afghanistan, family visits with prisoners of war could be arranged, but now in Iraq after so many years not even one letter could be obtained from the inhabitants of Camp Ashraf for their families. When political interests take the place of humanitarian relations and everything is seen through the glasses of interests and when a person like Rajavi is prepared to sell his country as well as even the members of his own cult, these matters do not amaze anyone.
Sahar Family Foundation is honored to have been able to tread this long path toward its goal, which is to reunite the members of the cult with their families, and of course until we reach this goal we will not stop our efforts. Visiting loved ones is the absolute right of these families and if even the world denies it they would not abrogate their rights and eventually they will succeed.