Tag on the Main Iranian Opposition Group
Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)
People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI)
· As a member of the National Council
of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), the People's Mojahedin Organization of
Iran (PMOI) is the largest and most active opposition movement in Iran
and the most popular political organization inside and outside the country.
· The PMOI espouses a democratic
and modern interpretation of Islam which has proven very effective in
combating Islamic fundamentalism.
· PMOI is for gender equality,
and women play a significant role in the organization.
· Ms. Sedigheh Hosseini was elected
Secretary General of the PMOI in the summer of 2006.
· The PMOI is the prime victim
of human rights violations in Iran. Over the past two decades, 120,000
of its members and supporters have been executed.
· In its 2002 annual report on
human rights, the US State Department acknowledged that "a large
number of those executed" in Iran under various pretexts belong
to the Mojahedin.
· Dozens of PMOI members and supporters
have been assassinated abroad by Iranian regime's terrorists.
· The legitimate resistance of
the PMOI and the democratic goals of the NCRI have been recognized by
a majority of parliaments in several European countries and US Congress.
July 2, 2004, members of the People’s Mojahedin in Iraq were informed
by the Command Headquarters of the Multi-national Force – Iraq that
the US has recognized their status as “protected persons” under
the Fourth Geneva Convention.” And that the decision has been submitted
to international organizations such as Red Cross and UN High Commission
a letter on July 21, 2004, addressed to Mojahedin members in Ashraf,
the deputy commander of the Multi-National Force in Iraq wrote “I
am writing to congratulate each individual living in camp Ashraf on
their recognition as protected person under the Fourth Geneva Convention.”
New York Times wrote on July 27, 2004: “A 16-month review by the United
States has found no basis to charge members of an Iranian opposition
group in Iraq with violations of American law.” It also quoted senior
American officials as saying “extensive interviews by officials of
the State Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation had not
come up with any basis to bring charges against any members of the group.”
the PMOI was included in the terrorism list
· The PMOI was included in the
terror list as part of a wrong policy to reach out to the Iranian regime
and not out of concern over terrorism. This happened first in the U.S.
and European governments followed suit several years later.
- The U.S.
State Department’s allegation of terrorism against the PMOI has its
roots in the Iran-gate fiasco in mid-80s, when in exchange for the release
of American hostages held in Lebanon by the Iranian regime's proxies,
the State Department issued a statement calling the PMOI a “terrorist”
- Two years
later, a congressional inquiry into the fiasco revealed that the Iranian
regime had told U.S. officials that one of its main conditions for releasing
American hostages in Lebanon was for the U.S. to brand the PMOI as terrorist.
(Tower Commission report, page 359)
- When the
U.S. State Department included the PMOI in its terrorism list, the
Los Angeles Times wrote on October 9, 1997: “One senior Clinton
administration official said inclusion of the People's Moujahedeen was
intended as a goodwill gesture to Tehran and its newly elected moderate
president, Mohammad Khatami.”
Reuters, October 13, 1997: “A U.S. decision branding Iran's main
rebel group "terrorists" is being seen in Tehran as the first
positive sign of American goodwill towards the new government of moderate
President Mohammad Khatami. Diplomats, analysts and Iranian newspapers
said on Monday the U.S. move was important because it satisfied one
of Tehran's basic demands.”
Newsweek on Web, September 26, 2002: Martin Indyk the US Assistant
Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs at the time of the PMOI
designations in an interview by Newsweek disclosed that “[There] was
White House interest in opening up a dialogue with the Iranian government.
At the time, President Khatami had recently been elected and was seen
as a moderate. Top administration officials saw cracking down on the
[PMOI], which the Iranians had made clear they saw as menace, as one
way to do so.”
- When Iranian
Foreign Minister Kamal Kharrazi met his British counter-part Robin Cook
in September 1998 to discuss Khomeini’s fatwa on Salman Rushdie, Kharrazi’s
top demand was that Cook should denounce the PMOI as a terrorist organization.
