Exiled Iranians in Germany object to alleged affiliation with MEK

2009/10/23

Published in “Hannoversche Allgemeine” on October 23, 2009
http://www.haz.de/Nachrichten/Politik/Deutschland-Welt/Exiliraner-in-Deutschland-wehren-sich
Original title: “Exiled Iranians in Germany object”

Iranians living in Germany, among them physicians, engineers and nurses, no longer accept to be put in a bad light by the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution.

In their new home country they actively engage in activities against the situation in Iran. For this reason, many of them feel discriminated – mainly because the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution and the Federal Agencies in their annual reports refer to information about the “National Resistance Council Iran” (NWRI) which in their opinion is obsolete, and thus wrong.

In a legal opinion for the NWRI, former Vice President of the Federal Constitutional Court Winfried Hassemer concludes that there are no legal grounds for disadvantaging Iranians in exile for their political opinion. In other words: Noone who has turned against the regime in Iran must have any disadvantages in Germany.

Almost 120.000 refugees from Iran live in Germany, most of them are better integrated compared to other immigrants from the Near East. According to reports of the NWRI, cases have recently been increasing of immigration authorities initiating procedures for revocation of asylum. In other words: Iranians who have been living in Germany for more than 20 years face a possible withdrawal of their residence permits, even expulsion as a worst case.

On occasion of the presentation of Hassemer’s expertise, attorney Bernd Häusler from Berlin raised serious allegations against the Federal Office for the Protection of the Constitution. Parts of the information used by this authority is from the 1970s. Also, the domestic agents do not always distinguish between the Resistance Council as an umbrella organization and the branch of the People’s Mujahedeen. Häusler referred to rulings by the European Court of Justice, according to which the international umbrella organization of the Iranian Resistance Council should be removed from the black list of terrorist organizations. He suspects that the German policy currently is aiming to approach towards the terrorist regime in Iran, which makes it difficult to re-evaluate the resistance of exiled Iranian.

Among the supporters of the initiative are Andreas Schmidt (Christian Democratic Party), for many years chairman of the legal commission of the German Parliament, and his colleague Anette Hübinger from the same fraction.

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