A chilling story of a Kurdish toddler who was snatched by Mujahedeen Khalq to North America.
AMSTERDAM (Kurdish Media) Feb 23, 2000 – Mujahideeni Khalq, an armed opposition group from Iran but based in Iraq, claiming to be an alternative to the Islamic Republic of Iran, has been in fact a tool in Saddam’s hand to oppress the Kurds and the Iraqi people. The Mujahideen took part in suppressing the Kurdish uprising of March 1991 following the Gulf war. Local Kurds state that, at that time, the Mujahideen shot anyone they put their hands on. "They were not interested in taking prisoners; they just shot anyone who came on their way," said the local Kurds. The Mujahideen who operated in Southern Kurdistan were dressed in Kurdish costumes in order to be confused with local people. Documents captures in the Iraqi Security Headquarters in Sulemani, Southern Kurdistan, revealed that this order came from Ali Hassain Al-Majeed, known to Kurds as Ali Chemical for gassing people of Halabja in March 16, 1988. See the Arabic Document published here.
This was in the past. Now they are a network of terrorists, trained and armed by Saddam to be activated whenever needed. The Mujahideen has started to train children from an early age to become part of a terrorist network ready for action. This is a story of a boy who became trapped in this circuit when he was 2.
The story started when Mujahideen leader, Masoud Rajavi, in 1991 launched his "Second Ideological Revolution" initiative, in which, accordingly, everyone in his organization men, women and children devote their lives to the organisation. The way to implement this was not easy. This "Second Ideological Revolution" imposed obligatory divorce upon married couples within the Mujahideen groupings, and sending their children away from home (abroad), so that they would be entirely devoted to carrying out Rajavi’s orders.
Similarities can be seen between the Mujahideen initiative and the Chinese ‘Cultural Revolution’. One implications of this initiative is that a member’s spouse or a child belongs to the organisation and the organisation is free to do whatever it wishes to do with them. This policy claimed considerable number of casualties. Amongst them was ‘Bihawar[Bahador], the two year old son of an Iranian Kurd by the name of Khurrami. ‘Bihawar'[Bahador] was with an unknown number of children who were separated from their parents to be sent to Europe or North America. What befell to these children will be told a bit later.
Khurammi, ‘Bihawar’s'[Bahador] father, was told that his son was living with his uncle in the US. To his horror, the father discovered later on that this was a lie. Bihawar had been looked after by an elite ‘family’ member of the Mujahideen organisation in Toronto, Canada. He was not in the USA after all. ‘Bihawar’ was now a candidate to be brainwash and trained as an elite member of the Mujahideen.
Six months after Bihawar’s departure, Khurrami -the father- resigned from the organisation, allegedly for organisation’s deep co-operation, in every aspect, to commit genocide against the Kurds. As a Kurd, Khurrami could not support the Mujahideen any longer.
Khurrami began to track down and find his son. First he contacted the Red Cross Society, but this attempt produced no tangible results. He decided then to leave Iraq to pursue the fate of his son. On Sep 7, 1992, he arrived in Netherlands and immediately got in touch with Mrs Ilham, the Netherlands’ representative of the Mujahideen who lives in The Hague.
Mrs Ilham followed the organisation’s line and promised to help on a condition that Khurrami and his family -his wife and his sister who lived with him in the Netherlands- co-operate with her and help in running the Netherlands affairs of the Mujahideen. Khurrami’s sister, for the sake of her brother, decided to co-operate until she learned about the fate of her nephew. But Mrs Ilham, the Mujahideen representative was not naïve, she was gaining time and presumably assuming that the older the child grew away from his parents, the easier for the organisation to indoctrinate and control him for its benefits. Furthermore, perhaps she was hoping that Khurrami would change his mind and rejoin the organisation. She was never satisfied with the level of their co-operation. She always asked for more work.
Probably the child was the only negotiating card to keep the Khurramis quiet since he was a dangers man, who knew far too much about the organisation. Not just that, but now he was even willing to confess to the media about the Mujahideen, in particular about their campaign of Kurdish genocide, in which they acted on behalf of Saddam’s regime.
Khurrami, by now was a desperate man. He found the two people in Canada, Known as Simin Shafin and Hamid Bira, who were keeping the ‘Bihawar’, his son. Through Iranian and Canadian authorities, he tried to get in touch with these two people. Also to smoothen the way, he sent them a number of presents. All this was of no use.
In 1992, Khurrami decided to take the last chance and go to Canada, but he needed a formal invitation, because he had no Netherlands’ nationality. The Mujahideen organization refused to assist him. He was not successful in realizing his travel plans.
