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1.    Preface

Human Rights Activists in Iran (also known as HRAI and HRA) is a non-political and non-governmental organization comprised of advocates who defend human rights in Iran.  HRAI was founded in 2005.

2.   Structure

2 .1 Goals

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.

2 .2 Management and human resources

The organization consists of three main groups divided into partners, members and managers.  HRAI’s partners include its official associates and volunteers.  The organization is managed by a central council consisting of the heads of departments all of whom are democratically elected.

2.3 Departments

2 .3.1 Department of Statistics and Publications

The Department of Statistics and Publications is responsible for the management and production of statistical data and analysis.  This department manages all news releases and administers our websites.  It also safeguards the organization’s intellectual property such as books and media productions.

2 .3.2 Administrations and Public Affairs

This department is responsible for the administration of human resources as well as public affairs.

2 .3.3 Human Resources and Accounting

This department is responsible for recruitment and financial affairs.

2 .3.4 International Affairs and Relations

This department manages the organization’s activities throughout the world.

2 .3.5 Legal Department

The Legal Department is responsible for providing and managing the organization’s legal affairs.  It also seeks to expand our legal resources.

2.4 Mission

In general, HRAI’s mission is to protect the human rights of all Iranian citizens regardless of their religion, political views, social status, gender or ethnicity.  Our organization defends freedom of speech, association and press.  We oppose capital punishment, executions, and stoning.  We strive to protect the environment and are advocates of women’s rights, children’s rights, labor rights, gay rights, and the rights of ethnic and religious minorities.  The organization condemns the expulsion of college students as a form of punishment for their political beliefs and fights for the right to education.

2.5 Approach

The organization uses five different methods to achieve its goals.

2 .5.1 Reporting and news dissemination

HRAI collects, processes and distributes news of human rights violations throughout the country using its pool of reporters.  News stories are published to inform the general public as well as various groups in Iran and abroad.  The organization strives to provide moral and legal support for the victims of human rights abuses by swaying public opinion inside the country while seeking help from the international community.

2 .5.2 Education

HRAI strives to educate the public and groups on the principles of human rights and how to protect them in the community.  We believe that such knowledge ultimately improves human rights in the country.

2 .5.3 Legal assistance

HRAI seeks to provide direct, legal assistance to the victims of human rights violations using attorneys and legal entities at its disposal.  These services are provided pro bono.  We also take necessary legal actions to defend and protect the victims.

2 .5.4 Protests

To fight against human rights violations, it is not enough to only support the victims of such crimes.  The organization believes that human rights violators must be placed under pressure to face the outcome of their actions.  Consequently, using peaceful means, we stage street campaigns, sit-ins and demonstrations in order to exert pressure on human rights abusers.

2 .5.5 International engagements

Because human rights are universal and transcend borders, the responsibility to protect such rights lies with all nations.  Accordingly, HRAI seeks help from international groups including the United Nations in order to raise awareness, provide support for the victims, and fight against human rights violations.

2.6 Politics and HRAI

HRAI doesn’t belong to any political parties and is not associated with any government.  The organization doesn’t support any particular ideology and doesn’t accept financial and non-financial aid from governments or political groups.  Members of political parties are not permitted to join HRAI.  In short, independence, neutrality, fairness and tolerance are the pillars of our organization.

2.7 Financial Resources

HRAI receives donations from individuals and non-profit entities only.  Because the organization seeks to remain independent, it doesn’t accept financial aid from neither political groups nor governments.  These limitations are essential to maintaining our autonomy.  Before March 2011, the organization received donations only from members and partners.  But since then, HRAI has also been accepting donations from National Endowment for Democracy, a non-profit, non-governmental organization in the United States of America.

2.8 News agencies and websites

2 .8.1 Official website

HRAI’s official website is www.hra-iran.org.  All news reports and announcements are posted on this site.

2 .8.2 HRANA News Agency

HRAI’s  news agency is known as HRANA.  At the time when it was established, HRANA was the first specialized human rights news agency in the country.  Today, it continues to operate around the clock, seven days a week including holidays.  To provide the necessary infrastructure to facilitate news gathering and reporting, HRANA utilizes a number of affiliated sites that make it easier for the users to easily post and categorize their news stories. HRANA has two websites, www.hra-news.org and  www.hra-news.org/en.  The former contains news in Farsi while the latter is in English.

2 .8.3 The Fourth Column Committee

The Fourth Column Committee is a committee operating under Administrations and Public Affairs.  This committee is designed to facilitate the dissemination of news and information in order to promote democracy within the country.  The Fourth Pillar is responsible for fighting against censorship and Internet filtering imposed by the Islamic Republic of Iran.  The committee provides education and technical assistance such as free VPN to the Iranian community of Internet users.  The Fourth Column Committee website is www.hraicp.org.

2 .8.4 Peace-Mark Monthly

Peace-Mark Monthly is Iran’s first monthly journal focused on human rights.  HRAI began releasing Peace-Mark Monthly in 2010 on an irregular schedule.  However, since 2012, this journal has been published and distributed inside the country regularly without interruption.  Each issue of Peace-Mark Monthly contains articles, interviews, editorials, and reports pertaining to current affairs and news.  The journal’s website is
www.hra-mark.org

2 .8.5 March 2nd Campaign

March 2nd Campaign is a website established following the crackdown of human rights activists in 2010.  During these attacks, HRAI’s members and supporters were specifically targeted by the security forces throughout the country.  This site still in use to spread the news of the attacks, inform the public and expose the nature and outcome of such abuses.  March 2nd Campaign will continue to operate until each and every victim of those violent attacks is set free.  The campaign’s website is www.11esfand.com.

2 .8.6 Farzad Kamangar’s Memorial

Prior to Farzad Kamangar’s execution, a website was launched to coordinate the campaign spearheaded by his family and attorney to save his life.  Kamangar was a teacher and a political activist who worked closely with our organization.  After his execution on May 9, 2010, the site’s name was changed to Farzad Kamangar’s Commemoration to celebrate his life and contributions as a teacher.  Currently, this website is used to publish Kamangar’s articles and letters.  Farzad Kamangar’s Memorial website can be found at www.farzadkamangar.org.

2 .8.7 HRANA Newspaper

HRANA Newspaper is a daily electronic publication released to disseminate news quickly and efficiently each and every day.  This newspaper contains a summary of daily events posted on a website and distributed electronically by email.  HRANA Newspaper’s website is www.hra-newspaper.com

2 .8.8 HRA Library and Information Center

HRA Library is the organization’s electronic information center used to education its members.  In addition to books and a collection of works produced by the organization, the library holds publications from a variety of sources.  All the resources are available for free.  The library’s website is
www.hra-book.com

2 .8.9 The Center for Statistics and Records

The Center for Statistics and Records began operating in early 2011.  Every day, the center collects, compiles and analyzes data related to human rights abuses in Iran and stores the results in a digital archive.  The information is then available for use by all activists and organizations.  The center’s website is www.hra-statistics.info

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