Action memorandum 023 - Nov. 7 1996

Belgian Refugees threatened with expulsion


The Foundation for Democracy in Iran has received a reply from theBelgian government, reaffirming its determination to expel threefamilies of Iranian asylum-seekers, despite numerous appeals from FDIand other human rights group on their behalf. At least one of therefugees, former Iranian army officer Mohammad Reza Hedayat, risksimprisonment and execution if forcibly returned to Iran.

The Belgian government has informed FDI that it has once againrejected Mr. Hedayat's appeal for political asylum, but refused tojustify its action. The Interior Ministry continues to treat Mr.Hedayat, his family, and two other families of Iranian asylum-seekersas illegal immigrants, who should be expelled to Iran.

In our Sept. 9 appeal, the Foundation reminded the Belgianauthorities of the persistent efforts by the Islamic Republic to huntdown and assassinate associates of former Prime Minister ShahpourBakhtiar, who was murdered by agents of the Tehran regime in Francein August 1991. Members of Bakhtiar's organization, known as theNational Movement of Iranian Resistance (NAMIR), have periodicallybeen rounded up inside Iran and executed by the authorities. Mr.Hedayat was a military aide to Mr. Bakhtiar. If expelled to Iran, Mr.Hedayat risks arrest and execution because of his political beliefs.

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.

The Foundation appeals once again to the Belgian government not tosend Mr. Hedayat to his death, and urges journalists and human rightsorganizations to raise this issue urgently with the Belgian publicand with international organizations.


The Foundation for Democracy in Iran is a private, non-profitcorporation registered in the State of Maryland. Contact: Kenneth R.Timmerman, Executive Director. Tel: (301) 946-2918. Fax: (301)942-5341. FDI materials, including the FDI Newswire, are availablefree-of-charge via the Internet at