Stop mojAhedin's human rights violations
It is time to ask international human rights organizations including UN to investigate violations of human rights by mojAhedin (MEK/MKO). The violations charges against MEK have been raised by former MEK and NCIR members and others. Human Rights organizations need to ask the U.S. to give HR groups access to that organization in Iraq, to determine the issues of imprisonment and death of dissidents by MEK in Saddam's jails, reported by former MEK members. There are so many of these reports from reliable sources that they should not be ignored anymore. I have explained about this before:
For years, every time anybody opposed MEK politics or ideology, MEK tried to damage the critics' reputation (heysiat) by harassment and intimidation and and calling the opponents IRI Information Ministry agents, to shut up the critics. Iranians are tired of replacing one regime with another and still having violations of human rights intact. MojAhedin have been using the excuse of fighting IRI to justify these anti-human rights actions of their organization. They have played with reputation (heysiat) of even the former NCIR leaders like Khanbaba Tehrani and Matin Daftari, calling them IRI Information Ministry agents. These intimidations must stop.
Every free thinking Iranian should be free to express their opinion and Iranian people are *not* the sympathizers of this group or that group for these groups to decide how people should think. Even if they were members or sympathizers of groups, people should be able to have their freedom of thought. I condemn the actions of these organizations in suppressing the freedom of thought and expression. If any opposition organization be allowed to suppress freedom of thought and expression, in the post-IRI regime, we will again end up with the same despotism and violations of human rights in Iran of the future.
I have witnessed the dishonesty, intimidation and harassment of dissidents by MEK members and sympathizers, on various Internet forums, which has been directed by their organization and not condemned, and if they get control over post-IRI Iran, we cannot expect anything different. I think this issue has to be resolved by outside Human Rights groups, the same way IRI violations of human rights are handled by the international HR groups.
Iranians condemn any human rights violations regardless of what state or organization is behind it. We condemn IRI for violation of human rights and not the other way around. The basis is the principles of human rights and democracy and any force trying to shut people up with the excuse of having had martyrs in the anti-IRI struggle, and harasses opponents by calling them IRI Information Ministry, is doing the same thing IRI did, when it justified its violations of human rights on the basis of Islamists' martyrs in the anti-Shah struggle. Times have long passed for any Iranian organization to intimidate and curtail freedom of speech on the basis of political considerations.
I wrote the following article about Stoning in IRI in 1994 and condemned the violations of human rights in Islamic Republic of Iran and since then there are hardly anybody questioning the value of human rights monitoring of IRI:
It is time to do the same about MEK and any other organizations that are violating human rights, and any relations with any of these groups must be based on human rights conditions. The United States must allow the international human rights organizations to have access to MEK in Iraq, its camps and jails, to monitor and investigate the allegations of HR violations by its former members, the same way we ask IRI to allow human rights organizations access to jails and ministries inside Iran for such investigations.
Any political group condoning the actions of MEK on political considerations or blocking such HR efforts shows its own disregard for human rights principles in the future Iran.
I need to emphasize that there are people in MEK who have joined that organization, not to work for Saddam, but to fight the atrocities of IRI, and their human rights should be defended, and those would be the real beneficiaries of HR monitoring of MEK. And I am sure there are reformers inside MEK, who care to end the anti-HR practices, and those people should likewise be helped in their own struggle against the dictatorial practices of MEK.
I have been harassed and intimidated by IRI for calling for HR monitoring of IRI, and now I am being harassed and intimidated by MEK. I do not care for all these threats. Human rights and freedom of thought and expression are so important to Iranian people, that even if they can shut me up, there will be others to make the same call to the international HR organizations. What IRI and MEK need to know is that times have long passed when Iranians would keep silent and forgo their human rights and freedom of expression, because of any group giving them a lecture about martyrs. IRI has done enough of that to justify its violations of human rights for 24 years.
In fact, the martyrs are a better proof why we need freedom of expression and human rights, rather than replacing one dictatorship with another, and again ending up struggling for our human rights. The human rights are a principle, period. Any state or organization in Iran of the future should abide by the HR principles, and nobody can push it under the rug, because of their political alliances.
Sam Ghandchi, Publisher/Editor
May 8, 2003
P.S. BTW we do not need the repetition of what some Kurdish groups did in 1980, when they won power in Kurdestan, and they also suppressed human rights and freedom of expression, and killed people in their so-called people's courts, with no defense attorney, and attacked anyone who spoke against those practices, intimidating and calling the critics as jAsh (meaning regime's agent). We do not need to see any errors like that by Iranian democratic opposition. Martyrs and fighting a past regime, gives no right to any organization to suppress people's human rights and freedom of speech. Or else when these groups win power and defeat IRI, we will end up with the same dictatorship for which all these martyrs were caused in the first place. Using tears for martyrs to suppress human rights is wrong, and IRI has done enough of that for 24 years.