February 28, 2024

Mehrangiz Kar is a lawyer, writer and a journalist focused on human rights and the spread of democracy. Kar has won at least eight internationally recognized human rights awards and works at Pembroke Center for Teaching and Research on Women at Brown University.
On the tenth anniversary of Human Right Activists, (HRA), Peace Mark Monthly asked Ms. Kar’s opinion on HRA’s performance and effectiveness regarding the growth of the civil society of Iran.
While emphasizing the importance of the lasting existence of HRA, Mehrangiz Kar tells Peace Mark Monthly: “HRA and especially its news agency HRANA are established names, and having an established name means that they are effective. The degree of this impact cannot be determined. However, when an organization’s name is established, it shows that it has covered a wide range of information, and it certainly has had audiences and has been noticed by the international human rights communities.”
How would you describe HRA in general?
HRA is an organization that was formed within Iran, and it has not necessarily been related to the global human rights organizations. Naturally, when it comes to human rights, it is valuable and important to be within a country where human rights are widely violated in many ways. However, this is my personal opinion, and many might not agree.
Students and youth who were in real danger in terms of human rights during the late 1990s and early 2000s established an organization to defend human rights and became the pioneers. I should again mention, the young age of these group members is very important; in my opinion, it is a positive point that finally in the Iran of post-Islamic Republic, a new generation of victims and university-educated people were able to realize that Iran is in need of developing such a discourse and that they needed to create a young human rights core within Iran. Each one of these young people, without having any special political background became a journalist. They certainly did not anticipate the consequences or the security problems that would spread across the world into countries where Iranian immigrants live.