Since early 2000, human rights defenders and advocates of political reform havefaced sustained repression in Iran. Some have been forced into exile, othersimprisoned and all of them blocked in their activities by the closure ofindependent newspapers and magazines and threats against nascent independentnongovernmental organizations and internet activists.
Concern over Iran's development of nuclear weapons capability has generatedincreasing dialogue on a range of issues between the European Union and Iran.Human rights issues are not being given a prominent place in these exchanges atpresent while the persecution of reformists and human rights defenders in Irancontinues. Iranian activists are alarmed that the West may be willing to granteconomic concessions to an increasingly authoritarian and repressive Iranianleadership in exchange for guarantees on proliferation issues. Such adevelopment could entrench repressive government in Iran for many years to comeand extinguish the battered and demoralized reform movement.
The West's dialogue with Iran, which is being driven by the nuclear issue, is an opportunity to elevate human rights concerns, starting with the situation ofimprisoned human rights defenders.
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Release Detainees Held in Aftermath of Disputed Election in Iran
Iran continues to detain human rights defenders in the wave of repression that has followed the disputed June 12 presidential election. On Friday, July 17, Shadi Sadr, a prominent lawyer and women's rights activist, was headed toward Tehran University for Friday prayers when plain clothes security personnel violently forced her into a car. On July 28, Ms. Sadr was released on bail.
Fact Sheet on Detained Human Rights Defenders in Iran
Joint Statement Supporting Global Day of Action on Iran
Urge G8 Leaders to Call for Release of All Detained Activists in Iran
Hundreds of people have been detained in Iran since the June 12th announcement of the disputed presidential election results. The detainees include prominent political leaders who opposed President Ahmadinejad during the campaign, student leaders, journalists, human rights lawyers and women's rights activists. Call on G8 leaders to take a stand for human rights in Iran.
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Emad Baghi, a leading human rights defender based in Tehran, founded the Society for the Defense of Prisoners' Rights and has been a vigorous and outspoken opponent of the death penalty in Iran. The Martin Ennals Award, a joint award from ten international rights groups, recognizes his vital work.
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Read More about HRF's Work in Iran
Iranian Authorities Must End Imprisonment of Women Defenders
Human Rights First and seven other human rights organizations sent a letter to Iranian authorities expressing concern over the imprisonment of women's human rights defender Alieh Eghdamdoost and twelve other women's defenders.
Read Joint Letter in English
The crackdown on Iranian human rights defenders intensifies with the recent arrest of women's rights activists. Your intervention is urgently needed to secure the release of two women currently detained.
Read Human Rights Defenders Director Matt Easton's Huffington Post.