Parliamentary question by Olivier Dupuis (TDI) to the Council and answer

Parliamentary questions
by Olivier Dupuis (TDI) to the Council
(9 November 1999)

Subject: Iran Aid

Iran Aid is a UK charity established in 1983 that provides humanitarian relief to oppressed or destitute people in Iran, particularly orphaned children, from any ethnic, religious or political background and with priority being given to the children of persons executed by the regime as mohareb or dissidents. Most recently, they have been cared for within Iran itself. This kind of assistance contravenes a fatwa (religious edict) and puts those who do so into the category of mohareb, with the concomitant penalties. For this reason, Iran Aid's operative network, along with the identities and location of the beneficiaries, must remain secret. Over the years, many volunteers have been imprisoned, tortured and even killed in the course of their work for the organisation.

Since May 1998, Iran Aid has been placed under investigation because of allegations of links with a terrorist organisation, its activities have been suspended and all the documents belonging to the Charity have been seized. The senior officials of the charity fear that the most sensitive files contained details of the beneficiaries will become public and known to the Iranian government. According to reports in the media and from activists working for the charity, the Iranian Security Service and police have already discovered the names of some of the volunteers inside Iran, and a ferocious campaign of repression has recently been launched.

What information can the Council give concerning this case?

(24 January 2000)

Iran Aid is currently under investigation by the UK Charity Commission. The Council does not make statements about ongoing investigations in Member States.