Roozbeh Farahanipour an Iranian in exile who lives in United States as a political asylum and an international leader in the Iranian pro-democracy movement is one of the eight (8) candidates who is seeking to replace Ahmed Shaheed as the next U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation on human rights in Iran.

Mr. Farahanipour is a well known pro-democracy and human rights activist who founded and became the Chairman of the Marze Por Gohar resistance movement as well as founding the National Society of Journalists in Iran. As an outspoken Islamic Regime opponent he was imprisoned by the Regime three times the final time being in 1999 and was forced to escape from Iran. In 2000 Mr. Farahanipour received political asylum in the United States where he continues his lifelong passion of advocating for human rights and democracy in Iran.

Since his arrival in the United States, Mr. Farahanipour has demonstrated his dedication to civic engagement by becoming involved with the Westwood Village Rotary Club. As the International Chair of the Club he has worked to build connections with other members of the worldwide organization in an effort to mobilize resources for the purpose of advancing international understanding of good will and peace.

In the past 15 years Mr. Farahanipour has continued his activism by advising government officials both in Washington D.C. and California, and has spoken in countless universities across the United States. He has also received numerous Certificates of Recognition from the City of Los Angeles, the California State Assembly, the California State Senate and the United States House of Representatives.

The untimely removal of Mr. Ahmed Shaheed has been welcomed by high officials in the Islamic Republic of Iran, as reported by numerous media sources in that country. Mr. Shaheed has issued numerous reports about systematic human rights violations in Iran, focusing international attention on the persecution of women, children, ethnic and religious minorities as well as political opposition.

The Islamic Regime in Iran now seeks to have someone appointed who will not be critical of Regime’s brutal and systematic human rights violations in order to allow them to continue ruling through fear and oppression. It is crucial for the United Nations to take a strong stand and make it clear that they are committed to upholding the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

The United Nations aims to uphold and protect the rights and freedoms listed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights through various measures including multilateral treaties, courts and tribunals and Roozbeh Farahanipour’s leadership and expertise qualify him as an excellent candidate for appointment as the U.N. Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran.

The Lafayette Campaign is a masterfully crafted satirical page turner. In this cyber thriller, our hero “Frank,” a quirky and eccentric “cyber geek” will keep you smiling and at times laughing out loud when he tries to figure out who is manipulating the election polls, while attempting to write a novel about his previous adventures.

Andrew Updegrove does a brilliant job of creating likeable characters one can relate to, while weaving a gripping story with constant twists and turns you never see coming. The story moves at a very fast pace, but it’s easy to follow, enjoyable and impossible to put down.

This is one the best and most entertaining books I have read this year, and I would highly recommend it not only to “cyber geeks” and anyone interested in cyber security issues, but also to anyone with any interest in politics, elections, or anyone who is simply looking to read a fun yet technically accurate book with unforgettable characters you can’t stop thinking about long after you have finished the novel.

I loved how Andrew Updegrove was able to make such a technical subject so fun and entertaining, and can’t wait for “Frank’s” next adventure!

I was provided with a copy of this novel for review.

As a criminal defense lawyer with a serious interest in the human rights situation in the Middle East I found "As the Dust Devils Danced" a necessary, enticing and informative read.

The author Jeffrey Crowther gives the reader an in depth insider view of the lengthy and difficult process of developing a sustainable justice system in the Uruzgar Region of Afghanistan.

In my opinion one of the most fascinating aspects of this book is the detailed discussion about the opium trade in Afghanistan and its role and integration within the Justice System. It appears everyone of consequence in Afghanistan has a hand in the opium trade and controlling the opium trade brings power, prestige and money, all things necessary when developing a sustainable justice system in a country with verity of cultural tribes competing for power.

I also enjoyed reading about the integration of Rule of Law, Sharia and the Afghan culture in the development of the Justice system.

What I would have enjoyed reading about a bit further would have been any role played by the Afghan women within the justice system, sadly the lack of this discussion may have more to do with the fact tha twomen currently have very little if any role within the Afghan Justice system.

Overall an informative must read for anyone interested in the human rights issues in the Middle East especially with a special interest in Afghanistan.

On Tuesday August 2nd 2016 The Islamic Regime in Iran executed more then 20 Kurdish activists of Sunni decent. While all these activists were “convicted” of allegedly committing terrorism related offences, there is serious doubt and concern about the lack of both due process and rule of law which eventually led to these mass executions.

The Islamic Regime in Iran is known for their lack of due process especially with respect to political prisoners. Often political prisoners are subjected to 10 minute mock trials, behind closed doors and without a jury, and more often then not without access to a lawyer.

The use of forced confessions obtained under torture is widespread and it’s often the only piece of “evidence” used to convict political prisoners of crimes they have not committed. The Islamic Regime in Iran is one of the world’s top executioners with at least 230 people having been executed so far this year. It is crucial to note that the number of actual executions might be much higher as many executions are also carried out behind the closed doors of prisons and are not reported.

While many of those executed are political prisoners who have not had a fair trial, the Regime in Iran does not discriminate when it comes to executions. Amnesty International recently reported the execution of a homosexual juvenile offender Hassan Afshar (19) who was convicted of “forced male to male anal intercourse.” By executing juvenile offenders the Islamic Regime in Iran has show that they have zero regard or respect for international conventions protecting the rights of juvenile offenders.

Canada must condemn the recent wave of political and non-political executions and hold the Islamic Regime in Iran accountable for their systematic lack of due process and legal procedure for detainees who have been charged with both political and non political offences.

Canada cannot turn a blind eye to the Islamic Regime’s serious and systematic human rights violations while considering renewing its political relationship with the Regime, until and unless the issues of human rights and mass executions are properly addressed.

Sayeh Hassan is an Iranian-Canadian lawyer, blogger and pro-democracy activists