By: Akbar Saremi
Akbar Saremi is a member of the main Iranian opposition, MEK living in Ashraf3 in Albania
I secretly left Iran in 1987 and joined the Iranian Resistance, People’s Mojahedin of Iran (MEK) who were in Iraq at that time. Sometime later, when I called my family, I found out that the Iranian regime had arrested my father for the crime of not reporting my departure to the Intelligence Service (MOIS), and he was released after a while.
However, I will never forget that cold winter night of December 2009 when I heard the news of the execution of my father Ali Saremi and was shocked by this news. After a few hours passed and I came out of a nervous and confused state, I felt my perspective on everything in the world outside me changing, despite the initial shock, but then I felt like a very determined person to fight back the mullahs ruling Iran.
Shortly before my father’s execution, he and my mother came to Ashraf to see me, like some other families who came to Camp Ashraf in Iraq to see their loved ones. They stayed with me for a month. But when they returned to Iran, both of my parents were arrested for the crime of coming to Ashraf to see me. In prison, my father suffered a stroke due to tortures imposed on him and was confined to a wheelchair for a year until, he was executed for the crime of coming to Ashraf and meeting with me on the charges of “enmity against God”. Another painful scene for me was that after my father’s execution, they told our family that you have no right to perform a ceremony for his burial, but my mother did not pay attention, performed the ceremony, which is why they arrested my mother again, and sentenced her to 10 years in prison.
My father was a dedicated, freedom loving teacher, and a very social and people-friendly person. He had spent 24 years of his life in the prisons of the Shah and Mullahs for the crime of wanting freedom and democracy. The mullahs told my father in the prison that if you express your remorse for visiting Ashraf and give a television interview, we will not execute you, but my father told the government guards that when I went to Ashraf to see my son, I saw the values of humanity, sacrifice, honesty and freedom of MEK there. I have never regretted it and I will never regret it.
When Amnesty International wrote in its report after my father’s execution that Ali Sarmi, who was sentenced to death on charges of “enmity against God” and “propaganda against the system”, has a son who is a member of the MEK and he met his son in Ashraf, everything became clear to me about the reason behind my father’s execution: he has a son who is a member of the MEK.
I had this question in my mind that why a bloodthirsty and merciless regime is fearing the MEK to such degree? On the one hand, the regime and its mercenaries say in their round-the-clock propaganda that the MEK have no social status in Iran and are a sect. On the other hand, it executes a 65-year-old father for the crime of contacting and meeting his son in MEK camp. What is the real purpose of all this propaganda and demonization against the MEK with exorbitant costs from Iranian people’s pockets?
It is true that fighting against such a barbaric and uncivilized regime is a very difficult task, but God has placed a very powerful antithesis against this regime, such as the Iranian Resistance and Mrs. Rajavi. On the other hand, the mullahs’ regime uses weak elements with the background of being in the ranks of the MEK, and then betrayed their former friends, under the title of “former members” to broadcast mudslinging on television and foreign media to spread the utmost lies and demonization to deceive the public opinion inside and outside of Iran.
A handful of these people are now in Albania under the title of Asila Associations or Nejat Society against the MEK. By spreading lies that the MEK is preventing them from meeting their families, keeping people and imprisoning them, etc., they are preparing the ground for the Iranian regime’s terrorist attacks against us in Ashraf 3 and making Albania insecure.
What I have personally experienced and witnessed is the double-edged behavior of the Iranian regime with the issue of our relatives. On the one hand, the real families of the MEK members are imprisoned and executed just for coming to Ashraf and visiting their loved ones. On the other hand, the regime is using the traitors and its agents under the name of our families, turning them into a political tool to demonize the MEK, and is trying to present a confusing and dark image of the MEK. Nonetheless, I have always believed that the sun is always the sun, never and no one can hide it behind dark clouds forever.