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Madam Rajavi and Public Protest

The scenes from Paris showing protesters marching down the Champs-Elysees, the grandest avenue in the city, hurling projectiles at police and being tear-gassed in return, has recently been widespread in the main stream media. “The broken glass and empty tear gas canisters have been swept away and the graffiti scrubbed off the major monuments, among them the Arc de Triumph, after a weekend of violent protests in the capital by a grass-roots movement that calls itself the Yellow Vests,” reported the New York Times.

Casualties and damages have been massive. According to the NY Times, The cost of repairing just the Arc de Triomphe — apart from the graffiti, there was damage to artifacts kept inside — could reach one million euros (about $1.15 million), according to the Center for National Monuments. On Monday, merchants and government officials were still assessing the total property damage. [1]
More than 260 people were wounded nationwide, and at least three died outside Paris on the margins of the protests over the last three weekends. More than 400 people were arrested in Paris. [2]
Meanwhile in Iran, Labor protests continued in Ahwaz and Shush (Khuzestan province) as of Wednesday, November 28. Sugar cane workers demanding back pay reportedly staged an anti-government march in Shush; protesters also clashed with police in Ahwaz during related protests. Iran’s state-run IRNA news agency is reporting that the country’s authorities have detained four workers protesting not having been paid their salaries for months in the southwestern province of Khuzestan. [3]
It seems almost natural that the propaganda media of the Mujahedin Khalq (the MKO/ MEK/ PMOI/ the Cult of Rajavi) do not give a shit to the France protests but they exaggerate the workers protests in Khuzestan, Iran, because the group’s leader Maryam Rajavi is sheltered in France and launches her anti-Iran campaign from France territory. However, she should be asked what about the protests inside her group’s camp in Durres, Albania.

The MKO, as a large populated entity –from 5000 members back in Iraq to over 2000 people in Albania—has always enjoyed a camp in which it has concentrated its forces. The group’s camp in Iraq was even called “Ashraf City”, as it was very well equipped with all facilities of a city such as hospital, factory, pool and park.

After the group’s relocation in Albania, despite the increasing process of defection from the group, the authorities of the MKO set off for building another city in Manez, Durres naming it “Ashraf 3”.
Here’s the question: In the entire history of the Mujahedin Khalq, has there ever been any public protest against the ruling system of the camps or everything was democratically managed by the group leaders?
The answer is NO. No public protest has been reported from inside the MKO camps but this does not mean that the group’s camps have been ruled democratically and everyone inside the group has been satisfied.
Evidences from inside the MKO indicates that dissent is immediately suppressed by the authorities of the MKO. Numerous documented testimonies of former members of the MKO reveal the very undemocratic and even inhumane attitude of the group leaders against any question, let alone conflicting ideas.
According to the Human Rights Watch report “NO EXIT”, human rights abuses carried out by MKO leaders against dissident members ranged from prolonged incommunicado and solitary confinement to beatings, verbal and psychological abuse, coerced confessions, threats of execution, and torture that in two cases led to death. [4]

The testimonies of the former MKO members indicate that the organization used three types of detention facilities inside its camps in Iraq. The interviewees described one type as small residential units, referred to as guesthouses (mihmansara), inside the camps. The MKO members who requested to leave the organization were held in these units during much of the time they were kept incommunicado. They were not allowed to leave the premises of their unit, to meet or talk with anyone else in the camp, or to contact their relatives and friends in the outside world. [5]

Human Rights Watch interviewed at least seven former members of the group to develop its report in 2005. A few years later, the RAND Corporation published another investigated report on what is going inside the MKO. RAND is a research organization that develops solutions to public policy challenges to help make communities throughout the world safer and more secure, healthier and more prosperous.
According to the RAND report, Physical Abuse, Imprisonment, and Lack of Exit Options were the tools of the MKO leaders to keep members inside the cult-like structure of the group and eventually to suppress dissent and departure. “Former MeK members claim that punishment was frequently meted out for such offenses as expressing or fomenting disagreement with the political/military strategy,” the report reads. Asking to leave the group is an unforgivable sin. “Recent accounts recall that punishment for disagreeing with MeK policies ranged from forced written confessions of disloyalty to incarceration in special facilities at Camp Ashraf. Former members report torture and long periods of solitary confinement as punishment for disloyalty.” [6]
Although, the above-mentioned reports are the most significant and official ones on the human rights abuses in the MKO, there are a lot more testimonies of those who have recently left the group’s camps in Albania. Most defectors of the group publish their firsthand account of enduring human right violations in the MKO just because they expressed their willingness to leave the group or in some cases because they dared to express their opposition to the group’s attitudes.
Gholamreza Shokri spent 27 years of his life in the MKO. He was only 20 years old and willing to find a good job in Europe when he was recruited by the MKO in Iraq. The MKO agents promised to help him get the European visa only if he stayed in their camp for a few months. As soon as he entered the organization, they confiscated his ID documents and never gave him back.” whenever I asked for my ID, they would say that they had no idea where it was.” [7]
Thus, Shokri had no way out of the MKO camp but he frequently used to ask the leaders when he could leave the cult. This question was considered a sin by the leaders. Departure from the MKO was forbidden and showing your willingness for leaving the group would be faced with suppression, imprisonment and torture. So he was imprisoned in solitary confinement. [8]

Shokri said that they had closed their eyes and took him to a clandestine jail. “They insulted me calling me spy of the Mullah’s regime,” he recounts. “They beat me in my legs so badly that I could not walk; they were bleeding. They tied my hands with hand coughs for a week. After a week my hands had no sense; I put the fire of a cigarette on them but I didn’t feel it burn. Then they forced me to stand up for one more week. Each time that I fell down out of fatigue, they would beat me so hard that I had to stand up again.” [9]

Besides Shokri, the testimonies of a large number of defectors of the MKO are available on the Net. All have one thing in common: You have no right to protest in the MKO.
While people of all societies have the chance to express their demands, dissatisfactions and even their anger, more or less, members of the MKO are not even able to express their freewill to choose for their future. They are deprived from the most basic human rights.
Maryam Rajavi’s so-called support for the Iranian workers contradicts what is really going on in her destructive cult of personality.
Mazda Parsi

[1]J Rubin, Alissa, France’s Yellow Vest Protests: The Movement That Has Put Paris on Edge, The New York Times, December 3rd, 2018.
[2] ibid
[3] The Associated Press, Report: Iran arrests 4 workers protesting unpaid salaries, November18, 2018.
[4] No Exit
[5] ibid
[6] RAND
[7] https://www.nejatngo.org/en/posts/8960
[8] ibid
[9] ibid

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