SPEECH IN THE PARLIAMENT OF CANADA
IN SUPPORT OF THE PMOI, THE NCRI, AND HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN
BY WARREN L. CREATES, B.A., LL.B.
Head, Immigration Law Group (Canadian and American)
Certified by the Law Society of Upper Canada as a Specialist in Citizenship
Immigration Law (Immigration & Refugee Protection)
Perley-Robertson, Hill & McDougall LLP.
1400-340 Albert Street Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K1R 0A5
firstname.lastname@example.org and www.warrencreates.com
12 December 2007
It is a great honour to be standing in Canada's Parliament Buildings today to speak about the freedom and democracy that we all dream for and want so much in Iran.
In February 2004, I had the very special opportunity to travel to Iraq and to visit Camp Ashraf, where to this day more than 3,000 members of the PMOI live with the uncomfortable uncertainty of their future, even though we were able to achieve recognition of their protected status as non-combatants under the 4th Geneva Convention. I lived and shared meals with them, leaders and rank members both. I heard their stories, and the stories of their relatives, friends and colleagues who had been tortured and killed in Iran, due only to their political opposition to the brutal regime of the mullahs. I worked with 50 or more lawyers around the World, and with hundreds of politicians from all parties and political stripes in the United States, France, England, Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Italy, and beyond, and here too in Canada, all of whom have struggled tirelessly for our governments to recognize the good of the PMOI and the NCRI, and the black evil of the repressive regime that controls Iran.
The struggle has not finished. We have just won a major battle though. The political process can be very hard to grasp, to understand, to influence. It can even be unlawful.
But on 30 November, just 12 days ago, a British court ruled that the listing of the PMOI as a terrorist organization was unlawful and perverse. Lawyers in the U.K. had not only successfully argued the case, they had presented compelling and comprehensive evidence which, relied on by the court, conclusively established that the PMOI is not a terrorist organization.
The appeal was brought by 35 Members of Parliament and Peers of the House of Lords who together support a free and democratic Iran. Shamefully, the U.K. government opposed the appeal, obviously for purely political reasons. Government lawyers could not, however, produce a shred of evidence to show that the PMOI was anything other than a non-violent movement campaigning for democracy.
Courts rarely call the decisions of any government "perverse". The British court had the uncommon position of having before it all the material, including evidence, that was relevant. The 3-member judicial panel even had access to government classified secret and undisclosed documents. They reviewed it all. They ruled that the U.K. governmentís decision to keep the PMOI on the terrorist list was flawed, unlawful, and perverse. The court went even further however and ordered the government to introduce in the British Parliament a law removing the PMOI from the list of proscribed organizations. This was a decisive and monumental victory, which we today celebrate. Independent, impartial, judicial minds have ruled in favour of the PMOI, and what that organization represents: a non-violent movement campaigning in favour of democracy and human rights in Iran.
One year ago today, on 12 December 2006, another important judicial ruling came to the very same conclusion. The Court of First Instance of the European Commission, in a landmark verdict, ďannulledĒ the European Unionís decision to place the PMOI on the terrorist list. Again, independent, impartial, judicial minds ruled in favour of the PMOI and what it represents: a non-violent movement campaigning in favour of democracy and human rights in Iran. Who could question the scales of justice rendering an unbiased, apolitical, fair-minded, judicial, balanced ruling?
Well, the U.K. government did! At the U.K. governments bidding, the E.U. announced in June 2007 that it would maintain the PMOI on the terrorist list. Once again, politicians have undermined justice, undermined fairness and undermined democracy.
We can and should do the same legal challenge in Canada. We must bring the same challenge in Canada. Our Canadian government has made the same mistake. Itís decision to list the PMOI as a terrorist organization is flawed, unlawful and perverse. We all know that. We merely need a court ruling to confirm what we already know.
The question now is clear. It is one of the most baffling riddles of contemporary politics. Why does any government, including the Canadian government, act in breach of the rule of law. Why do governments appease the murderous regime in Tehran, which to this day threatens the Western world with its nuclear program. Why does Tehran arm insurgents who are killing our troops in Afghanistan and those of our democratic allies in both Afghanistan and Iraq. Why does any democratic country do anything to support a regime that terrorizes, tortures and murders its own citizenry? Iran is the most destabilizing influence in the Middle East. We must do everything we can to demand justice and human rights, in Iran, in Canada, and everywhere.