NewsSpecial WireBritish lawmakers urge EU to act against rights abuses...

British lawmakers urge EU to act against rights abuses in Iran

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Iran Focus: London, Oct. 10 – Some 150 British Parliamentarians have signed a statement calling on the government of Gordon Brown to bring Iran before the United Nations Security Council over its systematic abuse of its citizens rights, it was announced on Wednesday. Iran Focus

London, Oct. 10 – Some 150 British Parliamentarians have signed a statement calling on the government of Gordon Brown to bring Iran before the United Nations Security Council over its systematic abuse of its citizens rights, it was announced on Wednesday.

The announcement was made on the occasion of World Day Against the Death Penalty at a press conference in the House of Commons by more than half a dozen Members of Parliament and British Peers.

“From torture to public executions, the Iranian regime, even by its own brutal standards, has surpassed itself in recent months”, said Brian Binley MP from Britain’s opposition Conservative Party.

“There are 600 political prisoners under threat of execution this morning in Iran. One hundred and fifty fellow Parliamentarians and I expect and demand from our Government and the UK’s representatives at the UN in New York to draw attention to these executions”, said Andrew MacKinlay MP from Brown’s ruling Labour Party.

Gruesome footage of police brutality and public executions in Iran were shown at the conference which was organised by the British Parliamentary Committee for Iran Freedom, a cross-party group of several dozen MPs and Lords led by Labour Peer, Lord Corbett of Castle Vale. Officials from the committee said that the footage had been smuggled out of Iran by supporters of the main opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI).

The PMOI was banned in the UK by then-Home Secretary Jack Straw MP in 2001. The British ban was used as the basis of the group’s inclusion in the European Union’s terrorist list in mid-2002, in what the EU’s then-Spanish leadership called “a goodwill gesture to Tehran”.

In December 2006, the European Court of First Instance annulled the EU’s decision to place the group in the list and described the freeze on its financial assets as “unlawful”. In a controversial move, however, the EU announced in June 2007 that it would maintain the group in the blacklist.

In the UK, the group’s proscription is currently under review by the Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC) which is expected to announce its verdict in the coming weeks.

“There is a need for fundamental change in Iran to rid us of a regime which is a threat to world peace”, said Rt. Hon. Lord Waddington, a former Home Secretary under Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader, Lord Dholakia, urged the EU to adopt economic sanctions against the regime.
“There can be no meaningful dialogue with the present regime in Tehran”, said Conservative Member of Parliament, Roger Gale.

Gale, one of 35 MPs and Peers who have launched a legal challenge seeking the removal of the ban on the PMOI in the UK, termed the group’s blacklisting “illegal”. His remarks were echoed by Labour Peer, Baroness Turner of Camden, who said that rather than banning the PMOI, the UK government should view Tehran’s rulers as “terrorists”.

The statement signed by the 150 Parliamentarians called on the British government and the EU to refer Tehran’s human rights dossier to the Security Council for “adoption of binding measures” against the regime.

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