Letter from Sahar Family Foundation to the UN Secretary General
Dear Mr. Secretary General
We wish hereby to apprise you of some information and suggestions as follows:
According to information received from inside Ashraf cultic garrison in Iraq about the April 8, 2011 incident (documents and testimonies are attached), Ms. Sediqeh Hosseini, then Secretary General of the MKO, gives instructions to Ms. Fereshteh Shoja, one of commanders of the NLA based in Ashraf garrison in Iraq, as follows:
“… The Iraqis have informed us that on April 8 they want to take back some parts of the north of Ashraf and return it to the farmers in the nearby village, which were confiscated in the time of Saddam Hussein and given to the MKO to expand Ashraf garrison. They have told us that they are informing us in advance to show that they have no other aim and they want to prevent any violent action and bloodshed on that day. But in this regard we have to arrange things in such a manner that we have some casualties. Also, there should be cameras ready to produce photos and films to record that day. The leader has instructed us that we must take political advantage as much as possible on that day. He has said that this is very important for our survival.”
Fereshteh Shoja calls her personnel and without informing them of the Iraqi’s ultimatum and their plans that they only want to peacefully take back some farm land back based on Iraqi court verdicts, and tells them:
“… There have been instructions from higher levels for a state of alert since the Iraqis are moving a unit and adding to their forces and information we received indicates that the Iranian regime’s elements are along the Iraqi forces which aim to attack our base and capture some people and take them to Iran where they would be tortured and executed. Therefore we all have to be on alert and do not let the Iraqi forces get into the garrison and fulfill their goal.”
On the day of incident (April 8, 2011), the Iraqi forces moved into the garrison from the northern part in order to divide the farmers’ lands which ended in conflict and 36 people were killed and some wounded. Beforehand Fereshteh Shoja had said to her combatants that:
“The Iraqis are using gas cartridges just to frighten you and capture you therefore you should not be afraid of anything. Move forward and stop them by any means you can even using stone and wood, and do not let them enter the garrison and arrest you and hand you over to the elements of the Iranian regime who are with them under any circumstances.”
The inhabitants of Ashraf garrison did not know that the Iraqis merely want to take a part on the north of the garrison according to the Iraqi court verdicts and return them to their rightful owners. They also did not know that the leaders were informed beforehand. The leaders of the garrison had deceived the inhabitants and let them believe that the Iraqis intended to arrest some and send them to Iran to be tortured and executed. Apparently the Iraqis’ policy to give the leaders prior knowledge of their intention in order to stop violence and bloodshed worked to the opposite and they let the leaders of the MKO arrange things for more casualties and they managed to film the incident and take pictures for their political and propaganda interests.
Accurate assessments made about the atmosphere inside Ashraf garrison show that at least 80% of the inhabitants are there against their own will and if the situation is ready and they have the freedom to make an independent decision they would definitely leave the organization. These people have no motivation to resist against the Iraqi authorities and not to disobey the verdicts of the Iraqi courts. They have been deceived and forced to do so and some have lost their lives in this way for nothing.
It is worth mentioning that the MKO did not send its higher level members for this conflict and tried to send discontented and lower level members through deception and giving false information and by using the phobia of being arrested and sent to Iran. The MKO leaders wanted to get rid of the opposing members and also to use their blood for propaganda. Of course it must be said that the majority of the members did not accept to counter the Iraqi forces entering the base.
What was mentioned above is not a secret to the American forces and the international authorities and they all know the situation well, but some international political interests are at stake which want the garrison to stay intact at any cost and for many to stay in captivity and isolation for many more years. Those who do not fulfill their international duty in this regards are surely responsible toward the confined inhabitants of the garrison and their suffering families. Sooner or later Ashraf garrison will be dissolved and the cult members will be freed and then those who kept silent against Rajavi’s crimes and supported him openly and covertly, and still consider him, despite many documents that he has held the members as hostages inside the garrison, as the representative of the captives will be ashamed of themselves.
Anyway, what we think is essential to be said in order to save the lives of the inhabitants of Ashraf inhabitants and to stop more people being sacrificed by Rajavi and to prevent a human catastrophe are mentioned briefly below:
– An overall assessment must be made of the internal situation of the garrison by making thorough interviews by international authorities of those who recently managed to escape from the garrison taking grave risks. It must be made clear whether the inhabitants of Ashraf are there voluntarily or whether Ashraf is a huge confinement camp that the individuals have to escape from at any cost.
– The asylum procedure of Ashraf inhabitants must be conducted individually and without the presence of any MKO officials. The main reason for the present deadlock is that during the past 8 years both the American forces and the international authorities and organizations, in order to keep the MKO intact, have had their contacts with the leaders and they did not approach the rank and file members at all. The MKO members based in Ashraf have no idea of the outside world and what is happening there.
– Any misleading with the cost of the blood of the hostages held by Rajavi inside the garrison must be prevented. Also Rajavi and his deeds must not be justified by treating him as the representative of the hostages inside the garrison.
– The deeds of Rajavi and other leaders of the MKO as hostage takers and those who still, after their sponsor Saddam Hussein has fallen, do not open the gates of the garrison and do not let the captives have access to the outside world must be revealed. They did not hesitate to kill and let die and put members in solitary confinement and under torture.
– In a realistic approach and solution seeking, the sovereignty of Iraq and its nation and government must be recognized. Accepting the natural right and demand of the government and parliament of Iraq and respect for the deadline which is quite seriously followed is part of the responsibility of the international community. Naturally disregarding and challenging this just and lawful demand would put the Iraqi government in a situation that has to decide exclusively and the international organizations who did not intervene and did not give assistance will bear the responsibility.
We are looking forward to your reply.
Sahar Family Foundation
Baghdad, 8 November, 2011