Albanian journalists Gjergji Thanasi and Olsi Jazexhi have written an open letter to the Albanian government, demanding Judicial steps be taken against threats they received from terrorist organisation Mujahideen e-Khalq (MEK). The MEK is an originally Iranian organisation that has a long history of terrorism against the Islamic Republic of Iran, and support to imperialist powers such as the United States.
After having been banned from Iraq, where they were headquartered by Saddam Hussein prior, the MEK has found refuge in Albania, where they have since developed closer ties to Western powers and have extensively meddled in internal political affairs.
The open letter reads as follows:
Minister of Internal Affairs
Minister of Justice
A public reply to the MEK terrorist threats against our journalist work and ourselves.
On 23 June, 2020 a number of ex-terrorists and foreign fighters, who describe themselves as members of the People’s Mujahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) have sent you a public letter where they attack two Albanian journalists, Olsi Jazexhi and Gjergji Thanasi.
These Iranian jihadis who have been granted asylum in Albania, are members of a much larger group (MEK) and have a long history of violence and terrorism. MEK has a large base in Albania where thousands of soldiers and commanders are stationed. We respectfully draw your attention that MEK was part of State Department list of terrorist organizations up to 2012.
In their open letter, they attack us by claiming:
“Olsi Jazexhi and Gjergji Thanasi publish the content of the Iranian regime’s websites and cover associations on Gazeta Impakt or on their own Facebook pages of which only a limited number of members of the Revolutionary Guards and the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence are their readers. The Iranian regime then publishes the same material once again on its media as if the Albanian people support the demands of the Iranian notorious Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS). We have been made aware that the regime then distributes the same reports in prisons to justify further pressure on prisoners and our families”
The foreign fighters have called on your ministries:
“to investigate the illicit actions of Olsi Jazexhi and Gjergji Thanasi in favour of religious persecution in Iran and their contribution in the suppression of our families and the advancement of terrorism against Iranian refugees in Albania.”
The open letter was followed by another attack that the official page of MEK has launched against us on August 10, 2020. In an anonymous article entitled: “How Do Mullahs Operate in Albania after the Expulsion of Two of Their Diplomat-Terrorists?”
MEK has accused us of being local agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security. They write:
“Massoud Khodabandeh and his wife Anne Singleton, the notorious London-based MOIS agents, are two who are in daily contact with several MOIS local agents in Albania, including Gjergji Thanasi and Olsi Jazexhi. Thanasi and Jazexhi are in direct contact with MEK defectors recruited by the MOIS, including Hassan Heyrani. The local operatives hang out at a café in the Fresco area of Tirana, where they coordinate their espionage activities. Heyrani, who runs the Café, also pays the rent and other costs involved.”
While it is true that we as investigative journalists communicate with several Iranians in Albania and abroad as well as foreign journalists who have their concerns about MEK’s violent and illegal activities in Albania and the world, we are not agents of any country or organization. We have no connections with MOIS or any Iranian state institution. Our journalist work is not to support any country or foreign entity or any religious repression. Many Iranian families and activists contact us to find out about the human rights abuse and radicalisation that MEK does against its members who have relatives in Iran and around the world. We do our journalistic duty to serve as a bridge between the victims of MEK inhumane treatment of their members and their families back home. With our journalistic work we fulfil our duty to expose MEK’s lies, human rights abuses, radicalization, terrorism, espionage and promotion of hatred.
While we are not afraid from MEK’s threats, lies and character assassination, we would like to urge your ministries to grant us full protection against these foreign fighters and ex-terrorist mujahedin. These people have blood on their hands and the possibility exist that we might be physically attacked or even killed by these violent foreign fighters.
We kindly demand that your ministries investigate their illegal activities and threats against journalism in Albania and remind them that as asylum seekers they should not threaten, intimidate, lie about and attack Albanian journalists and should not threaten the freedom of speech in Albania. We are shocked by their level of lies and character assassination and are planning to sue their commander in chief at an Albanian court of law.
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