ISJ Report Warns of Potential Attack on MEK in Albania
On Wednesday the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) reported that the Iranian regime has launched a new campaign against Iranian refugees living in Albania. This campaign is the latest effort by the ruling regime in Iran to demonize and suppress the MEK, the principal opposition movement in Iran. The ISJ is concerned that these actions on the part of the Iranian regime could lead to a violent attack by Tehran.
The refugees are members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), an opposition group that fled Iran’s oppressive regime to escape persecution, imprisonment, torture, and death at the hands of the ruling mullahs. The MEK is the largest and most popular Iranian opposition organization and has the goal of bringing democracy and equality to Iran. Because of this, the MEK has been the primary target of the theocracy’s ire. Over the past 30 years, the regime has killed over 120,000 MEK members in its efforts to suppress and demonize the resistance organization.
Iranian refugees in Albania, former residents of Camp Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq
Many of the Iranian refugees in Albania are former residents of Camp Ashraf and Camp Liberty in Iraq. The Iranian regime waged a years-long series of attacks on MEK members in these camps, cutting off access to food and medical supplies and coordinating deadly air raids. 178 camp residents died as a result of these attacks.
In response to the continued assaults on Iranian refugees in Iraq, an international campaign to protect and relocate MEK members in Iraq was mounted. Thanks to the bipartisan efforts of American dignitaries, U.S. Senators, and Congressmen, European politicians, members of the European and national Parliaments and international entities including the United Nations, the remaining residents of Camp Liberty were finally moved to locations outside of Iraq, with the largest number settling in Albania.
A series of demonstrations took place in Iran in December 2017-January 2018. Protesters chanted, “down with [Supreme Leader] Khamenei,” and “down with [President] Rouhani” in demonstrations in 140 cities across Iran. The fundamentalist regime was rattled by this uprising and acknowledged that the MEK played a large part in organizing the protests.
The Iranian regime has now focused its efforts on the Iranian refugees in Albania. Two Iranians were arrested on March 22 by Albanian police for espionage and attempting to gather intelligence about the refugees. Similar actions in the past have often lead to terrorist actions, so these arrests are cause for concern.
Iranian regime’s new conspiracy against MEK
In addition, the Iranian regime is once again disseminating misinformation about the MEK in an attempt to undermine its efforts to bring regime change to Iran. It is currently preparing actions in the European Parliament to demonize the MEK.
British national Anne Singleton is currently being used by Tehran to sow disinformation about the MEK. She and her Iranian-born husband Massoud Khodabandeh were recruited by Iran’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) in 2002, according to a Pentagon-commissioned report released in December 2012. They have since led numerous efforts to demonize the MEK. Singleton has traveled to Iraq and Albania several times as part of the smear campaign on the Iranian refugees. She attempted to spread false information about the MEK in front of British Parliament in September 2005 but was disinvited after protests from Members of Parliament. She is now scheduled to speak next week at the European Parliament to make more false allegations against the MEK.
The ISJ expressed grave concern about these events, fearing that they will lead to more assaults on MEK members in Albania. The organization urges authorities to take action against the ruling regime to prevent them from endangering the refugees and security in Europe as well.