Sterilization of Women in the MeK

Testimony of members who managed to escape from the organization

About two decades after the Mujahedin-e-Khalq forced all member couples to divorce during the “forced divorce” operation, in another operation called “Ideal Peak” or “Peak of Pride”, they sterilized women in the organization so that they would never think about the future in which they want to become mothers.

These anti-human rights actions of the MEK were met with a reaction from the Human Rights Watch and condemned the Rajavi sect for carrying out these anti-human rights actions. The theorist of this operation was Massoud Rajavi and has been done by one of the doctors of the organization, Nafiseh Badamchi. It was also conducted under the direct supervision of Maryam Rajavi and under the management of two women of the organization named “Kobra Tahmasebi” and “Zohreh Bani Jamal”.

Operation “Ideal Peak” is the stage that each of the female members of the organization has to do in order to establish a relationship with Maryam and Massoud Rajavi. Nasrin Ebrahimi, who was herself a member of the leadership council of the MEK and the National Council of Resistance, refused to do so and eventually managed to escape from the organization.

On September 9, 2008, a meeting at the European Parliament was held by the European Parliament’s Delegation for relations with Iran. The purpose and focus of this meeting were to discuss the “Mujahedin-e-Khalq and National Council of Resistance and their activities”. Among those invited was Nasrin Ebrahimi, who has been living in Camp Ashraf since the age of 16 and was able to escape after 10 years. She said about the forced sterilization of women in Camp Ashraf by the MEK: “Another thing that is done to kill any hope in women is forcing women to have a hysterectomy. This is done under various pretexts on women, and so far, more than ten percent of women have had their wombs removed.” She explained that they intended to do such a thing to her, but they did not succeed. She asked the parliamentary delegation to send specialists and doctors to Camp Ashraf to investigate the matter.

Following the revelation of Nasrin Ebrahimi about the implementation of the operation “Ideal Peak” during which they sterilize female members of this organization, in an interview with MPR, Batool Soltani, another former member of the organization’s leadership council based at Camp Ashraf in Iraq, revealed other aspects of the incident and the names of the perpetrators. So far, Soltani has talked to 20 international publications and mass media about the dimensions of “Ideal peak” operation and described Nafiseh Badamchi’s method of surgery and removal of the wombs of female members of the organization: “In this regard, the person who has made a revolution must reach the peak that the conquest of this peak in the organization becomes objective for women through sterilization. this operation, actually destroys the last feminine emotions, the evolved element of the ideological apparatus of the Rajavi reach to the point of utter despair, and as a result, it stays in the organization forever.”

Recalling one of the meetings of the leadership council of the MEK, she said: “In this meeting, Nafiseh Badamchi was informed by Massoud Rajavi that her first and most important responsibility is to remove the women’s wombs and she was getting concessions from Massoud himself for increasing the number of women who had a hysterectomy, and of course, she was also responsible for justifying the relief staff or nurses. Sterilization would be a means of focusing the women’s minds. They said that this organ of the body, the womb, has made women want to be mothers someday and return to normal life,” Sultani said. “And so, visits with women began, to get them to go in groups of 20 or 30 to have a hysterectomy.”

Women were scheduled for appointments at the MEK hospital in Camp Ashraf. The procedures would be carried out by a female MEK member who had been trained as a doctor, assisted by a local Iraqi physician. At first, Sultani resisted, but finally “the pressure was so great that it broke my resistance, and I agreed that I, too, should make an appointment,” she said. “In other words, they gave so many and varied arguments for me to go to the hospital that I had no choice.”

Sultani said she finally defected from the MEK in 2006 after she was scheduled for the surgery but before it could be carried out.

“How many women have reached the castle?” Rajavi later asked in a meeting Sultani attended, referring to what she called the “women who had abandoned the last vestiges of their sexual world and were operated on.” The doctor answered that there had been 50 so far. By the time I was in the Rajavi sect, I knew that more than 150 women had been operated on.

