{mosimage}Hendon and Finchley Times: Iranian residents of Barnet are celebrating following a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemning the basis on which groups are "blacklisted" from the European Union (EU) and UN Security Council.It is hoped that the resolution, the first of its kind by a European institution, will be another step towards legitimising the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), the country's main opposition group.

Hendon and Finchley Times

By Rebecca Lowe

{mosimage}Iranian residents of Barnet are celebrating following a resolution passed by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe condemning the basis on which groups are "blacklisted" from the European Union (EU) and UN Security Council.

It is hoped that the resolution, the first of its kind by a European institution, will be another step towards legitimising the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI), the country's main opposition group.

The PMOI has been blacklisted by the UK as a terrorist organisation for the past four years, despite a decision in December 2006 by the European Court of Justice (ECJ)to annul the inclusion of the PMOI in the terror list.

The Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission (POAC) in the UK also ordered the Government to remove the PMOI from the list following an appeal from 35 cross-party MPs last November.

Finchley and Golders Green MP Rudi Vis, a member of the UK delegation to the Council of Europe, spoke at the January 23 meeting in support of the resolution, asking for the immediate implementation of the POAC and ECJ ruling in favour of the PMOI.

In his speech, Mr Vis said: "This terror tag has assisted in the repression of Iranians by this regime.

"Let us remember what the Iranian people have faced under this current regime. In the past year we have seen a stoning to death, hundreds of executions, thousands tortured. In the first three weeks of this year alone we have had over 20 executed and five people having had their hands and legs amputated for alleged crimes.

"This is the regime that we are talking about and such is my utter disappointment that after two unprecedented judgements, the EU and UK continue to list the Iranian opposition as terrorist."

Laila Jazayeri, director of the Association of Anglo-Iranian Women, called on the UK Government to "abide by the rule of law".

She said: "Because this resolution has severely criticised the EU Council for not implementing the judgement of the European Court of Justice, we call on the Government to abide by the rule of law, distance itself from Iran's tyrannical regime and side with millions of Iranian people who want democratic regime change in their country."

More than 1,000 PMOI supporters from Barnet travelled to Paris last July to take part in a 50,000-strong protest against the Iranian regime. It is believed to be the largest gathering of Iranians since the 1979 revolution.


Source: http://www.hendontimes.co.uk/display.var.2026173.0.barnet_iranians_celebrate_council_of_europe_resolution.php