Posts Tagged ‘Human Rights’

1988 Massacre,Ashraf 3,Free Iran rally,Giulio Terzi,Human Rights,Maryam Rajavi,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI

Giulio Terzi

Former Italian Foreign Minister Says Regime Can No Longer Deny MEK Is a Threat

Giulio Terzi

Hon. Giulio Terzi, the former Foreign Minister of Italy

In an editorial published on the Issues & Insights website on Thursday, former Italian Foreign Minister Ambassador Giulio Terzi discussed recent admissions by high-ranking officials within the Iranian regime that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran(PMOI / MEK) poses a serious threat to the clerical dictatorship ruling Iran.

Terzi described an August 5th press briefing held by the spokesman for regime President Rouhani’s cabinet Ali Rabiee in which Rabiee openly mentioned the conflict between the regime and the MEK.

“This represents a departure from the government’s normal policy of remaining silent on that issue in order to downplay the threat that the MEK poses to the theocratic system,” wrote Terzi.

Unmitigated Confidence

The MEK has fought against the mullahs’ tyranny for four decades in its efforts to bring freedom and democracy to Iran. As the largest resistance group in Iran, it has established a well-organized plan for Iran’s democratic future, which is formally stated in Iranian opposition leader Mrs. Maryam Rajavi’s 10-point plan.

“The MEK has expressed unmitigated confidence that the current regime is nearing its collapse, which will pave the way for that vision,” wrote Terzi. He cited that sentiment as the central theme of last month’s Free Iran gathering at Ashraf-3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania. The five-day event was attended by hundreds of prominent politicians and dignitaries from all over the world and focused on “transforming Iran into a democratic country led by the rule of law, respect of human rights and democratic freedom,” wrote Terzi.

Terzi argued that Iran has yet to experience this kind of freedom. The Islamic Republic governs through the principle of velayat-e faqih, or absolute rule, of clerical leaders. Anyone who opposes Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is excluded from the ballot in political elections.

A Turning Point

The MEK has challenged this rule through protests and boycotts of the polls, often at great personal risk. Boycotts at the polls during the 2016 election were followed by a massive anti-regime uprising in December 2017, which spread to 142 cities and every province in the country. The regime did an abrupt about-face and acknowledged the MEK’s role in the Iran protests, contradicting years of their own propaganda that claimed that the MEK lacked influence inside Iran. “This was arguably the turning point undermining the regime’s oft-repeated claim that the MEK is incapable of presenting a serious challenge to the clerical dictatorship,” argued Terzi.

1988 massacre

MEK members massacred by Pourmohammadi

Mostafa Pour-Mohammadi, an advisor to the head of the regime’s Judiciary Chief, also made recent comments about the MEK. Pour-Mohammadi was a member of Tehran’s Death Committee, which sent thousands of political prisoners to their executions during the 1988 Massacre, which claimed 30,000 lives during a single summer, most of whom were MEK members. Victims of the massacre included girls as young as 15 and pregnant women.

In a recent interview, Pour-Mohammadi once again defended what human rights defenders have called a crime against humanity and called for the elimination of the MEK. “We have no ambiguity about the MEK,” he said. “We are at a time of war. Now is not the time for talk. Now is the time to fight them.”

Tehran’s Greatest Adversary

Terzi stressed that these words make it clear that “the MEK is Tehran’s greatest adversary, and it has not only evaded all efforts to destroy it but has actually grown so much in power and influence that it was able to organize and lead a nationwide uprising just last year.” He went on to urge the world to pay attention to the words regime officials say at home because if they do, “it will become clear that they are afraid.”

This fear provides an opportunity for the international community and the Iranian people, emphasized Terzi. The regime is vulnerable and firm policies by the Western world would be effective in helping the Iranian people take back their country.

“It is now much more difficult for the mullahs to deny that there is already an alternative to their theocratic system and that popular resistance is their Achilles’ heel,” concluded Terzi.

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MEK supporters holding signs reading "Stop Executions Iran"

MEK-Iran: Iranian Regime Executes at Least Seven Prisoners in Just over a Week

MEK supporters holding signs reading "Stop Executions Iran"

MEK supporters hold signs calling for a halt on executions in Iran, during Hassan Rouhani’s visit to France in January 2016. Under “moderate” Rouhani at least 3800 people have been executed in Iran on various charges.

Reports from the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) sources inside Iran reveal that at least seven prisoners have been executed by the Iranian regime since August 7th.

According to a similar report, two prisoners were hanged on Saturday, August 10th, in Mashhad’s Central Prison. The state-run Khorasan daily briefly reported the executions on Sunday but did not name the prisoners. The paper wrote that a full report would be available in a few days.

The regime is notorious for its secretiveness surrounding executions. Many executions are never reported at all, making it difficult to track the true number of deaths at the hands of the Rouhani’s regime.

In another report, the executions of five prisoners in Gohardasht Prison in the city of Karaj is reported on Wednesday, August 7th. The prisoners were identified as Mohammad-Reza Shekari, Yousof Zakeri, Majid Arabali, Hossein Panjeh-Maryam, and Bahram Tork.

