Reports coming out of Camp Ashraf point to the inhumane treatment of residents by the terrorist Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO), which has recently engaged in an exchange of fire with Iraqi security forces.
|The punishment of those who try to escape from Camp Ashraf… is death and execution,” Shadvari explained|
“I worked with the organization for 25 years… during these years I could not contact my family… using the phone, cell-phone, Internet, other mass media and even listening to the radio is forbidden in the organization,” Abdullatif Shadvari, a former MKO members said.
Shadvari escaped Camp Ashraf two month ago and surrendered himself to Iraqi forces.
“The punishment of those who try to escape from Camp Ashraf… is death and execution,” Shadvari explained.
Shadvari added that the only way of exiting Camp Ashraf is through escaping, “and escaping requires three or four months of preparation… if you are arrested while escaping they will put you in a room for three or four years, and will not hand you to Iraqi forces.”
He said many of his friends at the camp suffer from similar problems and “during the past eight-nine years no international organization has talked with members individually to perhaps help them out of this situation.”
Shadvari believes many residents of Camp Ashraf, who are under immense pressure, want to escape but are afraid and unsure of the future.
In response to a question about why the MKO keeps residents imprisoned, Shadvari explained that if people exit the camp the organization would fall apart.
The former MKO member also said that marriage is forbidden at Camp Ashraf, and male residents are not even allowed to speak to women.
On April 8, 34 people were reportedly killed in clashes between Iraqi security forces and MKO members residing in Camp Ashraf in Diyala Province.
Iraqi forces claim that according to evidence, these people have been killed by the organization itself.
On April 11, Iraqi government spokesman Ali al-Dabbagh said the cabinet is determined to shut down Camp Ashraf.
The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Saddam Hussein, and set up Camp Ashraf in Diyala near the Iranian border.
More than 3,000 MKO members are residing at Camp Ashraf. In addition to cooperating with US soldiers in Iraq, the MKO sends elements to Iran on spy and terrorist missions.
The organization is also known to have cooperated with Saddam in suppressing the 1991 uprisings in southern Iraq and the massacre of Iraqi Kurds.
The MKO has carried out numerous acts of terror and violence against Iranian civilians and government officials.
Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been blocking the expulsion by pressuring the Iraqi government.