Sahar Family Foundation interview with Manouchehr Abdi who has recently left the Cult of Rajavi in Tirana, Albania. The interview has been partly translated.
SFF: Mr. Abdi, Thank you for your time. Please introduce yourself.
Manouchehr Abdi: I’m Manouchehr Abdi. I was born in 1341, I’m married and have a daughter. I spent 14 years of my life in the Cult of Rajavi. When I was in Tehran I wanted to immigrate to abroad. My friends told me about the MKO. They said that the organization was in Iraq and would help me go to Europe. Once I joined the MKO in Iraq, I had no way out any more […] When we were relocated in Albania I could manage to contact my family by the help of one of the defectors of the group but the group authorities got to know, so, they punished me. I was suppressed because according to the MKO rules, contacting your family is a crime […]
SFF: when you were in Iraq, did you know about the families who were picketing in front of the gates of camp Liberty or Camp Ashraf? What was the group’s reaction? How did you feel at the time?
M.A: I remember those days. The group authorities used to label the families as agents of Iranian Intelligence and mercenaries. They made the residents throw rocks against the families and insult them. Everyone who did not obey their order, would be punished in the meetings. Members were really upset that they had to throw rocks at a group of old men and women or any other person who had come to visit their beloveds […]
SFF: after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003 and the disarmament of the organization by the US military, and finally the departure of the group from Iraq that resulted in losing the Iranian border, how do the group authorities maintain the hope of regime change in the minds of members?
M.A.: the group authorities, particularly the leader told members: “the army of uprising is still alive in Iran and you are the officers of this army! Your soldiers are those youngsters of revolt who are awaiting a spark. The moment the uprising occurs we will get on the plane to reach Iran in order to organize the uprising.”
SFF: what prohibits people from leaving the group? How many people do you think have decided to stay in the group with their own free will?
M.A.: Members do not dare to leave the group because they have been under the most horrible mind-control system for years. Once we have been resettled in Albania, they tried to frighten us about the outside world […] I think those who are still in the MKO think that they are under the arrest warrant of the Interpol or the Islamic Republic. Some others who are elderlies suppose that they are too old to leave the group and to begin a new life […]
SFF: what are the main questions in the minds of the group’s members? Do the authorities answer their questions?
M.A.: Their main questions are these ones: Now that we are disarmed and far from Iranian border, what are we doing here? Why are we staying here far from Iraq- that once it was the center of struggle as you said. Of course, whenever you ask these questions you are punished by the authorities. Another taboo was to ask about the whereabouts of Massoud Rajavi. No body dared to ask.
SFF: what is the approach of the authorities towards those who want to leave the group in Tirana?
M.A.: The conditions for defectors of the group in Tirana is very tragic. Having had clandestine agreements with the UNHCR, the group enslaves members by confiscating the monthly payments that the UN pays to political refugees despite the fact that a political refugee can be free in the country where he is granted refuge […]
If you want to leave the group, you will endure the most severe brainwashing sessions. If you don’t change your mind you will be kept in solitary confinement for a month. During this one month they will use various mental tortures in order to keep you in the group.
SFF: what is your idea about Maryam Rajavi’s recent trips to Albania? What do members think about her recent visits with American warmongers who supported ISIS?
M.A.: Maryam Rajavi’s trips to Albania are due to recent increasing rise in the process of defection from the group. In addition, she has to explain about the Americans who visit the group in Albania. Members wonder how the group spends millions of dollars to invite and receive the Americans in Albania while they are not given the least money for their basic needs like medicine or health-care […]
SFF: How do you see the current and the future situation of the group?
M.A.: The main problem of the MKO is the increase in defections. The authorities have to spend a lot of energy to prevent members from leaving. The organization is losing its capacity, it is expired, and no future is seen for it except its collapse.
SFF: Are the people of Albania concerned about the presence of the MKO in their territory? What is their reaction?
M.A.: In the neighborhood of the group’s base in Tirana, all neighbors were unhappy. They were concerned as if we were members of ISIS. […]
SFF: how do the HCR and the Albanian Interior Ministry deal with the case of defectors of theMKO?
M.A: The HCR and the government of Albania do not admit any responsibility regarding the problems of the defectors. The MKO has deals with them. They have been paid heavy bribes.
SFF: what is your message for families of MKO hostages, for other defectors and for those who are still imprisoned in the group?
M.A: I ask the families of the cult hostages not to retreat. They should continue their efforts in the international community to pressure the group, to break the bars around their children. I also tell the rank and file inside the cult — If they could hear me. I’d like to tell them that I was like them, at first. I even couldn’t imagine that I would survive outside the group, but now I’m here, I’m free. That’s enough for me. I just want to tell them: This organization is a liar. It’s unjust and hypocrite. Don’t waist life for nothing!
SFF:” Thanks for your time. We hope prosperity and success for you and all survivors of the cult of Rajavi. We also hope freedom and salvation for all those who are taken as hostages in the cult.
M.A: I do appreciate you and Sahar Family Foundation for the opportunity you gave me to reveal a very small part of atrocities of the cult of Rajavi. […] It was just a slight part of the crimes the MKO committed. The MKO is the biggest mafia of this century.
Translated by Nejat Society