Prior to their deaths, the condemned men, along with several others, were transferred to solitary confinement to await execution. This is common practice in Iranian prisons and is a signal that execution is imminent. After the hangings, some of the other prisoners were returned to their original cells. Others were left to wait for their turn with the hangman.

39 prisoners were hanged in Iran during the month of July, including four women. One hanging took place in public.

The executions took place in Birjand, Gohardasht, Karaj, Kashan, Khondab, Mahshahr, Kelardasht, Urmia, Noor, Mashhad, Mahabad, Zanjan, Minab, Bandar-Abbas, Borujerd, Shiraz, Tabriz, Gorgan, Dezful, Rasht and Kermanshah.

Rally to call for justice for the 1988 massacre in Iran1988 Massacre

MEK supporters in Geneva, call for justice for the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran (mainly MEK activists)- September 2017

Iran’s Human Rights Record

Iran executes more people per capita than any other country in the world. The country is responsible for half of the world’s executions. Since President Hassan Rouhani took office in 2013, more than 3,800 people have been executed by the Iranian regime.

 

The United Nations has condemned the Iranian regime for its human rights violations on 65 separate occasions, but the mullahs have not changed their behavior. Rather, they have escalated their campaign of suppression and intimidation against their own people. The regime uses the death penalty as a tool of oppression to silence dissent from its people, and it will continue to do so as long as it can act without fear of consequences.

The MEK’s Political Platform

The MEK has asked the international community to recognize the right of the Iranian people to rise up against their oppressors and overthrow this brutal regime. The people of Iran want a country where voicing dissent is not a capital offense.

 

The MEK’s political platform includes strong opposition to the death penalty and a commitment to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and the Convention against Torture.

The brutal crimes of the mullahs will only end when the people of Iran take back their country. The international community can support their efforts by cutting financial ties with the terrorist regime and blacklisting its agents. They can also join the call for an independent investigation into war crimes committed by the regime during the 1988 Massacre.

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Ali Khamenei,Human Rights,Iran Economy,Iran human rights,Iran Protests,MEK,Mujahedin-e Khalq,PMOI,Regime Change

Ali Khamenei, the top mullah responsible for the crimes against humanity in Iran

Regime Calls for Unity to Counter Fear of The Uprisings

Ali Khamenei, the top mullah responsible for the crimes against humanity in Iran

Ali Khamenei, expressing concern about the infighting among regime fractions in light of the growing protests against the regime.

Regime authorities are once again stressing the importance of unity between opposing factions as the clerical regime teeters dangerously close to being overthrown. Regime Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, President Hassan Rouhani, and officials of all levels have emphasized that regime leaders must put aside their differences, at least publicly, in order to weather the “current dangers” facing the clerical dictatorship.

 

The “current dangers” are of course the regime’s growing fear of the people’s uprisings particularly with the role the MEK, has been playing in mobilizing the, which pose a threat to the mullahs’ continued claim to power. Officials call for unity time and time again, but they have repeatedly failed to address the fundamental problem facing Iran: the Iranian people are unified against the mullahs, and no amount of solidarity amongst officials can change their desire for regime change.

Increasing Rifts

Khamenei appoints Friday prayer Imams to act as his mouthpieces to the public. He recently met with Friday prayer Imams to discuss messaging in Friday prayers and voiced his concern about criticizing officials and regime institutions in Friday prayer sermons.

“We shouldn’t raise an issue immediately in Friday prayers when we see it in governmental, judicial, or other institutions,” he said, emphasizing that this “would increase the rifts and differences and agitate the population.”

 

Massih Mohajeri, a mullah close to Rouhani’s faction and the editor-in-chief of the Islamic Republic newspaper, claimed that Friday prayer Imams are doing the very thing Khamenei warned against. While admitting the hatred and illegitimacy even within the ranks of the regime supporters, he blamed the problem on poorly-qualified Imams in an article in the newspaper he edits.

“The reason why participants of Friday prayers are decreasing over the past recent years is that there has been negligence in the necessary qualities for choosing Friday prayer imams,” he explained.

“There are Friday prayer imams who lack the necessary qualities and don’t have the ability to attract the people and unite them,” he continued. “In recent decades, a large amount of money and energy have been spent on building prayer sites in different cities. However, there hasn’t been much spent to significantly improve the quality of Friday prayer imams. The result is that we have praying sites but no worshippers and the number of individuals who participate in Friday prayers all over the country is a fraction of the population that actually prays. More importantly, the number of young people present is very small. This means that the Friday prayer imams lack connection to the current generation,” he added.

No Difference between Factions

In a July 13th interview, Mohebbian, a conservative Iranian regime strategist, admitted what the MEK has said for years: “Due to the disappointment about the management of [Iranian] political movements, the population has concluded that one political movement is like the other and there is no difference,” Mohebbian said.

“The internal and external difficulties of the conservative movement is serious as is that of the moderates. The most important problem of conservatives is their weakness in political marketing for their opinions among the population. Eventually, the people will move beyond both [factions],” he added. A very clear admission of the fear the entire corrupt and repressive regime has from the people’s uprising.

