Friday, April 6, 2018

A Short History of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)



WHAT IS THE NCRI?
by Mahmood Hakamian

The National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) is a broad coalition of democratic groups, organisations and personalities that are opposed to the theocratic regime in Iran and want to see regime change.
The NCRI wish to see a democratic republic established in Iran, with separation of religion and state, and a special focus on human rights and gender equality.
Massoud Rajavi, the leader of the Iranian Resistance, founded it in 1981 in Tehran after the mullahs hijacked the 1979 Iranian Revolution, rigged the 1980 election, and began to attack the popular resistance group, the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
There are five organizations that make up the NCRI, with the biggest and most popular being the MEK.
THE NCRI TODAY
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How One MEK Rally Scared the Mullahs So Much That They Banned All Political Rallies


How One MEK Rally Scared the Mullahs So Much That They Banned All Political Rallies

By Jubin Katiraie

The mullahs’ regime became increasingly like a dictatorship following the rigged elections of 1980, when the mullahs stole power from the Iranian people and their democratic resistance forces the People's Mujahedin of Iran (PMOI/MEK).
In June, five months after the election, the mullahs closed down the universities under the auspices of a “cultural revolution”, but in reality, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei wanted to suppress a group that was more likely to rebel against the mullahs.
Shortly after this, the MEK called a demonstration against the mullahs’ malign behaviour at Amjadiyeh Stadium in Tehran on June 12, which attracted more than 200,000 people.
At the rally, MEK leader Massoud Rajavi addressed the dangers of the mullahs’ rising dictatorship and called on the MEK supporters to defend the freedoms that had been fought for in the 1979 revolution including freedom of speech, associations, and gatherings.
He also declared that the mullahs would not intimidate the MEK. He said: “We’re not afraid of bullets. If freedom means death, then we will die.
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A Short History of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)

The People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran or Mojahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK) is a political group dedicated to the realization of a free and democratic Iran, but how did it start?
On September 6, 1965, the MEK was founded by three engineers Mohammad Hanifnejad, Said Mohsen, and Ali-Ashgar Badizadgan.
They had previously been involved with the Freedom/Liberation Movement, created by Medhi Bazargan in May 1961, which advocated for the democratic principles that were laid out in the Iranian constitution following the 1905 resolution. The group had been allowed to peacefully assemble and advocate for political freedom and the separation of powers for two years.
However, in 1963, Ruhollah Khomeini gave a public speech criticising the monarchy and was arrested. In response, large free speech and anti-monarchy protests broke out across Iran, which the Freedom Party supported.
These protests were violently put down by the Shah’s police, with thousands of people dying in what would become known as the June Uprising. Following the protests, the Shah outlawed pro-democracy groups, like the Freedom Party, and imprisoned their leaders. Bazargan was sentenced to ten years in prison.
The MEK founders knew that the fight for democracy in Iran was not over, but also knew that they had to find a different path as repeating the actions of the Freedom Movement was sure to fail.

WHAT REALLY HAPPENED TO THE MEK AT CAMP ASHRAF IN IRAQ?
by Mahmood Hakamian 
In 1986, around 1,000 members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) travelled to Iraq in order to build a new operations base for their resistance group with the hopes of bringing democracy to Iran.
They were given a barren patch of land in the desert, near the Iranian border, which had a few deserted and partially-constructed buildings, but no running water or electricity. This was Camp Ashraf. It expanded quickly as MEK supporters from the US and the EU travelled to the camp in order to help free the Iranian people from the grasp of the mullahs.

The responsibility for the unarmed MEK members in Iraq was transferred from the US to the Iraqi government, but the MEK (and various legal experts and NGOs) opposed this and believed that they would be in danger if the US left them under Iraqi control. Their reasoning was that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki was working on behalf of the Iranian Regime, who were keeping him in power.
The US dismissed this because they had written assurances from the Iraqi government that the MEK would be treated in accordance with Iraq’s Constitution, laws, and international obligations. However, it turned out that the MEK was right.
Since the US left, 116 MEK members were killed by Iraqi forces and over 1,300 injured.
Despite the violations of human rights, international law, and the 2004 agreement between the US and the MEK, there has been no independent investigation of these crimes and no one was brought to justice.
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WHAT HAPPENED TO THE MEK IN CAMP LIBERTY?

