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American Dollars and Human Rights in Iran

For 27 years, people of Iran have been suffering from the tensions in the US-Iran relations, but the embezzlers affiliated with the centers of power have benefited from it. For 27 years, the Iranian authorities have imposed a whole range of economic, political, cultural and social restrictions on the people and have justified their official repressions in the name of fighting against international oppressors. For years, the middlemen who manage the international black market have been helping the Iranian government to obtain the products it needs and sell its own products…

In ODU lecture, Iranian activist details dearth of women’s rights

In 2000 , Kar was imprisoned after attending a conference in Germany to discuss political and social reform in Iran. She was released the next year and allowed to go to the United States to seek treatment for breast cancer. Meanwhile, her husband, a cultural writer, remains under house arrest in Iran – retribution, many activists believe, for Kar’s outspokenness. She has not returned for fear of her safety. Her speech at Webb Center was sponsored by the university’s Friends of Women’s Studies group. Kar focused not on her own story, but on the plight of Iranians. “Not only women’s rights are violated by this government,” she said. “Human rights are violated by this political system, and this is terrible.”…

Iranian human rights activist to talk about homeland at ODU

Living in Boston now, Kar will be the keynote speaker at the 20th annual Friends of Women’s Studies Dinner at Old Dominion University on Feb. 21. She will discuss “The Prospects for Women in Iran.” Although Iran and its combative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, have captured many headlines in The Virginian-Pilot, the Hampton Roads community has rarely experienced the other Iran. Kar strives to expose the legal bondage of Iranian women in the hope of making a better world for the younger generation, for women like her own daughters…

Violence Against Women is an Issue that Concerns the World

Violence against women is in no way particular to underdeveloped societies or Muslim societies. In the most advanced countries of the world, women and children suffer from the effects of violence, and particularly violence in family life. Physical, sexual, and psychological harm not only jeopardize their health, peace of mind, and emotional and psychological balance, but also harm society. A price will be paid for this situation; governments are preoccupied with various economic, cultural, and social problems, and in many cases, the governments are not capable enough to resolve the issue. In the long run, this problem persists, and the phenomenon of violence becomes intensified and strengthened. If precise and insightful plans are implemented for controlling violence against women in the long-term, this cycle of wrongness will be broken…

Dr. Velayati and Democratic Values

In his latest comments, Dr. Ali Velayati, member of Iran’s Expediency Council and former Iranian minister of foreign affairs said that the wisdom of Iraq’s Ayatollah Sistani had brought about democratic institutions to Iraq, adding that every nation itself had to become mature to govern its country. Mr. Velayati’s concern and interest in democratic values is a rather new one, while there is no doubt in ayatollah Sistani’s wisdom in reducing tensions and facilitating the implementation of democratic instruments in Iraq. In Iran too, there is no shortage of wise men, and people are clearly aware that wise and effective personalities in this country have been forced to remain silent or forego political activism…

Human Rights, a Lesson for Iran

The world’s human rights institutions were born and grew in the cultural and political settings of the West. These human rights institutions are secured and protected by democratic institutions in those socities. Civil society is the pedestal or structure of for the human rights institutions. The lively presence of these institutions and the human rights discussions that take place in Western universities are based on existing academic freedoms. These elements put together act as guardians of the global principles of the human rights…

Law and the Serial Murders

The criminal policies of the Iranian government are kind to criminals who murder religious and secular intellectuals. The authorizations for the hideous acts of murdering intellectuals is in fact provided in the articles and provisions of Iran’s Constitution. Thanks to some openness in Iran’s political atmosphere on 1998, the topic of official serial murders was once again in the spotlight. A number of Iranian judicial and military authorities involved in the serial murder of secular intellectuals have told reporters that based on Iran’s criminal law a “good” Moslem will not be punished if he assumed that someone deserved to die…

Betrayed Over Human Rights

For years, Iranian judiciary officials were kept engaged in human rights issues in the context of Europe’s “critical dialogue” negotiations and strategy with Iran. But the issue was pushed aside when the subject of Iran’s access to nuclear energy became the topic of the day and Europeans focused on it. Priorities have changed and nowadays we only occasionally hear of a resolution or declaration by the European Union addressing Iran’s human rights situation. Whatever is the case, we know that these days human rights have no place in the talks between Iran and Europe. Talks revolve around the nuclear issue…

My new teaching experience at Oberlin College

Iranian Female Activist Leads Winter Term Project
By Betty Gabrielli / Photos by Brandon Ramos ’06
February 6, 2006
Mehrangiz Kar, an attorney, writer, and one of Iran’s leading activists, was a teacher-in-residence at Oberlin in January. The residency also offered her the opportunity to be with her daughter, Azadeh Pourzand, who is a student at Oberlin.
“Mehrangiz Kar has a distinguished career as a lawyer and advocate for human rights and women’s rights,” says Frances Hasso, associate professor and director of the gender and women’s studies program. “Oberlin College was fortunate to have someone of her stature teaching here during winter term.”
Kar has published widely on women’s issues in Iran. Among her publications are Angel of Justice and Patches of Hell, a collection of essays that examine the status and position of women in pre- and post-revolutionary Iran.
Her Oberlin course addressed a subject she knows intimately: how women’s lives in Iran changed after the Islamic Revolution of 1979; specifically the kinds of strategies that Iranian women have adopted throughout years under the Islamic regime and the ways in which they have faced various legal and religious obstacles in order to defend their rights.
Unable to return to Iran for the time being because of personal and public dangers, Kar had this to say: “Iran is in a very sensitive place right now. We’re trying to overcome a long history of dictatorship, and this is the process. There are prices to pay, and I see myself as a sacrifice to this process.”
In 2000, Kar was among 19 prominent Iranian writers and intellectuals arrested for participating in an academic and cultural conference in Berlin that publicly debated social reform in Iran. She was subsequently tried, convicted, and sentenced to four years in prison. An appeal reduced her sentence to six months.
In 2001, she came to the United States for treatment for breast cancer. Because of her involvement in the Berlin conference, after her departure from Iran, her husband was kidnapped, tortured, released, and re-arrested. Though she wishes to see him and continue her legal work and activism at home, Kar has been advised it is not yet safe to return.
Support from the international community is aiding her in continuing her activism from abroad. In 2002 she received the Ludovic Trarieux International Human Rights Prize from the Human Rights of the Bar of Bordeaux and the European Lawyers Union.
Kar lives now in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she is a fellow at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard, Carr Center for Human Rights Policy. She is working on a number of books and articles, including an account of her husband’s experiences in prison and a memoir of her 22 years as a lawyer in Iran. She also receives weekly checkups on the cancer. “I am not completely clear,” she said in a recent interview for the web site of the weekly TV program IranDokht, “but the cancer is under control.”
In the interview, Kar took the opportunity to address the women of Iran directly. Again, there is no doubt she was speaking from her own experience:
“I know that there is a long, arduous road ahead, but it is important to keep in mind that the struggles have only made us stronger. If the last two decades of pain indicate how women will react when faced with turmoil, then we do not have to worry.
“For we have met strife with hardened surfaces and determined spirits. The recent international attention toward the Iranian woman and her situation, together with the dedication of the females within Iran, speaks volumes. I see the women of Iran at the beginning of something far greater.”

Liberal Party in sweden

The liberal party of Swede has recently published an announcement and has sent it to UN Human Rights Commission, EU Human Rights Commission, International Red Cross and Amnesty International. This announcement includes the unfair and anti-human rights ways in which political prisoners are being treated in Iran. This announcement specifically emphasizes on the condition of…