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List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

Witnesses to the 1988 Massacre Tell Their Stories on Day Five of the Free Iran Conference

List and particulars of 1988 massacre in Iran

List of thousands of PMOI / MEK martyrs executed during the 1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran- A photo of the exhibition at Ashraf3, during the 5-day conference in solidarity with the Iranian resistance- July 2019

The final day of the Free Iran Conference was dedicated to seeking justice for the 30,000 victims of the 1988 Massacre (mainly MEK supporters) and their families. A number of dignitaries gave speeches on Monday, but the most memorable words came from survivors of the massacre. Their words are summarized below.

Kobra Jokar – Former Political Prisoner

“I spent six years in prison. The Revolutionary Guards arrested me while I was pregnant. I was taken to Evin Prison and the torture chambers. I was transferred to Ward 209. In the cell, I saw four torturers torture my husband in front of me. They also tortured me in front of him,” said Ms. Jokar.

“A few days later, they executed my husband with 75 others. The torturer said his intention was for him to never see his child. When I gave birth to my child, they took me to a hospital and quickly brought me back to prison even though I was very ill. I personally knew 50 MEK pregnant women who were executed, including Masumeh, the sister of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi,” she said.

“In prison, they would not give milk and food for the kids, and my cell mates would provide their sugar rations to me to give something to my baby. There was no doctor or medication for the children. In the public ward, there were only 15 minutes of warm water every other day, which we had to use to give the children a bath. Many of these children had lost their parents,” Ms. Jokar continued.

 

“The torturers even interrogated the children. They strapped a six-year-old girl to a chair in a dark room and said they would leave her there if she did not reveal the names of her mother’s friends,” she said.

“I managed to escape prison in 1986. All of those ladies who shared the cell with me were executed in the 1988 massacre,” Ms. Jokar said.

“The roots of our hopes and faith in our leaders helped us overcome the dark times in prison and to fight for freedom,” she concluded. Ms. Jokar remained stoic throughout her testimony but many in the room were visibly moved by her words.

 Hengameh Haj-Hassan

“I was a nurse in Tehran. In 1981, I was arrested and imprisoned in Evin Prison and Gohardasht Prison along with many of my colleagues. We were charged with helping the people who were injured by the IRGC,” said Ms. Haj-Hassan.

“In prison, we were subjected to severe tortures. Insomnia, packed cells, sleeping in coffins were what we had to endure,” she said.

“I was in a cage for seven months. These were small partitions where you could only squat. You couldn’t move, you couldn’t even cough or sneeze. If we moved, we were tortured. Our eyes were blindfolded. My eyesight has been degraded and my back was injured. I was operated on five times and yet I still have not recovered,” Ms. Haj-Hassan continued.

“When we came out of the cages, our friends didn’t recognize us. Inside the cage, we had to be prepared for any torture at any moment. The torturers used any excuse to torture us,” she emphasized.

“The torturer told us that we would die here. We were only given three minutes per day to go to the bathroom. We couldn’t even brush our teeth. The food they gave us was scarce and very dirty. At night, when we were allowed to sleep, they would turn on loudspeakers and play the regime’s mourning songs,” she added.

“The torturers sought to break our will and force us to turn our backs on our struggle. I decided that I would tell the enemy the name of the Mojahed. My friend Shekar was arrested with me, and she was executed in 1988 after suffering torture and the cage,” she stressed.

“I decided to prepare myself for hard days. I scheduled all my moments every day. My program was I started to remember all the songs and the contents of the Mojahedin books and the martyrs’ biographies that I already had read and started to repeat them. I had a physical exercise program. We weren’t allowed to move, but I exercised in my mind. I nursed patients in my mind,” she explained.

“At night, when we couldn’t sleep due to the loudspeakers, I trained myself to shut down those noises and take myself to pleasant places in my memories,” she added.

“The hardest times were the feeling of loneliness. I thought of God, and I thought of my leader, Massoud Rajavi. I spoke to him, and this way, I didn’t feel alone anymore,” Ms. Hassan continued.

“The torturers thought they would break our will through torture. However, they only made us stronger, as we understood that this proved what we were doing was right,” she emphasized.

“In prison, we considered ourselves PMOI representatives, and we deemed it our responsibility to defend their values. When I came out of prison, the first thing I did was to re-join my organization. This is a path that will continue until the end,” Ms. Haj-Hassan concluded. Her speech drew chants and applause from the audience.

Homa Jaberi

“I was in the regime’s prisons for five years and I witnessed many tortures. I was arrested in 1981 because I had participated in a peaceful MEK protest and spent many years in Gohardasht (Rajai Shahr) and Evin prisons. When the regime wasn’t able to break the will of the MEK woman through torture, they created a compound called the ‘residential units,’” said Ms. Jaberi.

“This was a secret compound. I was there for 40 days. From the first day, I was tortured brutally with whips and physically beaten. They took all of us to a room, blindfolded us, and told us that they would kill us until that night. They tortured us for hours until midnight,” she stated.

“My hands were swollen from the whiplashes. My face and body were bruised. The regime’s torturer said, ‘This is your hell. No one will hear you here. You will all die here.’ They kept us awake for many days and didn’t let us sleep,” she continued.

