December 14, 2017

EU court annuls funds freeze of Iranian rebel group

German Press Agency (dpa)
December 12, 2006

Luxembourg- A European court on Tuesday annulled an EU decision to freeze the funds of the militant opposition group People’s Mujahedin of Iran, which says it was wrongly placed on an EU terror list.

The EU’s order to freeze the Mujahedin’s assets infringed the right to a fair hearing, the obligation to state reasons for the decision and the right to effective judicial protection, ruled the Court of First Instance.

The Luxembourg-based tribunal is the EU’s second-highest court.

While the ruling does not comment on the wider issue of the classification of the group as a terrorist organisation, it may have consequences for the EU’s policy of banning alleged terrorist groups and having their bank accounts in the EU blocked.

The EU in 2002 decided to put the People’s Mujahedin of Iran on a list of suspected terrorists whose funds are to be frozen.

The move followed an earlier United Nations Security Council resolution which called on states to freeze the funds of all those who had committed or were planning to commit terrorist acts.

However, unlike a UN resolution dealing with al-Qaeda and the Taliban, the Security Council did not specify a list of persons but left it up to its member states to decide who should go on the list.

The court said that the EU had not given the People’s Mujahedin the right to make their views known about its inclusion on the bloc’s list of terror organizations.

It also argued that the EU had failed to inform the movement of the reasons for ordering the freezing of funds.

The People’s Mujahedin of Iran was founded in 1965 with the stated aim of replacing first the Shah’s and then the Mullah’s regime in Iran with a democratically elected government.

In the past the group has operated an army inside Iran. The group now states that it has ceased all military action since June 2001.

The United States, Canada and Iran also classify the rebel group as a terrorist organization.