No 268

News Bulletin of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Council of Resistance of Iran

26 May 2008

British Court of Appeal issues definitive ruling to remove PMOI from terrorist list
Court ruled that neither in the open material nor in the closed material was there any reliable evidence to show that PMOI is concerned in terrorism

Maryam Rajavi: The US should also remove the PMOI from the terror list
Court of Appeal:
The PMOI's present stated purpose is the replacement of the theocracy ruling Iran with a democratic elected secular government in Iran The PMOI satisfies none of the criteria necessary to maintain its terror designation The PMOI had engaged in military activity against the Iranian regime prior to June 2001, as the only means available to them to oppose tyranny and oppression The contention that the PMOI was not an organization concerned in terrorism was supported by a substantial body of legal opinion

London

Paris

Ashraf - Iraq

Maryam Rajavi, left, reacts to cheer from Iranians at Auvers-sur-Oise following the verdict; top: British parliamentarians at a meeting in London; Middle: hundreds of Iranians in Auvers-sur-Oise celebrate court victory; bottom: Thousands in Ashraf join the celebrations

Court concluded that the Home Secretary’s decision was perverse
British government was wrong to include PMOI on its terror list
Iran has urged for PMOI’s suppression in negotiations with the West

UK court says Iranian resistance should not be listed as terrorist group Lord Chief Justice chose to hear the case shows its huge importance British government defeated over Iranian Resistance group

Editorial
Celebrating court victory in London. Lord Corbett waving the court verdict sitting with Baroness Verma among jubilant Iranians

“A victory for justice and human values,” so described Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the Iranian Resistance’s President-elect, the May 7th landmark and unanimous judgment of the UK Court of Appeal, dismissing the Home Secretary’s application for permission to appeal against the November 2007 decision of the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission (POAC) that had ordered the Home Secretary to remove the main Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK)

EDITORIAL

A Victory for Justice
With the chapter on the “terrorist” designation now closed, the UK and the EU must take the next step and apologize to the Iranian people and their Resistance for seven years of injustice and unwarranted damages inflicted on them
from the UK’s list of proscribed organizations. Led by Lord Phillips, the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales, sitting with Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice Arden, the Court of Appeal agreed with POAC that the Home Secretary had interpreted the law wrong. It thus upheld POAC’s conclusion, which had found, among other things, that the PMOI was not concerned in terrorism, and that the Home Secretary had failed to show that the organization had either the intention or the capacity to engage in such conduct in the future. The Court explicitly ruled, “Neither in the open material nor in the closed material was there any reliable evidence that supported a conclusion that PMOI retained an intention to resort to terrorist activities in the future.” The Court of Appeal’s refusal to allow leave to appeal the POAC ruling leaves the Home Secretary with no remaining legal options. The Home Secretary must now lay a draft
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order before the Parliament “as soon as is reasonably practicable” for the purpose of removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organisations. The Court of Appeal also agreed with POAC’s conclusion that the Home Secretary’s decision to continue the proscription of the PMOI was “flawed” and “perverse.” This historic victory marked the climax of a seven-year legal and political campaign by the PMOI and its many supporters in both Houses of British Parliament, who had maintained that the terrorist designation of the organization had absolutely no basis in law and in fact. Indeed, as became evident during the eight-day open and closed hearing before POAC and later in the course of the written and oral submissions by the Home Secretary’s counsel before the Court of Appeal, the UK government was doing Tehran’s bidding. The UK Home Secretary made it plain that

only the dismantling of the PMOI and the dispersing of its members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, would have satisfied her that the PMOI was no longer concerned in terrorism. The government counsel asserted that the mere existence of the PMOI, especially its presence along the Iranian frontier in Iraq, posed a threat to the Iranian regime justifying the necessity of maintaining its proscription. This adamant position made it abundantly clear that, far from being inspired by concern over fighting terrorism, the original terrorist designation of the PMOI in the UK in 2001 had actually been motivated by the UK government’s desire to award Tehran what it had sought the most: cracking down on the main opposition, which posed an existential threat to the regime. For their part, both POAC and the Court of Appeal rejected the Home Secretary’s contention, affirming instead that the government

had failed to prove that the PMOI had been concerned in terrorism. The Court of Appeal’s judgment has far reaching implications. First and foremost, it pulls the rug from under the feet of the European Union’s May 2002 blacklisting of the PMOI, which has so far continued in defiance of the December 2006 ruling by the Court of First Instance of the European Communities annulling the PMOI’s designation. In principle, the EU’s blacklisting of entities and groups must follow the decision of a competent national authority, which in this particular case was the UK government. Following the Court of Appeal ruling, that “competent national authority” no longer exists. Therefore, the EU must immediately follow suit if it has any interest in abiding by the rule of law. With the chapter on the “terrorist” designation now closed, the UK and the EU must take the next step and apologize to the Iranian people and their Resistance for seven years of injustice and unwarranted damages inflicted on them. They must also remove all obstacles that have been placed on the path of the Resistance as the democratic alternative capable of thwarting Tehran’s dangerous meddling in Iraq, Afghanistan, Lebanon and Palestine as well as its mad and irreversible dash towards obtaining nuclear weapons.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling

UK Court of Appeal issues definitive ruling to remove PMOI from terrorist list

paragraphs. In its introduction, the ruling states,
 PMOI is an Iranian political

F

ollowing an intense legal, political, and diplomatic battle in the UK, on Wednesday, May 7, 2008, the UK Court of Appeal decisively refused the Secretary of State leave to contest a decision by the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC) on November 30, 2007 that the proscription of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran

There is no evidence of any attempt to ‘prepare’ for terrorism and no evidence of encouragement to others to commit acts of terrorism
(PMOI/MEK) was “perverse.” The panel of judges was led by the Rt. Hon. Lord Nicholas Phillips, the lord chief justice, and accompanied by two senior judges, the Rt. Hon. Lord Justice John Laws and the Rt. Hon. Lady Justice Mary Arden. POAC had called the Secretary of State’s decision to refuse an application made by 35 members of both houses in the British

Parliament to deproscribe the PMOI as “perverse” and “flawed,” a judgment which was upheld by the Court of Appeal on Wednesday. In Paragraph 362 of its 144page open determination, in accordance with section 5(5) of the Terrorism Act 2000, POAC had ordered the Secretary of State to lay the draft of an order before the Parliament removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organizations. Accordingly, the momentous judgment of the Court of Appeal marks the end of the legal road for the Secretary of State, which means that as soon as reasonably practical, she must lay a draft order before the Parliament for the removal of the PMOI from the terror list. Both the spokesperson for the Home Office and the Foreign Secretary have expressed their intentions to follow the order. The May 7th Court of Appeal ruling is in effect the climax of a long legal battle initiated by 35 honorable members of the British Parliament who grouped together to remove the ban on the PMOI by the Secretary of State. Among them are Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington GCVO DL QC, former UK Home Secretary; Rt. Hon. Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, former UK SolicitorGeneral; Rt. Hon. Lord Fraser of Carmyllie QC, former Lord

Advocate for Scotland; Rt. Hon. Lord Slynn of Hadley, former UK Law Lord. In September 2006, the Secretary of State refused the application by 35-member group, which prompted the parliamentarians to bring an appeal at the Proscribed Organizations Appeals Commission (POAC). The POAC proceedings were chaired by former High Court judge Sir Harry Ognall, who was accompanied by two other colleagues, Miss L. Boswell QC, and Mr. S. Catchpole QC. In the course of the proceedings, POAC conducted nearly 8 days of open and closed hearings, in addition to hearing arguments from the representatives of both the appellants and the Secretary of State. It also subjected closed material and witness statements from the UK Government to intense and detailed scrutiny. POAC finally released its open determination on November 30, 2007. In addition to describing the Secretary of State’s decision as “perverse,” “flawed,” and one which “turns the statutory test on its head,” POAC also ordered the Secretary to bring a draft order to Parliament removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organizations. The Court of Appeal’s judgment was 23 pages in length, in 58

organisation founded in 1965. It is a member of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (‘NCRI’), which is not proscribed in the UK. Its initial purpose was to oppose the government of the Shah of Iran. Its present stated purpose is the replacement of the theocracy which succeeded that government with a democratically elected secular government in Iran.  Following the overthrow of the Shah in 1979 PMOI came into conflict with the government led by the Ayatollah Khomeini. PMOI members went into exile, initially in France and, from 1986, in Iraq, which was by then at war with Iran. There they were principally located in Camp Ashraf, where they maintained an armed force, the National Liberation Army…  The PMOI has pursued a campaign to legitimise its status as a peaceful democratic movement and has attracted support in this aim from the 35 British parliamentarians. PMOI remained armed until the invasion of Iraq by coalition forces in March 2003. At that date Camp Ashraf was surrounded and a large arsenal of weapons was surrendered by agreement.  The Iranian government remains hostile to PMOI. In August 2002 the NCRI publicised detailed allegations of Iran’s programme for the acquisition of nuclear weapons.