- The UK government
included PMOI in the terrorism list under pressure from Tehran and as
a goodwill gesture to Khatami. In a written note to Parliament on 28
February 2001, the then-Home Secretary Jack Straw emphasized that “the
MeK has not attacked UK or Western interests.”
declared on a number of occasions that the Iranian regime had formally
asked the EU to include the Mojahedin in the list of terrorist organizations.
One such occasion was on 7 November 2001, after his meeting with Belgian
Foreign Minister Louis Michel, whose country was the rotating EU president.
Spanish ambassador said in an interview with the Iranian daily Entekhab
on 28 October 2002, "There were three issues that Iran wanted to
address with EU. When Spain was the President, the two sides were able
to resolve these differences. One of the major issues was including
the People's Mojahedin Organization to the list of terrorist groups
Iranian regime’s official news agency, IRNA, also reported on 16 November
2002 that "Analysts point out that this year the EU took several
major steps to improve ties with Iran: it put the MKO grouplet on its
terrorist list, decided to begin talks on a cooperation and trade accord,
decided not to table a resolution at the UN General Assembly this year
criticizing the human rights situation in Iran, and began discussions
to boost cooperation in the energy sector."
calls for an end to blacklisting of PMOI
than 500 jurists, law professors and lawyers from 15 countries attending
a conference in Paris on November 10, 2005, said in a declaration that
the inclusion of the People's Mojahedin in terrorism lists lacked legal
basis and called for an end to the blacklisting of the PMOI.
· On 22 March 2005, in a symposium
in London, hundreds of jurists, lawyers, MPs and Lords called for the
immediate de-proscribing of the PMOI.
· A dozen legal opinions discussing
the need to remove the PMOI from the terrorism lists have been written
by distinguished experts in international and European laws, including
the Rt. Hon. Lord Slynn of Hadley (former judge of the European Court
of Justice), Prof. Eric David, President of the International Law Center
of Brussels University, Prof. Jean-Yves de Cara, President of the International
Law Institute of the University of Paris-V; Prof. Bill Bowring, Director
of the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute, Prof. Douwe
Korff, Professor of International Law at London Metropolitan University,
Prof. Henri Labayle, Professor of Community Law at Pau University, Prof.
Bruno Nascimbene, Professor of International Law at the University of
Milan; Dr. Joerg Arnold from Humboldt University in Berlin, Wolfgang
Kaleck, President of the Republican Lawyers Association in Germany,
Kenneth Lewis, President of Lawyers Without Borders in Sweden (with
Prof. Owe Bring, Professor of International Law at the University of
Stockholm), and Dr. Reinhard Marx, one of Germany's top experts in asylum
· Thousands of parliamentarians
in Europe and North America have called for the removal of the terror
tag on the People’s Mojahedin, describing it as “a legitimate resistance
movement.” These include majorities in the parliaments of Italy, Britain,
Belgium and Luxembourg and a majority of members of the U.S. Congress.
Prevails at EU Court
second highest court on Tuesday December 12, 2006 annulled a European
Union decision that had frozen the funds of an exiled Iranian opposition
group and called into question the group’s label as a terrorist organization.
ruling by the European Court of First Instance was more than a financial
victory for the group, the Mujahedeen Khalq, or PMOI, which has long
argued that its terrorist label is unfair.
· Speaking to a conference at Westminster
in London on December 15, the Rt. Hon The Lord Slynn of Hadley, former
Advocate General at the European Court of Justice and Lord of Appeal
in Ordinary, stressed that all restrictions placed on the People's Mojahedin
Organization of Iran (PMOI) must be removed.
in the UK
· On November 30, 2007, the Proscribed
Organizations Appeal Commission (POAC), a branch of the High Court,
in a unanimous 144-page judgment, ruled that in deciding to maintain
the ban the Home Office had misunderstood the law, ignored important
facts and reached a "perverse" decision.
- Courts rarely
call government decisions perverse, and the panel, chaired by former
high court judge Sir Harry Ognall and cleared to see secret material,
said: "We recognise that a finding of perversity is uncommon."
