++ Mohammad Mohammady, brother of Somayeh who remains trapped within the MEK, has added to the series of writing about her situation. Mohammady had joined the MEK’s militia (youth army) as a teenager and knows many of the people still there, including some who have arrived in Albania. Mohammady reports that although the MEK at first gave these new arrivals accommodation and bribed them with $500 to keep quiet, the group has now evicted them and says the money must cover all their expense including accommodation. This of course is totally inadequate. Unfortunately they have also cut off their contact with the UNHCR and are therefore struggling to survive.
Alongside this, several people have written open letters to the Albanian authorities, including the Prime Minister and Ambassadors in their various countries of residence. In Paris a group of ex-MEK members met with diplomats in the Albanian embassy. They conveyed their gratitude for Albania’s generous acceptance of over four hundred refugees from Iraq. But presented evidence that the MEK is trying to re-create closed cult conditions in their country, to the detriment of the human rights of these vulnerable people. They said the MEK try to prevent contact with the families and the outside world and because these former MEK combatants have been so isolated and remain so ignorant, they are more easily manipulated. The delegation reiterated their warning that the MEK must not be allowed to create closed camps in Albania.
In spite of its efforts, the MEK has been unable to prevent many of the new arrivals from contacting their families, friends and former MEK members. Some do this straightaway, some are more fearful and take longer. But in all, there is a circle of contact and support among these groups which is growing all the time.
++ Continuing the controversy of the MEK’s publication of receipts and financial affairs to attack critics, several people have shown various reactions. Rowhani – former NCRI member and currently an ‘internal critic’ – has published his own facts and figures and ridiculed the MEK for not understanding how transparent they are for the outside world. He says, “If you think this will stop me from talking, be sure it won’t. Although when I left the NCRI I acknowledged that I can’t match you for money and propaganda, but I firmly believe that my truth and the facts will firmly win over MEK lies.” Other comments challenge these so-called internal critics to decide where they stand and ask why they are trying to prove to Rajavi that they are good people. Ex-members write, ‘no, you are not a good person. We are not good people. We all helped Rajavi in his crimes and immorality. You won’t escape your situation until you admit this to yourself. And then your eyes will be opened and you won’t keep wanting to justify yourself to Rajavi and you can join the rest of us in the real world. Until then you are still one of them and you haven’t left the cult.” A few others reacted to the MEK’s publication of these documents showing how millions of dollars have been paid here and there. They say that the French judicial decision not to investigate the MEK for money laundering when the MEK is blatantly admitting this is what it does, is as ridiculous as taking them off the terrorism lists.
++ C Bloggers (independent Iranian bloggers), has this week blogged about the MEK’s satellite channel Simayeazadi, with evidence and documents from the MEK’s own websites and TV. The fact that the MEK is the only Iranian entity using this satellite channel (any other Iranian programme has abandoned it and gone elsewhere), shows that they don’t have an Iranian audience – people simply don’t adjust their satellite receiver for just one Farsi channel. The MEK’s programme has almost no viewers, yet on one occasion the programme’s telephone-in was suddenly inundated by sixty callers apparently from inside Iran pledging to donate money – even though such a facility isn’t available to people inside Iran. The blog says it is obvious the MEK don’t care about Iranians and never have. The only purpose of this channel is as a lobbying tool to claim they have some support.
++ Iran’s right wing Kayhan newspaper demanded the ‘Monafeqin’ [hypocrites] be brought to justice and punished and killed. The article refers to members of the Green Movement and supporters of Mousavi. But Rajavi has gone into overdrive to say that ‘by referring to the Monafeqin, they must mean us and the Americans must stop them from killing us’. Commentators say Rajavi is writing this because of the backlash from ex-MEK members who have exposed his threats to kill them. This is a diversion from that issue. But it is also interesting that the MEK insist their name is hypocrites.
++ Saber from Tabriz (known to Iran Interlink) has analysed Maryam Rajavi’s latest speech in France. By examining her speech sentence by sentence he identifies contradictions and mismatches. For example, Rajavi insists the people of Iran are still resisting the government and haven’t given in. Yet she then insists on more sanctions on Iran without apparently understanding that one of the reasons for sanctions is to provoke the people to resist their government! Saber says it seems these speeches are not made by one person – and certainly not Rajavi herself. She is merely told what to say.
