Child rescued from the hands of a terrorist group

Annieke Kranen Berg and Janny Groen from the Dutch news paper Focus Grant reported on 15th December 2006

Habib Khorami managed to rescue his son Bahador age 2 years from Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. He managed to bring his son to the Netherlands from Canada where he had been given to a family supporting the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation.

This reunion cost Habib very dearly. The Mojahedin took Habib to court and froze a large portion of his income as compensation.

Habib decided to counter the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation which had unlimited funds. With nothing in his hands he spent a very long time in the courts and legal advice centres.

Mojahedin were intending to make a terrorist from his son but the suspicious father decided to stop the misuse of his son and, facing the danger of imprisonment, he sent his son to his family back in Iran where he was sure he would be out of reach of the Mojahedin and where he could go to school safely.

A report was made by Focus Grant, a national paper, from the court of appeal in the Netherlands on 14 December 2006. In parts we read:

…the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation is known as a terrorist organisation almost globally.

In 2002, a court in the Netherlands condemned Mr. Khorami to two years imprisonment for refusing to hand over his own child to governmental agencies.

The court of appeal was held in Leeuwarden on 14 December 2006.

In a process for establishing custody of his son Bahador, whom the supporters of Mojahedin Khalq Organisation in Canada were claiming, was an unjust straggle for him. The root of this war was really in the Mojahedin’s military camp in Iraq where Mr. Khorami himself was once a member.

…Bahador was born in 1980 when Mr. Khorami had decided to join the Mojahedin in Iraq to topple the regime of Iran

The organisation’s ideology is a mixture of Marxism and Islam. Mr. Khorami had spent 2 years in prison in Iran for supporting the Mojahedin. The Mojahedin claim that Camp Ashraf is for freedom and democracy. Mr. Khorami’s wife was first against joining Mojahedin in Iraq but later accepted to go there. Mr. khorami found out that the organisation, contrary to their claims, is nothing more than a dangerous, destructive cult. The members were under physical and psychological pressure and isolated from the real world. The camp was surrounded by barbed wire.

The organisation’s leaders, Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi, were demanding total submission of the members. Outside contact was impossible and daily brainwashing meetings were held where they had to confess to even their remotest thoughts and dreams…. Khorami remembers Massoud Rajavi pointing at his son and saying "You should give him to me". This was very hard for Mr. Khorami as it was hard to see the organisation serving Saddam Hussein in crushing the Iraqi Kurds and Shiites. When Rajavi announced the forced divorces of all members, Mr. Khorami decided that enough is enough. Mr. Khorami was witnessing a dangerous game. Husbands and wives were forced to spit at each other and denounce their relations. Despite all efforts unfortunately Mr. Khorami lost his wife to the organisation.

At the start of first Gulf war Rajavi took the children away from the camp to Baghdad which was under continuous bombardment. The idea was to convince the parents to accept the transfer of all their children. Of course they would accept a safer place when the children were in such a dangerous situation in Baghdad.

Rajavi smuggled about 800 children to Europe, Canada and the US with the promise that he would bring them back after the war. Judit Neurink in her book "Mislead Martyrs" investigates this action under the title of "The Great Child Kidnapping". Ms. Neurink explains in detail how the children were given to the supporters to raise them to their teenage years, ready to be used in paramilitary operations. Bahador was only two and a half years old.

Mr. Khorami found that his son had been given to a family in Toronto in Canada. My son was taken hostage. They were putting pressure on me not to talk about the kidnapping of children. he said.

Khorami started contacting the family who were supporters of the terrorist organisation. He also started contacting human rights organisations as well as supporting organisations for refugees but without much success. In 1998, when he was granted a Dutch passport, he got a family visit visa for his son and travelled to Canada. Of course he had never signed anything to accept transfer of custody of his son to anyone.

In Canada he came to an agreement with Shafiee and Pira (Mojahedin supporters) to take Bahador to the Netherlands.

Bahador came to the Netherlands in 1998. His father started the process of getting permanent residency for his son in the Netherlands.

In 1999, Shafiee and Pira filed a complaint against Mr. Khorami accusing him of kidnapping Bahador and claimed that Bahador is in their custody. They did not have any evidence, but a social worker in Canada had written a letter to allow the child to go to school and the court accepted that custody belongs to the supporters of the Mojahedin. The social worker knew the situation but had written the letter in order to facilitate the situation of the child and allow him to enjoy the support of governmental subsidies. The social worker admitted this later on. The Canadian court later overruled the verdict, but the court in the Netherlands still referred to that verdict. The Judge ruled that Mr. Khorami has to give back his son to Shafiee and Pira and in refusing to do so, he will have to pay 5000 Guilder for each day…

Khorami says, "this ruling put me in a desperate situation. Every day I received reports and news about the children who were sent back to the camp in Iraq. In September the National Post revealed the transfer of children and teenagers to Ashraf camp. Boys and girls were being smuggled to Iraq to train for suicide missions". Khorami decided to keep his child away and send him to his brother in Iranian Kurdistan.

Khorami had to pay the financial penalties and could not afford to pursue the legal process in Canada. His lawyer forgot to ask for an appeal and Mr. Khorami was sent to prison, losing his job as a social worker.

The most bitter part of the story is when no judge was willing to listen to the circumstances. The Judge said: "we are not talking about politics in here". He only would take the official versions of custody into consideration.

The Mojahedin Khalq Organisation is now in the list of terrorist organisations and human rights organisation including Human Rights Watch have revealed evidence. Last year HRW published a report titled "NO EXIT" in which it explained the abuse of human rights inside the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation. It said the members who criticised the leadership or the ones who wanted to leave the organisation were imprisoned and tortured.

According to HRW, we are talking about severe brainwashing. The members are provoked to write reports about each other and even torture each other. Mojahedin accuse their critics of connection with the secret services of Iran. Khorami has also been accused by them. So has Ms. Farah Karimi the Member of Parliament who confessed her involvement with the Mojahedin Khalq Organisation as a member. In her view this is no more than a criminal cult.

Khorami puts all his hope on the testimonies given by Shafiee and Pira. The testimonies explode like a bomb, very controversial. There is no doubt that they are from Mojahedin Khalq Organisation and have been involved in other cases of child kidnapping. But Khorami has his eyes on the testimonies given by his son.

Bahador was supposed to come to Amsterdam from Tehran to attend the court. Unfortunately he could not and this was unfortunate for his father who has not seen his son for the last 8 years. The Iranians have decided that his visa is not correct. Bahador wanted to talk about how he was treated in Canada. How he was being prepared to join Mojahedin and about his father, the Netherlands and Iran. Mr. Nooitgedagt has no doubt his client will win.

Mr.Khorami was expected to give up his son to a known international terrorist organisation. He says, "I am proud of myself for supporting and rescuing my child. I wouldn’t want to live and see my Bahadoor in the hands of Mojahedin Khalq terrorists. I hope this time the judges wiill see that I have done nothing wrong except rescuing my child. A report by Rahaee Association, Netherlands, December 22, 2006

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