Iranian Activists Take A Stand Against War

Dear People,

It was with much alarm that we learned that the US President ordered a military strike against Iran last week. Minutes before the launch, when military planes had been deployed and navy ships were in position, the strike was suspended when the President abruptly ordered US forces to stand down.

This close encounter was the latest in a series of dangerous brushes with military conflict within the increasingly unstable US-Iran relations.

We have joined other allies, over 100 human rights defenders and activists inside and outside Iran to make our voices heard: War against Iran will have devastating human rights consequences for the people of Iran and we oppose it.

In a joint statement signed by some of Iran’s bravest activists and organized by United for Iran and the Center for Human Rights in Iran, we have detailed some of the likely consequences of war and how it would undermine decades of efforts to improve the quality of life, human rights, and civil liberties in Iran.

Most of the activists who have signed the letter live inside and outside Iran and have spent decades opposing the Iranian government’s oppressive and corrupt policies. Many have paid a high price for their action, including imprisonment and exile, in standing up against the Iranian government. They include student activists like Zia Nabavi, journalist Issa Saharkhiz, and women’s rights lawyer Mehrangiz Kar, as well representatives of some of the leading international human rights organizations like Guissou Jahangiri, Executive Director of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH), and Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19.

While the US-Iran relationship has deteriorated since 2015 after the US unilaterally withdrew from the Iran nuclear agreement, I believe the way out is diplomacy and respect for international law and human rights.

In Solidarity,

We, the undersigned Iranian and international human rights organizations and advocates, express grave concerns over the rising tension between the United States and the Islamic Republic of Iran, which risks a military confrontation that would cause massive human rights harms. We urge all parties and international actors to take immediate and clear steps to prevent a conflict.

The impact of any military action in Iran, as we have seen in neighboring countries, would be devastating. It would likely lead to accelerated human rights and humanitarian crisis and could only serve to destabilize an already troubled region. Only peace-focused policies that prioritize the rights and well-being of ordinary people in Iran and the region can provide meaningful, long-term benefits.

We have a deep understanding of the problems in Iran, including human rights challenges and corruption within some government sectors. We have dedicated our lives to strengthening the rights of women and girls, ethnic minorities, religious minorities, workers, journalists, university students, LGBTQ people, artists, and political prisoners in Iran. We have fought for the freedom of speech, freedom of religion, the right to a fair trial, socio-economic rights of the Iranian people, and an end to discrimination. We have consistently opposed Iranian authorities in their abuse of power and oppressive policies. It is from this perspective that we warn against the threat posed by military conflict.

We also fear that military action against Iran will be disastrous for millions of ordinary people and could lead to the type of violent sectarian civil conflict seen in neighboring countries. The instability of these conflicts and the extent to which they pit groups of people against each other has led to immeasurable human rights abuses.

Many Iran-based human rights defenders have expressed dismay that broad economic sanctions imposed by the US and the specter of war have already made their work more difficult. Many of them are struggling to make ends meet in a depressed economy, while their activities have become increasingly risky in a heightened security environment. The threat of war has strengthened support for the Iranian state’s security approaches and has been used as a pretext to crack down on activists. Minority communities, who have little space for civic activism, suffer the brunt of crackdowns at such times. Many Iranian human rights defenders fear that an actual military conflict would give the Iranian security forces an opportunity to finally put a complete stop to their advocacy efforts.

These concerns reflect some of the likely outcomes of any military confrontation in Iran, underscoring the need for peaceful and legal solutions to any tensions between states.

We urge all parties to show maximum restraint. We ask that the United Nations Secretary-General, the European Union, and the government of Japan, as well as countries in the region that have stepped in the past to foster peace, to intervene to prevent the outbreak of war and deepening human rights and humanitarian crisis.


