Pressure grows on Human Rights Watch to retract report on Iran opposition

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Iran Focus: Washington, DC, May 26 – A press briefing is being held today in the National Press Building in the United States’ capital on a recent report by Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition which has so far been met with international criticism. Human Rights Watch’s 28-page report on alleged human rights violations by the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI, … Iran Focus

Washington, DC, May 26 – A press briefing is being held today in the National Press Building in the United States’ capital on a recent report by Human Rights Watch on the Iranian opposition which has so far been met with international criticism.

Human Rights Watch’s 28-page report on alleged human rights violations by the main Iranian opposition group, the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI, also known by its Persian name Mujahedin-e-Khalq, MEK), claimed that it abused the rights of “disaffected” members at its base in Camp Ashraf, Iraq.

Lawmakers, legal experts, and human rights organisations and activists in Europe, North America, and the Middle East have raised serious doubts about the motives behind the report, many criticising the rights group of bowing to the demands of the Iranian regime and writing a “political paper” rather than a human rights report.

Critics questioned what they called the “slipshod methodology” used in drawing up the report. The report was based solely on telephone interviews with 12 individuals, whom the PMOI had already named as agents of Iran’s notorious Ministry of Intelligence and Security. They have criticise Human Rights Watch for ignoring repeated invitations by the PMOI to visit Camp Ashraf to inspect first-hand the state of the personnel who are based there.

Today’s press briefing in Washington, DC, will include speeches by Steven M. Schneebaum, Greenberg and Traurig, LLP, representing residents of Camp Ashraf and their relatives in the United States, and Ronald G. Precup, Carpenter & Precup, who has been the U.S. counsel for the PMOI since 1987.

Relatives of Camp Ashraf residents in the U.S. and former residents of Camp Ashraf will be attending to provide eyewitness testimony regarding the allegations in the Human Rights Watch report, according to a press release.