By: Issa Akbarzadeh
Issa Akbarzadeh is a member of the main Iranian opposition, MEK living in Ashraf3 in Albania
History has recorded the names of dictators such as Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia, and Francis Franco, the former leader of the fascists in Spain, how they widely bought people from the families of their opponents, and used them to torture or turn in family members who were against the dictator.
Based on my personal experience, the religious fascism ruling Iran is much more ruthless in its tactics of using the families of its opponents than any other dictator I have read in history.
I had previously heard how the mullahs of the Iranian regime brainwashed and metamorphosed the members of the Basij paramilitary force by abusing religion, and to test their loyalty to the regime, they were given the mission of torturing or even executing their brothers and sisters. The mullahs make these people believe that if they torture or turn in their brother or sister in order to maintain the “Islamic” regime, they are guaranteed to go to heaven after their death. It was very hard for me to believe these stories until I faced the same treatment in prison and experienced it.
My family members in Iran were all against the Iranian regime, except for one of my brothers named Mohammad, who was a member of the Basij militia. I was imprisoned and tortured in Iran for 5 years for being a supporter of the MEK and participating in demonstrations against the regime in our city of Qazvin. One day, to my surprise and shock, I saw that my torturer and interrogator is Muhammad, my brother, who was brainwashed by the mullahs and started torturing his brother to prove his loyalty to the regime and to go to heaven after his death. One day I saw that they even forcibly brought my parents to my prison to convince me to betray my friends. Faced with such scenes, the pain of which was much worse than physical torture, I had no control over my nerves and reactions for several days. Until one day, I decided to fightback hundreds of times firmer against this regime, whether in prison or if I was released. That’s when I calmed down.
We have heard a lot that the crocodiles shed tear when they swallow their prey. The true example of shedding crocodile tears is the behavior of the cunning Iranian regime with its own victims.
After my release from prison, I was still under surveillance. But I was able to leave Iran and go to the MEK who were stationed in Camp Ashraf 1 in Iraq near the Iranian border at that time.
After some time, the Iranian regime found out about my presence in Ashraf and sent my brother Mohammad to Iraq along with other agents of the Ministry of Intelligence under the name of the “Nejat Society”. With the help of the Iraqi army, they installed 320 powerful loudspeakers around Ashraf and broadcast loud and terrible sounds inside the camp round o’clock. In international documents, the type of harassment is called psychological torture or so-called white torture. For nearly two years, the Iranian regime continued this brutal act against several thousand residents of Ashraf until we were there.
But these same people shed crocodile tears in writing letters to international forums and advertising media affiliated with the Iranian regime in Iraq and said that the MEK did not allow our family members to leave Ashraf and tortured them as prisoners, while they imposed psychological tortured on us with 320 loudspeakers 24 hours a day and wanted the Iraqi government to launch a military attack on Ashraf.
Threats against Ashraf
The Iranian regime, had stationed people around Ashraf, including my brother Mohammad where we are stationed, and they regularly harassed and threatened us through 320 loudspeaker.
Some of the threats that Muhammad made against Ashraf were as follows:
22 January 2011- Soon all you devils will be tried in court and you will be punished for your deeds.
3 February 2011- Guys, rise up. How enjoyable is to punish your leaders. Rest assured, they will be punished by these family members. Rest assured, I will chew your throat, how wonderful!!
19 July 2011/ Guys, the countdown] to attack Ashraf [has started. Yes, the countdown has started. It’s a serious time, a serious countdown.
I was seriously injured
As a result of the numerous attacks by the Iraqi forces, which took place with the support of people including my brother and our families, but actually agents of the Iranian regime, I was seriously injured three times, perhaps I was the luckiest because more than 140 people were killed during these attacks.
Ultimate goal of the Iranian regime
Ever since I have come to Albania, according “Nejat Society”, which is one of the branches of the Ministry of Intelligence of the Iranian regime, my brother has written many fabricated letters to the Albanian authorities and press that I am imprisoned in Ashraf 3 in Manez by the MEK and it is necessary that the Albanian police attacks Ashraf so that the walls of this prison are broken and its door is opened. The “Nejat Society” also publishes these letters regularly.
By abusing family members of some of us to spread lies against MEK and Ashraf3, the Iranian regime has no intention except to provide a way to suppress and put more pressure on us. Of course, their actions are filled with deception and shedding crocodile tears for their victims: us and our families.