In front row from left: Elizabeth Sidney; Brian Binley MP; Hossein Abedini of NCRI; Lord Dholakia; Lord Corbett; Barness Verma; Baroness Turner and Baroness Gould IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008 3

UK Court ruling The ruling notes that “…PMOI had engaged in military activity against the Iranian regime prior to June 2001, as the only means available to them to oppose tyranny and oppression,” and adds, “[The parliamentarians’] contention that the PMOI was not an organisation concerned in terrorism was supported by a substantial body of legal opinion. The PMOI’s democratic credentials had attracted the support of Parliamentarians the world over.” Confirming that the PMOI “had played no part in the second Gulf War,” the ruling goes on to say that PMOI officials have consistently renounced terrorism. One of the issues treated by the Court of Appeal at several points in the ruling concerns the closed material. The Court’s ruling tacitly criticized POAC for the latter’s failure to point in its open determination to the lack of evidence in closed material for the claim that the PMOI is concerned in terrorism. The Court of Appeal stresses in its ruling that the panel of judges reviewed all the closed material, concluding in paragraph 53, “The reality is that neither in the open material nor in the closed material was there any reliable evidence that supported a conclusion that PMOI” is concerned in terrorism. forces in Iraq. This application was refused on 11 June 2003. In the same month the appeal to POAC was withdrawn. The [PMOI] assert that the withdrawal was a protest following the bombing of Camp Ashraf by Coalition forces in the invasion of Iraq. The application with which this appeal is concerned was made by the respondents on 13 June 2006 [to POAC]. The respondents claimed to be persons ‘affected by’ PMOI’s proscription for the purposes of section 4(2)(b) of TA 2000 in that they were unable to support the aims of PMOI without committing criminal offences under sections 12 and 15 of the Act.”

PMOI’s democratic credentials attracted the support of Parliamentarians the world over
whether a reasonable decision maker could have believed that the PMOI ‘is concerned in terrorism’ on the basis of all of the evidence that is now before us. It is our function, however, to scrutinise all of the material before us carefully and to examine its strengths and weaknesses to see if it provides reasonable grounds for the Secretary of State’s belief. At the Second Stage, we must scrutinise all of the material to see if it provides a reasonable basis for the exercise of his discretion.’ 42. Mr. Swift sought to persuade us that this conclusion was erroneous. He sought to equate the applicant’s consideration of whether PMOI was concerned in terrorism with consideration of whether an individual is likely to be a threat to national security (Rehman) or whether an emergency exists threatening the life of the nation (A v Secretary of State for the Home Department). All three questions, he submitted, involved evaluation in a field where the Secretary of State and her advisers had special expertise to which the courts should defer. 43. We do not consider that the comparison is apt. The question of whether an organisation is concerned in terrorism is essentially a question of fact. Justification of significant interference with human rights is in issue. We agree with POAC that the appropriate course was to conduct an intense and detailed scrutiny of both open and closed material in order to decide whether this amounted to reasonable grounds for the belief that PMOI was concerned in terrorism. 44. On the facts of this case the question of the approach to POAC’s review, debated at such length, proved academic, for POAC held that even the application of the conventional Wednesbury test led to the conclusion that the applicant’s decision was flawed. 45. Mr Swift submitted that POAC did not merely review the decision of the applicant according to the principles applicable on an application for judicial review but substituted its own decision for that of the applicant. We do not accept this submission. POAC reached the conclusion that the applicant had asked herself the wrong question when reaching her decision after failing to take into account matters that she should have considered. POAC set out

POAC’s Approach to Review of the Secretary of State’s Decision
With regards to POAC’s approach to review the Secretary of State’s decision, the Court of Appeal noted that the representative for the Secretary of State sought to persuade the Court that POAC’s approach was erroneous, and that such review was not in POAC’s discretion, especially since the Secretary of State is entitled to placing an organization or entity on the terrorist list in order to protect “national security.” In such circumstances, he argued, human rights are not at issue. The Court of Appeal strongly rejected the Secretary of State’s submission, and among other places, stated in paragraphs 41 to 46,

The PMOI’s application for deproscription
In its judgment, the Court of Appeal also sketches the background regarding the PMOI’s application for deproscription, at one point saying, “The first application to deproscribe PMOI was made on 4 June 2001 and rejected by the [Secretary of State] on 31 August 2001. The decision was the subject of an application for judicial review. That application was refused by Richards J on 17 April 2002 on the basis that the appropriate venue for determining the issue was POAC. An appeal was then made to POAC and was due to be heard in June 2003. On 13 March 2003 PMOI made a second application for deproscription [to the Secretary of State], which relied in addition on the surrender of arms to the coalition
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“41. In the light of these authorities POAC concluded that it accorded with the will of Parliament that POAC should subject both stages of the Secretary of State’s decision to intense scrutiny. POAC concluded: ‘It is not our function to substitute our view for the decision of the Secretary of State. Ultimately at the First Stage the question remains Iranians celebrate court ruling outside the Royal Court of Justice in London
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Speeches the matters that the applicant should have taken into account. This involved one finding of fact that was in conflict with a finding implicitly made by the applicant, but in rejecting the applicant’s finding POAC held that no reasonable person could have made it. Finally POAC asked the question whether, applying what it considered to be the right test, any reasonable person could have concluded that PMOI was concerned in terrorism and concluded that any reasonable person would have reached the opposite conclusion. We do not consider that POAC’s approach can be faulted. 46. We have concluded that POAC’s interpretation of section 3(5) of the TA 2000 was essentially correct and that POAC approached its task correctly in subjecting the applicant’s decision to intense scrutiny, thereby carrying out a review according to the principles of judicial review that apply where a decision affects fundamental human rights. It remains to consider whether, applying this approach, POAC correctly concluded that the applicant’s decision was perverse or whether, as Mr. Swift submitted, POAC’s own decision was perverse.” Paragraphs 54 and 55 point to the Secretary of State’s claim that POAC had erred in its interpretation and application of the law. After citing paragraphs 348 and 349 of POAC’s open determination, the Court of Appeal concludes, “For the reasons that we have given we can see no valid ground for contending that, in reaching these conclusions, POAC erred in law.” Paragraphs 56 to 58 review the appropriateness of POAC’s order that the Secretary of State must take steps to remove the PMOI from the terrorist list. In paragraph 58, the judges conclude, “In these circumstances we consider that the appeal that the [Secretary of State] wished to bring had no reasonable prospect of success and that the appropriate course is to dismiss her application.”

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale
Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom

This verdict is a triumphant signal of support to millions in Iran who cry freedom
Salam Ashraf, Bonjour Paris and Madam Rajavi and welcome to you. We are this morning linked via satellite to the Mojahedin in Ashraf City and with the NCRI headquarters in Auvers-sur-Oise on the outskirts of Paris where many of our Iranian and non-Iranian friends and dignitaries are watching the proceedings here. Lord Slynn of Hadley, a tower of strength, right the way through these proceedings with the legal team and my colleague Roger Gale MP, are now in Paris, joining in the congratulations to Mrs Rajavi on this great victory. This verdict is a triumphant signal of support to those millions in Iran who cry freedom. The majority of Members of Parliament and more than 200 members of the House of Lords who have been active in this campaign share your joy and the joy of Iranians both inside Iran and around the world. What this does is to snap the shackles unjustly clamped on the Iranian Resistance which offers a peaceful road to change through UN supervised elections. The end of the misrule of the mullahs is in sight. Their barbarous domestic repression and their bid to concoct a lethal mix of fundamentalism and nuclear weapons will now be under increasing domestic and international challenge. The British government and the European Union must now side with the Iranian Resistance and the majority insistent upon freedom rather than those who have stolen it from them. Iran’s freedom is our freedom because freedom is indivisible. Iran will be free. The government knew right from the very start when it added the PMOI to its list of proscribed organisations that it did not merit that description. Historically, it is rather like our government denying support to the French resistance during the Second World War or to the ANC in South Africa when it defied the evils of apartheid. Now two courts in the United Kingdom have found the government was in law ‘perverse’ in refusing to lift the ban on the PMOI. Last November, the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission said the Home Secretary had ignored the evidence, asked the wrong questions, misinterpreted the law and so came to a ‘perverse’ decision not to deproscribe. Today that damning verdict has been upheld triumphantly by the Court of Appeal which has refused the government leave to appeal against the POAC decision. Legally, the government has nowhere else to go. Its road to an appeal to the House of Lords is barred. The government has no option now but to obey the order of POAC, endorsed by the Court of Appeal, to lay an order in Parliament to de-proscribe the PMOI. I shall today write to the Home Secretary asking when that order will be laid against the background that she has twice said the decision of the Court of Appeal would be respected by the government. My colleagues and I in Parliament have every right to feel proud of what we have helped to achieve with our friends from the NCRI and from the Iranian community in this country and elsewhere. I want to thank all those who have withstood the doubts and the insults because we believed that our government was wrong and an injustice had been done to those who offer freedom to the people of Iran. I especially want to thank those 34 colleagues in both Houses who joined me in starting this appeal process. This victory comes at a time when the mullahs of misrule know they are in trouble. The phoney general election in March became a farce, when 95 in every 100 electors stayed away from the polls whose outcome was rigged and whose result was known before a vote had been cast. That boycott significantly included large numbers on the government pay role. Rising protests against the regime, increasing repression, horrendous abuses of human rights and an economy in deep trouble are a sure sign that this is a regime in power without the consent of its people. This regime has turned Iran into a pariah state because of its clandestine bid to make that lethal mix of violence, fundamentalism and nuclear weapons. Our government must now act to end this unjust ban and work to get the EU and the United Nations to impose stringent financial sanctions on Iran to starve them of the cash and the foreign investment they need to go nuclear. The government must now call on the EU to end its copycat ban of the PMOI. The people deserve our support. Iran’s Resistance has all along been our friend in the struggle against the menace of fundamentalism. Now our courts have backed what we have been arguing, that the real terrorists are in Iran and it is they who menace the peace and stability of the wider world and it is the Resistance who is the friend of freedom. Today we can truly declare that Iran is on the road to freedom because this verdict has brought that bright day a lot nearer as the mullahs become a dirty stain on the book of Iran’s proud history.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

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UK Court ruling - Speeches

Rt. Hon. Lord Slynn of Hadley
Former British Law Lord and former judge at the European Court of Justice

