Iran’s Human Rights Record

September 13, 2018 - 9:30 am

Washington, DC
As Iran braces for more sanctions and economic hardship, the Islamic Republic continues to arrest and jail scores of political protestors, civil society activists and dual nationals. These policies have persisted despite pledges by President Hassan Rouhani to “de-securitize” the country and calls to unite political factions in the face of US pressure. The Future of Iran Initiative invites you to a panel discussion about these abuses and what if any strategies the Trump administration and the international community can pursue to try to ameliorate the situation.

The discussion will be held September 13, 2018 from 9:30 to 11 am at the Atlantic Council. The event is open to press and on the record. 

On Twitter? Follow @AtlanticCouncil @ACSouthAsia and use #ACIran

Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator) 
Washington, DC 

This event is open to press and on the record. 

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info


A conversation with:

Dokhi Fassihian
Director, Middle East and North Africa Division
Freedom House
Hadi Ghaemi
Executive Director 
Center for Human Rights in Iran

Sussan Tahmasebi
Women’s Rights and Civil Society Activist

Moderated by:
Barbara Slavin
Director, Future of Iran Initiative
Atlantic Council


Dokhi Fassihian leads the Middle East and North Africa division at Freedom House where she oversees programs on Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, and Egypt. Between 2015-2016, she also worked on Yemen and Bahrain. Before joining Freedom House, from 2005-2011, Fassihian worked at the Democracy Coalition Project, where she led multilateral strategies at the United Nations, and advocated with governments on human rights priorities. She holds a bachelors of arts from George Mason University and an master of arts in international relations and Middle East studies at the John Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. Fassihian has lived and worked in Iran and Egypt.  

Hadi Ghaemi is an internationally recognized expert on Iran and human rights. In 2008 he founded the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI), formerly the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran. CHRI has since become a leading organization documenting human rights violations in Iran and building international coalitions to support human rights. Previously, Ghaemi worked with Human Rights Watch, joining the organization in 2004 as the Iran and United Arab Emirates researcher. His work at Human Rights Watch focused international attention on the plight of migrant workers in Dubai, as well as the repression of civil society in Iran.

Barbara Slavin is the director of the Future of Iran Initiative at the Atlantic Council. The author of Bitter Friends, Bosom Enemies: Iran, the US and the Twisted Path to Confrontation (2007), she is a regular commentator on US foreign policy and Iran on NPR, PBS, and C-SPAN. A career journalist, Slavin previously served as assistant managing editor for world and national security of the Washington Times, senior diplomatic reporter for USA TODAY, Cairo correspondent for the Economist, and as an editor at the New York Times Week in Review. She has traveled to Iran nine times.
Sussan Tahmasebi
is a veteran women’s rights and civil society activist who has worked for two decades to strengthen civil society and promote women’s rights in Iran, MENA/Asia and internationally. While in Iran (1999 - 2010), she co-founded the Iran Civil Society Training and Research Center and the One Million Signatures Campaign, a grassroots effort to end gender-biased laws in Iran. She continues to maintain strong ties with Iranian civil society and women’s groups inside the country. She is also the director of FEMENA, an organization supporting women human rights defenders and women’s movements in North Africa and West Asia, with focus on groups working in contexts of shrinking civil society space. Tahmasebi’s work as an advocate for women’s rights has been recognized by Human Rights Watch, Newsweek, the National Center for Civil and Human Rights and the Association of Women’s Rights in Development. She is Iranian and American by birth.