He attempted again after one year, in 1993; this time through the Canadian Embassy in London. He was getting closer to the chase, but the embassy asked for $US10,000 to guarantee his return.
In the meanwhile, the Mujahideen couple in Canada tried everything to keep the child hidden from the father. They tried to have the custody of him, brainwash him to hate his parents and kept him hidden from Khurrami by constantly changing their address and telephone numbers. However, Kurrami’s desire to get hold of his child was strong enough to pursue his whereabouts.
Despite all odds, Khurrami managed, at last, to meet his son ‘Bihawar’. He was 11 by then. Khurrami had not seen him since he was 2. So, it was a difficult moment for both of them. Khurrami was not sure how to approach his son. He started by showing pictures when Bihawar was a baby and told stories of his childhood. He bought him some new clothes. He was patient and the boy needed it. Khurrami had to stay in Canada for a long time, not only to influence his son but also to influence the couple who kept him. The father also tried to soften up the couple by contacting the relatives of these people in Iran, hoping that they would be able to exercise some influence on them.
Pressured from all side and seeing that Khurrami would not give up his son, the couple decided -at least for the time being- to let go off of the child. The father and the son contacted the Dutch embassy in Ottawa to return to Europe. Khurrami was told that they had to wait for 3 months for the necessary papers to be issued.
Khurrami went back to Holland to be joined by his son in December 1998. However, this did not happen. Yet the family is still hoping that Bihawar would return to them. They gave ‘Bihawar’ the telephone numbers of numerous people, including the Canadian Embassy in Netherlands, so that he could get in touch with them when he was ready.
The Khurramis were told by several officials that the boy was now 11 and was not going to settle dawn with them. So Mr. Khurrami launched another attempt to woe his son back to the fold of the family. He even hired experts to instruct him as to how to behave in the presence of his son and how to treat him. He succeeded in winning the boy’s consent to go with him. To everybody’s surprise Birhawar happily adjusted to life in his biological family.
For the Khurramis, this was too good to last. Whether the Mujahideen put the Ottowa caretacers under pressure to get the boy back, was not clear. What became transparent, however, was that the Ottowa caretakers began to pressure the boy by writing and contacting him at school and at home. But the boy did not respond since he was happy with his new life with his real family. Then the Mujahideen caretaker couple decided to start a legal battle.
The legal procedure started -and to everybody’s surprise- early on in the trial, on Sep 17, 1999, it appeared that the Kurammis0 were about to loose. And, it was the court’s understanding that the boy was better off with the Mujahideen caretaker couple. But when Bihawar was asked his opinion at a testimony in court, he strongly rejected the Mujahideen couple and begged the judge to allow him to stay with his real family. No one understood the boy’s plea. "Was he an unfaithful boy to his caretaker family who looked after him for 9 year?", must have been the question in everyone’s mind.
On Sep 29, 1999, in a TV interview, known as ‘2 van daay’, ‘Bihawar’ Revealed a dirty plan of the Mujahideen’s. He stated that the Mujahideen train the youth and children of their members, in particular, the children of those who are in dispute with the organization, to become terrorists all around the world for the organisation. With such long range and early preparation, the Mujahideen will prepare and put in place a network of terrorist around the world.
If one takes the view that Mujahideeni Khalq is sponsored by Saddam and that their bases are all in Iraq, one can conclude that while the UN is fighting Saddam to strip him powerless within Iraqi borders, he is getting out through the back door to spread his network around the world. "When will the dictator activate this network," is a question waiting to be answered.
In the next hearing, on October 17, 1999, where the Khurramis were absent, the Mujahideen solicitor demanded that the Khurramis pay DG25,000 ($US13,000) to the Mujahideen couple for keeping ‘Bihawar’ for 9 years. The Mujahideen solicitor became the laughingstock of the Dutch media. This was amusing, but it was not serious since the Khurammis had ‘disappeared’ or were ‘lost’ 10 days before the last hearing.
I, as a Kurdish Media correspondent, have contacted the people close to the Khurramis to arrange an interview with them more than once, but it was not possible. Just before they ‘disappeared’, if this is what it is, I have contacted Khurrami’s sister. She agreed to arrange a meeting with them on the condition that the meeting should take place in a ‘safe’ place because the organization was after them. Then, a few days before the interview, Khurrami’s sister informed me that the interview was not possible because "Mr. Khurrami and his son disappeared a few days ago."
KurdishMedia.com – Researched by: Venus Faiq – Complied and translated from Kurdish & Arabic by: Dr Rebwar Fatah