NewsSpecial WireIran legal expert rips “outrageous defamation” in HRW report

Iran legal expert rips “outrageous defamation” in HRW report

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London, May 19 – A recent report by Human Rights Watch against the main Iranian opposition group would not stand to scrutiny in a court of law, according to a London-based legal expert. Masoud Zabeti, President of the Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers, which has organised a number of seminars
of parliamentarians and jurists in the past, told Iran Focus that much of the HRW report was a copycat of statements by agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) that appear daily on Irandidban, an internet website run by the MOIS. Iran Focus

London, May 19 – A recent report by Human Rights Watch against the main Iranian opposition group would not stand to scrutiny in a court of law, according to a London-based legal expert.

Masoud Zabeti, President of the Committee of Anglo-Iranian Lawyers, which has organised a number of seminars of parliamentarians and jurists in the past, told Iran Focus that much of the HRW report was a copycat of statements by agents of the Iranian Ministry of Intelligence and Security (MOIS) that appear daily on Irandidban, an internet website run by the MOIS.

“Today’s 28-page report by Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition is based entirely on oral statements and telephone interviews with already-exposed agents of Iran’s notorious secret police, VEVAK,” Zabeti said. “This is not a human rights report; it is an exercise in sheer defamation and libel.”

Zabeti said he was outraged by the report’s naming of an MeK member as “an interrogator and torturer”.

“We are talking about opponents of a regime that has executed thousands of political dissidents for merely supporting the MeK,” Zabeti said. “You can imagine what the mullahs would do to relatives and family members of an MeK member who would be named in this libellous report without any judicial investigation into the allegations against him. Human Rights Watch has simply made a travesty of the presumption of innocence.”

The Human Rights Watch report accused the MeK of torturing dissident members who criticised or sought to leave the organisation.

Zabeti asserted that most of the persons interviewed by Human Rights Watch as “dissident members” of the PMOI are living in Germany and Holland. He cited the annual report of Germany’s internal security agency, Office for the Protection of the Constitution, which announced earlier this week that the MeK and the National Council of Resistance of Iran remain the focus of the activities of the Iranian intelligence agency in Germany. The report added that the Ministry of Intelligence and Security of Iran uses a network of agents to collect information and carry out espionage. These agents, the report said, are former members of the MeK and are invited to go to Iran to be briefed.

The Dutch security service is also on the record, according to Zabeti, as saying that the Iranian secret police “tries to collect as much information about the MeK as possible through the ‘former members’ of the group”. Agents of MOIS are instructed to spread negative information against the MeK and its members, the report said.

“The MOIS thus tries to undermine the MeK and end its social and political activities by demonizing the image of the MeK in host countries’,” the Dutch report said.

Zabeti contended that Human Rights Watch had already passed a guilty verdict on the MeK without giving it the slightest opportunity to defend itself.

“Given the serious political ramifications of such grave accusations, of which Human Rights Watch is perfectly aware, the failure to contact and seek the replies of the accused party can only be attributed to the biased position of the authors of the report,” Zabeti said.

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