Iran-Interlink Hosted Iraq Symposium on Fate of Individuals in Rajavi Cult
To: National Desk
Contact: Anne Khodabandeh of Iran-Interlink, 44-113-278-0503 or 44-787-654-1150 (cell), or http://releases.usnewswire.com/redir.asp?ReleaseID=69516&Link=mailto:[email protected]
LONDON, July 20 /U.S. Newswire/ — Iran-Interlink hosted a symposium on Iraq: Camp Ashraf in Westminster on Wednesday, July 19. The focus of the symposium was "What Will Be the Fate of Individuals Trapped in the Rajavi Cult in Iraq?" The Rajavi cult is recognized in the West as the terrorist Mojahedin Khalq or National Council of Resistance of Iran.
Since the invasion of Iraq in March 2003, Iranian terrorist group Mojahedin have been held captive in Camp Ashraf, north of Baghdad.
The Symposium examined the fate of individuals in terrorist cults with particular reference to the Mojahedin Khalq and its members in Iraq.
Experts in the fields of cult behavior, terrorism and the Mojahedin gave presentations, followed by discussion of the issues by delegates from various organizations.
The expert panel consisted of:
— Ian Haworth of the Cult Information Centre
— Anne Singleton, author of "Saddam’s Private Army"
— Alain Chevalerias, journalist and director of Centre du Recherche Sur la Terrorisme
— Soheila Nowroozi, sister of an MKO member recently killed inside Camp Ashraf
Delegates in the discussion represented:
— Peyvand Association, Netherlands
— Awaa, Germany
— Iran Sabz, Germany
— Family Network Association, Sweden
— Pars Iran, Canada
— Negahe-no, Norway
— Pers et Avenir, France
— Rahai, Netherlands
The symposium concluded that the individuals trapped in Camp Ashraf need urgent humanitarian help only to meet the rights granted to them as Protected Persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention — which are currently being denied to them.
The symposium message to Western governments is to abandon the idea of keeping Camp Ashraf intact. These individuals are victims of a cult and do not want to be there. Since 2003, over 1,000 of the total 3,800 captured people have used the opportunity of the presence of American forces to escape the cult. The remainder are waiting for help.
Although some individual conservatives believe they can use the Mojahedin in confrontation with Iran, they must abandon the idea that they can use an army of 50-year-olds to fight. Western governments should not be considering using the victims of cult manipulation for their own ambitions.
The individuals in Camp Ashraf need to be rescued. They need to be given immediate unrestricted opportunity to leave the camp and take up residence in a protected facility beyond the reach of cult leaders. The three-year delay in dismantling the camp has left the situation for the individuals critical.
They should be given the opportunity to renounce their membership of the organization and receive structured and appropriate help to de-program them, the symposium concluded.
The full report of the symposium with recommendations will be published in September.
Newswire – 7/20/2006