£1m charity cash for group linked to Iran

Telegraph Reporters
The Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC) is supported by Jeremy Corbyn - Getty Images Europe

A human rights organisation has received more than £1 million in charity cash despite being run by self-declared Islamist revolutionaries closely aligned to Iran who say that the West is “the enemy” and Britain a “Stasi state”.

According to an investigation by The Times newspaper the Islamic Human Rights Commission (IHRC), which is supported by Jeremy Corbyn, speak of “apartheid London”, label anti-terrorism laws a “war on Muslims” and condemn English as a “colonial language that will always subjugate you”.

The London-based group, given £1.2 million since 2013 by a charity that received £250,000 from the taxpayer via Gift Aid, claims to fight for the oppressed “whosoever they are and whomsoever oppresses them”. 

No affiliation to Iran is mentioned on the website of IHRC, which was founded in London in 1997 and says it fights for global human rights. 

IHRC has condemned more than 50 countries for alleged mistreatment of Muslims. Its targets are Britain, the United States, Israel and Islamic nations such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt that have poor relations with Iran.

It has however been accused of hypocracy by a leading Iranian campaigner who said the group acted as a propaganda tool for Tehran. The group has no history of offering support to women's rights activists or religion minorities in Iran. 

In an interview before he became the Labour Party leader, Mr Corbyn said that IHRC “represents all that’s best in Islam concerning the rights of individuals to free expression”. 

IHRC is primarily funded by the British charity IHRC Trust, which runs out of the same London address. 

The Charity Commission recently concluded a two-year investigation into the relationship between IHRC and its trust but did not order any changes. 

Emma Fox, of the Henry Jackson Society, which published a report on IHRC this year, said that “cheerleading for Iran’s ayatollahs” was not a charitable objective. She added: “Gift aid is supposed to support well-meaning endeavours. It undermines public confidence when taxpayers see their money [supporting] such organisations.”

A Labour spokesman said Mr Corbyn was “a long-standing campaigner for human rights across the world, including in Iran” but did not respond when asked whether he stood by his praise of IHRC.

An IHRC spokesman said: “Trying to align us to any country based on the ethnicity of any of our staff, directors or volunteers is essentially a racist enterprise.”