Peace Line Monthly / Hossein Raeesi – Certainly complexity of social relations and diversity of social and individual needs for long has strengthen the necessity for a society, that would not be able to fulfill all its needs, pass all its barriers and problems and earn the public trust, without the existence of the civil society institutes. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani – I met Keyvan Rafiee for the first time in the winter of 2007, in ward 209 of Evin Prison. A young person who was trying to play his part in improving human right in Iran. I remember he was transferred from solitary confinement to our prison cell, and he was holding a few meaningful painting; all of Keyvan’s Painting showed concern for human rights.
Despite all the dangers of the time, Keyvan Rafiee was trying let the outside world hear the voices of the Political Prisoners. At the time social media’s were not as widespread as today, and those like Keyvan with the little they had tried to let the world hear the voice of the political prisoners so that they would not be forgotten. As I mentioned before, due to the lack of the existence of a widespread social media, quite often political, civil and human right activist would have been imprisoned and nobody would have known. Those years, many were completely forgotten and faced a bitter fate. I believe this is why Keyvan and his friends thought of establishing Human Right Activists in Iran (HRAI). An organization that has become the neutral voice of numerous groups and various spectrums of people. This organization has fought against numerous executions by the Islamic Republic of Iran, which have terrified the global society. HRAI regularly publishes the cruelty endured by various political and ideological groups, and reflects the suppression and pressure on the civil society and its activists in Iran. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Habibollah Sarbazi – First Glance: Baluch People are deprived of a TV or Radio that would voice their issues. Islamic Republic media have boycotted Baluchistan’s news, and what is being broadcasted of Baluch people has an untrue show like quality. Overall the Islamic republic state TV and Radio programs that are about the violation of human rights of the Baluch people, are not true to the existing reality of these people and they are literally “Blackwashing” and “Lies”. In other hand the lack of independent domestic websites, newspapers, magazines, weeklies or even monthlies that could freely voice the reality of this province which is known as the “most disadvantaged” and the “most security atmosphere” of Iranian provinces, has contributed to the problems. The weakness of the civic society has also substantially increased these issues; all together they have killed the sparkles of hope among people who are carrying the weight of enormous oppressions and deprivations on their backs. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Shahed Alavi – The story of violations of human rights in Kurdistan is full of sorrows. This sorrowful story, this open wound was denied for a very long time, either because it was labeled as a lie and victimization, or because sometimes it was narrated in a way that was too heroic and vague and was hard to believe for the audience. Somewhere on this disastrous land, for many years, people have lived with suppression, prison, torture and executions as part of their daily life; that is for numerous reasons, but foremost because of their inevitable resistance. More heart breaking is that they were used to screaming in silence, even worst, they were used to hearing the cheers coming from the opposition of the center which itself is wounded by the suppressive system.
The suppression of the margin was not by the centre or the opposition of the center. The real tragedy was the silence in favor or the endless doubts by the movements and peoples who were so called human rights activist and human rights organizations, and it was their duty to report human rights violations. For those who had followed their political opinions to lead them to human rights activism, were the real example of the kind of human rights reporters and watches, were the one was considered “human” if it was one of their own. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Ali Kalaei – Out of the ashes of a great incident something new will always be born; something that perhaps is part of the evolution of that incident itself. A phoenix is born from its own ashes; although the new phoenix might be reborn with a different form each time, yet it will be the continuation and evolution of the same story, which has taken a new shape. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Keyvan Rafiee – February 2016 marks the 10th anniversary of the establishment and activism of the “Human Right Activists in Iran, HRAI”; an organization that has been subjected to great vicissitudes and has endured enormous amount of pressures, and yet it has been able to leave a constructive and positive impact behind. Certainly this organization has also had its share of weaknesses and mistakes that call for criticism. As the founder and director of HRAI during the past decade, by avoiding repetitions, I will share my own experiences and will try to discuss the less mentioned aspects of the history of this organization in order to create more transparency. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Kouhyar Goudarzi – It was May Day, the first of May, the international worker’s day, I was there to report on the rally of the workers of the Syndicate of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company (SWTSBC). It was about noon and the crowd kept growing, citizens, worker’s families and students. A young bearded man with long hair was taking pictures and videos in the middle of the crowd. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Simin Rouzgard – The external view of the “Human Right Activists in Iran, HRAI” is visible to all, mostly through its news Agency HRANA and at a different level through its monthly journal of “Peace Line”; however the interpretations and perceptions of it may vary. How is the internal view of this organization, especially from the eyes of “one of its own”?! Perhaps there is the need to dig deeper and farther than what is visible on the surface. Walter Benjamin speaks of this as two different views of the same country road, the view from the eyes of the person walking along the road, and the view from the eyes of a passenger flying over the road by an airplane: “The power of a country road when one is walking along it is different from the power it has when one is flying over it by airplane… The airplane passenger sees only how the road pushes through the landscapes, how it unfolds according to the same laws as the terrain surrounding it. Only he who walks the road on foot learns of the power it commands, and of how, from the very scenery that for the flier is only the unfurled plain, it calls forth distances, belvederes, clearings, prospects at each of is turns like a commander deploying soldiers at a front.” (One-way Street, 1978, P. 27-28) (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Behrouz Javid Tehrani – From long years in prison till this day, I have always, at any time and place, tried to use any small opportunity in order to achieve my humanitarian goals. When the security apparatus by imprisoning people like myself was trying to limit our platform for activism, and limit our resources and our communications in order to stop us, I used the smallest available windows of communication and tried to voice the human rights violations that were happening in the prison and my surroundings. Maybe this was the most effective activism I could possibly do from the prison.
Human Right Activists in Iran (HRAI) which later Human Right Activist News Agency (HRANA) was added to it, has been my main partner in human rights activism from the very beginning; especially that I knew Keyvan Rafiee personally and had worked with him outside the prison, I also have kept in contact with Jamal Hosseini and other members during all these years. (more…)
Peace Line Monthly / Ali Ajami – on May 1, 2006, we – the radical students who became later “Freedom & Equality Seeking Students” and finally dismantled – had decided to join the fired workers who were protesting in front of the Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company.
We were with placards and slogans which had been selected by voting and we thought that nothing was going to happen. Aggregation was performed and we along with the workers started raising the placards and chanting slogans. The police officers were careful and the IRGC intelligence agents took photos regularly, but there were no particular problems, and we believed that the aggregation was going to end with no problem. (more…)