“Some of my friends were kept in this place for six months. We weren’t even allowed to scream under torture. Every command was given with whip lashes. For instance, if they wanted to tell us that we could sleep, they would do so by whipping us,” she added.

“After 40 days, I was taken to Evin Prison. Some of my friends had lost their mental balance. Some of the prisoners would not even speak of the tortures they had suffered. They said that the torturers made them make animal noises and insult themselves. Some had been raped,” Ms. Jaberi explained.

“I have faith that with the leadership of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, we will free Iran. It was this faith that helped me overcome the tough conditions of the prison,” she concluded to cheers and chants from the audience.

A video clip about the 1988 Massacre was shown to the conference attendees. MEK members held up photographs of loved ones who were martyred in the massacre. Some held more than one photograph. Mrs. Rajavi wiped tears from her eyes during the presentation.

 

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Rudy Giuliani, addressing MEK members at their Ashraf3 compound in Albania

Rudy Giuliani Speaks at Free Iran Conference at MEK Headquarters in Albania

Rudy Giuliani, addressing MEK members at their Ashraf3 compound in Albania

America’s Mayer, Rudy Giuliani, speaking at Free Iran conference at #Ashraf3, MEK’s compound in Albania

Former New York City Mayor and longtime friend of the Iranian Resistance Rudolph Guliani attended the Free Iran Conference at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, last weekend. He was one of the dozens of prominent politicians, lawyers, lawmakers, human rights activists, and members of the Iranian Resistance who delivered speeches at the five-day event, which included panels, exhibitions, and a tour of Ashraf 3.

Giuliani was one of the featured speakers at Saturday’s event. In his speech, he condemned the Iranian regime and called for the international community to support the MEK in their fight for freedom.

Giuliani directly accused the regime “and all of their sycophants and followers” of murder. Not just murder, mass murder, crimes against humanity.”

He then offered a three-part proposal to the MEK to guide the Iranian people to freedom. “Number one, we have to get the governments of Europe to stand up, to wake up, to reclaim their dignity and their honor,” he said.

“The people who slaughtered 30,000 people in 1988 should be identified, they should be prosecuted, and they should either be imprisoned for life or executed,” Giuliani added.

“I am so proud of my government because we have stood up. We looked at that agreement that would make Iran a nuclear power and we said tear it up. We’re not going to put nuclear weapons in the hands of a maniac,” he said, referring to the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

 

“How can you do commerce with them? We all know they’re the largest sponsor of terrorism in the world,” he said. “When you buy oil from Iran you are funding murder. Face it. And stop it,” he emphasized.

“Number two,” the former mayor continued, “there is an alternative to this horrible regime of terror. This isn’t one of those situations in which we have the choice of deposing a horrible dictators and we don’t know if a more horrible one will come along.”

“We know there’s something much better. We know there’s a group of people who have been fighting for freedom all their lives, who have lost the closest people to them in the fight for freedom, who are dedicated to it,” he added.

 

Giuliani moved on to his final point. “Last thing, what can you do?… You can be a witness like in the Biblical sense of a witness. You know something that a lot of people don’t know. You know really how bad it is in Iran. You know about the murders and you know about the continuing murders. And you know about the MEK. And you know about Madame Rajavi. And you know the truth, not the lies,” he said.

 

“So you can be a witness to that. You can write and you can speak, you can organize. Be a part of it,” Giuliani added.

 

“And when you see the lies about us, stand up. I get attacked and my colleagues who will be here in a moment get attacked all the time in America.

But I know and I feel as I’ve told you, as I conclude, the optimism in this room, and I know why there’s an optimism in this room. Because you know what I know. We’re going to be in Tehran much sooner than all those cynics believe,” he concluded.

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Maryam Rajavi addressing the conference 1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED

Iran: Prison massacre against MEK members under scrutiny

Maryam Rajavi addressing the conference 1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED

Conference “1988 Massacre in Iran, Perpetrators must be TRIED ” held at Ashraf 3, MEK’s compound near Tirana, Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the Iranian opposition address the conference. During this conference, MEK former political prisoners and survivals of the massacre, gave extremely moving testimonies about the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners. The event was broadcast live via @Iran_Policy in 4 different languages. July 15, 2019

The summer of 1988, after months of deprivation from visiting their loved ones, thousands of families of MEK supporters and activists, gathered at the prison’s entrance across Iran, received the remaining cloths of their family members, a reference to a grave or in most cases no news about their whereabouts.

In Tehran, families could manage to find a mass graveyard in Khavaran, were, apparently, thousands of bodies of MEK supporters were dumped and buried in a night. These hopeless families go every year to Khavaran, to commemorate their loved ones. Yet within the past few years, so many of these families were arrested, even executed. People such as Ali Saremi, Jafar Kazemi, Mohammad-Ali Haj-Aghaie, supporters of the MEK, lost their lives.

According to survivors and the regime defectors and other sources, more than 30,000 members and supporters of the MEK were executed in a matter of months in the summer of 1988.

Tragic but heroic, they were executed for how they called the MEK and its historical leader Massoud Rajavi.

 

Although MEK informed the International Community about this massacre, Western governments chose to close their eyes and rather follow commerce with the so-called reformist Mullah Hashemi Rafsanjani, then Iran’s president.