It added: "We believe, however, that this commission is in the
(perhaps unusual) position of having before it all of the material that
is relevant to this decision."
ordered the Secretary of State to lay an order before the parliament
to remove PMOI from the list of proscribed organizations.
· The British government sought
the leave to appeal the order. POAC did not allow the leave to appeal
calling the government chances of success slim. The government then
appealed to the Court of Appeal.
- The Court
of Appeal in a unanimous judgment on May 7, 2008 approved POAC's findings
and methodology and ordered the government to lay an order before the
parliament to remove PMOI from the list.
- The government
laid that order that was unanimously passed by both Houses of parliament
on June 23, 2008 resulting the deproscription of the PMOI in the UK.
Victory at EU Court
European Court of First Instance on October 23, 2008 annuls decision
2007/868 ordering the freezing of the PMOI funds.
· The ruling concluded that the
Council failed to give sufficient reasons for its decision following
a decision taken by a UK judicial authority to remove the PMOI from
the national list of terrorist organisations.
· Canada added the PMOI on its
list of proscribed listed entities in May 2005. This was done after
the fact that members of PMOI in Iraq were recognized as “protected
persons” under the Fourth Geneva Convention.
· The only explanation for this
listing at the time by the then government officials was that “they
met the threshold of being a listed entity”.
a strong legal base that was the foundation of the European Court ruling
of December 2006 and October 2008, the ruling of POAC and Court of Appeal
in the UK where the British government finally deproscribed PMOI in
Jume 2008, Canada must take immediate steps to delist the movement without
having to encounter another major embarrassment.
of the European Court of First Instance
OF FIRST INSTANCE OF THE EUROPEAN COMMUNITIES
Press and Information
PRESS RELEASE No° 97/06
12 December 2006
Judgment of the Court of First Instance in Case T-228/02
Organisation des Modjahedines du peuple d’Iran v Council of the
THE COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE ANNULS THE COUNCIL’S DECISION ORDERING
THE FREEZING OF THE FUNDS OF THE ORGANISATION DES MODJAHEDINES DU PEUPLE
D’IRAN IN THE FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
The contested decision infringes the right to a fair hearing, the
obligation to state reasons and the right to effective judicial protection
On 28 September 2001, the United Nations Security Council adopted a
resolution calling on all Member States of the UN to combat terrorism
and the financing of terrorism by all means, in particular by freezing
the funds of persons who commit, or attempt to commit, terrorist acts.
That resolution did not, however, identify the persons and entities
in question, leaving that assessment to the Member States to determine.
That resolution has been implemented in the Community through a common
position(1) and a regulation(2)
of the Council, adopted on 27 December 2001, which ordered the freezing
of the funds and other financial assets or economic resources of persons
and entities included in a list established and regularly updated by
Council decisions. Inclusion on the list is to be done on the basis
of precise information or material in the file which indicates that
a decision has been taken by a competent national authority, usually
a judicial authority, in respect of the persons and entities concerned,
irrespective of whether it concerns the instigation of investigations
or prosecution for a terrorist act, an attempt to perpetrate, participate
in or facilitate such an act based on serious and credible evidence
or clues, or a finding of guilt in respect of such deeds. The names
of persons and entities on the list are to be reviewed at regular intervals
and at least once every six months to ensure that there are still grounds
for keeping them on the list.
The Organisation des Modjahedines du peuple d’Iran (OMPI, People’s
Mujahidin of Iran), was founded in 1965 and set itself the objective
of replacing the regime of the Shah of Iran, then the mullahs’ regime,
by a democracy. In the past, it has had an armed branch operating inside
Iran. It has stated, however, that it has expressly renounced all military
activity since June 2001.
By a common position and a decision of 2 May 2002, the Council updated
the list of persons and entities whose funds were to be frozen as part
of the fight against terrorism, including, among others, the OMPI. Since
then, the Council has adopted a number of common positions and decisions
updating the list in question. The OMPI has always been maintained on
The OMPI brought an action before the Court of First Instance seeking
annulment of those common positions and decisions, in so far as those
acts concern it.
