Human Rights

  • Hellyer Joins ABC to Discuss the Islamic Tradition and Human Rights


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  • Iran’s Deteriorating Human Rights Situation and Trump Administration Policies

    Iran’s human rights record continues to deteriorate but there are effective ways to advocate for improvement that include making demands as specific as possible and enlisting broad multilateral support.

    These were the main conclusions of a September 13 panel on the topic organized by the Atlantic Council’s Future of Iran Initiative.

    The system imposed in Iran since the 1979 Islamic revolution seeks a return to conservative social values through rigid interpretations of Islamic law. From women losing rights previously enshrined in a 1975 Family Protection Act, to intimidation and repression of civil society at large by the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps (IRGC) and the Judiciary, Iran has violated a wide spectrum of ethnic, social, and religious rights.

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  • Discrimination and Past Due Payments: Some of the Problems Iranian Workers Face

    Since the December 2017 nationwide protests in Iran, there have been countless strikes and labor protests. During the months of June and July alone, railroad workers and truck drivers went on strike in over two dozen cities across the country. Unionization is banned in Iran and security forces constantly crack down on labor rights activists, quelling any ability for Iranian workers to voice their concerns about working conditions and government policies that impact their livelihood, especially since the economic situation will further worsen with the reimposition of US sanctions. Iranian activists are often the target of scrutiny by the Iranian government, and also face obstacles when gathering information.

    Due to these complications, Zamaneh Media—a Persian language media organization based in the Netherlands—has stepped in to monitor labor developments. This month they published “Labor Rights in Iran,” Zamaneh Media’s first bi-monthly report on the issue. The report...

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  • A Humanitarian Responsibility: End of US Support for Saudi-led Coalition in Yemen

    The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), pledged decisive victory when they went to war in March 2015 against Yemen’s Houthi rebels. The result has not been the Houthis’ defeat, but tens of thousands of deaths, a cholera epidemic and famine -- what the United Nations has deemed “the world’s worst humanitarian crisis.”

    One way to end the nightmare is for the United States to withdraw its support for the war, compel the Saudi-led coalition to accept a ceasefire and ensure a peace process that keeps millions more from unnecessary suffering.

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  • HA Hellyer in The National: Muslim Communities Need to Find a New Way to Join International Discourse on Human Rights


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  • Gedmin in the American Interest: True Grit in Baku


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  • Plight of Rohingya Worsens

    The deplorable condition of ethnic minorities in Myanmar has further deteriorated in recent years and Myanmar’s ongoing transition to democracy has been imperiled by ethnic conflict, pervasive religious discrimination, and other recurrent human rights abuses.

    Once a thriving hub for trade and a major agricultural producer, the State of Rakhine in western Myanmar has more recently become better known as a crucible for an ongoing humanitarian, security, and developmental crisis. Violence between majority Buddhists and minority Rohingya Muslims -- who speak a distinct Bengali dialect and have lived in Rakhine for generations -- has led to an estimated one million Rohingya fleeing west for the comparative safety of Cox’s Bazar, in eastern Bangladesh, the vast majority of whom are women and children. In a campaign of sexual violence, arson, and mass murder waged by the Burmese military, or Tatamadaw, the...

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  • Wrestling Chief Joins Others Refusing to Play Iran’s Game

    For 40 years, the Islamic Republic of Iran has imposed strict rules about a wide variety of matters, from personal appearance to contact with people from adversarial nations. In this winter of discontent, however, more and more Iranians are refusing to abide by regulations that they regard as stifling and self-defeating.

    The latest is Rasoul Khadem, an Olympic gold medalist and national hero, who headed the Iranian Wrestling Federation since 2014.

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  • Iran’s History of Suspicious Deaths in Prison

    A single word “baba,” dad, appeared on an Instagram post by Iranian punk rocker King Raam taken at his father’s funeral. 

    Kavous Seyed-Emami, a prominent Canadian-Iranian environmentalist and academic, was quickly buried without an independent autopsy due to pressure by authorities, according to his family. Officials said Seyed-Emami had committed suicide in Tehran’s notorious Evin Prison on February 9, seventeen days after his arrest. 

    He was not the first to die under suspicious circumstances in prison during recent weeks. Two protesters—Vahid Heidari and Sina Ghonbadi—who ...

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