HRC 48 Side Event:
Data For Rights And Accountability in Iran
In recent years, human rights organizations have developed a range of online tools that have strengthened the capacities of rights defenders to advance evidence-based reporting and advocacy aimed at generating a culture of accountability and transparency in pursuit of the realization of human rights for all persons.
In this regard, NGOs working to promote respect for human rights in Iran have been active in developing innovative tools, such as interactive and regularly updated databases that promote myriad human rights themes and employ diverse working methodologies for human rights documentation and reporting. These include the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center’s OMID Memorial, which focuses on persons sentenced to the death penalty since 1979; Spreading Justice’s initiative to identify and monitor individuals and entities responsible for some of the most egregious human rights violations in Iran, and Impact Iran’s Iran Rights Index, which aims to systematically assess the impact of the Iranian Government’s efforts to implement recommendations offered by UN accountability mechanisms for addressing human rights concerns in the country.
Each provide enhanced methods for recording and preserving evidence, and for cataloguing, analysing and coherently presenting complex data and extensive human rights documentation. They generate visibility for individual stories and provide interactive tools that allow historians, researchers, victims and their families, human rights defenders, diplomats and UN staff to engage with rigorous documentation and meaningful analysis about the situation of human rights in Iran in accessible ways.
The possibilities generated by the use of databases is particularly important in a context where national institutions lack transparency – often failing to publish and report on arrests, capital sentences and executions, blocking access to key information, repressing the work of the media and human rights monitors and designating key human rights indicators as state secrets.
Impact Iran is pleased to sponsor an event aimed at generating opportunities for human rights practitioners that are developing and maintaining these tools to present their work; to share their experiences; to provide guidance on how to use these tools to better monitor the situation of human rights in the country – they will ultimately explore the ways in which these tools are fostering a culture of transparency and accountability in Iran.
|INTRODUCTION FROM MODERATOR|
|Javaid REHMAN||UN Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in Iran|
|Roya BOROUMAND||Abdorrahman Boroumand Center|
|Databases to remember victims and record their stories: the example of OMID Memorial on victims of the death penalty|
|Skylar THOMPSON||Human Rights Activists in Iran|
|Databases to identify and list perpetrators of human rights abuses: the example of Spreading Justice|
|Azadeh POURZAND||Impact Iran|
|Databases to assess Iran’s efforts to implement human rights recommendations: the example of the Iran Rights Index|
JAVAID REHMAN is the third Special Rapporteur on the situation of human rights in the Islamic Republic of Iran since the re-establishment of the mandate. He commenced his duties officially on 13 July 2018. Mr. Rehman is a Professor of International Human Rights Law and Muslim Constitutionalism at Brunel University, London. Mr Rehman teaches human rights law and Islamic law and continues to publish extensively on the subjects of international human rights law, Islamic law and constitutional practices of Muslim majority States. As a human rights lawyer, Mr Rehman has also provided legal opinions in various high-profile cases in a number of jurisdictions.
KRISTIN ANTIN is the Knowledge Collaboration Lead for HURIDOCS (Human Rights Information and Documentation Systems). In this role, she facilitates knowledge exchange and resource creation with (and for) human rights defenders. Kristin previously held the position of Director of Programmes for HURIDOCS and was responsible for overseeing partnerships with human rights organizations. Kristin holds an M.A. in Theory and Practice of Human Rights from the University of Essex and a B.A. in Humanities from the University of Colorado. Kristin previously worked for the Center for Victims of Torture and The Engine Room.
ROYA BOUROUMAND is the Executive Director of the Abdorrahman Boroumand Center. She has a PhD in history of international relations from France and is a specialist in Iran’s post-Second World War history. She is a former consultant with the Women’s Rights Division of Human Rights Watch and has researched and written about women’s rights and family law in North Africa. She has co-authored several articles on the political situation in Iran and the nature of Islamist terrorism. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post. She was the recipient of the Lech Walesa Prize in 2009, shared with Ladan Boroumand.
SKYLAR THOMPSON is a Senior Advocacy Coordinator at Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRA). In this capacity she is working towards justice and accountability through monitoring, documenting, and spotlighting Iranian human rights abusers. Skylar previously held the position of Program Director with a U.S.-based non-profit focusing on prisoner’s rights. Prior to that, she worked in Cox’s Bazar focussing on access to health in the midst of the Rohingya refugee crisis. She holds an LL.M in International Human Rights and Humanitarian Law from the University of Essex Human Rights Centre and a B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in Political Science and International Affairs. She is currently based in Washington D.C.
AZADEH POURZAND is a Human Rights Advocacy Officer at Impact Iran. Azadeh’s research and writing focus on human rights in Iran, with an emphasis on freedom of expression, rule of law, ethnic rights, and women’s rights.