Action Memorandum 021

Sept. 9, 1996


FDI Calls on Belgian Government not to Deport Asylum Seekers


The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is has called on thegovernment of Belgium not to carry out its plans to expel threefamilies of Iranian refugees. At least one of the refugees, formerIranian army officer Mohammad Reza Hedayat, risks imprisonment andexecution if forcibly returned to Iran.

The Belgian Interior Ministry has twice notified Mr. Heydayat ofthe expulsion order, despite his repeated requests to the Belgianauthorities for political asylum.

Mr. Heydayat and his family initially applied for political asylumafter arriving in Belgium seven years ago, but his application wasdenied on grounds he could not support his claim to have worked forformer Prime Minister Shahpour Bakhtiar while in Iran.

Islamic Republic agents were convicted last year in a French courtof having assassinated Mr. Bakhtiar in France in Aug. 1991, and havealso murdered a top Bakhtiar aide in France, Abdel Rahman Boroumand.Members of Bakhtiar's organization, known as the National Movement ofIranian Resistance (NAMIR), have periodically been rounded up insideIran and executed by the authorities.

In a subsequent appeal, Mr. Heydayat appealed for asylum onhumanitarian grounds, but that request was also denied. Two otherfamilies have been served with expulsion orders along with Mr.Heydayat.

The Foundation is concerned that the attempt to deport Mr. Hedayatis part of a larger effort by the Islamic Republic authorities topressure European governments to review their long-standingacceptance of Iranian asylum seekers.

If expelled to Iran, Mr. Heydayat risks arrest and executionbecause of his political beliefs. The Foundation appeals to theBelgian government not to send Mr. Heydayat to his death.

The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private,non-profit corporation registered in the State of Maryland.Contact: Kenneth R. Timmerman, Executive Director ( materials, including the FDI Newswire, are availablefree-of-charge via the Internet at