The Court finds that certain fundamental rights and safeguards, including
the right to a fair hearing, the obligation to state reasons and the
right to effective judicial protection, are, as a matter of principle,
fully applicable in the context of the adoption of a Community decision
to freeze funds under Regulation No 2580/2001.
In this respect, the Court draws a distinction between the present
case and the cases concerning the freezing of funds of persons and
entities linked to Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda and the Taleban, which
were the subject-matter of the judgments in
Yusuf and Kadi of 21 September 2005(3) and also the judgments in
Ayadi and Hassan of 12 July 2006.(4) In those cases, the Council
and the Commission had merely transposed at Community level resolutions
of the Security Council and decisions of its Sanctions Committee which
identified the persons concerned by name, without the Community institutions
having any discretionary power as to the appropriateness or well-foundedness
of those measures. By contrast, in the system at issue in the present
case, the Security Council left it to the discretion of the UN Members
to carry out the specific identification of the persons and entities
whose funds are to be frozen. That identification thus involves the
exercise of the Community’s own powers, entailing a discretionary
appreciation by the Community. In those circumstances, the Council is
in principle bound to observe the fundamental rights guaranteed by the
Community legal order.
Next, the Court defines the scope of those rights and safeguards, and
also the restrictions which may be imposed on them when a Community
measure freezing funds is adopted.
The Court holds that the general principle of observance of the right
to a fair hearing does not require that the persons concerned be
heard by the Council when an initial decision to freeze their funds
is adopted, as it must be able to benefit from a surprise effect. However,
that principle does require that, unless precluded by overriding
considerations concerning the security of the Community and its Member
States, or the conduct of their international relations, the parties
concerned must be informed of the specific information or material
in the file which indicates that a decision has been taken in respect
of them by a competent authority of a Member State, in so far as reasonably
possible, either concomitantly with or as soon as possible after the
adoption of such a decision. Subject to the same reservations, the parties
concerned must be afforded the opportunity to make known effectively
their view on any subsequent decision to maintain a freeze on funds.
Likewise, unless precluded by overriding considerations concerning the
security of the Community and its Member States, or the conduct of their
international relations, the statement of reasons for an initial
or subsequent decision to freeze funds must at least make
actual and specific reference to the specific information or material
in the file which indicates that a decision has been taken in respect
of them by a competent authority of a Member State. That statement must
also state the reasons why the Council considers, in the exercise of
its discretion, that such a measure must be taken in respect of the
Lastly, the right to effective judicial protection is effectively
ensured by the right the parties concerned have to bring an action before
the Court against any decision to freeze their funds or maintain
the freeze on their funds. However, given the broad discretion enjoyed
by the Council in this area, the review carried out by the Court of
the lawfulness of such decisions must be restricted to checking that
the rules governing procedure and the statement of reasons have been
complied with, that the facts are materially accurate, and that there
has been no manifest error of assessment of the facts or misuse of power.
Applying those principles to the facts of the present case, the Court
notes, first, that the relevant legislation does not explicitly provide
for any procedure for notification of the evidence adduced or for a
hearing of the parties concerned, either before or concomitantly
with the adoption of an initial decision to freeze their funds or, in
the context of the adoption of subsequent decisions, with a view to
having them removed from the list.
Next, the Court finds that at no time before the action was brought
was the evidence adduced against the OMPI notified to it. Neither
the initial decision to freeze its funds nor subsequent decisions to
maintain that freeze even mention the specific information or material
in the file showing that a decision justifying its inclusion on the
disputed list was taken in respect of it by a competent national authority.
The Court infers therefrom that the decisions in question do not contain
sufficient statements of reasons.
Not only has the OMPI been unable effectively to make known its views
to the Council but, in the absence of any statement, in the contested
decision, of the actual and specific grounds justifying that decision,
it has not been placed in a position to avail itself of its right of
action before the Court.
Moreover, neither the file material produced before the Court, nor the
responses given at the hearing by the Council and the United Kingdom
in response to the questions put by the Court, enable it to conduct
its judicial review, since it is not even in a position to determine
with certainty exactly which is the national decision on which the contested
decision is based.
