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Top UK human rights lawyer scolds report on Iran opposition

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Iran Focus: London, May 21 – A top British human rights lawyer today cast strong doubt on the validity of a report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin. In a television interview on the sidelines of a legal conference in the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute of the London Metropolitan University, Imran Khan said, “What concerns me is the methodology of those who have compiled this report”. Iran Focus

London, May 21 – A top British human rights lawyer today cast strong doubt on the validity of a report by U.S.-based Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition People’s Mojahedin.

In a television interview on the sidelines of a legal conference in the Human Rights and Social Justice Research Institute of the London Metropolitan University, Imran Khan said, “What concerns me is the methodology of those who have compiled this report”.

Human Rights Watch accused the Mojahedin of torturing its dissident members who criticised or sought to leave the organisation.

Khan, a senior partner in London’s prestigious law firm Imran Khan and Partners, explained that allegations of torture first needed to be properly investigated before they were announced as facts.

“One has to be circumspect about people coming forward at this stage and saying that the PMOI have been involved in such activities. There are of course those in society and those in the establishment who would want to avoid the PMOI coming off the terror list, so there is a suspicion that this has been done deliberately and this information fed through to somehow damage that process”, Khan said.

Referring to a decision by the European Union to label the PMOI as terrorists, the rights lawyer argued, “There is enough evidence now to say that the PMOI should come off the list. There are a number of influential people in society who have gone through with a fine toothcomb in terms of its activities”.

Khan said that he was “incredibly suspicious” about the HRW report, adding, “I think those who brought the report forward ought to have gone back and probably scrutinised the allegations before they make those”.

Khan was named the 1999 Lawyer of the Year in Britain.

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