The number of pro-reform lectures and events is increasing in Toronto. This is another event where the openly reformist Mehrangiz-Kar will be speaking along with a number of other individuals including Payam Akhavan and Ramin Jahanbegloo. I urge those who can to attend.

Human Rights, Civil Society and Democracy in Iran

News Desk
Place: Tribute Recital Hall,
York University, Accolade East

Time: Saturday, September 12, 2009
3:00 PM – 7:00 PM

3:00 PM
Welcoming Remarks:
Iranian students of Ryerson, Toronto and York Universities.
Saeed Rahnema, Introduction

Abdol-Karim Lahidji, Human Rights in a Clerical System
Mehrangiz Kar, Human Rights Cannot be locally Defined
Reza Baraheni, Human Rights and the Iranian Writers Association
Gazal Mojdehi, Youth and Students in the Iranian Civil Movement

4:30 PM: Break

Payam Akhavan, Responsibility of Leaders for Crimes against Humanity
Ramin Jahanbegloo, Non-violence and Civil Society in Iran
Haideh Moghissi, The Changing Gender Imbalance in the Iranian Civil Movement

5:45-7:00 PM, Questions and Answers

Dr. Abdol-Karim Lahidji, is the Vice President of the International Human Rights Association (FIDH), and the President of Iran Human Rights Association. After the 1953 coup, he was among the founders of “Progressive Lawyers Group”, and taught at Tehran University Law School. Before the Revolution he founded the “Iranian Society for Defense of Freedoms and Human Rights”. After the Revolution, he turned down the Provisionary Government’s offer to become Minister of Justice, rejected the Constitution approved by the Expediency Council, and wrote against the Islamic Qisas Ordinance. After being attacked by the Islamic Guards, he went underground and left Iran. Dr. Lahidji is among the most well-known Iranian lawyers in international circles and in the UN institutions, and is the author of books and numerous articles on human rights.

Ms. Mehrangiz Kar, is lawyer and social critic, she studied Law at Tehran University, was a Radcliffe Fellow at Harvard and is currently based at the Carr Center for Human Rights Policy at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government. She has also been recognized as a Scholar at Risk through an international network of universities and colleges. After the revolution in Iran, despite limitations imposed on women lawyers, she defended her clients in the newly established Islamic courts. After attending a conference in Berlin, she was detained in Tehran with the charge of conspiracy against the state and under international pressure was released and left Iran. Mr. Kar was awarded the Ludovic Trarieux Prize in recognition of her life’s work, and is the author of books and numerous articles on legal issues, in Farsi and English.

Dr. Reza Baraheni, is author, poet and social critic. He was professor of literature at Tehran University and visiting Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Toronto, and Scholar-at-Risk at Massey College, University of Toronto. Dr. Baraheni was one of the founders of the Iranian Writers Association and was jailed in Iran both at the time of the Shah and after the revolution. He has served as President of PEN Canada and has been active in many different campaigns of human rights. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, novels, articles, and commentaries

Ms. Ghazaleh Mojdehi, Lawyer, graduated cum laude from Michigan Law School and practiced law in the US. For her undergraduate work she studied political science and Law and Society at York University, and was the President of Iranian Students Association at York. Ms. Mojdehi is a member of the ABA, IALA (Iranian American Lawyers Association) and active in various non-for-profit organizations. Recently, she decided to move to her hometown of Toronto.

Dr. Payam Akhavan is Professor of International Law at McGill University. He earned his Doctor of Law at Harvard University and was previously Senior Fellow at Yale Law School and Distinguished Visiting Professor at University of Toronto. He was the first UN war crimes prosecutor at The Hague, and also served the UN in Bosnia, Cambodia, Guatemala, East Timor, and Rwanda. He has been appointed as counsel before the International Court of Justice, and is co-founder of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre.

Dr. Ramin Jahanbegloo is Professor of Political Science and Research Fellow in the Centre for Ethics at University of Toronto. He has been a researcher at the French Institute for Iranian Studies and a fellow at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies at Harvard University. He has served as the head of the Department of Contemporary Studies of the Cultural Research Centre in Tehran, and was Rajni Kothari Professor of Democracy at the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies in New Delhi, India. Dr. Jahanbegloo was arrested in Tehran Airport and charged with conspiracy against state, was placed in solitary confinement for four months, released on bail under international pressure, and returned to Canada. He is the author many books and numerous articles on non-violence, human rights in French, English, and Farsi.

Dr. Haideh Moghissi is Professor of sociology and women’s studies and Associate Dean of FLA&PS at York University. She has served as Chair of the Executive Committee of Centre for Feminist Research, member of the Executive Committee of Centre for Refugee Studies, and Coordinator of the Certificate for Anti-Racism Research and Practice (CARRP), at York University. She was the principal Investigator in several major international research projects. She has studied law and political science at Tehran University and Queen’s University. In Iran she worked for the National Archives and during the revolution she was a founder and a member of the executive and editorial committees of the National Union of Women. She is the author of several books and numerous articles on women and Islam, women’s movement, and Muslim diasporas.

Dr. Saeed Rahnema, is Professor of Political Science at York University and was the founding Director of School of Public Policy and Administration, and served as the Coordinator of Political Science program at Atkinson Faculty, York University. He was previously an Associate Professor in the School of Public Policy at Queen’s University, and an officer of the UNDP. In Iran was an executive member of the Industrial Management Institute and during the revolution was a founder of the Union of the Workers and Employee Councils of IDRO, the Industrial Development and Renovation Organization of Iran. He is the author of several books and numerous articles on Middle Eastern politics, political economy, and labour and left movements

Diaspora Project, York University
Human Rights Program, Dept. of Equity Studies, York University
Iranian Student Cultural Society at York University, ISCS-YU
Iranian Association of University of Toronto, IAUT
Iranian Student Association of Ryerson University, ISARU


  1. محمد رضا الف said...
    یعنی همان درود فارسی و سلام عربی .داشتم دنبال یک مطلب خوب انگلیسی برای وبلاگمون در مورد روز قدس می گشتم البته دیگر شده روز آزادی ایران احتمالاخبر داری که به آدرس شما برخوردم و دیدم مطلب روز قدس شما برای گذشته است.امیدوارم فارسی یادت نرفته باشه جوون ایرانی.البته احتمالا جوون ؟
    اگر چیز جالب در این دو سه روز آینده پیدا کردی و فرصت شد برای ما هم بفرست. بدرود.
    Nashat said...
    It is really great to know about personalities like these people and this is really a great job done by the author. Best of luck for the future.

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