Ex-MKO members recount ordeal in Iraq

Three defected members of the terrorist group Mujahedin-e Khalq Organization (MKO) have given an account of their ordeal during their stay at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The spokesperson of the Iraqi defense ministry, General Mohammed al-Askari, said in a Tuesday press conference in the Iraqi capital of Baghdad that the three former MKO members escaped from Camp Ashraf, the terrorist group’s headquarters in Iraq, and surrendered to the Iraqi security forces, a Press TV correspondent reported.

The official said that the defected members have provided the Iraqi government with the evidence required to shut down the camp according to the international laws.

The former members of the terrorist group say the residents of Camp Ashraf are completely cut off from the outside world, and are tortured and traumatized, but are also afraid to escape.

Having lived in misery and under pressure for many years, Maryam Sanjabi, one of the MKO deserters, surrendered herself to the Iraqi forces deployed near the camp last week.

“None of the residents of Camp Ashraf have the right to contact their families… The only thing that can separate a member from the MKO is death,” she said.

“The leaders of the camp have spent millions of dollars to train the residents of the camp how to launch attacks and even encounter the Iraqi security forces,” Sanjabi added.

Another former MKO member, Abdullatif Shadvari, who escaped from the camp two months ago, earlier said, “The punishment of those who try to escape from Camp Ashraf… is execution.”
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 say there is evidence that the 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 the camp.

The group fled to Iraq in 1986, where it enjoyed the support of Iraqi executed dictator Saddam Hussein, and set up Camp Ashraf in the eastern province of Diyala near the Iranian border.

More than 3,000 MKO members are residing at the camp. In addition, 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.

Following the overthrow of Saddam in 2003, the Iraqi government has set numerous deadlines for the terrorist group to leave the country but MKO has managed to maintain its base due to US backing.

The MKO is listed as a terrorist organization by much of the international community, and is responsible for numerous terrorist acts against both Iranians and Iraqis.

Iran has repeatedly called on the Iraqi government to expel the group, but the US has been blocking its expulsion by pressuring the Iraqi government against such a move.
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