The global outrage against Iran’s regime is intensifying due to its judiciary’s pursuit and prosecution of members of the Mujahedin-e-Khalq Organization of Iran (PMOI/MEK). In response to the actions of this criminal institution, which has a blood-stained history of killing tens of thousands of Iranians, especially political prisoners, 453 legal experts, international jurists, and legal institutions have come together to release a joint statement condemning the regime’s legal maneuvers.
These legal experts and jurists urged authorities within democratic countries in Europe and elsewhere to condemn the Iranian regime’s repressive actions against MEK members and ensure the protection of human rights for Iranian dissidents worldwide. They also called for accountability for Iranian officials involved in crimes against humanity, including the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners.
These 453 legal experts also demanded the safeguarding of the fundamental human and political rights of MEK refugees in Ashraf-3, Albania, in compliance with international laws. This includes securing their rights to freedom of speech and assembly and contributing to Albania’s EU integration.
The statement along with the names of the 453 legal experts, international jurists, and legal institutions follows:
Denouncing Iran’s Oppressive Judiciary
Safeguarding Fundamental Rights of Dissidents in Europe On 29 July 2023, Tehran’s Criminal Court issued a public announcement publishing 104 names of individuals affiliated with the opposition People’s Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI or MEK), most of whom left Iran more than four decades ago, calling on them to appoint a lawyer as they have been “charged.”
Given the Iranian regime’s history of arbitrary judgments, executions, and lack of due process of law, we are deeply troubled by this announcement. Our concern is further heightened by past public statements made by Iran’s officials, declaring all affiliates of this organization as mohareb (enemies of God) and subject to execution.
According to International human rights organizations over the past four decades, tens of thousands of MEK members and supporters have been executed in Iran on baseless charges such as Moharebeh.
In 1988, Iran’s Supreme Leader issued a fatwa calling for the execution of all political prisoners who remained steadfast in their support for the organization. This has been well-documented by human rights organizations and judicial investigations in Europe. Ebrahim Raisi, the current president of Iran, was a key member of Tehran’s “death commission” that sent several thousand prisoners to death in a matter of few weeks. Many more were executed across the country, during the 1988 massacre for refusing to disavow their political affiliation.
The Iranian judiciary, known for politically motivated executions and imprisoning lawyers representing dissidents, intends to use this bogus legal maneuver to amplify repression within Iran and extend its crackdown on its opponents beyond its borders. State-controlled media has indicated that the objective is to exploit INTERPOL to extradite members of this opposition group who are currently outside Iran.
In previous similar attempts, several complaints had been filed in France by affiliates of the Iranian regime against members of the opposition, but after several years of investigations, they were dismissed due to a lack of evidence.
Iran’s disregard for international law was evident during the trial of one of its serving diplomats in Belgium on terrorism charges. He was sentenced to 20 years in prison for bringing a bomb in a diplomatic pouch to be detonated at the NCRI opposition rally in the suburbs of Paris in June 2018.
In light of these events, especially bearing in mind that most of the 104 are currently refugees in Albania, we express our deep concern that on June 20, 2023, based on allegations provided by the Iranian regime, the police in Albania raided Ashraf-3, home to thousands of members of the MEK.
As jurists, lawyers, law professors, and professionals in the field of law, we condemn the Iranian regime’s blatant disregard for international laws and human rights.
We urge relevant authorities within democratic countries in Europe and elsewhere to:
1. Publicly condemn the Iranian regime’s repressive actions – disguised as judicial measures – against MEK members and ensure that Iranian dissidents enjoy their full human rights in Europe and elsewhere around the world.
2. Take action to hold Iranian officials accountable for their role in crimes against humanity,
specifically, the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners, the majority of whom were MEK members and sympathizers.
3. Safeguard the fundamental human and political rights of MEK refugees in Ashraf-3, Albania, as outlined in the 1951 Geneva Convention, the European Convention on Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, and other applicable international laws. This includes guaranteeing their freedom of speech and assembly, as underscored by the Prime Minister of Albania in a 2016 letter to a Vice President of the European Parliament, which will also foster Albania’s EU integration.
This is to uphold our own values and the rule of law.