 

After 30 years, a tape was exposed, with the voice of the late Ayatollah Hossein-Ali Montazeri, Khomeini’s heir at that time, speaking to members of the death committee telling them they had committed a crime for which History would curse the regime. Those positions cost Montazeri his seat as heir apparent to Khomeini.

 

The crimes of the Iranian regime is known to everyone, anyone with the least dignity condemns these atrocities such as the massacre of 30000 MEK members in 1988. Amnesty International recently published a vast report based on a thorough study which shows that this massacre is no less than a crime against humanity. Among others, it was based on tens of testimonies by MEK members now settled in Albania in Ashraf3 compound, where the opposition has regrouped after quitting their former settlement in Iraq under Iran regime’s pressures.

Nonetheless, the regime keeps those involved in this massacre in power positions as high as head of the Judiciary.

At the same time, a vast and costly demonization campaign is followed by the mullahs to tarnish the image of their victims. Their motto is: if you have to kill, demonize your victims so you are justified in your crime.

An array of websites and well implanted “journalists” are in the mullahs’ inventory to achieve this goal. So-called journalists, who blame the MEK and ultimately the victims of this regime, for the latter’s crimes! This demonization campaign against the Iranian resistance pursues nothing but one goal: Washing the hands of the mullahs so the Western company managers can shake hands with them! History has proven that no one sides with dictators for God’s sake and “the democratic cultish issues” of a resistance movement such as the MEK with more than 120,000 fallen for the cause of freedom and the vast network inside, which the Iranian regime fears most and repeatedly warns its troops of those units’ activities.

History is the best judge, time will move on, Iranian people and their resistance MEK will topple this regime, the perpetrators of the 1988 massacre will be held accountable in international courts, but the remaining question is would those who white-washed those crimes also be held accountable?

As it comes to those longing to do business with Iran at any cost, it should be said that such business is called “bad business,” since they invested in the blood of the Iranian people.

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Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Maryam Rajavi to Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3: “We Will Take Back Iran!”

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

Annual_Free_Iran_Conference_at_the_Meks_Headquarters_in_Albania-1

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) held its annual Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3, the MEK’s headquarters in Albania, for the first time this year.

Ashraf 3 was constructed in just one year and built from the ground up as a home for the displaced members of the MEK who suffered repeated attacks at their previous homes at Camps Ashraf and Liberty in Iraq. The choice to host the Free Iran Rally at Ashraf 3 this year is significant.

Mrs. Maryam Rajavi delivered the keynote address to the tens of thousands of MEK members and international dignitaries gathered for the rally.

“Twenty months ago, this was an empty piece of land with nothing on it. At the hands of the Mojahedin, through their enormous efforts and hard work, Ashraf 3 was built and now stands tall. But our final destination is Tehran, freed from the occupation of the mullahs.”

The Goal of an Uprising

Mrs Rajavi quoted Massoud Rajavi’s words on the importance of regime change coming from within Iran: “For a nation to appreciate her own freedom, she must ultimately free herself on her own. “Everyone can only free himself on his own from the yoke of coercion and oppression, and it is precisely for this reason that we are responsible to advance the goal of a general uprising for the freedom of our people and our country,” she quoted.

Fueling Tensions

In reference to her opposition to the easing of sanctions against the Iranian regime in 2013, Mrs. Rajavi said, “The time has come for major powers to stop appeasing and giving concessions to the murderous religious tyranny, the Central Banker of terrorism, and the world’s record holder of executions, and to recognize the right of the people of Iran for resistance and freedom.”

Mrs. Rajavi listed the regime’s escalating terrorist activities and meddling in the Middle East since 2018. She specifically discussed the bombing plot against MEK members at Ashraf 3 last year. “Clearly, the regime is fueling tensions in a bid to push back against the international community. They foment turmoil and chaos to hide their fear of being overthrown. They want firmness to be replaced with a policy of appeasement, and they want to allay fears and anxiety of their Basij Forces and Revolutionary Guards and to preserve their internal balance and equilibrium,” she said. “However, the reality is that schism and instability are among the signs that the regime is in its final chapter. The clerical regime is not going to find a way out of its inevitable downfall.”

Mrs. Rajavi warned those who claim to hope to avoid war in the region that their sentiments are misguided. “Anyone who seeks freedom for Iran, anyone who wants to save Iran from destruction and chaos, anyone who wants global and regional peace and stability, must rise up to demand the overthrow of the mullahs’ regime,” she said.

The MEK Has Paid the Price

Mrs. Rajavi said that the policy of appeasement now carries heavy consequences. The MEK exposed the Iranian regime’s nuclear program, forced a cease fire in the Iran-Iraq War, called attention to the regime’s human rights situation, and repeatedly blew the whistle on the mullahs’ malign activities. If they had not done so, “today, the situation would have been radically different, and the mullahs, equipped with nuclear weapons, would have created and solidified the empire and Caliphate they had long intended to establish,” she said.

“But the MEK has paid the price to break the atmosphere of fear and intimidation created by the velayat-e faqih and their criminal Revolutionary Guard Corps throughout its history by exposing the regime’s evil nature and its illicit activities, including the disclosure of the mullahs’ nuclear program, and by standing against this regime even at the price of their lives,” she continued.

