November 20, 2017

Court Rulings

 

Timeline: Legal Challenges to MEK’s Blacklisting in US, UK, and EU Courts

 

Oct. 1997 U.S. Department of State includes the MEK in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations under the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act of 1996. A senior Clinton Administration official told the Los Angeles Times on October 8, 1997, that the decision was a “goodwill gesture to the newly-elect moderate President Mohammad Khatami.”

 

1997-1998 The MEK files petition with the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.

 

Oct. 1999 State Department re-designates the MEK in the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations and adds the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) to the list as an “alias” of the MEK. Martin Indyk, the then Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs, tells Reuters that the NCRI was added to the list because “the Iranian regime drew our attention to it.”

 

1999 The MEK files petition, as does the NCRI with the Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia.

 

March 2001 UK adds MEK to its terrorism blacklist.

 

June 2001 The Court rules that the constitutional rights of the NCRI are violated and since it is the alias of the MEK, the same applies to the MEK. It says the MEK’s right to a fair hearing has been violated.

 

Oct. 2001 The Secretary of State re-designates the MEK and the NCRI in the FTO list.

 

May 2002 EU adds MEK to its blacklist, based on UK case.

 

Aug. 2003 The Secretary of State issues an Executive Order to designate the NCRI’s US Representative Office which until then was considered by the administration and the court a separate entity from MEK and NCRI.

 

Oct. 2003 The Secretary of State re-designates the MEK and the NCRI in the FTO list.

 

June 2006 Sixteen members of the Britain’s House of Commons and nineteen members of the House of Lords apply to the UK’s Secretary of State to de-proscribe the MEK.

 

December 2006 EU Court of First Instance rules the 2002 listing was unlawful. European Council ignores the ruling.

 

November 2007 English court determines the MEK was not concerned in terrorism and rules unlawful the UK’s government decision to keep MEK listed.

 

December 2007 U.K court reaffirms the November ruling and rejects the government’s appeal.

 

April 2008 EU Court of First Instance says EU should have de-listed MEK in or soon after December 2006.

 

May 2008 U.K. government loses final appeal and de-lists MEK in the following month. 

 

July 2008 European Council ignores the de-proscription in UK and votes to Keep MEK on the EU list.

 

July 2008 The MEK files petition with the Secretary of State for revocation.

 

October 2008 EU Court of First Instance rules the EU was wrong to blacklist the MEK.

 

December 2008 EU Court of First Instance for the third time rules that the EU countries must de-list the MEK.

 

Jan. 2009 The State Department maintains the MEK on the FTOlist which prompts the MEK to file a petition with the DC Circuit Court of Appeals for revocation.

 

January 2009 The European Union finally adheres to three court rulings and removes the PMOIfrom its blacklist.

 

July 2010 U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit rules unanimously that the Secretary of State had erred in refusing to grant a petition by the MEK to have its terrorist status revoked, strongly suggesting that the Department should remove the group from the FTO list.

 

July 15, 2011 A year later, the State Department has yet to announce its decision on the MEK’s status, ignoring the statute-mandated 180-day deadline.

 

 February 27, 2012  The MEK files a petition for a writ of mandamus to enforce the U.S. Federal Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia.

 

 February 29, 2012  Prominent US officials file an Amici Brief for MEK’s Mandamus.

 

 April 10, 2012  U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ordered that this matter be scheduled for oral argument on May 8, 2012.

 

 June 1, 2012  U.S. Court of Appeals orders that “the Secretary of State either deny or grant PMOI’s petition not later than four months from the date this opinion issues. Should the Secretary fail to take action within the four-month period, the petition for writ of mandamus setting aside the FTO designation will be granted.”

 

 Sept. 21, 2012  The Washington Post reports that the State Department is preparing to remove the PMOI/MEK from the U.S. government’s terrorist list.

 

 Sept. 28, 2012 MEK is officially De-listed. In a letter to the US Court of Appeals, the US Department of Justice informs the Court that the Secretary of State has revoked the MEK’s designation.