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ISJ Welcomes the Decision by Secretary Hillary Clinton for the Removal of the Iranian Democratic Opposition From the U.S. Black List

BRUSSELS, September 26, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Statement of the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ):

With the announced decision for the removal of the Iranian democratic opposition - the People's Mojahedin Organization of Iran (PMOI) - from the U.S. black list and informing the Congress of this decision, we expect official announcement of this decision by the U.S. State Department in the upcoming days.

This is a major political achievement accomplished by unrelenting efforts of members and supporters of the Iranian Resistance and by responsible patience and tolerance of Ashraf and Liberty residents. We congratulate Mrs. Maryam Rajavi and express our gratitude to her for leading this unprecedented campaign. She has not only attained the rights of her movement and her people, but also has left behind a memorable tradition for seeking justice.

We welcome the decision by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and stress that although this decision has been made too late, it is a right step in the right direction. We hope the United States will compensate for damages caused by this designation which was illegitimate from the beginning. Damages inflicted not only on the Iranian Resistance and the PMOI, but also on all people of Islamic and regional countries.

This designation by the U.S., which was unfortunately followed by Britain and the European Union, had in fact one message for the people of Iran and the region: the United States and the West are practically on the side of the Iranian regime and Islamic fundamentalism. When one of the most important organized Muslim movements in today's world, whose political platform and daily practice is democratic and antithetical to fundamentalism, is placed on the U.S. list, this is an effective blow against the fight against terrorism and fundamentalism.

Therefore, this designation has not only blocked the road for change in Iran, but has also resulted in the escalation of extremism in the region, and following the Arab Spring, we witness today that the democratic alternatives are suffering from the assault of fundamentalism whose heart is beating in Tehran.

The International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) also emphasizes that by leaving their home of 26 years, Ashraf residents have paid a hefty price. They have gone to a camp that

according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the testimony of a former senior official of UNAMI is nothing but a prison. Now that the PMOI is being removed from the U.S. list, we remind that:

1. The United States is more than ever responsible for the protection of Liberty residents and must keep in mind that plots of the Iranian regime and its proxies in Iraq against the PMOI and its members in Ashraf and Liberty will intensify. The United States must take specific practical steps to prevent any terrorist and violent act and any arbitrary arrest in Liberty and Ashraf under any pretext whatsoever.

2. The United States, the European Union, and the United Nations must continue their efforts for ending the restrictions in Liberty, such as lack of freedom to passage and lack of access to lawyers, and must declare Liberty to be a refugee camp.

3. The U.S., the EU and the UN should not allow the properties of Ashraf residents to be looted and plundered by the Iraqi government and should make the Iraqi government allow the sale of all Ashraf residents' properties, which are the product of the work of thousands of people for 26 years.

4. Now, there is no excuse for the European Union's Member States and it is necessary for them to act according to their responsibilities for the safety and security of these Iranian refugees and admit them to their countries. The longer they stay in Iraq confined in Camp Liberty, the higher the probability to suffer a deadly attack or being deported to Iran to be tortured and executed. The acceleration of the resettlement of the PMOI imprisoned in Camp Liberty to the West is a humanitarian duty and a political priority.

Alejo Vidal-Quadras

Vice-President of the European Parliament

President, International Committee In Search of Justice

About ISJ:

In 2008, several senior MEPs initiated the International Committee In Search of Justice (ISJ) which brought together prominent international politicians and jurists at the time when we were fighting the unjust blacklisting of the PMOI in Europe. We successfully won the courts in UK and in Luxembourg and justice was done to PMOI in Europe when they were de-listed from both British and EU blacklists in 2008 and 2009 respectively.

In 2009, after successful delisting in Europe, ISJ launched an appeal in European Parliament to send an Amicus Brief to the US court to follow Europe's example and delist the PMOI. In less than a week, more than 100 Members of the European Parliament had co-signed that letter which was sent to the US Court and helped accelerate the process there.

In 2010, our petition to call for the international community to uphold its responsibility towards the people of Ashraf got the support of over 3,500 parliamentarians all across the world. In 2011 a similar petition was signed by more than 4,000 lawmakers.

President of ISJ, Dr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, has been Vice-President of the European Parliament since 1999.

SOURCE The office of Mr Alejo Vidal-Quadras, Vice-President of the European Parliament




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