Friday, 25 January 2008
Source: Le Soir, Belgium daily
By maintaining the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI / MEK) on the European list of terrorist organizations, the 27 EU countries are “no longer following the rule of law… PMOI’s fundamental rights continue to be violated,” says a report by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe adopted on Wednesday by an overwhelming majority.
And what about a case of an Italian citizen residing in Switzerland, found innocent in the courts of Italy and Switzerland, but fails to remove his name from the list of terrorists drawn up by the U.N. Security Council? Neither Bern nor Rome do have the requisite powers to counter the injustice in New York. Worse still, the two capitals may not know why the individual was placed on blacklist.
The report that has been prepared by a Swiss parliamentarian, the chairman of the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights was ratified by the almost unanimous vote on Wednesday after a long debate. Dick Marty is the same person who had investigated the CIA flights.
Mr. Marty explained that the development of such lists had “nothing to do with the law”, was the result of a “political deal”, and that this was a “totally unacceptable system”, “perverse” (the word was used by a London court to describe proscription used against the Iranian opposition movement, PMOI).
“We cannot fight Terrorism with injustice. These blacklists are our Guantanamo, “said Marty. The vote on the report by 101 in favor, 3 against and 4 abstentions, is revealing: the rare opposition came from British, Polish and Romanian parliamentarians.
In political terms, the report confirms the injustice done to the main Iranian opposition movement, PMOI, despite favorable judgments handed down in 2006 and 2007 by the courts in Luxembourg and London. As a reminder, PMOI is a previously armed movement – its latest military operations dates back to June 2001 – which Britain has placed in March 2001 on its national list of banned organizations. London then put pressure on the EU to add this organization to its list.
Since then, the Mojahedin are fighting in two fronts – Luxembourg and London – to get them off the lists. Their argument, recently confirmed in law: Only it is London that alleges them based on single report secret evidence that is empty and fueled by the Tehran regime and broadcasted by London and Brussels.
The game in London is more astonishing, as stated yesterday by the British socialist Rudi Vis, if we finally recognize that PMOI had “not been concerned with terrorism” this would enable the Mojahedin to present itself as the “main opposition” to the mullahs, which would mean “taking a big step in the establishment of democracy in Iran.”
The first court victory by PMOI goes back to December 2006 when the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg, found that the evidence that Europe gathered were insufficient. Brussels has responded by adopting a “new policy”, a trick that obsoletes the judgment. The latest European list of terrorist organizations, released in December, continues to consider PMOI as “terrorist”. But according to the report which has just voted on Wednesday by the Council of Europe, the new EU regulation suffers the same deficiencies as the previous legislation: “In all cases, the ‘new’ procedures are also as failing as that previous” Marty noted in the report.
And already PMOI has taken the new procedures, as a matter of urgency, to the European Court. The victory of PMOI is clear on this front and one can expect that Brussels will be more readily condemned. Since it was the London which has nourished a pseudo-intelligence dossier against the Mojahedin, they have attacked the British list. Since the list is prepared on the basis of secret documents; it should take a special administrative court – Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission (POAC) – whose magistrates have security clearances required to consult the secret documents.
On 30 November, POAC delivered a judgment which is a slap in the face of London: the British government was forced to propose to parliament the withdrawal of PMOI form the list of banned organizations. Arguments: the Home Office has misinterpreted the law, has ignored important facts, and ultimately took a “perverse” decision against the PMOI. This is good news for the Iranian opposition. But as recalled Dick Marty, it is still 370 people in the world (including one Italian-Swiss) whose assets are frozen when they were merely “suspected” of terrorism.
The report was translated from French by NCRI-FAC