++ Another investigative article by Gareth Porter helps unpick the tangled thread surrounding the 1994 AMIA bombing in Argentina. Porter identifies that State Prosecutor “Nisman asserted that the highest Iranian officials had decided to carry out the bombing at a meeting on 12 or 14 August, 1993, primarily on the testimony of four officials of the Mujahedeen E-Khalq (MEK), the Iranian exile terrorist group that was openly dedicated to the overthrow of the Iranian regime. The four MEK officials claimed to know the precise place, date and time and the three-point agenda of the meeting. When US Ambassador, Anthony Wayne, meeting with Nisman in November 2006, asked him about Argentine press reports that had criticised the document for using the testimony of “unreliable witnesses,” Nisman responded, according to the Embassy reporting cable, that “several of the witnesses were “former senior Iraqi [sic] officials, e.g. Bani Sadr, with direct knowledge of events surrounding the conception of the attacks.” Nisman’s suggestion that former Iranian president Abolhassen Banisadr had “direct knowledge” related to the AMIA bombings was a stunningly brazen falsehood.”
++ In an Open Letter to the Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama, Iran Ghalam (Pen Club) says “Once they arrive in Albania one of the first things all the new arrivals do is to contact their families and seek out other forms of support. The refugees are given time limited support by the UN refugee agency accommodation and a small living allowance which is deemed sufficient for them to settle in their new country and make new lives for themselves. And the MEK does not easily relinquish its control over these former members and has made every effort to prevent them from living independently. But more importantly, these new arrivals are desperate to tell their stories. They want to speak out about the suffering they endured, some for many, many years.”
++ A Sepinoud from Nejat Bloggers says hatred is one of the main tools used by the MEK to control members: “the cult leaders do not primarily focus on hatred rather, through deceitful methods, propaganda, and misinformation they create an atmosphere among its members in which hatred toward anyone except the cult leader thrives virtually unchecked. The manipulation and control in the cult is so strong that nobody can trust each other. Even the very close family members such as father and daughter or spouses distrust one another, having friendly relations is not allowed and considered taboo. The members are being brain washed and celibacy is forced upon them. In the cult, members are suspicious of each other. Members are made by coercion or enticement to snitch on each other. They are encouraged to curse one another in brainwashing sessions so as to create abhorrence, animosity, and hostility among members. The cult leaders try to empty members of all their humanity.”
++ NIAC Statement: “Washington, DC – Today, the DC Circuit Court of Appeals issued an opinion regarding aspects of cost sharing in NIAC’s defamation lawsuit against Seyyed Hassan Daioleslam [MEK operative]. In the appeal, NIAC won on several issues, overturning aspects of the lower court’s previous rulings, and resulting in a more favorable outcome for NIAC. While NIAC objected to the decision of the court that it should pay a fraction of the discovery costs, it is Mr. Daioleslam who must pay the large majority of the costs for his legal fishing expedition. This further accentuates the larger outcome of the case, in which Mr. Daioleslam backtracked from his accusations against NIAC and instead hid behind the argument that NIAC could not prove that he knew his allegations against NIAC were false.”
“…NIAC brought the lawsuit against Daioleslam in response to his false accusations that the organization was a lobbyist for the Iranian Government. Once in front of the court, Daioleslam had the opportunity to make his case for the truth. Instead, he changed his tune and did not seek to argue that his accusations were correct and truthful. He essentially abandoned the truth and instead argued that NIAC could not prove that he knew what he was saying was false, i.e. malicious. While we believe the evidence clearly showed that Daioleslam knew he was lying, based on his systematic disregard for the truth, neglect of readily available information that contradicted his conspiracy theories, declaration that he aimed to “destroy NIAC” in order to “bring down Obama,” as well as his support for the Mujahedin-e Khalq terrorist organization, the judge felt this didn’t meet his standard and denied us the opportunity to take Daioleslam in front of a jury.”