NCRI Publishes Letter from MEK Legal Counsel to Dagens Næringsliv Newspaper
On Friday, May 24th, the National Council of Resistance (NCRI) released a letter written by Behzad Saffari, legal advisor for the MEK in Albania, to Amund Djuve, the Editor-in-Chief of the Dagens Næringsliv newspaper on April 1, 2019.
"We would respectfully ask you not to allow your newspaper and journalist to become unwantedly tools of the Mullah's regimes to enhance its objectives and prepare the grounds for assassinations of the Iranian refugees in Albania."#PMOI #MEKhttps://t.co/vCNbGrpJnc
— People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) (@Mojahedineng) May 25, 2019
The letter referred to an incident on March 27, 2019 in which a journalist from the newspaper, later identified as Eskil Engdal, accompanied by a regime Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) agent from the Iranian regime’s Embassy in Albania, Gjergji Thanasi, photographed the MEK compound in Albania. The compound, which houses MEK members who have been repeatedly targeted by terrorist attacks from the Iranian regime, explicitly prohibits photography at its entrances because of security concerns. The photographer and MOIS agent ignored the clearly posted signs and continued to aggressively take photographs even after they were asked to stop by Albanian security guards.
Continuous Terrorist Threats
The letter explained that the MEK has been subject to continuous terrorist threats by the Iranian regime, who see the opposition movement as an existential threat to their rule. In March 2018, Albanian authorities foiled a terrorist plot to bomb a Nowruz celebration at the MEK compound. An investigation resulted in the expulsion of two Iranian regime terrorists, the Iranian ambassador, and a high-ranking regime diplomat from Albania.
Saffari also referred to the foiled terrorist attack on the annual gathering of the MEK in June 2018 and the arrest of two MOIS agents in the United States in August 2018 for spying on MEK members.
Prior Espionage Activities
Saffari’s letter described Gjergji Thanasi’s prior espionage activities against MEK members in Albania, noting that he has posed as a journalist, chauffeur, and interpreter in order to get close to the MEK compound to film and collect information about security systems that have been put in place to protect residents from attack from regime terrorists.
Saffari questioned the newspaper journalist’s association with an Iranian regime agent, calling it “an increasing disturbing matter.” He also noted that the MEK had become aware that Engdal had met with MOIS agents claiming to be former members of the MEK who are on the payroll of the Iranian regime’s embassy in Albania.
False Claims against the MEK
Saffari contradicted false claims that the MEK compound is isolated and closed to outsiders, stating that since the group moved to Albania in 2018, “dozens of Albanian and International reporters and US and European personalities including Albanian Ministers have freely visited the compound.” He went on to add that “Albanian citizens in large and small groups come to the compound to visit their friends.”
Saffari included documentation regarding the false and inflammatory article published by Der Spiegel magazine about the MEK. In March 2019, a German court ordered the magazine to remove false allegations against the MEK or pay a fine of up to €250,000 or face a six month prison sentence if the fine was not paid.
Saffari concluded his letter by respectfully asking
Dagens Næringsliv and Eskil Engdal not to unknowingly become tools of the mullahs’ regime used to “enhance its objectives and prepare the grounds for assassinations of the Iranian refugees in Albania.”