In conclusion, the Court finds that the decision ordering the freezing
of the OMPI’s funds does not contain a sufficient statement of reasons
and that it was adopted in the course of a procedure during which the
right of the party concerned to a fair hearing was not observed, and
that it is not in a position to review the lawfulness of that decision.
Accordingly that decision must be annulled in so far as it concerns
REMINDER: An appeal, limited to points of law only, may be brought
before the Court of Justice of the European Communities against a decision
of the Court of First Instance, within two months of its notification.
1 Common Position 2001/931/CFSP on the application of specific measures
to combat terrorism (OJ 2001 L 344, p. 93).
2 Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 on specific
restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with
a view to combating terrorism (OJ 2001 L 344, p. 70).
3 See Press Release No 79/05 of 21 September 2005.
4 See Press Release No 57/06 of 12 July 2006.
of the European Court of First Instance
Press and Information
RELEASE No° 79/08
of the Court of First Instance in Case T-256/07
Mojahedin Organization of Iran
COURT OF FIRST INSTANCE ANNULS DECISION 2007/868 ORDERING THE FREEZING
OF THE PEOPLE’S MOJAHEDIN ORGANIZATION OF IRAN’S FUNDS
Council failed to give sufficient reasons for its decision following
a decision taken by a UK judicial authority to remove the PMOI from
the national list of terrorist organisations
28 September 2001 the Security Council of the United Nations adopted
a resolution calling on all the Member States of the United Nations
to combat by all means terrorism and its funding, in particular by freezing
the funds of persons and entities committing or attempting to commit
acts of terrorism.
resolution was put into effect in the Community by, in particular, a
common position1 and a Council regulation2, adopted
on 27 December 2001, ordering the freezing of the funds of the persons
and entities included in a list drawn up and regularly updated by Council
decisions. Inclusion in that list must be made on the basis of precise
information or material in the file which indicates that a decision
has been taken by a competent national authority, in principle judicial,
in respect of the persons and entities referred to. The names of persons
and entities included in the list must be reviewed at regular intervals,
at least once every six months, to be certain that there are grounds
for their continued inclusion in the list.
People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (‘the PMOI’), founded
in 1965, set itself the goal of replacing the government of the Shah
of Iran, then that of the mullahs, with a democracy. In the past it
had an armed branch operating in Iran. It says, however, that it has
explicitly renounced all military activity since June 2001.
of 2 May 2002, the Council included the PMOI in the list of persons
and entities whose funds must be frozen in order to combat terrorism.
Since then, the Council adopted several decisions giving effect to the
list in question. The PMOI continued to be included in that list.
PMOI brought an action before the Court of First Instance against those
decisions. In its judgment of 12 December 2006 (‘OMPI’),
the Court annulled the decision of 20053
ordering the freezing of the PMOI’s funds on the grounds that it did
not contain a sufficient statement of reasons, that it had been adopted
in the course of a procedure during which the applicant’s right to
a fair hearing had not been observed and that the Court itself was not
in a position to review the lawfulness of that decision4.
letter of 30 January 2007, the Council told the PMOI that, in its opinion,
the grounds relied on for including the PMOI in the list were still
valid and that, as a result, it intended to continue including that
organisation in the list. In the statement of reasons enclosed with
that letter, the Council pointed out, inter alia, that a decision had
been taken with respect to the PMOI by a national authority, namely
the order of the Home Secretary of the United Kingdom of 28 March 2001
proscribing the applicant as an organisation concerned in terrorism,
and that that decision was still in force. In various letters, the PMOI
submitted to the Council its observations in response, arguing that
following the judgment in OMPI,
no decision whatsoever to ‘maintain’ the applicant in the list could
validly be adopted.
several exchanges of letters between the Council and the PMOI, on 28
June 2007 the Council adopted Decision 2007/445/EC
updating the fund-freezing list. The PMOI was still included in the
16 July 2007 the PMOI brought the present case, asking the Court to
annul Decision 2007/445.