The game is up for the EU Council of Ministers
Why did I get into this? Why have we come in this direction? I think we have come in this direction in two ways. I think in the first place, we realised that it was very important that the people in Ashraf - great people who I had the pleasure of being with on a couple of occasions - should be recognised as being Protected Persons in international law. Eventually, the US State Department recognised them as being Protected Persons and that was very important, but we have moved on. We have moved on to other stages of which today is really the culmination. Sometimes people outside really have no idea what you stand for and what your lawyers are trying to achieve. There is no doubt that we rules. It is no less important that individual countries who lay down rules, should stick to them. Now, what has happened is that the Court of First Instance in the European Union came out with the most important judgment, recognising that the PMOI had not been given the proper hearing or proper treatment when it was considered that they should remain on the list of proscribed organisations. That was a great victory in a judgment that I shall always be very pleased that we obtained. Having looked at the European Union, we have to look at what happened in the United Kingdom. Now, nobody doubts that the government of the United Kingdom can adopt legislation in respect of terrorism, but what is critically important is that the rules should be observed. What has now happened is that the Tribunal, lead by a very distinguished former judge and two distinguished members of the Bar, Government will proceed and the EU Council of Ministers will proceed to remove the PMOI from the list of proscribed organisations. If the rule of law means anything, they have no choice but to do that. I hope now that the EU Council of Ministers will recognise the strength and importance of the judgments which have been obtained both in the Court of First Instance and the British courts. I hope that the Council of Ministers will recognise that the game is up on this issue and they cannot possibly now go ahead with a unanimous decision that on a review at this stage there is material to say that the PMOI is engaged in activities of terrorism. I hope very much that this judgment of the Court of Appeal will lead the Council of Ministers to take steps to make sure that this does not happen since there is simply no material to justify it. I hope that the British Government will take the same decision and the same route and get on with compliance with the order of the Tribunal, the POAC, which has been upheld by the Court of Appeal. How can the Council of Ministers or the British Government maintain the ban when three tribunals effectively have set aside the proscription of the PMOI in the last years? I hope that this is the beginning of the end, and that the end will come very quickly and that the PMOI will no longer be on the blacklist. The greater reason for the success that you have enjoyed lies in the team of people that you have here. I have the highest regard for the people who work here at Auvers-sur-Oise and your friends and family in Ashraf for their courage, their creativity and the work that they have done and to your many members who work outside, as it were, in the field, in the streets getting support, trying to make sure that what you really stand for is understood by people outside. I think that the support you have from politicians, particularly I am proud to say in my very own country has been of very great importance. I say that the team is important, but every team, every organisation, needs a head, needs a leader, someone who will not only inspire, but someone who knows how to manage, how to organise, how to move and when to act and when to keep quiet. You have in Mrs. Maryam Rajavi a most distinguished leader who has the love and respect of all your members and many outside. I know very well that in the British Parliament and amongst MPs who we met recently in Strasbourg, she is held in the warmest and highest regard and that is a faith in her which is fully borne out. I have now known her for a period. We have worked together, discussed together, talked together and I am always full of admiration for her intellectual leadership and for her moral leadership. The speeches that she has made about the policy which ought to be adopted against the government of Iran by other states, I think have given a great lead to other states as well as to your members. No appeasement of things which should not be appeased. Instead, a firm determination to move towards achieving this victory by rational discussion, by rational debate, by talk-talk as Mr. Churchill would have said, not war- war. I speak with some experience of being with Mrs. Rajavi. So not only on my own behalf, but also on behalf of my colleagues in the House of Lords and House of Commons, and on behalf of many members of the European Parliament and members of the Council of Europe, I say that we all owe an enormous amount to Mrs. Rajavi. Today is her victory day, and I offer you Mrs. Rajavi the warmest congratulations and thanks for all you have done as a great leader of the movement.

Governments should observe the rules and the law which has been laid down. If the rule of law means anything in the United Kingdom then the government will proceed and the EU Council of Ministers will follow to remove the PMOI from the terror list
deplore violent acts of terrorism. There is no doubt that I as a judge was compelled from time to time to make very firm rulings against terrorists. But what is important when governments have to carry out their duties is that they should observe the rules and the law which has been laid down. When the European Union lays down laws as to who may be proscribed as terrorist, who may lose their civil rights, it is very important that they should comply with the
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and now the Court of Appeal has said very firmly that there was no evidence which could justify the maintenance of the PMOI on the list of terrorists at the present time. For years there had been no activity which could either amount to or even indicate terrorism. These judgments of the Tribunal and of the Court of Appeal are extremely important and if the rule of law means anything in the Community, if it means anything in the United Kingdom as I know it does then the

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

“ The era of grave

UK Court ruling - Speeches

injustice against Iranian Resistance has ended ”
 After the UK Court ruling there is no longer any excuse for the EU to maintain the PMOI on the terror list  Those in the West pining hope on the mullahs’ change of behavior are misguided. For the mullahs, change of behavior is equal to their overthrow  As the next EU president, the French government should break the impasse by supporting democratic change in Iran
A few hours ago, the British Court of Appeal, presided over by Lord Chief Justice Phillips, refused UK Home Secretary’s application for leave to appeal against the judgment of the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (POAC). Accordingly, the ruling is definitive and closes the door to any further appeal. First of all, I would like to congratulate the appellants for their courageous initiative to challenge this great injustice. Your firm resolve to uphold justice finally overcame the government. I salute all of you for your courage. Therefore, the terrorist label has crumbled. The era of a grave injustice against the Iranian Resistance has come to an end. The mullahs and their backers are left in disgrace. This is a great victory for the Iranian people, for the brave students and workers who have rattled the mullahs’ regime with their recent protests. Let me congratulate the Mojahedin in Ashraf. They have earned this victory through their perseverance against enormous hardship. I congratulate Massoud Rajavi, The Iranian Resistance leader. After the judgment of the Court of Appeal, the UK government must end the injustice and its violation of the law. It must implement the judgment, and immediately de-proscribe the Mojahedin and lift all restrictions. After the judgment by the Court of Appeal there is no longer any excuse for the EU to maintain the PMOI on the terror list. Designating the PMOI on the EU terror list was based on the UK’s proscription which the Court of Appeal has declared unlawful. The terror label against the PMOI must be removed now. Any delay by the British government or the EU to do so, is defying the rule of law, and a clear concession to the mullahs’ regime. According to the POAC judgment, PMOI is not concerned in terrorism and maintaining this label is “unlawful” and “perverse”. After this definitive judgment, the US government should also remove the PMOI from the terror list. Maintaining the terror tag on the opposition to the “most active state sponsor of terrorism in the world”- so defined by the US government provides the greatest assistance to this regime. The terrorist label is the hallmark of the era of appeasing the mullahs’ regime. That era has come to an end! Europe must adopt a new policy. For years the Iranian people and the Resistance have suffered as a result of this unjust label. The mullahs’ regime has used the terror label to justify torture and executions of the PMOI political prisoners. It has blocked the potentials of the Iranian Resistance against the regime. In doing so, Western governments have in practice joined the mullahs’ regime in suppressing the people of Iran. Western governments have thus prolonged the life of this regime. They have assisted the mullahs’ efforts to obtain nuclear weapons, impose its domination on Iraq and export fundamentalism to the region. Western governments must be held accountable by the people of Europe and the Iranian people for such an obvious mistake. The time has come to expel the mullahs’ regime from United Nations and hand over Iran’s seat in the UN to the NCRI. The policy of appeasement has failed. The military option is not viable. The only viable option for the Iranian problem is democratic change through the Iranian people and their Resistance. The Iranian people demonstrated their anger and dissatisfaction towards the regime
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

Maryam Rajavi
and their readiness for change through a widespread boycott of the sham parliamentary elections in March. During the past three weeks, anti-government demonstrations have erupted in six towns in the south, west and central Iran. Dozens were killed or wounded and many more arrested. Those in the West pining hope on the mullahs’ change of behavior are misguided. Theyareinpursuit of a mirage. For the mullahs, change of behavior is equal to being overthrown. Therefore, they will never change their behavior. Regime change by the Iranian people and their organised Resistance is the only option to confront the increasing threats of the mullahs’ regime. We are running against time. Time for action is long overdue. As the next EU president, the French government should break the impasse by supporting democratic change in Iran. Finally, allow me to extend my thanks to members of both Houses of the British Parliament and all those who stood with the PMOI over the past seven years. Your efforts are bearing fruit. Once again I would like to thank the appellants, the 35 MPs and Peers who took legal action in defense of the PMOI. On behalf of the Iranian Resistance and the Mojahedin of Ashraf, I would like to thank Lord Slynn, Lord Corbett, Lord Waddington, Lord Archer, Lord Alton, Baroness Boothroyd, Lord Fraser, Mr. Mackinlay, Mr. Gale and Mr. Binley. Let me also pay tribute to the Honorable Lord Renton, who is with us today in spirit. Your courageous initiative will be recorded in the history of Iranian nation. The people of Iran will always remember those who stood with them during times of hardship.
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UK Court ruling - Speeches

