Peace Line monthly – On the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the “Human Rights Activists in Iran, (HRAI)”, Peace Line Monthly has asked Hadi Ghaemi the director of “International Campaign for Human Right in Iran, (ICHRI)”, about the performance and permanence of HRAI. MR. Ghaemi: “In my opinion the greatest feature of HRAI that has led to the continuation of its activism is being informed and reporting from inside of Iranian prisons. In addition, HRAI has been able to follow-up, attend and report on all kinds of human rights violations in Iran and it has been able to follow-up and report on the demands of religious minorities, ethnic minorities and various stratum of society.”
How would you describe HRAI after 10 years of activism and if it is possible to highlight one positive feature of this organization, what would it be?
Overall the organized human rights activism in Iran has increased significantly during the past decade. “Human rights Activists in Iran (HRAI)” is one of the organizations that has a share in this growth and has been able to work towards promoting a human rights culture in Iran and be a part of the growth of this movement.
In my opinion the most important feature of this organization is reporting from inside of Iranian Prisons, and I believe that HRAI has been very successful in drawing attention to political prisoners.
As you know the civil society and specifically groups and organizations defending human rights in Iran face many difficulties, and therefore many of them are not able to last. Having that said; what do you think is the feature that leads to a perpetual existence of a human rights organization and its continued activism? In this regard, what difference could you mention specifically about HRAI?
The most important feature for the permanence of a civil organization is that it truly roots and stem and grow within the civil society. This becomes much more complicated and difficult to achieve, given that the Iranian government does not allow these organizations to operate normally within the country and is always oppressing them; yet they could persist as long as these organizations are able to assess the needs of the society, attract the new generations and address the whole society.
In my opinion the greatest feature of HRAI that has led to the continuation of its activism (as I have mentioned before) is being informed and reporting from inside of Iranian prisons. In addition, HRAI has been able to follow-up, attend and report on all kinds of human rights violations in Iran and it has been able to follow-up and report on the demands of religious minorities, ethnic minorities and various stratums of society.
Do you see the need for collaboration of Human rights organizations and why?
Yes; collaboration between civil organizations especially the human rights organizations, is highly effective and important, but the organizations that work on Iran are mostly created or being are operated outside of Iran because they are not allowed to officially and normally operate within Iran. Since the collaboration should allow these organizations to expand their activities in the hearth of the society, essentially such a collaboration would be difficult. Unfortunately the strategic actions of these organizations take place outside of Iran, in different countries and even continents; however during recent years collaborations have increased and I hope that one day these organizations could exist within Iran so that they can collaborate and expand their activism in the heart of the society.
Would you like to say anything to the colleagues and retinue who have supported HRAI for the past 10 years?
I congratulate them on being able to keep the organization standing for a whole decade and I especially think worthy of their attention to political prisoners and reporting on time from inside of the prisons.
Thank you for sharing your time with Peace Line monthly.