30 November 2007 the Proscribed Organisations Appeal Commission (‘the
POAC’) allowed an appeal against the Home Secretary’s decision refusing
to lift the proscription of the PMOI as an organisation concerned in
terrorism. It ordered the Home Secretary to remove the PMOI from the
list of proscribed organisations. In that decision the POAC inter
alia described as ‘perverse’ and ‘unreasonable’ the Home
Secretary’s conclusion that the applicant was still an organisation
concerned in terrorism. Subsequently, the POAC refused an application
by the Home Secretary for permission to lodge an appeal before the Court
of Appeal on the ground that none of the arguments advanced by the Home
Secretary had a reasonable chance of succeeding.
20 December 2007 the Council adopted Decision 2007/868/EC
updating the list. The PMOI’s name was included in that list. The
Council took the view that the reasons for continuing to include the
PMOI in the list still held good and observed that the Home Secretary
had sought to bring an appeal against the POAC’s decision.
consequence, the PMOI made a request to the Court to be allowed to amend
the form of order sought so that its application also sought annulment
of Decision 2007/868.
The Home Secretary’s
application to the Court of Appeal for leave to bring an appeal before
that Court against the POAC’s decision was rejected on 7 May 2008.
On 24 June 2008, the Parliament of the United Kingdom withdrew the PMOI
from the national list of proscribed organisations. On 15 July 2008
the Council adopted Decision 2008/583/EC
updating the fund-freezing list. The PMOI’s name was included in that
list. The Council noted in that regard that, even if the Home Secretary’s
order was no longer in force, ‘new information concerning the group
has been brought to the Council’s attention. The Council considers
that this new information warrants the group’s inclusion on the list.’
That decision is still in force and has not been challenged in the present
proceedings. On 21 July 2008 the PMOI brought an action seeking annulment
of that decision. That case, numbered T-284/08, is still pending before
consequences of the OMPI judgment and the application for annulment
of Decision 2007/445
of all, the Court observes that by the OMPI judgment, the Court annulled
Decision 2005/930 in so far as it concerned the PMOI.
that annulment, the Council was obliged to ensure that subsequent fund-freezing
measures adopted after that judgment were not vitiated by the same defects.
In this instance, the Council has satisfied that obligation by introducing
and then setting in motion, immediately after delivery of the OMPI judgment,
a new procedure in order to observe the formal and procedural rules
set out by the Court in that judgment, and to enable the PMOI to enjoy
the guarantees under that new procedure, before adopting Decision 2007/445.
Council sent to the PMOI a statement clearly and unambiguously explaining
the reasons justifying its continued inclusion in the list and sent
it a number of documents from the file. The PMOI was also placed in
a position to make its case properly regarding the evidence incriminating
it. In those circumstances, the Council observed the PMOI’s rights
of the defence and satisfied its obligation to state reasons.
with regard to the assessment of the evidence, the Court notes that
verification that there is a decision of a national authority is an
essential precondition for the adoption of an initial decision to freeze
funds, whereas verification of the consequences of that decision at
the national level is imperative in the context of the adoption of a
subsequent decision to freeze funds. The Court observes that, in this
instance, the Council essentially took as a basis the fact that the
Home Secretary’s order was still in force. The Council also took into
consideration the observations and evidence submitted by the PMOI in
their defence, but took the view that they did not justify its request
to be removed from the list. The Court considers therefore that the
Council had reasonable grounds and sufficient evidence for the adoption
of Decision 2007/445 and that it committed no manifest error in its
assessment of that information. The Council therefore justified to the
required legal standard the continued inclusion of the PMOI in the list.
consequence, the Court dismisses the application for annulment of
application for annulment of Decision 2007/868
Court considers that the POAC’s decision is of considerable importance,
inasmuch as it is the first decision of a competent judicial authority
ruling on the lawfulness of the Home Secretary’s refusal to withdraw
the order on the basis of which the Council adopted both the initial
decision to freeze the PMOI’s funds and all the subsequent decisions.