Lord Alton of Liverpool

Rt. Hon. Baroness Boothroyd
Former Speaker of the UK Parliament

Government should engage in dialogue with the Iranian Resistance
I have seen that you have had to struggle not just against the mullahs in Iran, but sadly in our own country against our own political establishment and our own government. There have been times where I have wondered why we live in such a topsy-turvy world where so many of the values that should be taken for granted, such as our passionate support for your work, have been turned on their head and why our government has been on the wrong side of the argument throughout. I do not think that despite the whole of the Government machinery being used to oppose you during these proceedings, that has been enough to overshadow the powerful nature of your case. I think it is wonderful that so many judicial commentators and political commentators who have followed this case have understood the high issues that have been at stake here and have come to your support. I hope that we will ask questions in due course about what the cost has been to British taxpayers in pursuing this case with the determination that has been shown by the Government but lack of wisdom over these months. It has been an Alice in Wonderland world where assumptions have indeed been turned on their heads. If I have any positive things to say today to the government about what they should do now to try to salvage from the wreckage of this absurd misjudgment in pursuing this case through the courts, it would be these four things: Firstly, that the Secretary of State should now accept the judgment of POAC which said this was a ‘perverse’ decision. Now the Court of Appeal has said that POAC was right in saying it was a ‘perverse’ decision and that the government should take immediate steps to carry out POAC’s orders. The Secretary of State should do all in its power to get the European Union to comply with the December 2006 judgment of the European Court of Justice, requiring the PMOI’s removal from the European Union’s terrorist list. The second point is that the government should engage in dialogue with the Iranian Resistance. In that way, it will recognise the right of the Iranian people to self-determination and to change the regime in Iran. Robin was right when he said we must be on the side of the friends of freedom. For too long we have been on the side of friends of tyranny. My third demand is that the British government should work towards the adoption of a firm policy towards the Iranian regime through resolutions at the United Nations Security Council over the regime’s human rights abuses, its support for terrorism, interference in both Iraq and Afghanistan and in its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Fourthly, the British Government must immediately work with other EU states to list the Revolutionary Guards as a terrorist entity and impose comprehensive arms, trade, oil and technology sanctions against the regime. So, instead of this Alice in Wonderland upside down world where all the people who have been on the side of good have been targeted as the enemy, let us identify who the real enemy are and start doing something about it. Democracy, an independent judiciary and a free press are the things that I want to see in a democratic Iran in the future and we will all stand alongside you from both Houses in Parliament across this coalition that has been formed to support you until that outcome has been achieved.
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Justice has been done, we won against the government
I have never had such a warm reception since I was elected speaker. It is a wonderful day and we are rejoicing in this great victory. I want to pay great tribute to my colleagues in the House and those in the legal team because they have won through on behalf of all of us. Robin Corbett deserves great respect for his leadership. You know we have waited a long time for this verdict. Every other day in the House of Lords, in the Commons, in the corridors, we have been asking each other how is it going, when are we going to know the result. We have been very concerned about it, and today is a great day on which to rejoice. I want to send our greetings to all of you and to all of our friends in Paris and throughout the world that have joined in this campaign. Justice has been done, we won against the British government and it’s a great grand feeling.

Lord Dholakia
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Party in the House of Lords

About time Jack Straw and Jackie Smith admitted that they were wrong
Let me Robin give you my thanks that you stood by from day one on this particular issue supporting this movement. I also want to thank the hundreds of parliamentarians and the people of Iran, particularly those who believed in the cause of the PMOI. Can I just put it to you that week in week out, whenever we left the House of Lords, we saw either your representatives waiting in our lobby or catching us in the tube stations to be able to put forward their particular point of view. To them I take my hat off; you did a brilliant job and I am glad at the end of the day we have succeeded. I think the success of this particular campaign not simply rests on politicians but also on the legal team that we had and for that I want to thank Stephen Grosz and Geoffrey Bindman for the amount of work with other lawyer colleagues that have put in which ultimately proved to Jack Straw and Jackie Smith that they were wrong. It is about time that Mr. Straw and Ms. Smith admitted that they were wrong. The next step must be about the freedom of Iran, that I think must be the ultimate cause and ultimate goal for all of us, and in this I wish you all success. I wish that we will continue with this particular movement to make sure that ultimately the violence, the brutality and the oppression of the people of Iran will disappear and a properly legitimate democratic government will take its place.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Speeches Andrew Mackinlay Labour MP

Brian Binley
Conservative MP

“This is not the end”
I want to say something to that dreadful regime in Tehran. You might have fooled all of the British government some of the time and you might some of the time fooled some of the British government, but you never fooled us. We rumbled the very cruel and horrific nature of this regime long ago in the British Parliament, and politicians across the political spectrum were determined to expose the cruelties and barbarities of persecuting your people in your own land and your exporting of terror throughout the world. While I say you didn’t fool us, I want to say one more thing. You did not fool the British courts either and that is the most important message and you did not fool the Lord Chief Justice, the supreme judge of our country. He found that the PMOI are not terrorists, but brave patriots. The Lord Chief Justice and his colleagues have made it quite clear in today’s ruling that what they heard in secret only reinforced their view that the decision of the Home Secretary was perverse and unjust. For the final point I borrow from the great patriot of the United Kingdom, Winston Churchill, when he said, “This is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end, but perhaps it is the end of the beginning.”

There is no place in a civilised world for a medieval theocracy
You will remember on 30 November 2007, when POAC delivered its firm decision that the PMOI has not engaged in terrorist acts in Iran or elsewhere since August 2001, we thought that was a great victory. Sadly, the government did not listen to that decision. They received advice after advice not to pursue that course, but they did not listen. You will know that on 14 December 2007 POAC refused application for a hearing of appeal. Again we said that is the end of it. Again they did not listen and so we reached the final decision of the Court of Appeal who said there is no ground for appeal against POAC’s decision. This is the end of the game for the government, but the tragedy is it could have been the end of the game for the government long ago and they could have sided with and become friends of the PMOI, but they failed to do that, and that to my mind is a great sadness. We have a massive job to do, not only to convince this government to get on board, but to convince the mullahs that their time is up; that there is no place in a modern, civilised world for a medieval theocracy. That is what we are fighting and that is the enemy that we need to bring down by democratic means and we all commit ourselves to that objective. We have much to do, but under the leadership of that remarkable lady Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, we will win. I have no doubt that we will prevail and that we will meet in Tehran where we will have an even bigger party than we are having today.

David Vaughan CBE QC
Lawyer for PMOI at the Court of First Instance

Stephen Grosz
Lawyer for the appellants

We are confident that we will win
We had as Lord Slynn said a great victory in December 2006 and for me fighting for you has been an enormous pleasure. It has been a victory for the rule of law both in this country and in Europe. Clearly, the finding that the closed evidence reinforced the view of the open evidence was a tremendous victory. The effect of refusal of leave to appeal marks the end of this battle in the UK and that the battle now moves to Europe. It is going to be extraordinarily difficult if not impossible for the EU Council of Ministers in the light of the fact that this decision has now gone (the English decision), to maintain their position. All efforts have got to be made to persuade the Council of Ministers immediately to take the PMOI off the European list of proscribed organisations, so that is a major effort. We hope that on the basis of this victory, and on the basis of our previous European victory we will move onto victories in Europe and then to victories in the United States. We are confident that we will achieve those.

Government should embrace PMOI for democracy in Iran
Let us be in no doubt, just how damning this ruling is. Not only have the Court of Appeal said that the government got the law wrong but they have also said that quite clearly there was no evidence at all on which the government could reasonably conclude that the PMOI was a terrorist organisation. They have looked not only at all the open evidence but also at all the classified material that the government sought to put before them and they have said that the only reasonably conclusion that could be reached was that the PMOI is not a terrorist organisation and that the ban was unlawful and unjust. The government must now implement the judgement. Now the Home Office is just around the corner from here. If you are listening, Jackie [Home Secretary], do it now! embrace the PMOI as a partner to work for democracy in Iran and persuade the EU to remove its ban which is solely based on the UK ban and which is equally unjust. I look forward to the day when we will be able to welcome Mrs Rajavi at a meeting here in London.
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IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Speeches

“We stand by you for as long as it takes”

Baroness Gould of Potternewton

“Campaign for Resistance will continue”
It really is a great triumph and I was delighted to have been part of the 35 MPs and Peers who asked the Home Secretary to lift the ban in 2006. It felt sometimes that actually we were never going to get there, but because of the enormous amount of work of so many people - Robin, all the legal team, everybody else and the team of Iranians who kept us going, who kept us informed, who lobbied us and talked to us and told us the struggles and the plight and the necessity to keep campaigning. I look forward and I trust that today’s successful judgment will be the beginning of the lifting of that burden of oppression, of tyranny and brutality and religious fascism that is being imposed by the mullahs on women in Iran. As has been said, the campaign is not over. We are really at the beginning of a second stage, and the second stage starts with the British government actually lifting the ban on the PMOI. I have felt for a long time ashamed of my government - ashamed when Jack Straw agreed to the ban on the PMOI at the behest of the mullahs in Iran - and I will not lose that shame until we actually have the government fighting, arguing and talking about the needs for democracy and freedom in Iran. When that moment comes, I hope we could have a great big party in Tehran. I look forward to the day when Mrs. Rajavi can come to this country and we can have a big party here to celebrate as well. We will go on working with you. We will go on campaigning with you and we all look to a future, to a wonderful, democratic and free Iran. Thank you.

Roger Gale
Conservative MP Salam! It is a beautiful day. It is also for me a huge honour to have been invited to represent many hundreds of colleagues in the House of Commons and hundreds of my friends in the House of Lords who together have worked to support your cause and to get behind Lord Slynn and David Alton and to see the result that we have heard today. We wanted to be here. I wanted to be here in person to bring to Maryam Rajavi and to you all our very best wishes. The judgment that was announced this morning says that the Home Secretary had no case to proscribe the PMOI. That is something we have known for a very long time, but until now our government has refused to accept that fact. We now want our Home Secretary to come to the floor of the House of Commons and to tell us that the government of the United Kingdom accepts this judgment, will bring forward before our House rises for the summer holiday the necessary order to lift the proscription on the PMOI, because, until that is done we still have to regard this as unfinished business. We should not be surprised at this judgment. In the United Kingdom, as David Alton said this morning, we have democracy. We have an independent judiciary and we have a free press. You do not in your country, yet. So, the business is unfinished. The day is going to come when your country will have a free democracy, will have an independent judiciary, will have a free press, and will be able to live in freedom. This is an unfinished business, but my colleagues - hundreds of us in the House of Commons and further hundreds in the House of Lords - will stand by you and be with you for as long as it takes.