“[MEK] thus has left no future for the mullahs’ evil caliphate,” she added.

Rise of the MEK

Mrs. Rajavi praised the MEK’s Resistance Units: “This Resistance has been able to expand and organize its network inside Iran despite the pervasive repression. This is how Ashraf has been replicated in society and among the people of Iran,” she said.

Despite the regime’s claims that the MEK has no influence within the country, Iranian authorities have arrested large numbers of MEK members and have created new patrols to round up Resistance Units and to suppress Resistance activities. “But the enemy can neither succeed in breaking the morale of Resistance forces in prisons nor is it able to thwart the resistance movement and the units of rebellion in cities. Yes, every young man or woman yearning for freedom and justice is a potential or de facto rebel,” she said.

Maryam Rajavi restated her plan to establish a free and democratic Iran and said that the NCRI would succeed in this goal.

“We will take back Iran and we will build a new homeland,” she concluded.

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120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

Day Two of Conference at Ashraf-3 Features Speeches from International Dignitaries

120 Years of Struggle by Iran's People for Freedom - MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

120 Years of Struggle by Iran’s People for Freedom – MEK Opposition conference in Albania Ashraf-3

The MEK hosted the second day of an international conference on Friday at Ashraf-3, the home of the Iranian Resistance’s headquarters in Albania. The conference, entitled “120 years of struggle of the Iranian people for freedom,” was attended by thousands of MEK members and prominent politicians and dignitaries from around the world.

The conference’s focus was to condemn the Iranian regime for its suppressive and inhuman actions at home and its terrorist activities abroad and to call on the international community to end the policy of appeasement that allowed the regime to act without consequences.

Speakers at the conference also emphasized that the international community must recognize the MEK and NCRI as the democratic alternative to the mullahs’ regime in order to bring peace and stability to the region.

The following are some of the highlights from the speeches at Friday’s event:

Maryam Rajavi

President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI)

From Mrs. Rajavi’s keynote address:

“One of the missing links in previous movements of the Iranian people was a coherent organization and an organized struggle, coupled with a determined and battle-hardened force prepared to make any sacrifice necessary. As a result, the people’s previous struggles did not succeed despite all their sacrifices,” she said in reference to the failure of past uprisings.

Mrs. Rajavi also spoke about the many crimes perpetrated against the MEK by the mullahs’ regime.

“Despite all the crimes and massacres he committed, Khomeini failed to extinguish the flames of freedom. Over the past 40 years, 120,000 persons have given their lives for the cause of freedom. That includes the 30,000 people who were massacred in 1988 for insisting on their political identity as a member of the Mojahedin. Another half-a-million people were arrested and viciously tortured,” she said.

“The mullahs continued their crimes against Ashraf and Liberty by setting 22 deadlines in 10 years, through a medical blockade, through psychological torture using over 300 loudspeakers blaring into Ashraf for two years, and through 29 ground and aerial attacks, using armored vehicles and missile launchers, including the commission of seven bloodbaths and massacres,” she continued.

Mrs. Rajavi concluded on a hopeful note, saying, “But today, we have reached a historic turning point. An Ashraf which has once again risen up, proud and powerful, shining bright at the zenith of this Resistance. This Ashraf has been replicated 1000 times in the form of resistance units all over Iran. And a volatile society which is no longer willing to put up with the mullahs, yearning to overthrow them.”

Suda

MEK member and resident at Ashraf-3

“I grew up in Sweden and was about to travel to France to study, but a video that I’d seen couldn’t leave my mind; a video of someone being stoned to death in Iran. I saw myself at a crossroads. I could live my own life and fulfil my dreams or I could put everything aside and fulfil my people’s dreams. That’s why I joined the MEK, to live for others. I thank all of you for being with us,” she said.

Ingrid Betancourt

Former Colombian Senator and Presidential candidate

“It’s just amazing what the MEK has done to transform this place since the last time I visited. I am proud to be your friend,” said Ms. Betancourt. “Your decision to confront the tyranny and pay the highest price. This sacrifice today is bearing its fruit. I see that here in Ashraf 3. It’s a miracle. I have been with you for a couple of years and I am amazed by your support and your political savviness. As a woman, I feel very proud and that in the world there is no organization like the MEK that gives women this power.”

“We are making history today,” she added. “Your victory is our victory and we will be very soon with you in Tehran!” Ms. Betancourt proclaimed.

Rudy Giuliani

Former New York City Mayor

“There is an alternative to the theocracy and dictatorship in Iran. It is a government-in-exile, and it gives us the confidence that if we help overthrow the Iranian regime, there will be prosperity and democracy in Iran,” said the former mayor.

Giuliani referred to the numerous terrorist plots against the MEK by the Iranian regime in 2018, saying, “They tried to bomb us in the US. They tried to bomb us here in Tirana a year and a half ago. They tried to bomb us in Paris a year ago. They’re the biggest state sponsor of terrorism and we let them sit in the UN and talk to them like they’re decent people.”

“I thank Madam Maryam Rajavi for letting me be part of this, and this is something that I am proud of and probably my children will be proud of…I wish to have this meeting in Tehran before I die,” Giuliani said.

