In 2002, Shahram Bahadori Gargari and his brother Shahroud were working in Bakou, Azerbaijan when they were recruited by the agents of the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK). However, they did not have any idea of joining a military cult in Iraq and they would be isolated from the world and even separated from each other for the next 13 years.
Although they were promised a better life in Europe, they found themselves in Turkey and then Camp Ashraf, Iraq, where they were immediately separated from each other. They were not allowed to meet each other for years. They were not told about their family who had several times come to visit them in the camp. The brothers made efforts to meet each other but each time they asked for a visit they were punished by their commanders.
After their relocation from Camp Ashraf to Camp Liberty, they succeeded to meet each other accidentally and eventually they managed to escape from the cult of Rajavi after the rocket attack on the camp in November 2015. They were aided by the UN and the Iranian embassy in Baghdad in order to return to their homeland, Iran.
Today, Shahram is a member of Nejat Society, Eastern Azarbaijan office. He has recently sent a video message recounting the story of his imprisonment in the Cult of Rajavi:
My name is Shahram Bahadri Gregari, I joined the People’s Mojahedin Organization (MEK) in 2002. my brother Shahroud and I were deceived by the promise of working in Germany, and we ended up being trapped in Iraq and the dreadful Camp Ashraf!
From the moment I entered the organization, I suffered pain and stress until the last moment I left the group (13 years). All the MEK told us were lies, everything was deception. they kept us busy with fake things. We couldn’t do anything to free ourselves, we weren’t allowed to contact our family. We could not even send a letter. They did not allow us to have access to any means of communication.
I was in the captivity of the MEK from 2002 to 2015. There was no way for me to escape, because we were two brothers, and I was kept separated from my brother. Every time I decided to leave, I hesitated because my brother was kept in another unit. I could not leave the organization alone; I was afraid that they would harm Shahroud.
They had created panic in our hearts. I could not leave. I was not allowed to see my brother who was only 50 meters away from me for 8 years!!! The distance between us was not more than 50 meters, but they did not allow us to meet each other with different excuses. Wherever I went, the officials of the group always followed me. They did not let me move freely, they would ask where I was going, what I was doing?
In the MEK, I had no right to talk and meet with my own brother, because they didn’t want us to get along to leave the group or to escape in some way.
Now I am sending a message to my former friends:
Do not waste your life in vain! Do not destroy your life! Do not stay in the MEK! There is nothing in the MEK, all its words are lies. Do not waste your youth there! During those 13 years that my brother and I stayed in the organization, we missed a single visit with our own family, we missed writing a single letter to our family, we missed a phone call with the family. All of you who have been in the MEK for many years have seen everything. You regret the entire life you lost in the group. Leave the MEK! Go to any country you want!
Since I came to Iran, I got married, I have a shop for myself, I bought a car, I live a free life, no one annoys me. Every time I breathe, I feel free, I feel young. Come and enjoy the free life. I don’t insist on coming to Iran. Go to any foreign country you want or to Iran.