The leaders of the MEK denounce the death of a man and hundreds of wounded in the center to the northwest of the capital, which is home to thousands of exponents and relatives of the Iranian People’s Mujahideen. The Albanian government speaks of an operation linked to a judicial investigation, electronic devices and computer units were seized. Tehran launches attacks on the “terrorist organization” again.
Tirana () – One dead, hundreds injured, some of them in serious condition due to the use of pepper spray and admitted to the Santa Teresa hospital, dozens of computers seized, an open wound that risks fueling new violence in a Next future. This is the balance, contested by the Tirana authorities, of the raid that the Albanian police carried out yesterday against the Ashraf-3 refugee camp, on the northwestern outskirts of the capital, where thousands have lived for more than a decade. of members and relatives of the Iranian People’s Mujahideen (MEK). The dissident political movement is one of the most active in opposition to the theocratic regime of the ayatollahs that has led the Islamic Republic since the 1979 revolution and has been banned in its own country.
In a note, the group denounced the “sudden, criminal and repressive assault” by more than a thousand police officers, which caused the death of Abdul Wahab Farajinejad (Ali Mansherari). Hence the request to the United States and the UN to guarantee “the safety and well-being of the residents of Ashraf.” An “illegal” behavior, the complaint continues, which “flagrantly violates numerous international treaties”, including the Convention on the Status of Refugees, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the European Union Convention on Human Rights.
Behind the raid (the videos of which were broadcast on the social networks) is the responsibility of the “Albanian government” which is colluding, say the leaders of the MEK, with the “religious fascism” that holds power in Tehran. “They broke many doors, cabinets and equipment and attacked residents with tear gas and pepper spray. They broke or took many computers,” the statement concluded. Albanian police actions reminiscent of those that took place earlier in Iraq, between 2009 and 2015, by order of then Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, in Camp Ashraf.
The group is suspected of orchestrating cyberattacks against foreign institutions. However, the police refused to give details about the investigation and the reasons for the raid, which was carried out by order of the Albanian justice for “violation” of the agreements regarding the rehabilitation of the MEK in the territory. At the same time, the Albanian Interior Minister and the police leadership deny any involvement in the death of the guest at the center denounced by the Mujahideen. Minister Bledi Cuci stated that the death of an elderly man “has nothing to do” with the police intervention, calling the reaction to the police operation “unacceptable, intolerable and reprehensible”.
Albanian security forces speak of 15 officers and 21 MEK members injured, as well as several damaged cars. The reaction would have been triggered by the seizure of “illegal” servers and computer equipment that were in the center: at the end of the operation, the agents took 96 computer units and about 50 laptops and tablets, adding that there had been ” an attempt to burn some documents”. In addition, the raid is part of an investigation by the Special Team against Organized Crime and Corruption (SPAK). “The prosecutor’s office has opened several criminal proceedings, but I cannot tell you – cut Minister Cuci – why the Iranians of the MEK are suspects”. He also refused to confirm the links between the group and the cyberattacks suffered by Albania in September last year, which were the origin of the serious diplomatic confrontation between Tirana and Tehran and the breakdown of their relations.
Tehran also intervened on the raid today, through its Foreign Ministry spokesman, who spares no effort against what it calls a “terrorist organization.” For Nasser Kan’ani, the MEK “constitutes a threat to the security of the host country” due to its “intrinsically terrorist” nature. And it is precisely for this reason, he continues, that the Iraqi government – and other nations around the world – have “refused” to accept them. The Islamic Republic accuses the group of “assassinations and attacks” in the past against Iranian personalities and civilians, with “the support” of former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein. Of the nearly 17,000 Iranians killed in terrorist attacks since the Islamic revolution, some 12,000 were “victims” of the Mujahideen.