UNFIT LIVING CONDITIONS
The MEK had transformed their previous home of Camp Ashraf into a fully functioning city, so you can imagine how they felt about being moved to a place which an expert from the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) concluded was unfit to accommodate them.
Camp Liberty no electricity, no running or potable water, no sewage system, no public lighting, no room for recreation, damaged kitchen and dining facilities, and inadequate living quarters. Still Martin Kobler, Special Representative for Iraq and the Head of United Nations Assistance Mission for Iraq (UNAMI), agreed to the relocation without allowing the MEK to view it and produced a report that said it met the international humanitarian standards required.
Kobler’s report actually caused Tahar Boumedra, former Chief of the Human Rights Office of UNAMI to resign in protest at the lies given to the MEK, the international community, and the UN Security Council.
Boumedra said that Kobler’s agreement with the Iraqi government “[violated] each and every article of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the corresponding provisions of the ICCRP [the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights]”.
Still, the majority of the MEK were forcibly relocated to Camp Liberty where, in addition to inadequate living conditions, they were still faced with harassment and violence by the Iraqi security forces on behalf of the Iranian Regime.
READ MORE

THE ROLE OF THE MEK IN THE IRAN-IRAQ WAR
by Mahmood Hakamian 

In this piece, we will look at the role of the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) during the Iran-Iraq war, but let’s begin with some background to the war.
How did the war begin?
Iraq invaded Iran on September 20, 1980, following repeated provocative border crossings by Iranian forces and warmongering military actions ordered by Khomeini, then supreme leader of regime. Nonetheless, majority of Iranians, including the MEK, went into battle to defend their homeland.
By January 1981, the tide on the war had turned against Iran, and by June 1982, Iran had reclaimed almost all of its lost territory. Iraqi President Saddam Hussein proposed a ceasefire and the withdrawal of his troops from Iranian land, but by then the Iranian mullahs could smell blood in the water and refused to agree to the peace talks.
How was the MEK involved?

What Happened to the MEK During the 1979 Revolution? 
 we left off last time, the mullahs had stolen the 1979 Revolution from the MEK and the people of Iran and were instead using it to serve their own interests. Ruhollah Khomeini had returned from exile only to appoint Supreme Leader (essentially, naming himself king) and appoint the clergy to the government against the wishes of the Iranian People.
The MEK had made clear that they were opposed to this, rejected the mullahs’ offer of ill-gotten power, and had launched a campaign to run against the mullahs in the proposed 1980 election. For that, the Supreme Leader ordered his terrorist gangs (Hezbollah) to attack the MEK.
The MEK took a position of non-violence and waited for the election, which would rightly see them elected as members of parliament. The mullahs, scared of the MEK’s popularity, didn’t want that to happen and instead chose to sabotage the elections.

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HOW THE MULLAHS STOLE THE 1980 ELECTION FROM THE IRANIAN PEOPLE AND MEK

This is the last piece in a series about the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK) and the 1979 Iranian Revolution.
Our previous piece ended with the mullah’s launching violent attacks on the MEK via Ruhollah Khomeini’s terrorist gangs (i.e. Hezbollah) in order to intimidate the MEK into dropping out of the 1980 election. The MEK refused to bow out or to join the mullahs in abusing their power, believing that the democratic system would be allowed to work fairly
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The Foundation of The People's Mojahedin Organization Of Iran
The Foundation of The People's Mojahedin Organization Of Iran

The People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran, was founded on Sept. 6th, 1965 by Mohammad Hanifnejad and two other young intellectuals, Sa'id Mohsen and Ali-Asghar Badi'zadegan . The three wanted to establish a Muslim, progressive, nationalist and democratic organization. 
The ultimate goal of the founders, who were all university graduate, was to pave the way for a democratic government to replace the Shah's regime. In contrast to most of their contemporaries, they believed that a new, democratically inclined interpretation of Islam was the means to this end. They set about establishing a political organization that could survive the shah's repression and respond to the needs of ordinary citizens.
Until 1971, however, the PMOI was involved in formulating a new interpretation of Islam that rejected traditional and reactionary understanding of the religion. In six years the Mojahedin succeeded, for the first time, in the modern day Islamic world in presenting a new, systematic and comprehensive vision of Islam that was entirely independent of what was espoused and advocated by the fundamentalist mullahs who considered the interpretation of Islam their exclusive domain. 

Relateed:




June 20 1981-Beginning of the Iranian people's resistance for freedom

interviews with Women of Iranian Resistance


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