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Mojahedin found paying people to attend big rally.

The Mojahedin-e Khalq held a giant rally near Paris last week--it claimed 70,000 attended--to call for an end to the EU ban on the group as a terrorist organization.

But many of those attending had no idea what the issue was all about as 25 busloads of Polish students from Poznan were bused to the rally.

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It isn't known if non-Persian groups from other countries were paid to attend. But the Warsaw daily Gazeta Wyborcza stumbled across the group of Polish students looking forward to an all-expense paid weekend in Paris.

Twenty-five busloads would amount to about 1,200 students just from the city of Poznan alone. Poznan, a city of 600,000, is located in western Poland about 700 miles from Paris.

The rally was held Saturday just days after Britain lifted its ban on the group as the result of a court decision that was opposed by the British government. The rally was held in Villepinte, a suburb of Paris.

Mojahedin co-leader Maryam Rajavi was the main speaker. "I call upon the Council of Ministers of the European Union to erase the name of the Mojahedin-e Khalq from the list of terrorist organizations," she said. "Remove this chain with which you have bound the hands and feet of the resistance against the religious dictatorship."

She charged that the EU's terrorism label on the Mojahedin was "unjust" and a gift to Tehran that "helped the world's most powerful supporter of terrorism."

Organizers said delegations from several EU national parliaments attended the rally, including 15 British members of parliament. One of those was David Waddington, the home secretary in the last Conservative cabinet. Waddington said he attended to "celebrate" the lifting of the U.K. ban.

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The Polish daily learned of the 25 busloads of students going from Poznan from students who were ecstatic about the strip, but knew nothing about the Mojahedin-e Khalq.

Ania, a sociology student, called a reporter: "A friend called me--a trip to Paris for 20 zlotys [$10]. If you decide quickly, we'll all be together on one bus."

The students said they received free transportation, lodging and food for the weekend. The only requirement, the daily said, was that they attend the rally. The students were told they had to check in at the rally and those who failed to do so would have to pay the full costs of the trip.

No one seemed clear what the rally was all about. One student named Bartek told the newspaper, "I've heard it's a protest against the stoning of women in Iran."

Iza, 22, a law student, said, "I'm going to have some good fun in Paris. I don't really know what it's all about with this rally."
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Publication:Iran Times International (Washington, DC)
Date:Jul 4, 2008
Words:457
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