Dowlat Nowrouzi
NCRI representative in UK

Word of thanks
Let me please first of all express my very deep appreciation for Members of Parliament, distinguished friends, particularly Lord Corbett, Chairman of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom and the legal team led by Lord Slynn of Hadley, who stood with our movement and supported and helped us to go through this campaign. I am deeply moved and very much grateful and delighted for many years of your support and relentless endeavours to defend human rights and democracy in Iran and particularly to defend justice for the PMOI. On behalf of all of my sisters and brothers in Ashraf City and particularly the Iranian community throughout Europe and the United States, I deeply thank you and appreciate all of your efforts on behalf of our movement. I am very thankful and grateful to every step that not only politically, but also legally you took on behalf of our movement. It is the moment of joy and cry. A nation that suffered for decades under the rule of theocracy, repression and dictatorship unfortunately justified in the name of God and Islam. The PMOI has emerged as the antithesis to this very catastrophic phenomenon. I am very grateful to the wisdom and the courage of many members of the British Parliament that stood with us in this fight to have justice prevailed, to have the cry of our people for freedom and democracy to be heard. I think it is time now for the world community to realise that the reign of terror and repression must come to an end. The mullahs must be overthrown and that is the will of the Iranian people, our youths, academics, teachers, workers, women and people across the world. After this magnificent victory and the removal of the unjust terror label from the main opposition movement, the PMOI, the world community must recognise the true face and the true representative of the Iranian nation and particularly their dedication to democracy and human rights. I think it is now time for them to support Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the Iranian Resistance and her movement for democracy.
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Speeches

Alain Vivien
Former French secretary of state for European Affairs

“This is a decisive step on the way to final victory”

“We will remain faithfully on your side”
Madam President, dear friends, I would first of all like to tell you the great joy that we all have within our French Committee for a Democratic Iran about the great victory which has just been achieved. This was not an easy battle. But your determination and your feeling of responsibility for the future of Iran has made the first and most important step in this long battle possible. This proved that when political mistakes are made, the law in democratic nations can rectify them. This is your first victory; it will also have consequences in Europe, because I think it will be very difficult for the enemies of the democratic Iran to remain in an unsustainable position. Because they cannot prove what they are saying. I think the European Court in Luxembourg will maintain its first ruling, and far beyond this case of a great importance for Iran, this ruling will create a European jurisprudence that prevents future unjustified listing of individuals or groups as terrorist movements. That era is over and it is the victory of our Iranian friends that allows us to conclude it. Of course today many things remain to be done. I would like on behalf of the French committee for a Democratic Iran, on behalf of our friend Jean-Pierre Béquet, mayor of Auvers-sur-Oise, who is hosting PMOI, say that we will remain faithfully on your side, and we will be vigilant in helping bringing about peace and security in your great country. The world cannot tolerate the permanent threat of nuclear weapons. The world cannot tolerate any more than it has so far a situation which could lead to a third world war. In this great battle for peace and democracy, remember dear Iranian friends, and Madam President, that we will always be on your side.

Sid Ahmad Ghozali
Former Algerian Prime Minister It is a great pleasure for me and all the friends of Iran and freedom fighters to share your joy. We are grateful to you, Madam President [Maryam Rajavi], for sharing your joy with us in celebrating a historic turning point in the painful struggle you lead together with Massoud Rajavi, with Ashraf, and with the Iranian people, in order to return soon to a free Iran. I cannot miss the opportunity to say that this decision is a victory for the Iranian people and their genuine representatives, those who sacrificed so much to remove this unbearable injustice. Why is it a joyful occasion? Simply because an intolerable injustice, i.e. being placed on the infamous list of terrorist organizations, is going to be wiped off from the prime victims of terrorism. And I cannot miss this occasion to say as well that it is a victory, not only for the Iranian people, but for all Muslims who have been taken hostage by local dictatorships and by local fascist extremists. It is also a victory for Europe, for Europeans, who are restoring for us their image as peoples who love freedom and respect the rule of law. I would also like to express my admiration for the British justice, which, thanks to you, Lord Slynn, with your European jurist colleagues and the MEPs, not only served a just cause, that of the Iranian people, but they saved the honor of Europe which was strongly tarnished by the governments’ mistakes. It is a big victory, it is a decisive step and it removed an unfair obstacle on the way of the final goal: victory! That is when the Iranian people get back their rights for freedom, for free press and for an independent judicial system. The road is long, but immense Iranian resources, resources from the People’s Mojahedin Organization, human resources, have been squandered in the course of a long period of time, only to remove this injustice. The organization is soon going to be free because we are in a democratic world, we live in Europe, and governments will be obliged to comply and this will be done this year. After that, all our energy, and the PMOI’s energy, would be directed to bring down an intolerable and an unjust regime which is responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent people in Iran.

Prof. Dr. Henk de Haan
Former Chair of the Dutch Parliament Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs I must thank my colleagues from the British Parliament. That is a truly British and an independent parliament. Those parliamentarians in Britain are heroes of democracy. In a very pleasant atmosphere here among many friends and friendly atmosphere I must say that the ultimate goal must be of course that all the people of Iran could have the opportunity to live in a free environment. I am very pleased that you have a lot of joy today, but I should emphasize that the ultimate goal is to think about the people within your country Iran.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

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UK Court ruling - Speeches

Dr. Saleh Rajavi
NCRI representative in France

Historic turning point for Iranian people and Resistance for democracy
Lord Corbett said that it was a historic verdict. Indeed it is a historic verdict which signifies a reaction to an equally historic but unspeakable injustice done by the EU Council of Ministers against the Iranian people and their Resistance. This is a Resistance movement, which emanates from the Iranian people’s democratic will. It is a just and popular Resistance. This victory, representing a defining moment, as Mrs. Rajavi, our president, put it, is a historic turning point for the Iranian Resistance and for the Iranian people in their fight for democracy. On the one hand, this victory is the result of the Iranian people’s democratic will. The Iranian people do not want the mullahs’ regime. On the other hand, this victory is the result, as Lord Slynn said, of the competence of the Resistance’s leadership. It was also made possible by the support of thousands of democrats in Europe and in the United States. I think that this victory is the beginning for democracy and freedom in Iran. The road can be long but we are determined and this victory gives us the motivation to go on even further with all our strength, supported by you all. We are convinced that in the near future we shall experience democracy in Iran, and that eventually the Iranian people, a population of 70 million, are going to be able to breathe in the air of freedom.

Yves-Jean Gallas
President of the movement for peace in France I would like first of all to congratulate all our Iranian friends here in Auvers-sur-Oise, and also those watching us in Ashraf. We are here to celebrate the decision taken this morning in Great Britain. When such a serious infringement of democracy is removed, as it was this morning, all democrats and democratic organizations in the whole world can only welcome it and feel stronger. I believe that the step taken today is a major step, whose consequences will certainly be known gradually in the course of months, years or coming decades … My thoughts go immediately to the great Iranian people, because it is first of all their victory, the victory of their will, their perseverance to put aside one of the obstacles on the path of restoring democracy in Iran. It is indeed a victory for the People’s Mojahedin of Iran and the National Council of Resistance of Iran, their leadership and in particular Mrs. Rajavi. It is a great joy. It may also promise the greater joy we shall all celebrate when democracy is finally restored in Tehran. We have reached a very important stage and there will be others. We may have to think about the future, I think about MPs and the French organizations and how to exert pressure on our government which in two months will assume the European Union presidency. The progress towards democracy is one of the essential and indispensable parts of making progress towards a peaceful Europe, naturally, and especially a peaceful world in the Middle East. We are all aware of the serious dangers that region faces today. I hope this progress will be a decisive one towards democracy in Iran and the entire Middle East region.

Committee chairs and members of the National Council of Resistance of Iran address the jubilant gathering in Auvers-sur-Oise

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

Court ruling welcomed

The ruling of the UK Court of Appeal was widely welcomed by political groups and personalities in their statements or open letters to the EU presidency. What follows represents a few of these statements:

Political groups and personalities welcome UK court ruling
EU should now lift the ban on PMOI
British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom (BPCIF)
In a letter to the EU presidency on behalf of the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale wrote, “Last week the Court of Appeal ordered the [UK] government to remove its ban on the main democratic Iranian opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI)… The Court, whose decision cannot be appealed, upheld an earlier judgment by the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission describing the government’s refusal to lift the ban on the PMOI as ‘flawed’ and ‘perverse’.” As the Chair of the BPCIF, Lord Corbett noted that, “The government have now announced that they will lay an Order before Parliament to de-proscribe the PMOI next month.” He then questioned the credence of the EU blacklisting of the PMOI, saying, “The ‘copycat’ designation of the PMOI by the European Union was done at a British request. After the Appeal Court ruling, that designation is discredited. That listing was contested and found unlawful by the European Communities’ Court of First Instance on December 12, 2006. The court’s ruling emphasised that the terror designation of the PMOI infringed the fundamental rights of the group.” “Since the Home Office has now announced that they will lift the ban on the PMOI, the EU should follow suit,” added Lord Corbett, concluding, “We urge you, as the holder of the EU Presidency, to now lift the ban on the PMOI.”

EU will be compelled to remove the PMOI from its blacklist
Struan Stevenson, Euro MP, Co-chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament, Vice President of the EPP-ED Group The UK government listed the PMOI as terrorists at the specific request of the Mullahs in Tehran as part of a pathetic attempt at appeasement. Jack Straw even admitted this when he was Foreign Secretary. There was never any justification for the blacklisting of this organisation. The PMOI wish to replace the murderous, fascist regime in Tehran with a free, democratically elected government and are pledged to uphold the rule of law, women’s rights and human rights. They also wish to ban the death penalty, torture and nuclear weapons. By labelling the PMOI as a terrorist organisation, Gordon Brown and the UK government have not only defied basic principles of justice, they have delayed democratic change in Iran and greatly damaged the West’s strategic interests. They should be thoroughly ashamed of themselves. The European Union Council of Ministers also put the PMOI on its list of terrorist organisations in 2002 at the specific request of the British Government. Four years later, in December 2006, the Court of First Instance of the European Communities, in an unambiguous and clear ruling, annulled this decision,” Mr. Stevenson added. Now that the British courts have twice gone into the substance and full details of the case and have ruled that the Government’s decision to maintain the PMOI in the UK list of proscribed organisations was not only unfounded, but also ‘perverse,’ I am certain that the EU Council will be compelled to remove the PMOI from the EU terrorist list.