Because of the overriding necessity to verify the consequences at national
level of decisions of a competent authority, having regard to all the
relevant information at the date when Decision 2007/868 was adopted,
and taking account of the particular circumstances of the case, the
Court considers that the Council’s statement of reasons (that Home
Secretary intended to bring an appeal against the POAC’s decision)
is manifestly insufficient to provide legal justification for continuing
to freeze the PMOI’s funds.
Court considers that that statement of reasons does not make it possible
to understand the extent to which the Council actually took into account
the POAC’s decision, as it was required to do. The statement does
not explain the specific and concrete reasons why the Council took the
view, in spite of the findings of fact made by the POAC against which
no appeal lies and the particularly severe legal conclusions for the
Home Secretary drawn from those findings by the POAC, that the continued
inclusion of the applicant in the list at issue remained justified in
the light of the same body of facts and circumstances on which the POAC
had had to rule. Lastly, the Court considers that while it is true that
the Council could have regard to the existence of appeals against the
POAC’s decision and to the Home Secretary’s actual recourse to them,
it was not sufficient for the Council merely to state that the Home
Secretary had sought to lodge an appeal in order to be relieved of the
need to take into specific consideration the findings of fact made by
the POAC against which no appeal lies and the legal conclusions which
it drew from those findings. That was all the more so because, on the
one hand, the POAC had described the Home Secretary’s refusal to lift
the applicant’s proscription as ‘unreasonable’ and ‘perverse’
and, on the other, when Decision 2007/868 was adopted, the Council had
been informed of the POAC’s refusal to grant the Home Secretary leave
to introduce such an appeal on the ground that none of the arguments
put forward stood a reasonable chance of succeeding before the Court
the Court annuls Decision 2007/868 in so far as it concerns the PMOI.
An appeal, limited to points of law only, may be brought before the
Court of Justice of the European Communities against a decision of the
Court of First Instance, within two months of its notification.
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court removes resistance group from terror list
14 December 2006
European Court of Justice yesterday overturned a EU decision to put
the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran, an exiled Iranian Resistance movement,
on the bloc’s terror blacklist.
ruling annuls a 2002 decision to freeze European assets of the Paris-Based
group. The United States lists the People’s Mujahedeen as a terrorist
organization. However, the group founded in the 1960s by students at
Tehran University says it advocates the overthrow of Iran’s hardline
clerical regime by peaceful means.
resistance leader Maryam Rajavi called for the immediate lifting of
all restrictions on the group and described the ruling as “proof of
the resistance’s legitimacy over the religious fascism in Iran and
victory of justice over economic interests.”
group acts as an umbrella for exiled Iranian opponents of the Islamic
Court Says Exiled Iranian Group Was Unfairly Labeled
13 December 2006
Craig S. Smith
second highest court on Tuesday annulled a European Union decision that
had frozen the funds of an exiled Iranian opposition group and called
into question the group’s label as a terrorist organization.
ruling by the European Court of First Instance was more than a financial
victory for the group, the Mujahedeen Khalq, or People’s Holy Warriors,
which has long argued that its terrorist label is unfair.
European court ruled that the European Union had not provided adequate
reasons or a fair hearing in deciding to freeze the organization’s
assets in 2002, and that the decision “must be annulled.”
restrictions resulting from the terror tag should be removed from the
Iranian resistance immediately,” the group’s leader, Maryam Rajavi,
said during a visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France.
She said that the ruling proved that her organization was a legitimate
resistance movement rather than a terrorist group.
Mujahedeen Khalq was formed by leftist students in Iran in 1965 and
quickly became one of the most active groups opposing Shah Mohammad
Reza Pahlavi. But the Islamic government of Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini
turned against the group after the shah’s overthrow in 1979.
group moved its headquarters to France and then to Iraq in 1986, when
it set up a well-financed military base under the protection of Saddam
Hussein. The American military disarmed the militia in May 2003 and
has since kept its members confined to the camp near Baghdad.
