Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 145

++ Criticisms about the case of Behzad Alishahi have continued this week with several pieces saying that whilst Rajavi was aggressively pushing his own agenda and paying others to do the same, he resorted to inventing any old lies about Alishahi. Now the MEK has been exposed in this lie, the group has fallen silent and pretends no such thing ever happened.

++ Several comments talk about the continuing transfer of Camp Liberty residents to Albania and praise the UN for getting them out safely and efficiently. Some have commented that the people who arrive in Albania are not revivable in a cultic sense. They are too damaged and unfit to recover. Put simply, when Iraq is emptied of MEK, Rajavi is finished.

++ Comments about Maryam Rajavi’s annual Paris based Villepinte rally on June 9 expose the group’s ongoing activities to recruit a paid audience. They point out that the speakers are typically retired US generals who take their fee to repeat the same message each year. Nader Naderi says in his blog, ‘we demand that, as Rajavi uses Paris as a refuge to glorify the launch of the MEK’s armed struggle, this year she should allow Iranians to attend alongside the Polish and Africans. And also that, after two decades, she should allow Iranians to ask a couple of questions at the rally’. Others criticise Maryam Rajavi for promoting her so-called National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) which apparently comprises her and Rudi Giuliani and John Bolton, etc. ‘She can’t say it’s national, she can’t say it’s a council, nobody knows what they are resisting and they are certainly not Iranian’.

 ++ Condemnation arose from every side when films and photos showed masked MEK operatives attacking the families who had visited Camp Liberty in Iraq hoping to have contact with their estranged loved ones. Arash Rezai from Nimnegah website put together a collection of videos, pictures and analysis discussing why Rajavi is worried about any MEK member meeting with their families. This issue represents his first and last red line. Rezai gives an explanation of cult culture to show why this is so. He concludes that it would be a simple matter for Rajavi to ask his members to go and tell their families to leave. And they would leave. But he can’t do that. To demonstrate why, we see that in one film one of the MEK members tries to follow the families and run away, but the other MEK quickly go and grab him and pull him back into the closed camp.

In English:

++ Mazda Parsi writes a thoughtful and revealing analysis of ‘Why is the MKO so terrified by a gap in the curtains!?’ Based on film and pictures taken of a visit by families to find their loved ones in Camp Liberty, Iraq. “When one of the family members of a Liberty resident tries to squeeze his hand through a hole in the curtain to take the hand of her brother’s comrade, the cult members get so terrified that they cannot control their vehement reaction. Although their faces are covered with masks or scarves, panic is evidently seen in their behavior.”

++ Nejat Society: ‘Former Officer: Cooperating with SAVAK, Rajavi saved his [own] neck’. “Iraj Mesdaghi, author of “Neither Living Nor Death” and the internal critic of the Mujahedin e- Khalq Organization who has several times criticized by the group for exposing Massoud Rajavi as the group leader published an interview with a former SAVAK (Pahlavi regime’s security and intelligence organization) officer… Parvis Motamed said: ‘…I took Massoud Rajavi to show me the addresses. He disclosed the address of Mohamamd Hanifnejad and Mohammad Hayati [ who lives in Liberty Camp]. I can remember the exact color of the home door. I was involved in the arrest of Hanifnejad. Such cooperations along with SAVAK authorities’ attempts led to reduce of Rajavi’s punishment [death penalty].’”

++ Nejat Society: ‘An Iran-Iraq POW’s Brother pens letter to Iraqi Prime Minister Iraq’. “My brother, Ali Asghar Kalateh Seifari, was taken hostage by MEK cult on November 22, 1987 during the Iran-Iraq war and he was transferred to Camp Ashraf. He is now in Baghdad’s Camp liberty. During the past 27 years my family members and I, have made several visits to Iraq at the gates of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty. However we failed to contact him even by a phone call. I would like to humbly ask you as the highest executive official of Iraq to help us meet with our brother even for a few hours under your supervision but without MEK members’ presence.”

++ Nejat Society: ‘Families’ presence at Camp Liberty gate gave me courage to liberate myself, Ex-member’. “I drew my escape plan. In the evening of a stressful day I came out of the container. I looked around and at a suitable moment ran into a gap within the concrete barriers of Camp Liberty. I was full of stress, anxiety, joy and hope. All of a sudden about 10 MKO members rushed after me. They invaded and beaten me. I shouted and asked for help. Fortunately an Iraqi soldier helped me and I went to the Iraqis guarding room at Camp Liberty gate. …. the Iraqis handed over me to the UNHCR representatives. Then I was transferred to Mohajer Hotel in Baghdad. I was very scared because of what I had heard about Mohajer Hotel. As soon as I arrived the hotel I was welcomed by the ex-members of the MKO who was residing there. No harassment, no torture. I could contact my family and Nejat Society head at Gilan; Mr. Purahmad.”

++ An interesting short piece by Edward Termado in his personal weblog concludes, ‘Taking a glance at the MeK’s activities from past to present, one can firmly say that MeK’s claims of freedom and democracy is an insult to the human rights and humanity.’

++ British Parliament – Questions: Charlotte Leslie, MP, Conservative, Bristol North West: To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what recent assessment his Department has made of the human rights situation in Camp Liberty, Iraq.

Tobias Ellwood, MP, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs:

We remain concerned about the residents of Camp Liberty. Our Embassy in Baghdad regularly raises this issue with the Government of Iraq and we support the United Nations’ calls for more to be done to protect residents. We are working with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees to relocate all the residents to safe third countries.

That being said, Monitors from the UN Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI) regularly visit Camp Liberty and issue daily reports which provide an update on the situation there. Their assessment remains that the provision of life support systems such as water, electricity and food continue to be well in excess of basic humanitarian standards. They have reported that the relocation of protective bunkers and installation of additional protective concrete walls, to increase the security and safety of the residents, has been completed. Iraqi government officials have reported that diesel tankers and trucks containing food and other supplies continue to routinely enter the camp, that residents continue to be referred to hospitals and that the clinic remains in operation. Residents’ representatives have confirmed this to be accurate.

June 03, 2016

Service

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