One-sided report of Human Rights Watch on the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran violates the right of defence, the most basic humanitarian right
The Human Rights Watch in a report published on May 18, alleged that the People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) mistreats its members.
We were shocked to find out that the Human Rights Watch had not informed the PMOI regarding any of these allegations prior to publishing its report.
This conduct of the Human Rights Watch is in clear violation of all well- established international standards and the basic right of defence.
Whilst very serious allegations have been raised on the PMOI, no attempt was made to seek the PMOI’s reply to theses allegations. The report even does not make reference to written replies of the PMOI on these sorts of allegations that could be found on the site of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) and a number of other internet sites. It is an established procedure that all the UN raportures as well as investigators of respectable human rights organizations find themselves obliged to raise the issue with relevant parties and provide them an opportunity to rebuttal even in the cases involving indisputable flagrant violations of human rights.
This report is distorted and devoid of any legitimacy. The report acknowledges that all of the interviews with the “witnesses” have been conducted over the phone. According to the report, some of these interviews have took place on May 6, i.e. less then two weeks prior to publication of the report, confirming the fact that the investigation has not gone through a due process of check and corroboration. The most basic impartiality has not been observed in preparation of this report, which reveals vividly its political nature. These indications, undermines the conduct of the Human Rights Watch as an independent human rights organization severely.
It is worth noting that all the members of “Friends of a Free Iran” intergroup have constantly been subject of these allegations against of the PMOI. Some of these allegations were distributed among the members of the European Parliament by the Iranian Embassy. The members of the intergroup have sought and received explanations on the allegations on the PMOI, a member of the NCRI coalition, from the NCRI representatives on a number of occasions.
On the other hand, two members of the Friends of a Free Iran, Mr. Paulo Casaca, its co-Chairman and Dr Andre Brie, visited the Camp Ashraf, where all the members of the PMOI are based, last year. They had the opportunity to meet and talk in person with a large number of them.
The members of our intergroup have received on personal basis and as a group, elaborate rebuttals on these allegations based on facts and documents. These indications point out to the fact that the Iranian regime and its secret services are the main source of these allegations.
We are also informed that various agencies of the U.S. government carried extensive investigations on the members of the PMOI based in Iraq. These investigations, led to recognition of the PMOI members based in Iraq as protected individuals according to the Fourth Geneva Conventions. The investigators also underscored the fact that there is no reason to prosecute even a single member of the PMOI.
Thus, while expressing its concerns on the consequences of this report, the Friends of a Free Iran in the European Parliament urges the Human Rights Watch to retract from this report and would not allow that this report would be used as a ploy in the hands of Iranian regime to further suppress and to violate the Iranian people’s rights. We also insist that Human Rights Watch meet us before making any such unfounded allegations on the Iranian Resistance.
Dr. Alejo Vidal-Quadras Roca, First Vice-President of the European Parliament from Spanish People’s Party
Struan Stevenson, Co-Chairman of Friends of a Free Iran, Vice-President of Christian Democrat-Conservatives Group and Leader of European Democrats in the European Parliament
Paulo Casaca, Co-Chairman of Friends of a Free Iran, President of EP Delegation to NATO, From Portuguese Socialist Party
Stephen Hughes, a senior Member of European Parliament from British Labour Party
Dr. Bernat Joan i Mari, Vice-Chairman of EP Delegation to the EU-African Caribbean Pacific Joint Parliamentary Assembly, from Greens/European Free Alliance Group
Mogens Camre, Danish Member of European Parliament and Vice President of Union for Europe of the Nations Group (UEN)
Erik Meijer, Member of Parliament from Dutch Socialist Party