Death row political prisoner’s son unveils mullahs’ deception

May 24, 2010

May 19 – Voice of America interviews son of Jafar Kazemi, a political prisoner on death row.

VOA– One of the people on death row is Jafar Kazemi whose son resides in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. Camp Ashraf residents face many problems and we have reported on this in the past. But today, this is not our discussion.  We will now go to Mr. Behrouz Kazemi (Jafar Kazemi’s son).

Behrouz Kazemi: Hello to you and your dear viewers.

VOA: Mr. Kazemi, as an Iranian who lives outside Iran and who lives in a place like Camp Ashraf, with whatever beliefs and opinions you have, which is not what our discussion is about, as a human being who has heard the news of your father’s sentence, what are your feelings?

BK: When I heard of my father’s death sentence, for me as his son, it was extremely difficult to hear that he was arrested and sentenced to death after visiting me in Camp Ashraf. The news was very difficult for me to hear.

VOA: What is he being accused of? We hear that one of his ‘crimes’ is that he visited you.

BK: Yes. As you know, the regime has sentenced six people to death and one of them is Jafar Kazemi.

My father was arrested on Qods Day demonstrations. For two weeks, we did not have any news of his situation. Eventually we found out that my father was held in Evin prison. Approximately four months after that, in a show trial, my father was sentenced to death. We learnt about it through his lawyer, but the sentence was confirmed without the knowledge of his lawyer. During this time, the regime made every effort to sentence my father to death by referring to a false case. The only reason for my father’s death sentence is because he visited me in Camp Ashraf two years ago. This means that the regime cannot tolerate the basic rights of a person to visit family. For this reason, he was arrested, accused of being Mohareb, and they issued him a death sentence. It is ridiculous that the regime doesn’t tolerate family members visiting us in Camp Ashraf. Additionally, it has been for more than 100 days that with the help of the Iraqi government, the regime has brought family members of Ashraf residents [from Iran] to the camp to psychologically torture them.

VOA: That’s a different topic. What is your wish from the world in relation to your father’s sentencing? Meaning, what is it you would like from the United Nations? Do you think the world is paying attention to this and it is just the regime that doesn’t care?

BK: In an attempt to save my father’s life, I have written letters to the UN and other organizations. Maybe the world will become aware and open up their eyes to the crimes that are taking place in Iran against innocent people, one of them being my father. Maybe the world will open their eyes and see that there are so many people that receive death sentences. As you know, five other people, who were so dear to all of us, were recently executed.

The main reason for these crimes [of imprisonment and execution] is to instill fear and intimidate the population leading up to the anniversary of the people’s uprising, which is coming up at the end of Khordad (June 12, 2010). The regime is extremely afraid of these demonstrations, so they commit crimes against political prisoners.

VOA: So your father has been accused of acting against the security of the nation? This is what the government of Islamic Republic of Iran is saying. Isn’t this charge, without a doubt, unfair? So, they see your father visiting you as a threat to national security?

BK: Exactly. As I mentioned before, by issuing an execution sentence, the regime is proving that a basic human right of visiting family is considered an action against national security. How can a family visit be considered as a threat to the national security, but at the same time, the regime brings family members to Camp Ashraf and tries to get them to speak against us. This is the contradiction of the regime.

VOA: Thank you Mr. Behrouz Kazemi – a resident of Camp Ashraf in Iraq, which is residence of the followers of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran. With many thanks to you.

BK: Thank you for giving me this time. Much gratitude and with thanks to you.

VOA: You are welcome.

BK: God bless.

VOA: God bless.

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UN Secretary General’s quarterly report to Security Council stresses on Ashraf residents rights

May 24, 2010

UN Secretary General in his quarterly report to the Security Council pursuant to Resolution 1883, Ban Ki-moon, stressed the rights of residents of Camp Ashraf, Iraq, for protection against arbitrary displacement in Iraq or forced extradition to Iran.


