Kim Howells’ comments on MEK during the last 3 months

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Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Mujahedin-e Khalq

Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Andrew Dismore (Hendon, Labour):

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will review the proscribed status of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran; and if he will make a statement.

Kim Howells (Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office) :

The Mojahadin-e Khalq was proscribed in the UK in March 2001.

My right hon. Friend the then Home Secretary decided to proscribe this group because it met the criteria under the terrorism legislation. This decision was endorsed by Parliament.

The list of proscribed organisations is kept under constant review. Under section 4(2) of the Terrorism Act 2000 an organisation or affected person may apply to the Home Secretary for an organisation to be deproscribed

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Mujahedin-e Khalq

Monday, 20 March 2006

John Bercow (Buckingham, Conservative)

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what steps are being taken by his Department to engage with the democratic opposition in Iran.

Kim Howells (Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office) :

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London and our embassy in Tehran maintain contact with a wide range of Iranians in many different fields. We are seriously concerned about human rights and political freedoms in Iran. Ministers and officials raise our concerns frequently with the Iranian authorities. We also take action through the EU, and in United Nations fora. We maintain a dialogue with those inside and outside the Iranian Government who are working to support reform and the rule of law. As my right hon. Friend the Foreign Secretary said in a speech at the International Institute of Strategic Studies on 13 March,

We will not take sides in Iran’s internal political debates”these are for Iranians to resolve and they are perfectly capable of doing so themselves. Given their history, Iranians are understandably sensitive about any hint of outside interference. But this does not mean that we should stop standing up for principles of human rights and fundamental freedoms which we hold dear to ourselves and which so many Iranians aspire to: freedom of speech; transparent, genuinely democratic and accountable government; respect for the rights of minorities and women; an independent judiciary".

Ministers and officials have no contact with an organisation proscribed under the Terrorism Act, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (MEK), which purports to be a democratic opposition movement, nor with the National Council for the Resistance of Iran, a group with which it has close links. The MEK has been responsible for numerous attacks resulting in many deaths. Its claims to be a democratic party are hard to square with a history of violence and its authoritarian nature, and it has virtually no support inside Iran

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Mujahedin-e Khalq

Tuesday, 28 March 2006

David Jones (Clwyd West, Conservative) :

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs when he last made representations to the European Union on the continued proscription of the Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation; and if he will make a statement.

Kim Howells (Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office) :

The Mujahedin-e Khalq Organisation (MEK) is a proscribed terrorist organisation in the United Kingdom. The MEK appears on the list of persons, groups and entities which are subject to restrictive measures with a view to combating terrorism under Council Regulation 2580/2001-EC. The Court of First Instance of the European Communities is currently scrutinising the process by which the MEK was included on that list, and the UK has made representations to the Court. Judgment in that case is awaited

 

Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

Terrorist Organisations

3 May 2006

 David Jones (Clwyd West, Conservative) :

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what representations his Department has made to the EU on the continuing proscription of the People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran in the last 12 months.

Kim Howells (Minister of State (Middle East), Foreign & Commonwealth Office) :

The Mojahedin-e Khalq (MEK, or People’s Mojahedin Organisation of Iran) appears on the EU’s list of persons, groups and entities which are subject to restrictive measures with a view to combating terrorism under Council Regulation 2580/2001-EC. The Court of First Instance of the European Communities is currently considering a challenge by the MEK to their inclusion on that list. The UK has contributed to those proceedings, but since judgment in the case is awaited it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.

The MEK is proscribed in the UK under the Terrorism Act 2000.

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