Amin Ahmadian, Member of the Central Committee of Advar-e Takim-e Vahdat
Niki Akhavan, Associate Professor at the Catholic University of America
Leila Alikarami, Human Rights Lawyer and Women’s Rights Defender
Mahsa Alimardani, Technology and Human Rights Researcher at ARTICLE 19 Mehdi Aminzadeh, Political Activist
Leila Asadi, Women’s Rights Defender and PhD Candidate in Justice Studies
Zeinab Asgharpour, Political Activist and member of the Central Committee of Advar-e Takim-e Vahdat
Kamran Ashtary, Executive Director at Arseh Sevom
Kaveh Azarhoosh, Senior Researcher at Small Media
Arash Azizi, Writer, Scholar, and PhD Candidate at New York University
Emad Bahavar, Political Activist
Maryam Bahrman, Women’s Rights Defender
Narges Bajoghli, Scholar and Assistant Professor at SAIS, Johns Hopkins University Rudi Bakhtiar, Journalist
Fereidoon Bashar, Executive Director at ASL19
Masoud Bastani, Journalist
Amir Bayani, Head of MENA Program at ARTICLE 19
Farangis Bayat, Women’s Rights Defender and Researcher
Hamed Behravan, President of
Farhad Davoodi, Translator and Writer
Parastoo Dokouhaki, Women’s Rights Defender
Majid Dori, Civic Activist
Arefe Elyasi, Women’s Rights Defender
Reza Fani Yazdi, Human Rights Activist
Nima Fatemi, Researcher and Founding Director of Kandoo
Roja Fazaeli, Professor at Trinity College, Dublin
Alireza Firoozi, Former Student Activist
Hadi Ghaemi, Executive Director of the Center for Human Rights in Iran
Saghi Ghahraman, Iranian Queer Organization (IRQO)
Reza Ghazinouri, Human Rights Activist
Mahdiye Golrou, Women’s Rights Activist
Fatemeh Haghighatjoo, Nonviolence Initiative for Democracy
Aidin Hassanloo, Journalist Sourena Hashemi, Project Coordinator at Net Freedom Pioneers
Mo Hosseini, MENA Program Officer at ARTICLE 19
Sirous Hosseinifar, Artist
Maryam Hosseinkhah, Journalist
Mahboube Hosseinzadeh, Women’s Rights Defender
Thomas Hughes, Executive Director of ARTICLE 19
Mehri Jafari, Lawyer and Human Rights Activist
Guissou Jahangiri, Women’s Rights Defender and Executive Director of the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
Mahdieh Javid, Human Rights Attorney
Sepideh Jodeyri, Poet and Women’s Rights Defender
Hadi KahalZadeh, Researcher of Public Policy at Brandeis University
Parvin Kahzadi, Journalist and Civic Activist
Parisa Kakaee, Women’s and Children’s Rights Activist
Mehrangiz Kar, Human Rights Lawyer and Women’s Rights Defender
Mina Keshavarz, Film Director
Nooshin Keshavarznia, Women’s Rights Activist
Azam Khatam, Researcher and University Professor
Mostafa Khosravi, Director of Communication at Arseh Sevom
Nasim Khosravi Moghaddam, Writer and Theatre Director
Masoud Ladoni, Meli-Mazhabi Activist
Firuzeh Mahmoudi, Executive Director of United for Iran
Mahtab Mahmoudi, Women’s Rights Defender
Feri Malek-Madani, Women’s Rights Activist
James Marchant, Research Manager at Small Media
Sara Masoumi, Journalist
Anna May, Director of Development and Operations at ASL19
Maryam Mazrooei, War Photographer and Journalist
Ahmad Medadi, Teacher Rights Activist
Roozbeh MirEbrahimi, Journalist and Researcher
Naheed Mirhaj, Women’s Rights Defender
Ziba Mir-Hosseini, Researcher
Manijeh Moazen, Journalist
Azin Mohajerin, Civic Activist and Researcher
Mehrnoosh Mohammadian, Activist
Sohrab Mokhtari, Writer and Translator
Zahra Moshtagh, Journalist
Laleh Mostofi, Film Director
Mani Mostofi, Senior Human Rights Advisor at United for Iran
Sarvenaz Mostofi, Artist
Negar Mottahdeh, Professor
Alieh Mottalebzadeh, Women’s Rights Defender and Journalist
Ali Akbar Mousavi, Former member of Iran’s Parliament and Internet Freedom Advocate
Zia Nabavi, Student Activist
Mojtaba Najafi, Researcher
Gissou Nia, Human Rights Lawyer
Mohammad Oliyafard, Human Rights Lawyer
Shahriar Paknia, Researcher and University Professor
Zeinab Peyghambarzadeh, Gender Equality Activist
Mohammad Pourabdollah, Political Activist
Azadeh Pourzand, Executive Director of Siamak Pourzand Foundation
Somaye Qodousi, Civic Researcher
Hossein Raessi, Human Rights Lawyer and Professor at Law
Keyvan Rafie, Director at Human Rights Activists in Iran
Neelam Raina, Associate Professor at Middlesex University
Niloofar Rajaeifar, Actress
Somayeh Rashidi, Women’s Rights Defender
Negar Razavi, Scholar and Visiting Assistant Professor in Anthropology at William and Mary
Sabra Rezai, Women’s Rights Activist
Afsaneh Rigot, MENA Officer at ARTICLE 19
Simin Rouzgard, Human Rights Activist
Touraj Saberivand, Social Activist
Setareh Sabety, Journalist
Aida Sadat, Human and Women’s Rights Activist
Sima Saeedi, Former Journalist
Isa Saharkhiz, Journalist
Mousa Saket, Political and Civic Activist and member of Advar Tahkim Vahdat Afsaneh Salari, Filmmaker
Faraz Sanei, Human Rights Lawyer
Rod Sanjabi, Human Rights Lawyer
Nasim Sarabandi, Women’s Rights Defender
Daisy Schmitt, Women’s Rights Programme Officer at the International Federation of Human Rights (FIDH)
Kevin Schumacher, Human Rights Defender
Mahdis Sdeghipouya, Women’s Rights Defender and Gender Researcher
Afshin Shahi, Senior Lecturer at the University of Bradford
Sima Shakhsari, Professor at the University of Minnesota
Mansoureh Shoajee, Researcher and Women’s Rights Activist
Jinous Sobhani, Human Rights, Women’s Rights, and Children’s Rights Activist Maedeh Soltani, Human Rights Defender
Amir Soltania, Author, Zahra’s Paradise
Bita Tahbaz, Women’s Rights Activist
Sussan Tahmasebi, Women’s Rights Defender and Executive Director of FEMENA Maziar Tataei, Attorney at Law
Nayereh Tohidi, Professor and Director of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies at California State University, Northridge
Soheila Vahdati, Independent Scholar
Adrienne van Heteren, Director at Small Media
Kyra Wigard, Legal Fellow at Armanshahr and OPENASIA
Mitra Zargar, Sociologist and Human Rights Advocate
Parvin Zarrabi, Women’s Rights, Peace, and Environmental Activist

Veröffentlicht am 26. Juni 2019, in Ohne. Setze ein Lesezeichen auf den Permalink. Kommentare deaktiviert für Iranian Activists Take A Stand Against War.

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