Freedom fighters love torture

The “People’s Mujahideen” of Iran (MKO) are a revolutionary army based in a US protected camp in Iraq. They’re a 4000 person strong anti-Iranian dissident group. They’re supported by a number of high profile British politicians, human rights lawyers and some Washington neo-conservatives. They’re now accused of torture and brainwashing.

The Guardian report is extraordinary:

“The group, known as the ‘tank girls’ because of the preponderance of women in its ranks, has also won the support of the UK Daily Telegraph, which wants it to help overthrow the mullahs in Tehran. It says in a leader: “We should back the main resistance group, the People’s Mujahideen … Give them the tools and they will finish the job”.

“There is a growing right-wing campaign in parts of Washington and London for regime change, citing Iran’s nuclear ambitions. But leftwing UK figures have also joined the campaign to legitimise the Mujahideen, whom they see as freedom fighters.”

Refugees from the Mujahideen tell stories of torture and life under a fundamentalist cult. Human Rights Watch has gathered enough eyewitness reports that suggest an extremist organisation with friends in very high places.

Read the whole report.

The Bush administration recently announced an increase in funding to so-called pro-democracy activists against the current Iranian regime. One wonders if the groups receiving these funds are more trustworthy than the Iraqi group primarily supported by the Bushies and Democrats before the 2003 invasion: Ahmed Chalabi’s Iraqi National Congress. We all know what happened to that relationship.

Meanwhile, Tony Blair’s New Labour campaigning methods are providing inspiration for a number of Iranian politicians, including Mohammed Baqer Qalibaf, a religious hardliner standing in this month’s Iranian presidential election. Qalibaf’s background should be a cause for concern. A former national police chief, he is accused of urging a violent crackdown on pro-reform students in 1999.

From a believer in curbing civil rights and launching illegal foreign wars to a man who advocates violent suppression of dissent, it seems like a match made in heaven.

Text and images ©2024 Antony Loewenstein. All rights reserved.

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