February 28, 2024

Dr. Lahiji has been devoted to human rights activism for more than five decades. Two years prior to the Iranian Revolution of 1979, in order to promote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Lahiji founded the Iranian Law Association and Iranian Association for Freedom and Human Rights. After the 1979 Revolution, he was one of the first to condemn the executions and other forms of human rights violations committed by the new regime.
In the 58th issue of the Peace Mark Monthly, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Human Right Activists (HRA), we asked Lahiji, the current president of International Federation for Human Rights (FIDH), for his opinion regarding the performance of HRA and the reason for the continued activism of this human rights organization.
Abdol-Karim Lahiji, while emphasizing how difficult conditions are for the organizations that are defending human rights in Iran, tells a Peace Mark reporter: “In my opinion any group/organization, including HRA, that has gained permanence and has continued its activism, has acted independently of the government. This independence from the government has a positive and negative side, and both sides should be considered. The positive side is the fact that they are independent from the regime and the government; obviously, the organizations that defend human rights need to be independent from the government and should not have any financial or political associations with the government. The negative side is the hostility and the political behavior in human rights activism in the sense that people try to achieve their political motives under the pretense of defending human rights.”