SIR DAVID AMESS MP
A statement by Struan Stevenson on behalf of the international committee ‘In Search of Justice’ (ISJ), who promote human rights, freedom, democracy, peace, and stability in Iran.
The shocking murder of Sir David Amess MP was an attack on our democracy. This unprovoked act of terror, allegedly by an Islamic fundamentalist, has taken the life, not only of a decent, hard-working, member of parliament, but also of a man much loved and admired by his constituents and by politicians from across the political divide. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife, son and four daughters and his parliamentary staff and colleagues.
It is also a great irony that David died at the hands of a deranged Islamist fanatic. Having served as an MP for almost forty years, David spent much of his time as a major supporter of the repressed Iranian people and their main democratic opposition movement, the People’s Mojahedin of Iran/Mojahedin e-Khalq (PMOI/MEK), who advocate justice, freedom, democracy, human rights and women’s rights in a secular Islam. David was co-chair of the British Committee for Iran Freedom (BCFIF), the Westminster sister organisation of the Friends of a Free Iran Intergroup in the European Parliament, which I chaired for ten years. I always found David to be a kind, generous, charming, and friendly person, with a strong antipathy to violations of human rights and oppression.
David and I often worked closely together, particularly during the years when more than 3,500 supporters of the PMOI/MEK were trapped in Camps Ashraf and then Camp Liberty in Iraq, under constant deadly attacks at the instigation of the Iranian regime. We also cooperated in the hugely successful campaign against the politically motivated proscription of the PMOI/MEK, which led to them being de-proscribed in London, Europe and America. I and my ISJ colleagues, Alejo Vidal Quadras – former senior vice-president of the European Parliament, Giulio Terzi – former Foreign Minister for Italy and Paulo Casaca former MEP, often shared a platform or panel with David at National Council of Resistance of Iran (NCRI) events in London and Paris, where he was a key attender at the mass annual rally, leading a large delegation of British MPs and Peers. David was a strong supporter and loyal friend of Mrs Maryam Rajavi, the charismatic president-elect of the NCRI.
The day before he died, an article written by David was published in Townhall, the monthly conservative magazine. In the piece, David highlighted the role played in the 1988 massacre of 30,000 political prisoners in Iran by the regime’s new president, Ebrahim Raisi, known as the Butcher of Tehran. David called for the police to arrest Raisi if he dared to set foot in Scotland next month to attend the COP26 Climate Change summit in Glasgow. The article was a typically robust and forthright expression of views by this human rights goliath, whose legacy and example will be something we must all try to live up to.
David died doing the job he loved, serving his constituents at a routine ‘surgery’ in Essex. He will be fondly remembered, not only for his lifetime’s service to his country but also for his passionate advocacy for regime change in Iran, to free the Iranian people from oppression and tyranny at the hands of the theocratic fascist regime.