Zahra Sadat Bagheri also revealed the names of 95 women who had been sterilized in the organization, including Kobra Tahmasebi (Hajar), Sedigheh Khodaei Sefat, Habibeh Tavoli, Houri Seyyedi, Houri Charandabi, Shahrbanoo Sangari, Tahereh Zaranji, Ensieh Dolatshahi, Maryam Nizam-ol-Molki, Farah Emami, Ensieh Gholizadeh, Fatemeh Hamedani, Ashraf Taghvaei etc.

Reza Sadeghi, another member who made his escape from the organization, said in an interview with The Intercept: “Yet despite the harm it has caused to Iranians and others, the MEK’s most numerous victims may have been its own members. Interviews with six defectors in Europe reveal that the MEK has isolated, disappeared, and tortured many of its cadres into submission, including forcing dozens of female members to have sex with Rajavi and undergo medical sterilization so they could devote themselves more fully to the leader and his cause.”

Another female member of the High Council at Camp Ashraf, whom The Intercept agreed to identify only as Sima, said she joined the MEK in the 1980s and left it in 2014. Sima was confined to one section of Camp Ashraf, unable to move freely on her own. Like Batool Sultani, Sima described an intense form of psychosexual manipulation by Rajavi that she said became an integral tool for controlling female cadres. Years earlier, in 1995, “Rajavi gave every single woman in the organization a pendant and told us that we are all connected to him and to no other man,” Sima said. She was forced to divorce her husband and, like Sultani, eventually became sexually involved with Rajavi.

Around 1998, an even more chilling directive came down from Rajavi to the female members of the organization. “I see some obstacles which have prevented us from reaching our goals and achieving victory,” Rajavi told members of the group, Sultani recalled. “That obstacle is hope for the future. We want to eliminate any kind of hope for the future from your mind. You are either with us or not!”

After much urging from MEK leaders, Sima said she finally agreed to have her ovaries surgically removed in 2011. “When you are under brainwashing, you would do anything and everything,” she told The Intercept. “You would do any military operation, you would go and have sexual relations with your leader, you would sell information and intelligence. We were under constant control by the leader.”

Excerpt from Zahra Sadat Mirbagheri’s note on the occasion of March 8, International Women’s Day (another woman who succeeded to escape from MEK): “The women of the organization are deprived of their basic human rights, namely the right to marry and become mothers and to contact their mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers and relatives, a right that is not forbidden anywhere in the world except in the dangerous sectarian organization of Mujahedin-e-Khalq. The exploitation and oppression of these women are far beyond imagination, on the orders of Massoud and Maryam Rajavi, surgery is performed on their bodies and their wombs and ovaries are removed. Why? Because they must be completely disappointed and separated from escaping and hoping for a future life in the free world. “Congratulations to the women who underwent this surgery,” Massoud Rajavi ruthlessly told the women who underwent the operation.

Sterilization of women, an act of genocide

Forced sterilization is a human rights violation and can constitute an act of genocide, gender-based violence, discrimination, and torture.

Based on article 16 (e) of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women of UN, “Having the same rights to decide freely and responsibly on the number of children and the time interval of pregnancy and access to information, education and the means to enable them to exercise these rights” All are the recognized rights of women.

It follows from the above law that, firstly, pregnancy and having a child are the primary right of every woman. Secondly, no one can impose any restrictions or compulsions on pregnancy for women. Women’s freedom in this area also includes the number of children and the intervals of pregnancy.

The forcible removal of wombs can bring a disability for women who are trying to have children. A type of organ defect that cannot be treated or compensated. There are many human rights laws that place special emphasis on the physical and mental health of women.

Sterilizing women is in violation of human rights laws that emphasize women’s health. Article 12, paragraph 1 of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights of UN states: “States Parties recognize the right of every individual to the enjoyment of the highest attainment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health.”

The ban on marriage and sterilization of women is practically an attempt to cut off the generation of MEK members. In fact, this is a genocide. In international law, any deliberate attempt to prevent the birth of a group, tribe, or ethnicity constitutes genocide. According to The Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide, “the imposition of standards to prevent the birth of members of the group” is a clear example of genocide.

This is exactly what was done to the female members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq terrorist group.

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