Demanding the UN Secretary General to send a Special Rapporteur for human rights to visit Camp Ashraf in Iraq along with the former members and the families of present members
Mr. Ban Ki-Moon
The United Nations Secretary General
You may be aware that Camp Ashraf in Iraq is the main base of Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO). This group has been designated as a terrorist destructive cult by the United States which is protecting it and by Iraq which is hosting it.
At the present time more than 3000 individuals are living in this camp under the cultic training of Massoud Rajavi (leader of MKO) and tough cultic regulations are imposed on them. These people do not have any right to demand contact with the outside world and their families. They live in a totally isolated atmosphere. The way that the leaders of the cult rule their followers is in such a manner that it is a clear example of violating their most basic human rights and an example of new slavery in our era.
Since the inhabitants of the camp have been away from the free world for many years and they are constantly under the influence of the leaders, they are not in a normal physical and mental condition. The phobic fear of the outside world has been planted inside the minds of these victims in such way that they can no longer think or act freely and they have become like robots which carry out the demands of the leaders without thinking.
Since the overthrow of Saddam Hussein in Iraq until now, roughly one thousand members of the MKO have managed to leave the cult at different times. Most of these persons have reported dreadful incidents of systematic brainwashing, solitary confinement, torture, and even murder inside Camp Ashraf. These reports and witness statements have been registered in the Iraqi Judiciary System. Some international human rights organizations have approved these reports.
It is now more than six months that a great number of families of the captive members inside Camp Ashraf have been picketing outside the main gate of the cultic camp under very challenging circumstances. They have announced that they will not leave the place unless they see their beloved ones. The leaders of the cult of course have denied their just demand and in reaction they have mobilized their psychologically manipulated victims to harass the families. Sahar Family Foundation is writing this letter on behalf of these families.
Is it not necessary in such circumstances to send a Special Rapporteur from the United Nations to visit the camp along with the former members who are familiar with the internal situation of the camp, as well as the families of present members? Most certainly the leaders of the cult would not accept such a demand. In this case doesn’t the UN and the UN Security Council possess tools to force the MKO to comply with this demand? In view of the suffering families, the minimum that the Human Rights Commission of the UN can do is to bring up this issue and if the leaders of the cult did not accept such an inspection, to base its report on what the former members have to say from their long experience (some even from their childhood) with the group.
The reports issued by the US Department of State since 1994 up to the present time (2010) and their contents as well as the 2009 report issued by the RAND institute about the MKO in Iraq and the 2005 report of Human Rights Watch about the violation of human rights inside the cult and the comments given by the Prime Minister and the President of Iraq on several occasions as well as the Iraq security authorities’ comments and the continuous confession of the MKO leaders about violation of human rights are enough to condemn the leaders even without trial. If not, at least these should be basis enough for the UN to instigate an investigations into the human rights violations and send a Special Rapporteur to visit this isolated, closed and secretive camp and issue a report. Surely if the leaders of the MKO were honest they would not prevent a mother visiting her son and if the followers have divorced their spouses and their children and the normal life willingly, there is no need to hide things and disconnecting the members from the outside world.
All that the suffering families wish to be assured of is the mental and physical health of their relatives inside the camp as it is the most basic right of an individual to enjoy every Article of the UN Declaration of Human Rights. Now, regardless of any political interests, the systematic violation of such rights cannot be acceptable and cannot be ignored. The families cannot help but blame the UN if it turns its face in a different direction and does not fulfill its duties. If the UN in Iraq does not meet these requests for any reason it should be held responsible for misconduct in these matters. One can say that the UN could do something but they did not.
The suffering families picketing outside Camp Ashraf in Iraq are looking forward for your reply and your action.
Sahar Family Foundation
Baghdad, 1 September 2010
1. Reports given by the US Department of State since 1994 until this year (2010) which emphasizes that MKO is a terrorist cult
2. The2009 Report of the American RAND institute about the MKO In Iraq
3. The 2005 Report of Human Rights Watch titled “No Exit” about the violation of human rights inside the MKO
4. The resolution passed by the Iraqi administration in its 27th session dated 17 June 2008 (no. 216) about the MKO being a terrorist cult and its illegal presence in Iraq. This resolution emphasized that the MKO base most be dismantled and their forces should leave Iraq.
UN Human Rights Commission
UN High Commissioner for Refugees
International Committee of the Red Cross
Human Rights Watch
Iraqi Ministry of Human Rights
Iraqi and international media