WASHINGTON, Feb. 28, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Yesterday, February 27, 2012, the legal counsel for Iran’s principal opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), filed a Writ of Mandamus in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to enforce the Court’s July 2010 ruling which ordered the Secretary of State to reconsider the PMOI’s petition to be removed from the list of Foreign Terrorist Organizations (FTO).
The PMOI “seeks a writ of mandamus, in the face of unwarranted and unreasonable agency delay, to order the Secretary of State to delist PMOI as a designated ‘Foreign Terrorist Organization,’ or, alternatively, to act on PMOI’s request for delisting within 30 days (and specifying that, if she does not, the designation shall be revoked).”
Commenting on the filing of the petition, PMOI counsel Prof. Viet D. Dinh, said, “The Secretary has recognized PMOI’s renunciation of violence and is legally bound to delist the organization. She cannot pocket veto PMOI’s application for revocation of its terrorist status. ”
The US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR), representing thousands of Iranian-Americans whose loved-ones reside in Camp Ashraf and now in Camp Liberty in Iraq, welcomes the filing of this mandamus and hopes to see a swift decision by the Court.
Camp Ashraf, home to 3,400 PMOI members since 1986, was attacked by Iraqi forces in July 2009 and April 2011. The Iraqi government justified both massacres, in which 47 unarmed civilians were murdered, as cracking down on “terrorists.”
According to Members of US Congress Iraqi officials have acknowledged that US designation of the PMOI is partly to blame for the bloodshed in Camp Ashraf.
The UN refugee agency officials have also told members of US Congress that as long as the PMOI remains listed, it would be near impossible to find third countries for Ashraf residents.
In a February 18 statement regarding the situation in Camp Ashraf, the Department of State stated, “The United States acknowledges and echoes the call of the United Nations for the international community to expeditiously assist the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) …to ensure that those recognized as refugees by UNHCR…can be safely relocated out of Iraq as quickly as possible.” Such a position is simply hollow as long as the PMOI remains listed.
SOURCE: US Committee for Camp Ashraf Residents (USCCAR)