UK court ruling was a blow to the policy of appeasement towards the mullahs
Euro MP Paulo Casaca, Co-chair of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament In its press release on May 7, the office of Mr. Paulo Casaca, Portuguese MEP, welcomed the Court of Appeal ruling in London, which agreed with the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission that the British Home Secretary’s decision to continue the proscription of the PMOI was “flawed” and “perverse.” The statement, released in Portuguese, also referred to a case in Portugal where the terror label was used as grounds for discrediting the MEP’s support to the PMOI as the main opposition to the clerical regime in Iran. The press release went on to describe the UK court ruling as a major blow to, and defeat of, the policy of appeasement towards the religious fascism ruling Iran - the primary state sponsor of international terrorism.

Iranian Resistance deserves an apology
Antonio Stango, Secretary of Helsinki Watch - Italy In a press statement in Rome on May 12, Antonio Stango of the Italian Helsinki Watch and a member of the national committee of the Italian Radicals, said that following the British Court of Appeal ruling it is now necessary for the European institutions and EU member states to compensate at least part of the harm done to the Iranian Resistance over the years, unfreeze their assets, and recognize their political credentials. He also called for the removal of all obstacles on the path of change in Iran. He reminded in his statement that dozens of Italian parliamentarians from all political parties have repeatedly called on the government to convince the EU Council of Ministers to remove the PMOI from the terror list, a call that was supported by the 2006 ruling of the European Court of Justice.
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IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Ashraf & Iraqi support

UK court victory celebrated in Ashraf
Thousands of members of the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) and their Iraqi supporters gathered in Ashraf City, northeast Baghdad, on May 7 to celebrate the historic UK court victory for the main Iranian opposition. The Ashraf gathering was broadcast live via satellite to Paris and London.

Iraqi dignitaries, political parties and groups welcomed court decision
Following the announcement of the UK court decision on May 7, leading Iraqi nationalist and democratic political figures and parties as well as tribal leaders congratulated the PMOI for its victory. They hailed it as a victory not just for the PMOI but also for the Iraqi people, since the organization has been viewed as a strong ally for the Iraqis’ struggle against the Iranian regime’s terrorist meddling in Iraq. The statement issued by the committee censured western appeasement policy towards the regime, blaming it for the increasing brutal suppression in Iran and the mullahs’ sustained meddling in Iraq. The committee described the UK court ruling as a victory for justice over the policy of appeasement and congratulated the people of Iran and Iraq, and in particular the nationalist and progressive groups, which are striving to establish security and stability in these two countries.

Prelude to greater victories
Sheikh Khalaf Al-Elyan, leader of the Iraqi Council for National Dialogue, said that the court ruling was a ground breaking victory for the PMOI. He stressed that those who continued to defend the rights of their nation without ever abandoning their struggle certainly deserve such a victory. He expressed hope that the court victory would mark a prelude to greater victories in the future.

“Terror designation a political decision”
The coordination committee for nationalist Iraqi groups welcomed the UK court ruling, describing the terrorist designation of the PMOI as a political decision from the outset. The committee, comprised of Iraqi National Accord Front, Congress of Iraqi people, Iraqi National Dialogue Front and Council for Iraqi National Dialogue, emphasized that the unjust terror designation constituted part of the appeasement policy vis-àvis the clerical regime for which the Iraqis and the Iranian people have been paying a heavy price.
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Justice prevailed
Dr. Adnan Duleimi, leader of the Iraqi National Accord Front, said in a statement that the removal of the terror label from the PMOI demonstrated that justice had prevailed. He congratulated the people of Iran and PMOI members around the world, and in particular those residing in Ashraf City, for the great victory. Dr. Duleimi added that the court decision heralds the coming of freedom for the Iranian people.
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

Confident of greater victories
Dr. Saleh Mutlak, secretary general of the Iraqi National Dialogue Front, sent messages of greetings to the PMOI and the NCRI on this occasion, proclaiming that the momentous victory in the UK court was a victory for all nations striving towards freedom. He described the court ruling as a major step for the Iranian Resistance which would expedite its eventual triumph in Tehran. Dr. Mutlak predicted greater victories for the Resistance in 2008.

UK Court ruling - Reactions

Reaction in despair

Mullahs press UK to defy court ruling
The clerical regime’s reaction to the decision of the UK Court of Appeal signified its general domestic and international policies owing to its fundamentalist nature. A day after the court announcement, the regime’s foreign ministry spokesman, in total disregard to the judicial integrity in Britain, stated, “The judicial authorities in London must be held answerable before the British and world public opinion especially the Iranian nation for issuing such a verdict.” He then resorted to terrorist threats from the mullahs if the ruling were ever to be implemented in the UK. “By withdrawing the grouplet [PMOI] from the list of terrorist groups, Britain would only help the spread of terrorism and violence.” Representing the primary sponsor of international terrorism, the regime’s foreign ministry spokesman left little doubt about the mullahs’ intentions, and made his comments in light of the regime’s past experience with the British government and the prevailing policy of appeasement. Ali-Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, mullahs’ former president and the current head of the regime’s Exigency Council, also voiced concern over the court ruling and the regime’s growing international isolation by saying, “They accuse us of promoting terrorism but just a few days ago the British courts acquitted the terrorists. They even take them [PMOI] to their parliament.” The mullahs’ foreign minister, Manouchehr Mottaki, also weighed in by expressing his dismay. “The recent decision by one of the English courts to remove the name of the Mojahedin grouplet from the terrorist list in that country and the support given to them by providing media services to broadcast live programs from London in Farsi are all indicative of the dual approach taken by this country with regards terrorism,” Mottaki complained. The clerical regime, showing no respect for the rule of law, summoned the British ambassador in Tehran to its foreign ministry in order to plea that he press his government not to implement the court’s decision. Mullahs’ deputy foreign minister on European affairs told the ambassador, “To avoid the consequences of such an act on the relations between the two countries, the British government must prevent the implementation of the court ruling.” He then threatened, “The responsibility of the consequences of the British court’s decision lies with the government of that country.” Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s interior minister also displayed his fear by saying, “The enemies of our nation have recently removed the Mojahedin from the terror list. They have given refuge to these terrorist elements and support them while accusing our dear and dignified nation of terrorism, anti-human rights, and being violent and reactionary.” The Mosharekat Front, which represents factions affiliated with the mullahs’ former president, Mohammad Khatami, also expressed deep worry about the court ruling, describing it as “troublesome” and “worrisome.” In a statement, it said, “The Mosharekat Front condemns the ruling of the British court and warns against its consequences. It also calls on the British government and the Judiciary to seriously reconsider the court ruling and maintain the restrictions and ban on the activities of the members of the organization in that country.” Such is the view of Khatami’s supporters, who deceivingly claim to be the supporters of “civil society” and the rule of law. Yet, they exhibit a fundamental inability and dismay towards the actual exercise of the rule of law in a free western country thousands of miles away.

Iranians condemn mullahs’ blackmail to prevent implementaion of judgment

Iranians and supporters of the Resistance held a rally in London for the second time on May 22 to condemn Iranian regime’s hysteric reactions aimed to prevent implementation of the court decision. In Tehran, the regime organized rallies outside the British embassy as part of its plan to blackmail the UK government. The regime has been resorting to every means including terror and intimidation to prevent rule of law in Britain. While calling for immediate implementation of the court of appeal’s decision, the Iranians who gathered outside the clerical regime’s embassy in London pledged to fight on against the clerical tyranny and called for closure of the embassy in London as the center for espionage and export of terrorism and fundamentalism.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

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UK Court ruling - Media report

Iranian Exiles Aren’t Terrorist Group, British Court Says
By JOHN F. BURNS Published: May 8, 2008 LONDON — After a seven-year legal battle, Britain’s Court of Appeal ruled Wednesday that the British government was wrong to include an Iranian resistance group, the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, on its list of banned terrorist groups. Spokesmen for the group, whose name means People’s Holy Warriors, said the ruling appeared to leave Britain’s interior minister, Home Secretary Jacqui Smith, with no further legal recourse but to order Parliament to strike the group from a list of more than 20 proscribed terrorist organizations under Britain’s Terrorism Act. The court’s ruling denied the government’s bid to carry the appeal further, seemingly closing off recourse to Britain’s supreme appellate body, the so-called Law Lords. But the British government did not say what it planned to do. Amid jubilant celebrations by the Iranian group’s supporters in London, Paris and Iraq, where 3,800 members have lived since 2003 under American military guard at a vast desert encampment outside Baghdad, the group said it would seek to overturn a similar proscription as a terrorist group by the 27 nations of the European Union. Spokesmen for the group said that there was no further justification for the European ban, because it was imposed on the basis of the 2001 British finding against the group. A three-judge panel led by Nicholas Phillips, Britain’s lord chief justice, said in a written ruling that there was “no reasonable prospect of success” for the home secretary in proceeding with the government’s appeal of a November 2007 finding by the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, a quasi-judicial body that rules on appeals by banned groups. In effect, the appeals court upheld the claims by lawyers for the group that it had complied with its own renunciation of violence in 2000, when it announced that it would no longer carry out terrorist attacks and would concentrate on peaceful opposition to the government in Tehran. “The only conclusion that a reasonable decision maker could reach,” the court said, was that since American forces disarmed the People’s Mujahedeen and allied groups in Iraq in 2003, the group “has not taken any steps to acquire or seek to acquire further weapons or to restore any military capability in Iraq.” The People’s Mujahedeen, the judges said, “has not sought to recruit personnel for militarytype or violent activities,” nor engaged in
London, May 7 - Lord Corbett and other members of Houses Parliament celebrate deproscription of the PMOI by the appeal court.

