Human rights activists Iran, Human rights defenders Iran, Human rights organizations Iran.

Abdolfattah Soltani
Evin, Iran -
Abdolfattah Soltani, born in November 1953, is an Iranian human rights lawyer and spokesman for the Defenders of Human Rights Center. He also co-founded this organization. Soltani served as a lawyer for the family of the slain Iranian-Canadian photojournalists Zahra Kazemi, who was allegedly tortured and murdered in prison in July 2003. Soltani was incarcerated for political offenses in 2005 and 2009. He received an 18-year prison sentence in 2012 and was banned for an additional 20 years from practicing law. He was imprisoned for co-founding the Center for Human Rights Defenders, spreading anti-government propaganda, endangering national security, and accepting an illegal prize (the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award). In October 2012, Soltani was awarded the International Bar Association's Human Rights Award. Photo courtesy of

Banafsheh Zand-Bonazzi
Tehran, Iran -
Banafsheh Zand is an Iranian political analyst and human rights activist. In 1979, following the Khomeinist uprising, she left Tehran and moved to Paris to attend L'IDHEC, the French Institute of Higher Cinematic Studies. In 1983, she came to the U.S. and continued studies at the University of Maryland, majoring in film and linguistics. In 1984, she moved to New York to pursue a career in the film industry. In 1997, Banafsheh began working on a documentary film about the gruesome assassinations of Iranian writers, intellectuals, activists and scholars who opposed the theocratic regime of the Mullahs in Iran at the hands of the secret police of the Mullahs, known as the "Chain Murders". In July 1999, however, when the massive wave of student uprisings in Iran transpired and then squelched [by the Islamic regime], Banafsheh, who had remained ever-political, committed herself to the full-time dissemination of information about the student leaders, labor and human rights activists, scholars, journalists and just the average Iranian suffering under the brutal dictatorship of the terrorism-financing Mullahs. Her most recent project a video called Set the Red Line, which in the first five weeks of it being finalized and posted to YouTube, received 1.3 million views. Photo courtesy of

Fariborz Shamshiri
, Iran -
Fariboz Shamshiri is one of the authors of the Rotten Gods website, as well as an Iranian blogger. He has been referred to as one of the most important voices of the Iranian blogosphere. Rotten Gods was the most visited Iranian-English blog during the 2009 Iranian disputed presidential election protests that kept news up-to-the-minute. He has a long online career in standing up for human rights. He set up his first blog in Persianblog in 2004 and later wrote his second blog in Blogfa; both are Persian language blogging systems. Authorities blocked both of his blogs and later they deleted them. He passed all red lines by criticizing clergies, their politics, human rights violations, and religion. In April 2008, he founded Iranians' Blogs, which is a directory of English blogs written by Iranians inside and outside of Iran. Since July 2008, he started writing in Amnesty International blogs about human rights violations in Iran. Photo courtesy of

Human Rights Activists News Agency
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Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA) is the press association established in 2009 by Iranian human rights advocates in order to report and disseminate daily news of human rights violations in Iran. The English section of HRANA includes translated news of events prepared and distributed by human rights reporters in Farsi throughout Iran. Human Rights Activists in Iran is a non-profit, independent organization established in March of 2005 by a group of Iranian human rights advocates. HRANA operates under the charter of this organization in the Statistics and Publications Unit. HRAI's goals consist of promoting, safeguarding and sustaining human rights in Iran. The organization keeps the Iranian community and the world informed by monitoring human rights violations in the country and disseminating the news about such abuses. Additionally, HRAI strives to improve the current state of affairs in a peaceful manner and supports strict adherence to human rights principles. Photo courtesy of

Jahangir Mahmoudi
Isfahan, Iran -
Jahangir Mahmoudi is an Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and politician. Mahmoudi is the founder of "Khuzestan defenders party". In late August 2004, he was arrested and jailed in Ahvaz, Iran due to his opposition of the Iranian regime. On August 25, 2010, officials from the Special Clerical Court stated that Jahangir Mahmoudi had been arrested as a result of his intentions to represent a number of political prisoners. Mahmoudi is currently being held at the Isfahan Prison. The trials of the political prisoners will continue without the presence of their lawyers. Photo courtesy of

