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Iran’s young generation commemorates MEK founders

Poster of MEK founder Mohammad Hanifnejad
Poster of MEK founder Mohammad Hanifnejad

Reporting by PMOI/MEK

Iran, May 25, 2020—This week marked the 48th anniversary of the death of Mohammad Hanifnejad, Saeid Mohsen and Ali Asghar Badizadegan, the founders of People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). Hanifnejad, Moshen, and Badizadegan, who had founded the PMOI/MEK in September 1965, were executed by the Shah regime on May 25, 1972.

In this regard, members of the Iranian Resistance Units, MEK’s network inside Iran, commemorated the fallen founders of the MEK across the country throughout the week, in cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, Mashhad, Khoramabad, Beluchestan, Yazd, Rasht, Islam Abad, Karaj, Ahwaz, Shiraz, Qom, Urmia, Qazvin, Gorgan, Bandar Deylam, Ardabil, Mahshahr, Rafsanjan, Babolsar, Lorestan, Behbahan, Shahr-e Rey, and Kerman.

The MEK Resistance Units offer a breakthrough and are a beacon for uprising and freedom. They are the extension of the more than 120,000 MEK members who have sacrificed their lives for freedom in more than five decades. They represent the rebellious and defiant generation and play a key role in nationwide uprisings of December 2017 and November 2019.

Their commemoration of Hanifnejad, Moshen, and Badizadegan are proof that the sacrifices made by the Iranian people in the struggle for freedom have not been in vain and continue to resonate across the Iranian society to this day.

In recent days, the  Resistance Units took to graffiti in public places writing messages and slogans in memory of the executed founders of the MEK. They installed handwritten slogans, banners and images on the walls in various places of Iran main cities despite Iranian regime’s suppression. Their banners read: “Commemorating the founders of the MEK executed on May 25, 1972”, “By commemorating the executed founders of the MEK on May 25, 1972, we will continue their path”, “The sacrifices of the MEK founders on May 25, 1972 opened the path for change in our history”, “The founder of the MEK kept alive at any price the flame of resistance in prison”, “The blood of Hanifnejad flows through the veins of the Resistance Units” and “The morning of May 25, 1972 was stained with the blood of someone who turned the pages of his country's history.”

Background:

Hanifnejad, Mohsen, and Badizadegan founded the PMOI/MEK on September 6, 1965 in an era that was marked with severe repression against the dissidents and political activists, and Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Iran’s monarch, had forced all opposition groups and movements into silence and submission. Through his brutal secret police, the Savak, Pahlavi had established an iron-fisted rule.

The brave decision of the trio defied the odds and norms at the time and the era of despair caused by the failure of previous freedom movements. Though daunting, their goal was clear: to overthrow the Shah regime and to establish freedom and democracy in Iran. Staying true to these principles, which were unprecedented in the Iranian history, the founders of the MEK embarked on a long and perilous journey.

For several years, the founders of MEK engaged in developing the ranks of the organization, recruiting new members from among the elite and intellectuals in the Iranian society and educating them on the principles of the organization that would become Iran’s main opposition movement. Eventually, the growing freedom movement of the MEK was discovered by the Savak, and the founders were arrested in 1971. The Shah regime sentenced Hanifnejad and the other founders to death, but offered clemency if they renounced their goals and ideals.

But the MEK founders did not back down from their people’s right to struggle for freedom. And they paid the ultimate price to defend the rights of their people, laying down their lives to keep the flame of resistance alit. After their death, Massoud Rajavi became the leader of the MEK.

The sacrifices of the MEK founders set an example of persistence and loyalty that is still admired by Iranians across the globe to this day. And as the activities of the Resistance Units show, they are still a source of inspiration for the Iranian people and young generation.