“military-type training of its existing members” or sought to support other groups in attacks on Iranian targets. “To the extent that the P.M.O.I. has retained networks and supporters inside Iran since, at the latest, 2002,” the judges said, using the abbreviation for the group’s full name, “they have been directed to social protest, finance and intelligence gathering activities which would not fall within the definition of ‘terrorism’ for the purposes of the 2000 Act.” The People’s Mujahedeen is also on the United States’ list of banned terror groups, and Bush administration officials have said in the past that they have no plans to lift the ban. But if Britain and the Europe Union lift their bans, the group would be able to use its legalization as a basis for raising money and organizing resistance to the ruling ayatollahs in Iran. Spokesmen for the People’s Mujahedeen in London and Paris demanded after Wednesday’s ruling that the British authorities, and the European Council of Ministers, act promptly to remove the “terrorist label” from the group, allowing it to resume normal activities. The group says it is committed to restoring democracy in Iran and opposes any attempt by Iran to acquire nuclear weapons. The appeals court ruling in London was received by People’s Mujahedeen supporters with bitter rebukes of Britain’s Labor government for having imposed the ban and with adulation for the 35 members of the British Parliament, from across the political spectrum, who led the court challenge. Maryam Rajavi, 55, the Tehran-born metallurgist and People’s Mujahedeen leader who is also president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the Iranian Parliament
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

in exile, said in a video link from Paris that the ruling ended a “grave insult” to the group. “The terrorist label has crumbled,” she said. “The era of grave injustice to the Iranian resistance has come to an end. The mullahs and their backers are left in disgrace. This is a great victory for the Iranian people.” Mrs. Rajavi, who had one sister who was executed under the shah and another who was tortured to death after the ayatollahs took power in Iran in 1979, demanded that the British government act immediately to comply with the court ruling, and that the European Union and the United States follow suit. “The terrorist label against the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran must be removed now,” she said. “The terrorist label is the hallmark of the era of appeasing the mullahs’ regime. That era has come to an end.” Her remarks were met with wild cheering and the waving of Iranian flags by supporters gathered at a London hotel, where the celebrations were linked live by video to Paris and to the People’s Mujahedeen camp at Ashraf, Iraq, about 65 miles northeast of Baghdad near the Iranian border. The scene at Ashraf was one of similar jubilation, with hundreds of men in green military uniforms and women in gray robes with scarlet head scarves leaping from their seats in a huge auditorium to chant their support for the court ruling and for Mrs. Rajavi. After participating in the overthrow of the shah, the People’s Mujahedeen quickly fell out with Iran’s ruling ayatollahs, and its members were among the primary victims of terrorist attacks that Tehran’s new rulers carried out against their opponents. Thousands of them were tortured and executed, and survivors fled, first to Europe and many later to Iraq.

UK Court ruling - Media report
“no reliable evidence,” either public or classified, on which to base a finding that the MEK continues to be a terrorist group or intends to commit terrorist acts in the future. The last evidence of an MEK attack the court accepted was in 2001, the same year the group was blacklisted in Britain and the year the group said it was abandoning military methods to achieve its goal of replacing the Islamic clerical regime in Iran. “The government’s top priority is to tackle the threat of international terrorism and I am very disappointed that the court has decided in favor of de-proscribing the [MEK],” said U.K. Home Office minister Jackie Smith, in a statement. A Home Office spokeswoman said the government would de-list the MEK, but that this could be reversed “if circumstances change.” MEK lawyers in Washington are working on a petition to the State Department to delist the group, arguing that the U.K. court verdict exhausts all the possible bases on which the U.S. could reasonably keep the MEK’s terrorist designation, said Mohammad Mohaddessin, foreign-affairs chief for the MEK’s political wing, the National Council of Resistance of Iran. “The political justification for this is gone too, now. At the time the MEK was blacklisted, the U.S. government was considering a rapprochement with Iran,” said Mr. Mohaddessin, adding that with the hardline conservatives dominant in Tehran, that is no longer the case. The MEK has rebranded itself as a prodemocracy movement since 2001, and has long claimed that it was blacklisted by Western governments as a political concession to Iran’s government. In 2002, the group’s political wing exposed Iran’s once covert nuclear fuel program, providing details later confirmed by international inspectors. More recently, it has won support for its cause from numerous legislators in Britain, the U.S. and Brussels. The MEK has a wide following among Iranian exiles and more than 3,000 members in a disarmed military camp in Iraq. The case that ended in London Wednesday was brought by 35 members of Britain’s two houses of Parliament. “Those [Iranians] demanding democratic change now know they do not stand alone,” said Lord Corbett, who led the British parliamentarians. “The British government and EU must now side with the Iranian resistance and the majority insistent upon freedom rather than those who have stolen it from them.” The EU’s Court of First Instance ruled in December 2006 that the MEK had been wrongly added to the EU’s terrorist blacklist, but EU governments have since refused to delist the group. The EU listing could now become harder to sustain at the next regular review this summer, according to a European diplomat in Brussels familiar with the issue. EU officials have acknowledged in the past that the MEK was blacklisted by the EU primarily on the basis of the U.K. threat assessment. A spokesman for the EU’s foreign policy high representative, Javier Solana, declined to comment on the implications of the British court decision. He said the EU has already addressed technical failings in the listing process identified by the European Court of First Instance. Blacklisting by the EU requires the bloc’s 27 member states to freeze the MEK’s assets and to increase police and judicial co-operation in relation to the group, he said.

May 8, 2008

Iran Group Wins Battle Over Terror Label
By MARC CHAMPION Britain’s government lost a long-running battle to keep an Iranian dissident group on its list of terrorists, a change that could have implications for the group’s treatment elsewhere and for already troubled relations between Iran and the West. Wednesday’s ruling by England’s Court of Appeal means the U.K. government will now have to remove the Mujahedin e-Kalq, or People’s Mujahedin of Iran, from its terrorist blacklist. The MEK is also listed as a terrorist group by the European Union and the U.S. The group’s leaders said Wednesday they would use the U.K. court decision to challenge those blacklistings too. Iranian officials for years have made suppression of the MEK a priority in negotiations with Western governments over Tehran’s nuclear program and other issues, according to several diplomats who were involved in those talks. Iranian officials couldn’t be reached for comment Wednesday. Wednesday’s court ruling in London, however, found that the U.K. government had

7 May 2008

Minister loses fight to retain ban on Iranian dissident group
By: Richard Norton-Taylor and Julian Borger A long-standing and prominent Iranian opposition group must be struck off the government’s list of proscribed terrorist organisations, the appeal court ruled yesterday. In a move attacked by the home secretary, Jacqui Smith, and by senior Iranian officials, the court dismissed ministers’ claims that the People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) was “concerned in terrorism”. Three judges led by Lord Phillips, the lord chief justice, refused Smith leave to contest a decision by the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission last year that to proscribe the group was “perverse”. Smith “could not reasonably have formed the view” then that the PMOI “intended in future to revert to terrorism”, they said. The home secretary cannot appeal to the law lords and she will have

to lay an order before parliament to lift the ban. The PMOI, part of the National Council of Resistance of Iran and its military arm, the Mujahideen e Khalq, was proscribed in 2001. Ever since, it has lobbied to get the ban lifted. Last year, the appeal commission concluded that action by the PMOI against Iranian military and security targets had ended in 2001, that the organisation had no military structure, and that it disarmed in 2003 and had not attempted to re-arm. Phillips, with Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice Arden, said yesterday: “An organisation that has temporarily ceased from terrorist activities for tactical reasons is to be contrasted with an organisation that has decided to attempt to achieve its aims by other than violent means.” They added: “The latter cannot be said to be ‘concerned in terrorism’, even if the possibility exists that it might decide to revert to terrorism in the future.” Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the Iranian Resistance movement, said the terror label had inflicted enormous damage on the Iranian people. “The United Kingdom and western governments owe the people of Iran an apology over this shameful designation,” she said. The PMOI’s solicitor, Stephen Grosz, of Bindmans, said he would press the home secretary to lift the ban as a matter of urgency. He added: “We will also seek to lift the EU ban, which was based on the British listing.”
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IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

UK Court ruling - Media report

8 May 2008

British court says Iranian resistance should not be listed as terrorist group
LONDON (AP), May 7, 2008 - A court ruling Wednesday will force Britain’s government to remove an Iranian resistance group from a terrorism list. The People’s Mujahedeen Organization of Iran, or PMOI, has spent seven years arguing that it is a legitimate, nonviolent group seeking to introduce democracy to Iran and should not be on Britain’s list of terrorist organizations. Britain’s list also contains organizations such as al-Qaida, Hezbollah and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK. The Court of Appeal upheld an earlier ruling and confirmed the government cannot make any further legal challenge to the decision. Lord Chief Justice Phillips said in the appeal court ruling that the group “has decided to
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attempt to achieve its aims by other than violent means” and should no longer be regarded as a terrorist threat. As Wednesday’s verdict was announced, PMOI members threw red and gold confetti and waved placards at bemused passers-by outside the courthouse. “The government has nowhere else to go,” said Robin Corbett, a House of Lords legislator who helped the organization make an appeal. The ruling was a victory for an organization that has been branded a terrorist organization in the U.S. and Europe for its past campaigns of bombings and assassinations within Iran. Though the group officially renounced violence in 2001, the British government placed it on a list of terrorist organizations in the same year. But the Proscribed Organizations Appeal Commission, part of the British High Court, ruled
IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

in November that the government’s decision was “perverse” and ordered the group removed from the list. The Court of Appeal upheld the ruling. Britain’s Home Office said that it will likely take around six weeks for the group to be removed from the list. Once the organization is removed, it will be able to fundraise and campaign openly inside Britain. Maryam Rajavi, head of the National Council of Resistance — the umbrella organization for Iranian resistance groups including the PMOI — offered congratulations in a live video broadcast from her headquarters in Paris. She called for the EU and the U.S. to remove the PMOI from their lists of terrorist organizations, saying the designation “provides the greatest possible assistance to the Iranian regime.” “The regime has used the label to justify the torture and killing of PMOI supporters,” she said.

