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How to pack a Mujahadeen-e-Khalq rally: spend thousands on Western politicians, less on (non-Iranian) students


 

The number of Canadian parliamentarians accepting sponsored junkets from the political arm of the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq, which Canada until recently considered a terrorist organization, has fallen off of late.

Last year, according to the list of sponsored travel presented to the House of Commons in March, only Liberal MP Judy Sgro took a paid-for trip to France to “attend a global human rights event” hosted by the “Iran Democratic Association,” which appears to be the latest name the Mujahedeen-e-Khalq’s political wing has given itself in Canada. Globally it is known as the National Council of Resistance of Iran.

These events happen every year and centre around a big rally involving thousands of supporters and robust praise for the NCRI’s “president-elect” Maryam Rajavi.

Sgro valued the travel, accommodation, and gifts provided by the NCRI at more than $2,000.

This year’s rally just  concluded in Paris. We won’t know for a while yet whether any Canadian MPs attended. We do, however, have a glimpse into who some of the supposed NCRI supporters are.

Alina Alymkulova is a Kyrgyz — not Iranian — student studying in Prague. As she tells Radio Free Europe, she saw an online ad promising a weekend to Paris, complete with accommodation in a four-star hotel, for only 35 euros.

“I wrote to the trip organizer and discovered there was a catch, but it didn’t bother me,” she says. “The organizer explained that I would have to take part in a rally in Paris for a few hours, chant a few slogans in Persian, and wave flags. Although I don’t speak any Persian and don’t know much about Iranian affairs, I decided to go to Paris.”

Alymkulova wasn’t the only one. The buses that left Prague were full of Russians, Ukrainians, Czechs, and Asians. Some drank alcohol and chanted for beer. A Russian woman said she was going to meet handsome Frenchmen. A German she met in Paris thought the rally was for changes in Iraq, not Iran.

Eventually, after staying in a dump of a hotel 60 kilometres from Paris, Alymkulova was bused to the rally near Charles de Gaulle Airport.

“We were given papers explaining where to go and what to do. Cameras were not allowed. As we exited the bus, I resigned myself to the idea that running away was not an option — people were guarding the area.”

Inside the venue, Alymkulova was given coupons for a drink and sandwich. There were headphones on her seat translating the speeches, but she wasn’t interested in listening and left to look for the exit door.

“We arrived back in Prague. I was feeling down, and even the souvenirs I bought in Paris could not cheer me up. In thinking about the whole experience, a saying comes to mind: ‘Only a mousetrap has free cheese.’”

Here’s hoping Sgro’s trip was more enjoyable.


 

How to pack a Mujahadeen-e-Khalq rally: spend thousands on Western politicians, less on (non-Iranian) students

  1. @Michael Petrou you are peace of shit. Do you consider yourself a reporter? where is the other side of story? hundreds of Iranian-canadians attended the rally in Paris. Did you ever tried to talk to them

  2. Readers can watch this short clip. It is in persian, but you can see the crowd. Junk reporters like Michael Petrou should do a better job in their research than parroting a media that is known for their anti MEK lies.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ob1h7HdybiY

  3. Indeed a piece of worthless Iranian regime propaganda. instead of reporting the content of the conference and its goals and points that has been made. unfortunately, it seems appeasement policy needs such dirty tricks. , in the first day of encounter , NCRI and its supporters and volunteers tell every one this is not a touristic trip. this travel is for human right in Iran and it is a fight. from all of the people, they will ask for donation as well. this is fight. and we are independent movement. and we are not rich. in the return trip. we ask people from their experience, and i have spoken to many people who enjoyed it very much. the feel and the atmosphere was magnificent. hotels were all good for a one night stay. they were clean and tidy. organizers are very sensitive about this matter.

  4. Where do they get all the money to bribe politicians and fly in students to Europe for rallies?

    • Linda Chavez – just an other booked Supporter…

  5. Yes, I am agree that Michael Petrou is a cheap writer trying to get attention by
    insulting people and trying to make jerk out of them.
    A little decency make a lot change to be fair.
    I hope Michael Petrou would change.

  6. Seems like the trolls are out today. I loathe the government of Iran, and hope for the region and the people of Iran that it is one day defeated. But to suggest that reporting on the disingenuous means of attracting some people to a protest and the dishonest way protest size is presented is bad journalism, just weakens the case of this organization and its supporters. Congratulations Mr. Petrou on doing your job– reporting the truth, even if it makes us uncomfortable. This has happened before with groups that purport to represent the majority in other countries– think Iraq and those guys who toured the states before the US charged into that quagmire. Best wishes for the opposition in Iran– and for reformers. The truth will out in the end.

  7. Dear MEK-Supporters,
    Thank you for demonstrating how the Mujahedeen´s propaganda campaign works!
    Is this, what you call democracy?

    Denunciate and offend critical journalism and only accepting your own “truth”?
    All critical journalists and MEK-defectors are “sponsored by the Iranian regime”.
    So they´d have to spend nearly as much dollars for their campaing as the MEK…

    Interested in more “iranian Regime Propaganda”?

    Read:http://www.nypost.com/p/news/opinion/opedcolumnists/who_ll_topple_iran_jOa7LK0SeXvaclqVq7ciTN,

    or: http://news.yahoo.com/ap-interview-un-iraq-rep-urges-exile-cooperation-163517746.html

    or:http://www.thenation.com/blog/174632/irans-election-regime-change-and-neocons#axzz2Y4K9KRAB

    or:http://www.utsandiego.com/news/2013/Jun/27/bob-filner-trip-to-paris/
    and so on, and so on…

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