The Habilian Association, an Iran-based human rights group, reported that the yearlong protests by the family members and relatives of the members of the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization outside the terrorist group’s main training camp in Iraq have yielded positive results.
According to a report published by the website of the Habilian association – a human rights group formed of the family members and relatives of the Iranian victims of terrorism – the MKO ringleaders have already adopted numerous measures to confront those relatives who have camped outside the Camp of New Iraq (formerly known as Camp Ashraf) in Iraq’s Northern province of Diyala for over a year now.
The MKO ringleaders have not allowed a visit between the group’s members and their families.
The report said despite all the suppressive moves made by the MKO, the yearlong protests by the families have yielded good results as families insist on their demand for the release of their beloved ones who are said to be held inside the camp against their will.
Defection and escape of a number of MKO members from the camp, increased support of the Iraqi people for the families and demonstration of the Iraqi people outside the Camp of New Iraq are among the positive outcomes of the families’ continued protests, the report continued.
The Habilian website added that the move has also provoked an angry and suppressive reaction of the terrorist group against the families, a reaction that has further unveiled the true nature of the suppressive and terrorist group.
Meantime, different groups of the Iraqi people have on various occasions gathered outside the main training center of the MKO in Iraq and called for the expulsion of the terrorist group from the country’s soil.
Iranian relatives of some MKO members also joined the protesters.
The MKO has been in Iraq’s Diyala province since the 1980s.
The MKO, whose main stronghold is in Iraq, is blacklisted by much of the international community, including the United States.
Before an overture by the EU, the MKO was on the European Union’s list of terrorist organizations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze. Yet, the MKO puppet leader, Maryam Rajavi, who has residency in France, regularly visited Brussels and despite the ban enjoyed full freedom in Europe.
The MKO is behind a slew of assassinations and bombings inside Iran, a number of EU parliamentarians said in a recent letter in which they slammed a British court decision to remove the MKO from the British terror list. The EU officials also added that the group has no public support within Iran because of their role in helping Saddam Hussein in the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988).
Many of the MKO members abandoned the terrorist organization while most of those still remaining in the camp are said to be willing to quit but are under pressure and torture not to do so.
A May 2005 Human Rights Watch report accused the MKO of running prison camps in Iraq and committing human rights violations.
According to the Human Rights Watch report, the outlawed group puts defectors under torture and jail terms.
The group, founded in the 1960s, blended elements of Islamism and Stalinism and participated in the overthrow of the US-backed Shah of Iran in 1979. Ahead of the revolution, the MKO conducted attacks and assassinations against both Iranian and Western targets.
The group started assassination of the citizens and officials after the revolution in a bid to take control of the newly established Islamic Republic. It killed several of Iran’s new leaders in the early years after the revolution, including the then President, Mohammad Ali Rajayee, Prime Minister, Mohammad Javad Bahonar and the Judiciary Chief, Mohammad Hossein Beheshti who were killed in bomb attacks by MKO members in 1981.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it was protected by Saddam Hussein and where it helped the Iraqi dictator suppress Shiite and Kurd uprisings in the country.
The terrorist group joined Saddam’s army during the Iraqi imposed war on Iran (1980-1988) and helped Saddam and killed thousands of Iranian civilians and soldiers during the US-backed Iraqi imposed war on Iran.
Since the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, the group, which now adheres to a pro-free-market philosophy, has been strongly backed by neo-conservatives in the United States, who also argue for the MKO to be taken off the US terror list.
Iraqi security forces took control of the training base of the MKO at Camp Ashraf – about 60km (37 miles) north of Baghdad – last year and detained dozens of the members of the terrorist group.
The Iraqi authority also changed the name of the military center from Camp Ashraf to the Camp of New Iraq.