Rajavi remained in Paris, in charge of the group’s political activities
as head of the National Council of Resistance of Iran. She has been
lobbying to be taken seriously as a viable opposition movement to topple
the theocracy in Iran.
argues that the organization has been unfairly labeled a terrorist organization
out of the West’s misguided efforts to engage the Iranian government,
and that the only real hope to effect change in Iran, short of war,
is to support her organization and give it free rein.
hopes are not without some foundation: the fact that the group’s Iraqi
military base is, in effect, under United States protection suggests
that Washington may yet envision a role for the group if relations with
Iran deteriorate further.
Court Rejects Freeze on Iranian Opposition Group’s Funds
By JAMES KANTER
BRUSSELS — A prominent
Iranian opposition group won an appeal on Thursday against a European Union decision to freeze its funds.
But the group, the People’s
Mujahedeen, will remain on a European terror list because the decision
concerned a blacklist compiled last year, not the most recent list that
was compiled this year.
The decision by the European
Court of First Instance in Luxembourg follows a ruling in May by the
British Court of Appeal that the British government was wrong to include
the group on its list of banned terrorist groups. The decision Thursday
could increase pressure on the E.U. to relax its ban on the group.
The E.U. first placed
the group on a terror blacklist in 2002. But the court said Thursday
the evidence presented was “manifestly insufficient to provide legal
justification for continuing to freeze” the group’s funds.
Maryam Rajavi, the president-elect
of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, the group’s political wing,
said in a statement on Thursday that the ruling “puts an end to the
unjust label of terrorism.”
She accused some European
governments of seeking to maintain the ban to nurture good relations
with the current leadership of Iran.
The group is regarded
as potentially the most important force in the Iranian resistance. Legalization
could enable the group to raise money and organize resistance to the
ruling ayatollahs in Iran.
According to the E.U.
court, the Iranian group was founded in 1965 with the goal of replacing
the government of the Shah of Iran and subsequently its successors with
The court said that in
the past the group had an armed branch operating in Iran, but noted
that the group had renounced all military activity in 2001.
group wins EU court case
A top European Union
court has annulled an EU decision to freeze the funds of a prominent
Iranian opposition group.
The People's Mujahideen
Organisation of Iran (PMOI) was put on the EU's terror blacklist in
2002, which meant the EU could bloc the group's finances.
But the Luxembourg-based
Court of First Instance ruled on Thursday that the EU's decision was
The verdict follows an
appeal by the group after a British court had ruled in its favour last
Story from BBC NEWS:
Published: 2008/10/23 08:48:02 GMT
© BBC MMVIII
Exiles Aren’t Terrorist Group, British Court Says
left front, urged celebrating People’s Mujahedeen backers to sit down
UK court says Iranian
resistance should not be listed as terrorist organization
LONDON - Britain's Court
of Appeal on Wednesday affirmed a lower court ruling that an Iranian
resistance group should not be listed as a terrorist organization.
Three justices rejected
a government appeal against a lower court ruling in November in favour
of the People's Mujahedeen of Iran, which is a member of the National
Council of Resistance.
The People's Mujahedeen
is also regarded as a terrorist organization by the United States and
the European Union.
The Court of Appeal said
there were no valid grounds for contending that the Proscribed Organizations
Appeal Commission made errors of law in ordering the organization deleted
from the list of terrorist organizations. It refused to allow the government
to appeal its ruling.
Ali Safavi of the National
Council of Resistance said, "This ends a seven-year legal battle
and is a vindication of the resistance that has been waged against the
regime in Iran. Now the U.K. government must shed the last remnant of
this policy of appeasement."
Originally formed in
opposition to the U.S.-backed Iranian ruler Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi,
the People's Mujahedeen fell out with the clerical government that replaced
the monarchy and launched a campaign of assassinations and bombings
in an attempt to topple it. It is now based in Iraq, where its followers
have been confined by the U.S. military to a camp near Baghdad.
Lord Philips, the Lord
Chief Justice and leader of the appeal panel, said the British government
had not explained what gave rise to the belief that the People's Mujahedeen
fell within the legal definition of "otherwise concerned in terrorism."
that has temporarily ceased from terrorist activities for tactical reasons
is to be contrasted with an organization that has decided to attempt
to achieve its aims by other than violent means," the judge said.
"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," he