Giuliani encouraged the MEK to continue their struggle for freedom. “You keep trying and you fail, you keep trying and you fail, and then the Berlin Wall comes down. It will happen eventually, but let’s make it happen now before another 100,000 deaths,” he said.

Senator Joseph Lieberman

Former U.S. Senator and Vice-Presidential candidate

“You in the NCRI have given us the opportunity to be true to our national principles. When I’m here I feel that I’m representing the spirit of my great friend, the late Senator John McCain, who was warned by the establishment to stay away from this organization, but he spent time learning about it. He came to Ashraf 3, believing in this organization and its cause,” said Lieberman.

“Ashraf 3 has become something magnificent. Coming here and seeing this magnificent community that you’ve built is miraculous. It teaches us lessons,” he continued.

Lieberman praised the Ashrafis for their perseverance, saying, “The citizens of Ashraf never gave up despite the atrocities they faced imposed by the Iranian regime.”

He also talked about the exhibition of the history of MEK members who have been killed and persecuted by the Iranian regime that he and other speakers viewed before the conference began: “This exhibition, despite the mourning, is inspiring. And the whole story of the Ashrafis is inspiring,” he said.

“With the kind of leadership that the MEK and Maryam Rajavi are giving and will give in Iran; with the support of people from around the world who are represented here and with the resistance of the Iranian people inside of Iran, we will have a meeting some day in Iran and come together and have a great party,” Lieberman concluded.

Michèle Alliot-Marie

MEP; former French Foreign, Defense, Justice and Interior Minister

Alliot-Marie referenced the MEK memorial, saying, “I have to say that I’m very moved. What a contrast between the dramatic, horrifying images that we saw a few minutes ago. To be in contact with men and women who have given their lives for such a cause. To see what you have been able to achieve. You wish to give so much to the Iranian people.”

“You have people who have been tortured yet you still pave the path for freedom. This visit to Ashraf 3 was very moving for us,” she continued.

“I have the privilege of being able to speak and think freely. Yet I also know that today this liberty is not available everywhere across the globe,” Alliot-Marie said.

“We are also obliged to all people who are being subjugated to dictators around the world, and in Iran. We are here today, Mrs. Rajavi, to tell you that you are not alone,” she said.

“We have to give the Iranian people courage and the help they need so they can get their future back,” Alliot-Marie concluded.

Matthew Offord

MP (United Kingdom)

“You are the proof of a proud brave nation that will never succumb to the atrocities of the regime,” Offord said, addressing the MEK members at the conference.

“We have always argued that decoupling the regime’s human rights violations from the nuclear deal was a mistake,” he said.

“We have been proven right that there is no moderate faction inside the Iranian regime.” he added.

“There are two issues that we continue to raise in our debates,” Offord said:

  1. “We need to hold the Iranian regime accountable for its atrocities in the 1988 massacre of political prisoners.”
  2. “The U.K. government needs to blacklist the Revolutionary Guards (IRGC) and all its subsidiary as a terrorist organization.”

“This measure will signal to the Iranian people that they are not forgotten and we stand with them,” he emphasized.

Offord added, “We want to recognize the right of the Iranian people and the resistance led by Madame Maryam Rajavi to establish a democratic and free republic in Iran.”

“Iran’s current regime is not just a threat to the Iranian people but to the peace around the world,” he concluded.

General James Conway

Former Commandant of the U.S. Marine Corps

“I participated in a policy panel in Ashraf 3 and we were invited to dinner with the ladies of Ashraf 3. And some of them shared with me their stories of sacrifice and suffering. What I saw last night in terms of the ability to endure loss and yet move on was the sense of unit cohesion and dedication to each other that was the same as you see in the military. The sense of mission and dedication to accomplish it, said General Conway.

“I’m absolutely confident that with those ladies, you will make your country free someday,” he added.

Ms. Mojgan Parsaie

Former MEK Secretary General

“The story of the supporters of Ashraf who helped rescue the MEK members is the story of honorable people,” said Ms. Parsaie.

“Time has shown that you stand on the right side of history. The future will show more appreciation,” she added.

“Mayor Giuliani was correct that the solution to Iran is not appeasement but regime change. Throughout history there are always tyrants and for a period they seem invincible. However, they all fall at the end. Always.” Ms. Parsaie concluded.

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political prisoners in Iran

Regime Official Claims There Are No Political Prisoners in Iran

political prisoners in Iran

Some of the publicly known political prisoners, now serving in Iranian regime prisons.

Gholamhossein Esmaili, a spokesman for the regime’s judiciary, denied that Iran had any political prisoners in custody in a recent televised interview. This is despite the thousands of political protesters, journalists, religious minorities, and human rights activists who are currently imprisoned in Iran for their political or religious beliefs.

Esmaili’s denial followed a question concerning the recent stabbing death of a political prisoner in Tehran’s Fashafuyeh Prison at the hands of two violent criminals. Esmaili was asked why political prisoners are not separated from ordinary criminals. His response was that “we don’t have any political prisoners.”

“Those who sometimes claim (to be political prisoners) are those who have committed crimes against security,” Esmaili added.

