29 October 2009
The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) seeks to establish a comprehensive and objective historical record of the human rights situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution, and on the basis of this record, establish responsibility for patterns of human rights abuses; make such record available in an archive that is accessible to the public for research and educational purposes; promote accountability, respect for human rights and the rule of law in Iran; and encourage an informed dialogue on the human rights situation in Iran among scholars and the general public in Iran and abroad.
The IHRDC believes that the development of an accountability movement and a culture of human rights in Iran are crucial to the long-term peace and security of the country and the Middle East region. As numerous examples have illustrated, the removal of an authoritarian regime does not necessarily lead to an improved human rights situation if institutions and civil society are weak, or if a culture of human rights and democratic governance has not been cultivated. By providing Iranians with comprehensive human rights reports, data about past and present human rights violations and information about international human rights standards, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the IHRDC programs will strengthen Iranians’ ability to demand accountability, reform public institutions, and promote transparency and respect for human rights. Encouraging a culture of human rights within Iranian society as a whole will allow political and legal reforms to have real and lasting weight.
In September 2009, IHRDC released its report entitled Forced Confessions: Targeting Iran’s Cyber-Journalists. The report compiles witness statements of three Iranian cyber-journalists and bloggers who were arrested and detained by the Iranian government in 2004 and 2005. The witness statements are the results of interviews conducted by IHRDC staff in 2008 and 2009. Currently, IHRDC is in the process of preparing another report compiling witness statements. These statements detail the experiences of several political prisoners who survived the Islamic Republic’s summary execution of thousands of prisoners during the summer of 1988. The statements are being prepared pursuant to in-person and telephonic interviews conducted with survivors.
IHRDC also publishes a newsletter. The September 2009 issue contains articles on:
1. Sentencing in Post-Election
2. TrialsUniversity Protests Continue
4. New Head of the Basij Appointed
5. Another Juvenile Executed
6. Karrubi in Danger of Being Arrested
7. IHRDC Co-Sponsors Panel on Iran
For additional information, please visit the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center website.