Pressures on incarcerated PMOI supporters and families of Ashraf residents continue to mount

May 24, 2010

On Wednesday, May 19, the clerical regime, during a kangaroo court, tried Mr. Hamid Haeri, a 60-year-old political prisoner, on charges of “moharebeh” (waging war against God), supporting the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK), persistent political activity and propaganda against the regime. He was arrested in a raid on his house by the regime’s intelligence agents on December 6, 2009 on charges of visiting his child and brother in Camp Ashraf, Iraq. The raid took place while he was in bed recovering from a serious car accident.

He was then transferred to Ward 209 of Evin prison.

The regime’s interrogators and torturers have placed Mr. Haeri under continual physical and psychological torture, threatening him that if he refuses to comply with their demands, they will also arrest his wife and daughter and place them under torture.

The regime’s show trial took place even as Mr. Haeri was in critical condition and could hardly walk. There were signs of torture evident on his face, and he looked to be suffering from malnutrition and hunger. Having been a prisoner in the 1980s, he is also suffering from the remaining effects of tortures from that period as well as heart problems. He has had two heart attacks so far.

Despite intolerable physical complications, his firm stance, resistance, and high morale drew the ire of the henchmen present in court.

Separately, the clerical regime has once again arrested political prisoner Hadi (Homayoun) Abed Bakhoda, who is 50 years old. Mr. Bakhoda, who suffers from a fractured spine, was returned to Rasht prison.

He was previously arrested on November 8, 2009, but the henchmen were forced to release him after five months as he was suffering from a variety of illnesses, which seriously deteriorated due to intolerable pressures and prison conditions and could not be treated in the absence of the minimum required medical resources in prison.

Mr. Bakhoda has been a PMOI supporter since the 1980s, and was crippled after being shot by an agent of the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps. Even while he was recovering from his wounds, the regime kept him in the prisons of Evin and Qezel Hesar under the most cruel forms of torture and pressures. His brother, Hormoz Abed Bakhoda, was also arrested for supporting the PMOI and executed by a firing squad in 1982 when he was just 20 years old.


Iraqi government lies about its Thursday attack on Ashraf residents to set stage for further attacks

April 21, 2010

 

While the Thursday night attack by the Iraqi forces against Ashraf residents has earned another disgrace for Nouri al-Maliki and his outgoing government, the Iranian regime and its agents in Iraq have resorted to fabrication of more lies and deception.

By misrepresenting the facts and making contradictory claims, they are trying to evade further disgrace on the one hand and to set the stage for more attacks on the residents of Camp Ashraf on the other.

The Iraqi forces inhumane attacks against the residents have prompted condemnations by Iraqi groups and personalities as well as widespread international condemnations.

Upon the advice of the terrorist Quds Force and the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad, the committee within Prime Minister’s office that is responsible for suppression of Ashraf residents and the Iraqi Army Intelligence (Estekhbarat) based in Ashraf pretended in their reports that the incident on Thursday evening was instigated by the residents during which a number of the Iraqi forces were wounded.

The Iraqi News Information Agency (al-Iraqnews.net) associated with al-Maliki Quoted last night “a security source within the Iraqi Army” as saying, “The elements of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) today clashed with Iraqi security forces in charge of protection of Ashraf… PMOI members have installed loudspeakers on camp’s buildings to play songs that encourage resistance… The camp’s security guards asked them to stop playing the songs… After their refusal a number of guards acted to remove the loudspeakers but they faced violent reactions by the PMOI members that lead to clashes which left five of them severely wounded.”

In contradictory reports provided to news media, the office of the Iraqi Prime Minister claimed that: “The police forces were attacked by the PMOI as they went to turn off their loudspeakers. Three police officers were injured.”

Al-forat, the Arabic language TV associated with the Iranian regime, last night claimed that: “The PMOI clashes with Camp Ashraf guards in Diyala province.” The Qatar News Agency quoted an Iraqi security source as saying: “The clashes left five people severely wounded on both sides.”

