Court decision leaves victims trapped in destructive Rajavi cult
A legal judgement of the Court of First Instance of the European Court of Justice on 12 December will have no substantial effect. According to various foreign office officials, the Mojahedin-e Khalq organisation (MKO) remains on Europe-wide terror lists. But the judgement has seriously undermined humanitarian efforts to help victims of the MKO, which is acknowledged by experts to be a destructive cult. Basic flaws in the basis for the judgement has left it open to misinterpretation and misuse by the opportunist Mojahedin-e Khalq, also known as the Rajavi cult. Critics say the Court ruling was politically motivated.
Following announcement of its judgement, Iran-Interlink wrote to the Court expressing disappointment at the level of evidence on which the ruling was based.
The letter said in part: “The delicate and ongoing humanitarian effort of the UNHCR, ICRC, HRW, AI and many smaller organisations to rescue victims of the MKO headed by Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi in Iraq has been jeopardized by this decision.
Massoud Khodabandeh, spokesman for Iran-Interlink said, “This ruling contains glaringly obvious errors, which were simple to verify. Its main effect has been to further victimise the cult members and remove from them near hope for rescue.”
In its press release No. 97/06, the Court, which is based in Luxembourg, states “In the past, it [MKO] has had an armed branch operating inside Iran.” This is demonstrably erroneous. The Mojahedin operated all its armed personnel exclusively from inside Iraq as part of the Iraqi military apparatus and only made armed incursions into Iran with the permission of the Saddam’s military. The remains of this ‘armed branch’ are of course currently detained in Camp Ashraf 60 km north of Baghdad.
The court ruling also states “that it [MKO] has expressly renounced all military activity since June 2001”. Massoud Khodabandeh explained ‘this was a privately expressed statement by the MKO. The Court apparently took them at their word. Yet there is clear evidence to show that MKO military activity continued right up to the allied invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Even right now they are openly promoting terrorism and threatening their critics in the EU and US. These critics have been “condemned to death” by MKO’s Revolutionary Court pending the execution of their sentences in Europe and the USA.”
The Iran-Interlink letter continues: “The day after your ruling, Massoud Rajavi who is wanted by Interpol for war crimes and crimes against humanity, emerged after three years of silence, to tell his commanders in Iraq they will soon get their arms back and they can resume their armed activity. How does this square with the claim to have renounced military activity?”
In the last few years Iran-Interlink and other agencies have been successful in helping people leave the Rajavi cult and re-integrate into normal society. Many of the survivors are resident in western countries including most of Europe and the UK, Scandinavia and Canada. Mojahedin military activity has resulted in the deaths of 16,000 Iranians, most of whom were civilians. The Mojahedin has also imprisoned and tortured hundreds of its own members resulting in several deaths.
Mr Khodabandeh stressed that the Court judgement reinforces the false image of the MKO as a political entity. “The main victims of this court ruling are the individual cult members interred in Camp Ashraf. They are now unable to leave the cult. Unable to make contact with their families and unable to return to their homes, the MKO will now tell those members trapped in Camp Ashraf that their armed struggle is being supported by western democracies. It gives them an open hand to increase psychological coercion on the remaining hostages in Camp Ashraf.”
Iran-Interlink’s letter to the Court of First Instance points out that the ruling “is a gift to the Islamic Republic of Iran which will use it to accuse the west of double standards”.
Massoud Rajavi in his message to Camp Ashraf, a day after the court ruling, has openly announced that he wants the MKO to be financed by the west, but the only foreseeable use for the MKO is to be re-armed and help the insurgents in Iraq. For over two decades Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi have been promising to achieve victory through armed struggle. They are still promising the same. Yet, nothing they have achieved so far would lead anyone to believe they provide value for money.
Anne Singleton, Iran-Interlink
Tel +44 278 0503
PO Box 148
Leeds LS16 5YJ
Newswire, Washington, December 14, 2006