Thursday, December 20, 2007

The failed abduction of a Canadian Iranian family in Iraq by MKO

کانون انديشه گفتگو و حقوق بشر در ايران- تورنتو
9251 Yonge St. #219
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Centre for Thought, Dialogue & Human Rights in Iran – Toronto

Dec 18, 2007

The failed abduction of a Canadian Iranian family in Iraq by MKO

The Mohammadi family, Mostafa Mohammadi and Mahbobeh arrived in camp TIPF/(Camp Ashraf) in Iraq on December 6, 07.

On December 8, at 3:15 local time , after constant requests from US authority, they were able to meet with their daughter, Somayeh, for 45 minutes during which time Somayeh, out of fear, refused to speak to her father but talked to her mother and refused to acknowledge that she wants to leave camp Ashraf and return back to Canada. Somayeh , told them that” she is in touch regularly with his uncle, Hassan Hamzeh , an active member of MKO in Canada , is passing information on her parents activities in Canada on their collaboration with I.R.I. security services.

In our opinion since she does not have any legal status in any country and the Canadian government refused to recognize her status so far she has been convinced that if she leaves the camp she has only the option of going back to Iran.

However, on the morning of December 9 the U.S. forces in charge of TIPF asked the Mohammadi family to leave the camp since they met with their daughter and received her answer to their plea. Following that, the Americans escorted them to the gates and let them out while still watching them from behind their gates. (mind you that the location of camp is in a deserted area with the closest access to a road and public transportation being 6-7 kilometers away from the camp).

As they started walking the distance they were suddenly confronted by a group of people, confirmed members of MKO who are residing in the adjacent camp Ashraf under the watch of American forces, who pretended to be passing drivers and offered them a lift. Base on their prior knowledge and experiences of the ways of MKO, Mr. Mohammadi and his wife refused to take their offer and kept walking towards the main road. At this point, realizing that they are vigilant about the intention of the MKO members, the guys grabbed Ms. Mohammadi by force and pushed her into a car trying to kidnap her. When Mr. Mohammadi, who was at the same time defending himself against their physical attacks and also trying to secure their bags since they were slashing them by knife and managed to break open their camera trying to remove the memory card by knife, started shouting for help one of the guys pulled a gun from under the driver's seat and put it on his head.

Realizing the seriousness of the situation the Americans who were watching from a short distance interfered and rescued them from the scene and arranged for a ride to Baghdad for them after making a report of what happened and also kept their broken camera as an evidence of the incident. Though, the Americans were helpful in many occasions they were unable to answer the question of: how these people who are supposed to be disarmed and confined inside the camp are armed and free to carry their operations under the authorities watch.

After arriving in Baghdad Mr. Mohammadi and his wife had to receive medical attention to their injuries and then started contacting the authorities including the Canadian Consul, Ms. Sonia Hooykaas in Jordan, to report the situation. At the same time Ms. Hooykaas kindly informed our Centre that she will report the case to Ottawa and will reflect our concerns regarding this situation.

Mohammadi family are still in Iraq and trying all that is possible to rescue their daughter from the MKO camp/influence and also take a legal action against the leaders of MKO for all the damages to their family including this last case.

Since this is their 9th trip to Iraq since 2003 and the family has exhausted all its limited resources in order to free their child from the clutch of MKO they feel that they need to stay in Iraq in order to finalize this important issue and bring peace to the life of their shattered family and other three children.

We urge every Human Rights organization as well as the authorities of the Canadian and American government to use their power and influence to help this family.
For the full story on Mohammadi family you can read the Stewart Bell ‘s articles published by National post on Saturday, September 23, 2006.

We also demand that the case with the MKO be investigated immediately and proper control be enforced with regards to violent and illegal activities of MKO members since the continuation of such acts endangers the reallocation of over 200 people, residents of TIPF, who were also the prisoners of MKO and currently recognized refugees of the UNHCR.

In the past week eight people who were released from TIPF in order to obtain visa and arrive in Turkey to continue with their legal procedure with the UNHCR for final reallocation have disappeared and there is no sign of them anywhere.

We hold MKO and American Forces and Iraqi government liable for the safety of the above people.


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