As it was mentioned in our April 16 statement, on Thursday evening, in a failed attempt, Iraqi forces attacked Ashraf residents and tried to overtake some of installations inside the camp. The assault took place in support of the agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the terrorist Quds Force stationed at the entrance of Ashraf. The agents, with full support of the Iraqi army battalion and the clerical regime’s embassy in Baghdad, have been psychologically torturing the residents of Ashraf for the past 70 days. Using high powered amplifiers and loudspeakers they have been threatening to “set fire” and “close down” Ashraf and “kill” PMOI members residing in the camp. The agents have been disrupting peace for the camp residents.

At about mid-night Thursday, while agents were screaming abusive rhetoric in their loudspeakers, as they did previous nights, an Iraqi colonel and a captain by the names of Ali and Jawad entered the camp and said that the loudspeakers by Ashraf residents should be turned off under the orders of the Iraqi government to allow the voice of the loudspeakers of the regime agents be heard. The Iraqi colonel threatened that if the order was not complied with, then his forces would enter the camp and take over the buildings at the entrance of the camp by force. He said the government had instructed that the agents are free to say anything they want in their loudspeakers but the residents of Ashraf are not allowed to do the same. When the Iraqi forces failed to intimidate the residents and realized that they would not give in to threats of shooting and killing them, then they decided to attack the residents with clubs, electric batons and iron bars supported by five Humvee military vehicles. Five Ashraf residents were wounded in the attack and were taken to hospital. Their attempt to take a woman resident of Ashraf hostage failed when faced with her resistance and protests by other residents.

Prior to the attack, another statement by the NCRI secretariat quoted “reports sent by the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad to the terrorist Quds Force and the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security” revealing that the Iraqi Prime Minister’s office and the Iraqi Army battalion stationed at Camp Ashraf are cooperating fully with the MOIS agents camped out at Ashraf’s main gate. It stated that Colonel Latif Abdol-Amir Hashem Al-Enavi, commander of the Iraqi battalion, supposedly responsible for protection of Ashraf residents, and his battalion’s chain of command have been assisting the MOIS agents and arranging for everything they need.


Iran regime’s agents taking films and photos from inside Ashraf for spying and terrorist operations

April 21, 2010

The camping of the Iranian regime’s agents, posing as families of Ashraf residents, at the main entrance gate of Camp Ashraf has been going on for over 70 days. This is a joint plot by the Iranian regime and the government of Nouri al-Maliki to create chaos and put the residents under psychological torture. One of the tasks of these agents who are dispatched by the regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) and the terrorist Quds force is espionage and to gather intelligence about Ashraf and its residents to be used in terrorist and criminal operations.

With mobile and fixed cameras, the agents, who are backed by the Iraqi forces, have been filming and taking photos from people and premises inside Ashraf. The films and photos are attached with reports by the agents and sent to Quds force and MOIS via the Iranian regime’s embassy in Baghdad.

On February 20, 2010, the agents installed a camera on the southern part of the entrance zoomed on one of the buildings near the entrance inside Ashraf. It constantly films people going in and out of the building. On the same day, a team of three MOIS agents filmed various parts at the entrance.

In the first week of the Iranian New Year starting March 21, the MOIS agents in conjunction with officers of the Iraqi Army Intelligence, Estekhbarat, installed two cameras behind the gate to take pictures and films. The agents continue taking films and photos during the night using special cameras. Patients going in and out of the clinic inside Ashraf are constantly filmed.

On March 29, seven agents photographed and filmed the area inside the camp. On April 3, they installed two movie cameras behind the gate. On April 6 they installed three more cameras at the same location.

On April 9, when the agents took over a building at the camp’s entrance, they installed a camera on top of the building to enable them to photograph a wider area inside the camp.  Since April 11, two cameras are mounted outside the gate and used for filming the area inside the camp and the traffic on the camp’s main road.

The Iranian Resistance warns against such repressive measures by the Iranian regime and the Iraqi government planned to set the stage for killing of Ashraf residents and carry out terrorist operations against them. The Iranian Resistance calls on the United Nations, the U.S. embassy and the American forces in Iraq to take necessary steps to end the blatant, continuous and systematic violations of the rights of Ashraf residents.


