On February 27, 2012, the legal counsel for Iran’s principal opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), filed a Writ of Mandamus in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to enforce the Court’s July 2010 ruling which ordered the Secretary of State to reconsider the PMOI’s petition to be removed from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO). The PMOI “seeks a writ of mandamus, in the face of unwarranted and unreasonable agency delay, to order the Secretary of State to delist PMOI as a designated ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization,’ or, alternatively, to act on PMOI’s request for delisting within 30 days (and specifying that, if she does not, the designation shall be revoked).”
Subsequently, on February 29, 2012, the PMOI’s counsel filed an “Emergency Motion for Expedited Consideration.” Also on February 29, 2012, a brief of Amici Curiae Michael B. Mukasey, Thomas J. Ridge, Louis Freeh, Frances Townsend, R. James Woolsey, Robert G. Joseph, Rudolph W. Giuliani, John R. Bolton, John Sano, Glenn L. Carle, Hugh Shelton, David Phillips, Leo Mccloskey, Wesley Martin, Gary Morsch, James Conway, Dell Dailey, Thomas G. Mcinerney, Paul E. Vallely, David A. Deptula And James A. Lyons, Jr., was filed with the US Court of Appeals in support of the PMOI’s Writ of Mandamus.
On March 5, 2012, after reviewing the US government’s petition in response to the PMOI’s motion for expedited consideration, the US Court of Appeals issued a ruling which “ordered that the government respond to the petition on or before March 26, 2012,” and that “the motion for expedited consideration of the petition be granted.”
Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 PMOI members since 1986, was attacked by Iraqi forces in July 2009 and April 2011. The Iraqi government justified both massacres, in which 47 unarmed civilians were murdered, as cracking down on “terrorists.” According to Members of US Congress Iraqi officials have acknowledged that US designation of the PMOI is partly to blame for the bloodshed in Camp Ashraf. The UN refugee agency officials have also told members of US Congress that as long as the PMOI remains listed, it would be near impossible to find third countries for Ashraf residents.