Judges of the Court of First Instance
Anne Singleton, December 20, 2006
Re: Case T-228/02
Esteemed Judges of the Court,
We noted with interest your Judgement in Case T-228/02.
After reading press release No 97/06, there are several issues which we wish to bring to your attention.
Firstly, we must express our disappointment at the apparent level of evidence on which your ruling has been based. The press release asserts as facts details which are clearly in error.
For example: “In the past, it [MKO] has had an armed branch operating inside Iran.” There is absolutely no doubt that for the past twenty years the Mojahedin operated all its armed personnel exclusively from inside Iraq as part of the Iraqi military apparatus and only made armed incursions into Iran with the permission of Saddam Hussein’s generals. The remains of this ‘armed branch’ are of course currently detained in Camp Ashraf 60 km north of Baghdad.
And: “that it [MKO] has expressly renounced all military activity since June 2001”. The Mojahedin Khalq and its leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi have never at any time announced that the MKO has renounced violence. It has been revealed, however, that a statement indicating that it had renounced violence had been made privately by the MKO to the Court through its lawyers. The Court of First Instance apparently took this statement at face value. There is clear evidence to show that MKO military activity continued right up to the allied invasion of Iraq in March 2003. Even right now they are openly promoting terrorism and threatening their critics in the EU and US. These critics have been “condemned to death” by the MKO’s Revolutionary Court pending the execution of their sentences in Europe and the USA.
But our main reason for writing to you – of course we recognise that your ruling concerns procedural issues and not issues of European security – is to alert you to the humanitarian crisis which lies behind the façade which Mojahedin-e Khalq shows western audiences and which remains unchallenged by this judgement.
Mojahedin Khalq is not a political party, it is a destructive cult which uses psychological coercion to exert control over its members. Since the autumn of 2003, the members trapped in Camp Ashraf, Iraq – the ‘armed branch’ - have been held incommunicado and have no access to humanitarian help, contact with their families or information. They do not have ‘contracts of employment’ and are living in conditions which can only be described as modern slavery. There is much evidence freely available which confirms this above assertion, and the Human Rights Watch report ‘No Exit’ from May 2005 serves as a useful introduction to the dire human rights situation which pertains inside the MKO.
What is of concern for our organisation, Iran-Interlink, is that the delicate and ongoing efforts of the UNHCR, ICRC, HRW, AI and many smaller organisations to rescue victims of the MKO headed by Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi in Iraq have been jeopardized by this judgement by the Court of First Instance.
Although we believe your judgement will not have any material effect on the terrorist status of the Mojahedin Khalq, you should know that it has been immediately misrepresented by leaders Massoud and Maryam Rajavi to the members. The day after your ruling, Massoud Rajavi, who is wanted by Interpol for war crimes and crimes against humanity, emerged after three years of silence, to tell his commanders in Iraq they will soon get their arms back and they can resume their armed activity. How does this square with the claim to have renounced military activity?
In the last few years Iran-Interlink and other agencies have been successful in helping people leave the Rajavi cult and re-integrate into normal society. Many of the survivors are resident in western countries including most of Europe and the UK, Scandinavia and Canada.
The main victims of this court ruling then are the individual cult members interred in Camp Ashraf. They are now unable to leave the cult. Unable to make contact with their families and unable to return to their homes, the MKO will now tell those members trapped in Camp Ashraf that their armed struggle is being supported by western democracies. It gives them an open hand to increase psychological coercion on the remaining hostages in Camp Ashraf.
Your judgement is also a gift to the Islamic Republic of Iran which will use it to accuse the west of double standards. Mojahedin military activity has resulted in the deaths of 16,000 Iranians, most of whom were civilians. The Mojahedin has also imprisoned and tortured hundreds of its own members resulting in several deaths.
For over two decades, Massoud Rajavi and Maryam Rajavi have been promising to achieve victory through armed struggle. They are still promising the same. Nothing they have done or said so far would lead anyone to believe either that they have changed this violent approach or that they provide value for money for anyone who backs them in their attempt to achieve power in this way.