NewsSpecial WireIran: 500 former Iraq-based MeK members reject abuse claims

Iran: 500 former Iraq-based MeK members reject abuse claims

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Iran Focus: Washington, DC, Jun. 05 – Over 500 former members and supporters of an Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MeK), signed an open letter to New York-based Human Rights Watch rejecting allegations of abuse by the group, the PMOI’s Persian-language website reported. The petition was signed by former members who all now live in North America and Europe, and it was delivered to HRW’s headquarters by a delegation from the signatories. Iran Focus

Washington, DC, Jun. 05 – Over 500 former members and supporters of an Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI / MeK), signed an open letter to New York-based Human Rights Watch rejecting allegations of abuse by the group, the PMOI’s Persian-language website reported.

The petition was signed by former members who all now live in North America and Europe, and it was delivered to HRW’s headquarters by a delegation from the signatories.

The ex-members and supporters wrote, “We were shocked to see the recent report by Human Rights Watch about the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran, entitled, ‘No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the MKO Camps.’ This report is absolutely false and in blatant contradiction to our observations at PMOI camps, where some of us lived for more than a decade”.

“You have prepared this report by interviewing 12 individuals and claimed that a heavy price must be paid to leave the PMOI. Yet, you have not approached hundreds of people who have spent years in PMOI camps in Iraq and now reside in Europe and the United States and able to provide you with their first-hand observations”, they said.

“We were shocked even further to realize that HRW had not asked the PMOI any questions when preparing this report. The simultaneity of this report with the mullahs’ election farce, the international community’s concern over Tehran’s nuclear weapons program, its meddling in Iraq and growing support for the removal of the PMOI from the list of terrorist organizations leave no doubts as to the political agenda behind this report”, they added.

The ex-PMOI activists offered to testify before “any court or impartial authority and engage in a public debate with HRW officials” to challenge the report, its motives, witnesses and procedure.

They said in the many years they were staying in Iraq and in PMOI camps, they never saw or heard anyone being held against their will or being harassed, persecuted or tortured.

“Contrary to your report, almost of all of us left Iraq with the help and assistance of the PMOI”, they said, adding that the individuals interviewed by HRW were all agents of Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security (VEVAK).

The signatories noted that among those signing the statement were a significant number of people who were approached by the MOIS after leaving Iraq and asked to collaborate with them in the demonization campaign against the PMOI, but who refused to do so. “In some cases, our families were pressured in Iran to force us to cooperate”, they stated.

They called on Human Rights Watch to retract the report.

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