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Nov 23, 2022

New Report: What Iranian Human Rights Defenders Can Learn from Syria and Beyond

My new publication with Gissou Nia & Celeste Kmiotek for Foreign Policy: What Iranian Human Rights Defenders Can Learn from Syria and Beyond.


This is dedicated to the brave Iranian women and men standing against the brutality of their regime.


Just like in Syria, the Iranian regime has chosen to respond violently to the peaceful protests that erupted across the country since September. It has instituted nationwide internet shutdowns, arbitrary detentions, killings, and other human rights violations.


In this publication, we argue that documenting these violations by gathering and archiving the evidence circulating online must be a priority—because justice is unattainable without evidence.


As a Syrian, I couldn't help but think that our experiences and skills in evidence preservation, often developed the hard way, might be useful for Iranians.


At the end of the day, we're fighting the same battle.


That's why I asked two experts, Abdulrahman Alhaj and Fadel Abdul Ghany, who have done an incredible job in Syria, to share their views on ways practitioners in Iran can best gather evidence in furtherance of the fight for accountability. Their comments informed our arguments.


Gissou and Celeste placed this input perfectly in the Iranian and international law contexts. They called for the establishment of a UN investigative mechanism at today's special session of the UN Human Rights Council.


Gissou, alongside other dedicated and professional Iranians such as Roya Boroumand and Nazanin Nour, has been pushing for multiple policy responses globally. The Investigative Mechanism is one of them.


https://x.com/gissounia/stat/GissouNia/status/1595432709140381696


The piece is packed full of practical tips for storing the evidence circulating online and how to make it worthwhile for litigation.


Justice is unattainable without evidence. Gather it and defend it.


https://foreignpolicy.com/2022/11/23/iran-protests-human-rights-documentation-syria-evidence/

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