Iran: Five members of an Ashraf resident family sentenced to death as Mohareb

April 21, 2010

Iranian Resistance calls for actions to save the lives of the prisoners

In an unprecedented and inhumane decision, the Iranian regime has sentenced five members of an Ashraf resident family to death charged with Mohareb. Mr. Mohsen Daneshpour-Moghadam, 67, a bazaar merchant along with his wife Mrs. Motahareh (Simin) Bahrami, 55; their son Ahmad Daneshpour; Mrs. Bahrami’s niece Ms. Reyhaneh Haj-Ibrahim; and  Mr. Hadi Ghaemi, a family friend, had been arrested and transferred to Evin Prison on Ashura day (December 27, 2009).

The family was arrested for their visit to Camp Ashraf last year to see their son and a relative.  Mr. Daneshpour, a political prisoner of the 1960’s had already spent five years in Iranian regime’s prisons on the charges of sympathizing with the People’s Mohjahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK).

The cruel sentences on the basis of having relatives in Ashraf are handed down while a number of agents of the Iranian regime’s Ministry of Intelligence and Security posed as members of families of Ashraf residents are stationed at the entrance of  the camp with full support of Nouri al-Maliki’s government.  For the past 70 days, the agents have been involved in psychological torture of Ashraf residents by using a high powered sound system and threatening them with setting the camp on fire and killing them while chanting “Death to PMOI” and “long live the Islamic Republic.”

The faltering clerical regime, unable to deal with widespread public hatred, is issuing such inhumane verdicts to pressure the political prisoners to give force confessions on TV shows on one hand and to create an atmosphere of intimidation and terror on the other.

The Iranian Resistance calls on the United Nations Secretary General, Security Council and High Commissioner for Human Rights and other relevant international bodies to condemn the criminal measures against families of Ashraf residents and gross violations of human rights in Iran. It also urges them to adopt binding measures such as suspending trade and political ties with the regime until the release of all political prisoners and complete halt to torture, executions and repression in Iran.


WAVE OF SUPPORT FOR ASHRAF

March 30, 2010

12 March 2010, Great-Britain:

Majority of British MPs urge UK to help protect Iranian dissidents in Camp Ashraf 

Press release by The British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom:

“A majority of backbench MPs on Thursday called on the Government to take urgent measures at the United Nations for the world body to protect 3,400 Iranian opposition members based at Camp Ashraf in Iraq. The cross-party MPs were backed in their call by more than 150 Peers. ”

14 March 2010, Finland:

Majority of lawmakers support Iran uprising, rights of Camp Ashraf residents 

At a session organized by the Human Rights group of the Finnish Parliament, and in the presence of Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance’s President-elect, at the parliament building, a declaration of support by the majority of the country’s lawmakers for the Iranian people’s uprising and the rights of Camp Ashraf residents was unveiled. A book containing the signatures of the lawmakers was presented to Mrs. Rajavi by Mr. Kimmo Sasi, the Chairman of the Finnish Parliament’s Constitutional Law Committee.

The declaration of majority support at the Finnish Parliament in support of the Iranian people’s uprising and the rights of Camp Ashraf residents was signed by more than 100 members of the Finnish Parliament, including 6 committee chairs, 11 deputy chairs, and leaders and deputies of various factions.

18 March 2010, USA:

Bi-Partisan majority in the U.S. House calls for protection of Camp Ashraf residents 

U.S. Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA), Chairman of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, and Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL), Ranking Republican on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, were joined yesterday by ten of their colleagues, including three from the House Foreign Affairs Committee, in a press conference to announce the support by a bi-partisan House majority for the humanitarian rights and protection of residents of Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

24 March 2010, Germany:

German lawmakers defend Ashraf residents’ rights and support Iranian nationwide uprising 

A statement defending the rights of Ashraf residents in Iraq and expressing support for the nationwide uprising in Iran signed by over 100 German lawmakers from various political parties were presented in a meeting on March 23 at the Reichstagpräsidentenpalast of the German Bundestag. The meeting was attended by Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and a number of German MPs and heads of parliamentary committees.