UK Court ruling - Media report

Organisation is no longer concerned in terrorism
Alton and Others v Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Court of Appeal
Before Lord Phillips of Worth Matravers, Lord Chief Justice, Lord Justice Laws and Lady Justice Arden An organisation that had no capacity to carry on terrorist activities and was taking no steps to acquire such capacity or otherwise to promote or encourage terrorist activities could not be said to be concerned in terrorism simply because its leaders had the contingent intention to resort to terrorism in the future. The Court of Appeal so held in dismissing an application by the Secretary of State for the Home Department for permission to appeal against the decision of the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission on November 30, 2007, that she had acted perversely in refusing an application by Lord Alton of Liverpool and 34 other members of the two Houses of Parliament, pursuant to section 4(1) of the Terrorism Act 2000, for her to remove the People’s Mujahidin Organisation of Iran, previously known as Mujaheddin-e-Khalq, from the list of proscribed organisations in Schedule 2 to that Act, as amended by article 2 of the Terrorism Act 2000 (Proscribed Organisations) (Amendment) Order (SI 2001 No 1261). Mr Jonathan Swift, Ms Gemma White and Mr Oliver Sanders for the Home Secretary; Mr Nigel Pleming, QC, Mr Mark Muller, QC and Mr Edward Grieves for the parliamentarians; Mr Andrew Nicol, QC and Mr Martin Chamberlain as special advocates. THE LORD CHIEF JUSTICE, giving the judgment of the court, said that the organisation’s present stated purpose was the replacement of the Iranian theocracy with a democratically elected secular government. The parliamentarians accepted that it had engaged in military activity against the Iranian regime prior to June 2001, as the only means available to oppose tyranny and oppression. They contended, however, that since then it had conducted no military activity; it had dissolved all its operational units inside Iran and successive secretaries-general had renounced terrorism. The question for the Home Secretary was whether she believed that the organisation was “concerned in terrorism” within the meaning of section 3(5)(d) of the 2000 Act. The Home Secretary’s reasoning appeared to have been that the organisation remained concerned in terrorism because she had reason to fear that terrorist activity that had been suspended for pragmatic reasons might be resumed in the future. Their Lordships agreed with the commission that an organisation that had no capacity to carry on terrorist activities and was taking no steps to acquire such capacity or otherwise to promote or encourage terrorist activities could not be said to be concerned in terrorism simply because its leaders had the contingent intention to resort to terrorism in the future. The nexus between such an organisation and the commission of terrorist activities was too remote to fall within the description “concerned in terrorism”. An organisation that had temporarily ceased from terrorist activities for tactical reasons was to be contrasted with an organisation that had decided to attempt to achieve its aims by other than violent means. The latter could not be said to be concerned in terrorism, even if the possibility existed that it might decide to revert to terrorism in the future. Support for those conclusions could be derived from section 11 of the 2000 Act which made it an offence to belong to a proscribed organisation but then provided that it should be a defence for a member to prove that he had not taken part in the activities of the organisation at any time while it was proscribed. It was implicit in that provision that the essence of the criminal offence of belonging to a proscribed organisation was the taking part in activities that, directly or indirectly, lent support to terrorism. It was also implicit that the legislation was aimed against organisations that were carrying on activities connected with terrorism. As to the appropriate standard of review, the question of whether an organisation was concerned in terrorism was essentially a question of fact. Justification of significant interference with human rights was in issue. Their Lordships agreed with the commission that the appropriate course was to conduct an intense and detailed scrutiny of both open and closed material in order to decide whether that amounted to reasonable grounds for the belief that the organisation was concerned in terrorism. Applying that approach, the commission had concluded that the Home Secretary’s decision was perverse. There was no valid ground for contending that the commission had erred in law.

British government defeated over Iranian resistance group
LONDON (AFP) , May 7, 2008 - The British government failed in a bid to overturn a ruling that it must end the “perverse” listing of an Iranian opposition group as a banned terrorist group. The Court of Appeal in London ruled there were “no valid grounds” to contend that the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission made legal errors when it ordered the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI) to be removed from the blacklist. Three judges, headed by the Lord Chief Justice, Nicholas Phillips, refused interior minister permission to appeal against the commission’s decision that the PMOI was not “concerned in terrorism”. The PMOI is on the European Union’s list of terrorist organisations subject to an EU-wide assets freeze, and has been designated by the US government as a foreign terrorist organisation. The group welcomed Wednesday’s ruling and called to be removed from the EU list of terrorist organisations. “Europe must now recognise the Iranian resistance for democracy in Iran,” said Maryam Rajavi, president-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, which includes the PMOI. British lawmaker Lord Robin Corbett of Castle Vale, who has supported the PMOI’s campaign, told AFP that the United States’ listing of the group was a “copycat” measure Celebration in Ashraf City - Iraq following the EU move.

IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

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UK Court ruling - U.S. briefing

Members of US Congress call for de-listing of the PMOI following the UK court ruling
US Congressman Bob Filner (D-CA) and Ms. Soona Samsami speaking at the briefing outside the Congress
The bi-partisan Iran Human Rights and Democracy Caucus (IHRDC) at the US Congress co-chaired by Congressmen Bob Filner (D-CA), chairman of Committee on Veteran Affairs, and Tom Tancredo (R-CO), senior member of House Foreign Relations Committee, held a press briefing at the Cannon Terrace of the Congress on May 13, 2008 to applaud the landmark ruling by the UK Court of Appeal. The statement quoted Congressman Tancredo as saying, “After a thorough examination of the facts, the UK courts have come to the conclusion that the MEK is not a terrorist organization. I am confident that if the U.S. State Department looks objectively at these same facts, they will come to the same conclusion.” Giving a background as to why so many members of Congress supported the call by IHRDC, he said, “We all know the frustrations of what’s going on in Iraq, but we believe we cannot solve the Iraqi situation without solving the Iranian situation. And yet we know from our terrible experiences with the Iraqi invasion that we cannot invade Iran, nor should we try to appease. Such steps as listing MEK on the terrorist list, which was an act taken by the Clinton Administration to basically build up some rapport with the Iranian mullahs, doesn’t work.” Congressman Filner stressed, “Allow the internal opposition – a pro-democracy, secular, and nonnuclear resistance to do the job in Iran that needs to be done in terms of human rights and democracy, and

Bob Filner: One of the biggest obstacles to MEK’s success has been its terror listing by the State Department. It is time to remove MEK from that list.
Congressman Filner started the briefing by saying, “The exact item we are trying to impress upon you and our government today is that after a long process; a long legal and political process, the government of the United Kingdom decided after a court of appeals decision to take off the MEK from the terrorist list. We are appealing on this basis on the United States and our State Department to take the same action.”
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we should be helping them or getting out of the way of these resistance groups because they can take the action that we cannot take as we have seen in Iraq.” He described the PMOI as “one of the leading, if not the leading, opposition groups in Iran which has relationships with countries around the world, as the rally in Paris last year showed. More than 50,000 people had attended that rally. No other group can bring out the

number of people the MEK is able to bring out. I have met with them and other congressmen have met with their leadership, the leader of the movement Mrs. Rajavi. I have met with her and we find them to have a position which is the best one for the United States.” Congressman Filner reiterated, “We’re not doing this just for the MEK, we’re doing this because it’s in the best interest of the United States. A pro-democracy, secular, nonnuclear government in Iran; and yes the majority of the Iranian people support that kind of regime. We must get out of their way and one of the biggest obstacles to the MEK’s success and moving forward is the listing by the State Department as a terrorist organization. It is time to remove MEK from that list. Almost 200 members of Congress have at some point signed statements agreeing with us on this issue. We believe it is in the interest of our people; interest of the American government to take this step.” At the end of his remarks, the Congressman invited Soona Samsami to address the briefing. She began her remarks by thanking Congressmen Tancredo and Filner for their long standing support for the Iranian Resistance and said, “The decisions to blacklist the MEK have not been without consequences. The West did not achieve any of its objectives. Instead, the rulers in Tehran were emboldened. We have seen how the Iranian regime took advantage of the policy of appeasement to extend its reach to

Tom Tancredo (R-CO)

Lebanon and we have witnessed their terrorist meddling in Iraq.” She expressed regret about the State Department’s attitude towards the Iranian Resistance, adding, “Despite unjust restrictions and undeserved label, the Resistance has contributed greatly to the international community’s ability to face the threat of the regime. The Resistance’s revelations about Tehran’s secret nuclear weapons program hounded the Tehran regime, year after year, thwarting each attempt to conceal its true intentions.” Ms. Samsami concluded by saying, “The American people and their representatives in the Congress have sided with the Iranian people and their Resistance. They believe that our movement will contribute to the stability and peace of the volatile region and that the Iranian people and their Resistance can lead Iran toward a new democratic, peaceful future. It is time for the US Department of State to get out of our way by lifting the unjust terror label.”

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IRAN LIBERATION - MAY 26, 2008

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