Dear Mr. Armey,
For more than 2 weeks the websites of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation has been issuing propaganda about your support for the group. It was surprising for me.
I would like to introduce myself before anything else.
I am an ex member of the Central Committee of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (MKO). This can be verified from their own propaganda outlets including Mojahed Publication (Special Edition, Autumn 1992) which mentions my name as a Deputy Executive Committee member.
In 1992 I became an outspoken critic of what is know as the "forced divorces" and of what is known as "armed struggle". More than that, I criticised what was apparent about the special relations between the organisation and Saddam Hussein, the ousted dictator of Iraq. I was imprisoned for a few months in solitary confinement inside Ashraf camp and over all spent about 8 years in different prisons. I was captured once when I tried to escape prison and reach the office of the UN in Baghdad in August 1999. This resulted in capture in a joint operation involving Mojahedin and secret services of Iraq and I ended up again in solitary confinement. In December 2000, after one year of imprisonment and physical and mental torture, the Mojahedin handed me over to the secret service agents of Saddam Hussein in Baghdad and after spending 35 days in their special prisons, they turned me over to Abu Ghraib prison where I was held for more than a year. Perhaps I should mention here that my younger brother had been a Mojahedin activist who was executed in 1989 in Iran. My wife Mrs. Afsaneh Taherian is now in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Mojahedin Organisation separated my daughter from me and my wife during the so called "forced divorces" period and sent her to Denmark in 1991.
Dear Mr. Armey,
As you can see, my family has been destroyed for no reason except the continuation of cult like and terrorist policies of the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. The mother is kept in Iraq, the father now in Germany and the daughter in Denmark, not mentioning my brother who has been executed. This of course is not limited to me as a disaffected member of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. I have given you one example from hundreds of ex members and critics of MKO who have gone through the process of imprisonment and torture practiced by Mojahedin Khalq Organisation.
I urge you to look at the issues mentioned in this letter from a humanitarian point of view before judging it as a political issue.
Why should people get wrapped up in the culture of terror and violence? Do you really think that an organisation with a clear Stalinist ideology could be pushing for freedom?
Do you know that the right to marry is set out as one of the basic rights of human beings in the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights? And the same right has been denied inside Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. Do you know that Mr. Ali Naghi Haddadi, Central Committee member of the organisation was executed only because he criticised the policies of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation?
The Hambastegimeli website (official site of terrorist group MKO) has quoted you on November 18, 2006 that:
"We, as many others, believe that regime change should be achieved through supporting organisations who are working to spread of democracy in that country. One of these organisations is Mojahedin Khalq Organisation of Iran."
I don’t know if they have quoted you correctly or not, but if correct, do you really believe that Mojahedin Khalq Organisation (which is listed as a terrorist organisation by the United States of America and the European Union), or the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), (which is also listed as a front name for a terrorist organisation) is a "democratic organisation"?
Do you really think that Mojahedin Khalq Organisation after two decades of deep involvement in Saddam’s crimes in Iran as well as the massacre of the Iraqi opposition during the dark days of Saddam is a "democratic organisation"?
Have you ever done any research on the points of view of the opposition groups against Islamic Republic of Iran towards the Stalinist Mojahedin Khalq Organisation? Do you know that all opposition groups including the Monarchists, Republicans, Secularists, Nationalist and all independent personalities see the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation as a totalitarian dictatorship?
The Hambastegimeli site also quotes you on November 18, 2006 saying that:
"As a result of deep and widespread research carried out, we now believe that there is very strong argument for taking the name of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation and National Council of Resistance of Iran off the list of terrorist organisations produced by the State Department".
Dear Mr. Armey,
Please excuse me for asking you a simple question. What is your very strong argument that has convinced you the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation is not a terrorist organisation? While tens of highly specialised and respected research analysts all over the globe have come to the conclusion that it is a terrorist organisation?
Would it not be reasonable to expect your good self to answer the following questions at least to satisfy your own conscience? And please ask the leaders of the organisation, once and for all, to give a clear open and official statement on these questions.
1- Is the organisation (MKO) still committed to "armed struggle" or not? A short statement would perhaps clarify the situation.
2- Are the members of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation allowed to choose a partner and get married according to Article 16 of the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights? This could be announced publicly together with the reasons as to why, for the past 17 years, there has been no marriage or births among the members of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation.
3- Would the leader of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation allow a faction to exist in the organisation – as happens regularly and normally in every political party all over the world – which would perhaps be critical of the leadership of the organisation? Or do all critics and disaffected members face imprisonment and isolation?
To get hold of real evidence about Mojahedin Khalq Organisation; please try to get some concrete answers to the above questions. I now work as a human rights activist and an analyst on Iran and Iraq with speciality on Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. I am ready (of course with personal safety guarantees) to go with your good self to Iraq and Camp Ashraf to show you first hand the prisons, solitary confinement cells, the graves of disaffected members who have been killed by Mojahedin and much more.
Mohammed Hussein Sobhani,
November 7, 2006