Join us on Tuesday, March 18th at 12 noon PST/ 3 pm EST/ 8 pm CET for a conversation with former Iranian political prisoners and human rights defenders about what the international community can do to help bring about human rights progress in Iran.
We’ll be connecting with a group of human rights defenders currently at the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, the premiere human rights decision-making body in the world, to talk about how the work of the Council can help bring about human rights reforms in Iran. We’ll also talk about the newly launched Unlock Iran campaign in support of those unjustly imprisoned in Iran and how folks can get involved.
This is your opportunity to join the conversation. Listen to these defenders and sound off on what more the international community can do in this period of renewed engagement with the Iranian government during on-going nuclear negotiations and revisiting of trade ties to pivot the discussion towards human rights issues.
To help us discuss, we’ll be joined by:
Mehdi was president of the largest student organization in Iran, the Daftar Tahkim Vahdat, and a former political prisoner who fled Iran after being held in solitary confinement for 100 days and suffering deteriorating health behind bars. Mehdi is the author of a Change.org petition calling on Iranian leaders to publicly acknowledge unjustly jailed prisoners in their remarks at the UN Human Rights Council the week of March 17, which he will discuss in the hangout.
Omid Memarian (follow him on Twitter:@Omid_M)
Omid is an award-winning journalist and Iran human rights expert. He is the editor of Sketches of Iran, a compilation of personal stories told through illustration of Iranians struggling for their basic human rights, and has published op-eds in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal among many other publications.
You can follow him on Twitter @Omid_M and @ICHRI.
Abbas is a human rights activist and former student activist who acted as chief editor for several publications and held leading positions in different students’ rights organizations in Iran. In 2009, Iranian intelligence forces arrested Abbas for attempting to hold elections for the Daftar Tahkim Vahdat. This case is still open in Tehran’s Revolutionary Court. Abbas was forced to flee Iran in 2010 after facing additional charges for protesting against fraud in the 2009 presidential elections. He is now living in the Unites States and is continuing human rights activities, helping activists inside Iran. He has contributed pieces on the human rights situation in Iran to BBC Persian, Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty and many other websites.
Gissou is the spokeswoman of the Unlock Iran campaign and executive director of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), a non-profit, non-partisan organization that has documented human rights abuses inside Iran for more than a decade. Prior to her tenure at IHRDC, Gissou worked on war crimes and crimes against humanity trials at international criminal courts in The Hague, The Netherlands. She lectures and publishes extensively on human rights and international criminal law developments.
You can follow her on Twitter @GissouNia, @IHRDC and @UnlockIran.