London, Mar. 22 Dozens of British parliamentarians and prominent international law experts called today on Whitehall to remove Iran's main opposition group, the People's Mojahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI), from the UK list of proscribed organisations.
More than 500 lawyers, parliamentarians, diplomats, and human rights activists gathered in the Assembly Hall of Church House, the historic seat of British parliament during the Second World War, to seek ways of removing the PMOI from the list of terrorist organisations.
Panellists from a cross-section of mainstream British politics included Lord Archer of Sandwell QC, a member of the Select Intelligence and Security Committee of the British Parliament and the former Solicitor General; Lord Corbett of Castle Vale, Chairman of the British Committee for Iran Freedom; Baroness Gould of Potternewton; Lord Alton of Liverpool; Lord Clarke of Hampstead; Lord King of West Bromwich; Lord Dholakia OBE, deputy leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in the House of Lords; Mr. Andrew Mackinlay, MP, member of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee; Dr. Rudi Vis, MP; Mr. Win Griffiths, MP, former Vice-President of the European Parliament; and Mr. David Amess, MP from both Houses of Parliament, among others.
Speakers included some of the stars of Britains legal profession in the human rights area. The renowned Geoffrey Bindman and Stephen Grosz from Bindman and Partners; Imran Khan from Imran Khan and Partners; Prof. Bill Bowring, Director of Human Rights & Social Justice Research Institute of the London Metropolitan University; Malcolm Fowler from Jonas Roy Bloom solicitors; Claire Miskin, joint chair of the Women's Interest Group of the International Bar Association; Mark Muller, vice-chair of the Bar Human Rights Committee; and Wolfgang Kaleck, President of Germanys Association of Republic Lawyers, were among the legal experts who addressed the audience.
Mrs. Maryam Rajavi, the President-elect of the National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI), addressed the conference through a live video link from her residence north of Paris. In a passionate speech that ended with a standing ovation, she said, "The terrorist label against the Iranian Resistance is not only a move against an opposition movement. It is capitulation to the dictates of the ayatollahs and a barrier to change in Iran".
"When a majority of members of the House of Commons and more than 100 Peers note in their joint statement that 'supporting the Iranian Mojahedin is indispensable to the fight against terrorism,' why does the British government continue to proscribe the Mojahedin?," Rajavi added.
"We have before us the experience of two decades of appeasement, particularly during Khatamis presidency. This policy has only led to the strengthening of the most hard-line factions of the ruling clique. At the same time, no one wants a war or a foreign military intervention. They only real and effective option is to support democratic change by the Iranian people and Resistance".
The pre-eminent legal authority, Lord Slynn of Hadley, a former judge in the European Court of Justice and a former Law Lord, and Prof. Cherif Bassiouni, a renowned scholar of international law, also sent messages of support to the symposium.