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Iran Interlink Weekly Digest – 165

++ Neda-ye Haghighat reports that over one hundred of the MEK who arrived in Albania have separated from the group. In an effort to control these desertions, the MEK has promised to pay the defectors and look after them separately from the main body of MEK members in return for their silence. As long as they do not speak out about their experiences in the MEK as other former members have, the MEK will accommodate them. However, the number of such defectors is growing almost daily and it is clear that the MEK is slowly falling apart.

++ Each year the MEK takes a different approach to marking Ashura, the most significant event in the Shia religious calendar. This approach depends on who the MEK’s current paymasters are. This year, because the MEK wants to fit in with Saudi demands, Ashura has been practically ignored.

In English:

++ Anne and Massoud Khodabandeh wrote ‘Albanian citizens fearful of radicalised Mojahedin Khalq neighbours deserve more information. The article highlights the fact that no de-radicalisation programme has been created to deal with the over 2500 radicalised MEK members who are now living in apartments in a suburban neighbourhood. The government of Albania has not communicated with its citizens about this. It has also neglected to warn the neighbouring families about the potential danger of sexual deviancy among the MEK due to the particular form of radicalisation which they undergo. The article was published in Albanian in Gazeta Impact.

++ Iran Interlink reported ‘Albania: Radicalised MEK member convicted for attempted rape of 11-year-old boy. After befriending a local family, last March MEK member Mousa Jaberifard sexually assaulted their young son. He was sentenced to four years in prison and will serve two years. While acknowledging that nobody knows yet whether this was a one-off event or an indication of deeper problems of sexual deviancy among the entire MEK population, the article concluded “Even though the group arrived in Albania under the auspices of the UNHCR, there is no programme to de-radicalise members of the group. This means that even if they separate from the MEK, the members remain radicalised and can still pose a threat.”

++ Mazda Parsi’s article for Nejat Bloggers ‘Flow of speaking and writing fees to the Mojahedin Khalq paid sponsors’ highlights the irresponsibility of the MEK’s paid sponsors who merely repeat the MEK’s own propaganda. “’Always well-financed with laundered funds from hazy sources (including Saddam Hussein, and more recently the Saudis and the U.S. among others), for years the MEK spread money around like honey in Washington, Paris and other power centers,’ writes Farid Khavari of the InvestmentWatchBlog. [Patrick] Kennedy tries to convince the audience that the MKO relocation in Europe as a step forward to have ‘closer contact with European governments and the world community, where they can tell their stories and continue their activism in favor of regime change in Tehran.’ He seems to be so manipulated by the group’s propaganda and money that he cannot understand that the notorious MKO cult will never be that viable force to bring regime change except with military intervention of the West. ‘Iranians would never vote for this government, and it could only be installed by U.S. military action,’ Farid Khavari writes.”

++ Nejat Society reported that Mr Shahab Forouzandeh left the Rajavi cult after he arrived in Albania. His family had tried on numerous occasions to meet with him in Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty, but they were denied this right by the MEK leaders. Since arriving in Albania, tens of members have deserted the group and stepped into the free world reports say.

October 14, 2016

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