Thursday, May 19, 2005 The MKO Abuses Dissident Members News: "News
May 19, 2005

Iran: Exiled Armed Group Abuses Dissident Members
Opposition Group Seeks Recognition and Support in Western Capitals

Paris, May 19, 2005 (Human Rights Watch) -- An armed Iranian opposition group in exile, the Mojahedin Khalq Organization, has subjected dissident members to torture and prolonged solitary confinement, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 28-page report [English] [Persian], “No Exit: Human Rights Abuses Inside the MKO Camps,” details how dissident members of the shadowy Mojahedin Khalq Organization (MKO) were tortured, beaten and held in solitary confinement for years at military camps in Iraq after they criticized the group’s policies and undemocratic practices, or indicated that they planned to leave the organization. The report is based on the direct testimonies of a dozen former MKO members, including five who were turned over to Iraqi security forces and held in Abu Ghraib prison under Saddam Hussein’s government.

“Members who try to leave the MKO pay a very heavy price,” said Joe Stork, Washington director of Human Rights Watch’s Middle East and North Africa division. “These testimonies paint a grim picture of what happened to members who criticized the group’s leaders.”

One former high-ranking MKO member, Mohammad Hussein Sobhani, was held in solitary confinement for eight-and-a-half years, from September 1992 to January 2001. The MKO then turned him over to Iraqi authorities. He was held in Abu Ghraib prison until 2002, when he was forcibly repatriated to Iran. The witnesses also reported two cases of deaths under interrogation by MKO operatives"