Kouhyar Goudarzi
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Kouhyar Goudarzi is an Iranian human rights activist, journalist and blogger who was imprisoned several times by the government of Iran. He previously served as an editor of Radio Zamane. He is a member of the Committee of Human Rights Reporters (CHRR), serving as the head from 2005-2009. Goudarzi was an aerospace engineering student at Sharif University of Technology before being expelled in November 2009 by order of government authorities and barred from continuing his education. Plain-clothed officials arrested Goudarzi on July 31, 2011 without warning. On April 12, 2012 after spending about 9 months behind bars, 3 months incommunicado with his whereabouts unknown, 2 months in solitary confinement under intense interrogations and tourture, Goudzari was released on bail pending his appeal. In March 2013, faced with a 5-year prison sentence in exile in the remote city of Zabol, constant pressures, harassment and threats from the authorities, Kouhyar Goudarzi fled Iran to ensure his safety. He continues his human rights work from outside the country. Photo courtesy of

Mahnaz Afkhami
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Mahnaz Afkhami is Founder and President of Women's Learning Partnership (WLP). She is also the Executive Director of the Foundation for Iranian Studies and former Minister of Women's Affairs of Iran. She has lived in exile in the United States since 1979. Afkhami has been an advocate of women's rights for more than three decades, having founded and headed several international NGOs focused on advancing the status of women. Afkhami has lectured and published extensively on the international women's movement, women's human rights, women in leadership, women in technology, the status of women in Muslim majority societies, and women's participation in civil society building and democratization. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

Maryam Nayeb Yazdi
Mashad, Iran -
Maryam Nayeb Yazdi is an Iranian-Canadian writer, editor and consultant working in the field of human rights and online activism for social change. She is active in communicating news to Western audiences about human rights infractions in Iran. In 1989, she moved to Toronto, Canada to study and earned a degree in English from York University. Yazdi has been a writer and editor at Creative Media House Canada since January 2003. When Iranian authorities began suppressing protest movements in 2009, Yazdi began to focus on the promotion of democracy in Iran. Photo courtesy of

Mehrangiz Kar
Ahvaz, Iran -
Mehrangiz Kar is a prominent Iranian lawyer, human rights activist and author of the book "Crossing the Red Line", as well as many articles. She is also a celebrated activist of women's rights in Iran. Kar was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard University. She has also been recognized as a Scholar at Risk through an international network of universities and colleges working to promote academic freedom and to defend the human rights of scholars worldwide. She currently works in Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University. In 2002, the U.S. First Lady, Laura Bush, gave Kar the National Endowment for Democracy's Democracy award. Photo courtesy of

Mohammad Davari
Evin, Iran -
Mohammad Davari, born in 1974, is an Iranian journalist. After he documented abuses of prisoners at Kahrizak Detention Center in 2009, he was sentenced to five years in prison by the Iranian government, drawing international protest on his behalf. As a student, Davari volunteered to fight in the Iran-Iraq War, in which he was wounded in the eye and leg. He went on to become a journalist, acting as editor-in-chief for the Saham News. He was arrested in 2009 for mutiny against the regime. Photo courtesy of

Narges Mohammadi
Zanjan, Iran -
Narges Mohammadi, born in April 1972, is an Iranian human rights activist and the vice president of the Defenders of Human Rights Center. She attended Imam Khomeini International University, receiving a degree in physics. She then became a professional engineer. During her university career, she wrote articles supporting women's rights in the student newspaper and was arrested at two meetings of the political student group, Tashakkol Daaneshjooei Roshangaraan. Rahmani moved to France in 2012 after serving a total of fourteen years of prison sentences, but Mohammadi continues her human rights work. In 2009, Mohammadi received the Alexander Langer Award. Photo courtesy of

Nasrin Sotoudeh
Tehran, Iran -
Nasrin Sotoudeh, born in May 1963, is a human rights lawyer in Iran. She has represented imprisoned Iranian opposition activists and politicians following the disputed June 2009 Iranian presidential elections, as well as prisoners sentenced to death for crime committed when they were minors. She received her international law degree from the Shahid Beheshti Univeristy. In 1995, she passed the bar exam. Sotoudeh was arrested in September 2010 on charges of spreading propaganda and conspiring to harm state security and was imprisoned in solitary confinement in Evin Prison in Iran. In January 2011, Iranian authorities sentenced Sotoudeh to 11 years in prison, in addition to barring her from practicing law and leaving the country for 20 years. An appeals court reduced Sotoudeh's prison sentence to six years, and her ban from working as a lawyer to ten years. Photo courtesy of

Nazanin Afshin-Jam
Vancouver, Canada -
Photo: Nazanin-teaser-DW-Politik-Chicago.jpg

Niloofar Beyzaie
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Pantea Beigi
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Roya Hakakian
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Sheema Kalbasi
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Shima Nesari Haghighi Fard
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Shirin Ebadi
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Shiva Nazar Ahari
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Shokoufeh Kavani
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Soraya Serajeddini
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Zahra Eshraghi
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