Iran General NewsUK parliamentarians fault HRW report, support Iran opposition group

UK parliamentarians fault HRW report, support Iran opposition group

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Iran Focus: London, May 24 – More than a dozen British parliamentarians today called on the government to support
the Iranian opposition, while denouncing a recent report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on the most active Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI),
during a conference in the House of Commons. Iran Focus

London, May 24 – More than a dozen British parliamentarians today called on the government to support the Iranian opposition, while denouncing a recent report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on the most active Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran (PMOI), during a conference in the House of Commons.

A string of parliamentarians from both Houses of Parliament and a prominent Iraqi political personality addressed the gathering of over 100 members of the diplomatic community, human rights groups and activists, and the press, hosted by the British Committee for Iran Freedom.

Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, chairman of the parliamentary committee, denounced “the undemocratic nature of the forthcoming presidential election in Iran, characterized by mass disqualification of candidates and complete apathy of Iranians”.

“The Iranian people are being given a choice between two mullahs and four Revolutionary Guards. Is that the choice they deserve? The answer is a resounding no”, he said.

Andrew MacKinlay, from the Commons and member of the Foreign Affairs Committee in parliament, added that “the elections in Iran are not only illegitimate; they are a farce”.

Dr. Abdulla Rasheed Al-Jabouri, a prominent Sunni political leader and former governor of Iraq’s Diyala Province, delivered a speech about the ongoing crisis in Iraq and Iranian meddling in its internal affairs, which he said was influencing the political landscape in that country.

Dr. Al-Jabouri, who earlier this month addressed a similar congressional committee on Capitol Hill in the United States on the situation in Iraq, announced that 2.8 million Iraqis had signed a declaration condemning attempts by Iran’s Islamic fundamentalist regime to dominate Iraq. He said that the declaration expressed strong support for the PMOI, calling it a “bulwark against the spread of Islamic fundamentalism in Iraq”.

The MPs and Peers at the meeting issued a joint statement rejecting a recent report by Human Rights Watch on alleged human rights abuses by the PMOI as “unsubstantiated”. They raised serious questions about the report’s methodology and political undertones and called on Human Rights Watch to retract it.

Speaker after speaker also supported the proposed “third option” by Maryam Rajavi, President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran, as the best chance for the emergence of a democratic and secular government in Iran. Rajavi rejected both appeasement of the Iranian regime and a foreign military intervention as means of fomenting change in Iran. Her third option calls for international support for the Iranian people and their resistance to bring about democratic change in Iran.

Other speakers included Lord Clarke of Hampstead, Steve McCabe, MP, David Amess, MP, Baroness Harris of Richmond, Rt. Hon. Lord Renton, QC, Dr. Rudi Vis, MP, Lord Russell-Johnston, Lord Dholakia, Theresa Villiers, MP, David Drew, MP, and Dowlat Nowrouzi, representative of the NCRI in the United Kingdom.

Lord Corbett called on HRW on behalf of the panel to withdraw its report on the PMOI. “It would better live up to its name by concentrating on the real human rights abusers by the mullahs who rule Iran”, he said, adding, “Human Rights Watch ignores the fact that a majority of members in the House of Commons and more than 120 peers, in a January 2004 statement called for the removal of the PMOI from the list of terrorist groups”.

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