The judiciary spokesman also mentioned MEK members who have been imprisoned for their resistance activities, saying that they were working against “the system and the revolution” and therefore did not qualify as political prisoners.

Human Rights Watch Report

According to a 2018 Human Rights Watch report on Iran, there are about one thousand political prisoners currently incarcerated in the country. The list of prisoners includes those affiliated with political groups, as well as journalists and religious minorities such as Bahais, Dervishes, and recent converts to Christianity. The correct number is of course much higher than this.

Regime Official Admit The Arrest of 4,600 Young Iranians During 2018 Nationwide Uprising

Recent Deaths of Political Prisoners

Two recent deaths have brought attention to the plight of political prisoners under the Iranian regime. Both occurred under suspicious circumstances.

Amnesty International recently reported the suspicious death of Benyamin Alboghbiesh. The 28-year old Ahwazi Arab was arrested in Ahvaz, southwestern Iran, on May 26th. On June 26th, his family was informed by a man they believe to be affiliated with the Revolutionary Guards that he had died in detention. Authorities have still not returned his body for burial.

“Benyamin Alboghbiesh was a healthy young adult when he was arrested. His alarming death just over a month later raises serious concerns about his treatment and conditions of detention, including the possible use of torture. The Iranian authorities must immediately order an effective and impartial investigation into his death, including an independent autopsy,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

Prior to this, another political prisoner died under suspicious circumstances in Fashafuyeh Prison.

21-year-old Alireza Shir Mohammad Ali was stabbed to death in his cell by two prisoners on June 10th. His cellmate wrote a letter saying that he believed that Shir Mohammad Ali was killed on the orders of prison guards in exchange for privileges. The MEK covered this story and provided details of the letter from Shir Mohammad Ali’s cellmate last month.

The Iranian regime has used violent criminals to murder political prisoners in the past.

Shir Mohammad Ali was imprisoned for blasphemy,” “insulting the founder of the Islamic Republic,” “insulting the leader,” and “spreading propaganda” against the regime.” These are all considered security violations, which the regime does not consider political crimes. These charges are typical of those faced by other political prisoners in Iran.

Staff writer

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1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

Amnesty International: Regime’s Treatment of Families of 1988 Massacre Victims Amounts to Torture, Crimes against Humanity

1988 massacre of political prisoners in Iran

More than 30,000 political prisoners, mainly MEK activists were slain during the summer of 1988, a crime against humanity that has yet to be accounted for.

The Iranian regime’s treatment of family members of the victims of the 1988 Massacre constitutes torture, concluded Amnesty International in a June 26th post on its website in honor of International Day in Support of Victims of Torture.

Amnesty further stated that “[t]orture and other inhumane acts amount to crimes against humanity when they form part of a systematic or widespread attack.

More than thirty years have passed since the summer of 1988, when the Iranian regime executed 30,000 political prisoners, most of whom were MEK activists, and buried them in mass graves. The families of the victims have never received any justice for this crime against humanity, as none of the perpetrators have faced any consequences for their actions, and many have gone on to attain high-ranking positions within the regime.

Continued Torment

Amnesty International wrote in its statement that the regime continues to torment families of the victims by refusing to disclose the circumstances of their deaths and the locations of their bodies. Those who have asked for the truth or seek justice for their relatives have been harassed, threatened, intimidated, and attacked.

“The Iranian authorities’ ongoing refusal to acknowledge the deaths or to reveal the fate and whereabouts of those forcibly disappeared and killed has placed a cruel burden on family members who continue to be haunted by a sense of anguish, uncertainty and injustice,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.

“There is no doubt that the agonizing suffering inflicted on victims’ families for more than 30 years violates the absolute prohibition on torture and other cruel and inhuman treatment under international law,” he added.

Amnesty International interviewed families of the victims of the 1988 Massacre and found that many of the victim’s parents had developed physical or mental health issues as a result of their children’s deaths, including heart attacks, depression, delusions, and suicidal tendencies.

Compounding the families’ suffering is the Iranian regime’s determination to cover up the crime. Families have either been denied death certificates or given certificates that cited natural causes, illness, or “death” as the cause of death. Officials refuse to acknowledge the existence of mass graves, despite satellite evidence to the contrary, and have bulldozed or constructed buildings or roads over known mass graves. Relatives are forbidden from holding mourning rituals or commemorations for their loved ones or having public discussions about the massacre.

Support for Amnesty’s Position

Amnesty International holds the position that the Iranian regime is systematically violating the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment of the families of victims of the 1988 Massacre. This opinion is supported by the expert opinions of United Nations human rights bodies on the impact of enforced disappearances on victims’ relatives.

The UN Working Group on Enforced or Involuntary Disappearances recognizes that the anguish and suffering caused to a family by the disappearance of a loved one and by the continuing uncertainty concerning their fate or whereabouts “reaches the threshold of torture.”

 

The UN Human Rights Committee also recognizes that the suffering caused to a family by the disappearance of their loved ones, the secrecy surrounding the execution date and place of burial, and the refusal to hand over a body for burial have the effect of punishing families and causing mental distress,

and as such amounts to a violation of the prohibition on torture and other cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment.

Staff writer

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