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On Sunday, July 16, Iran announced it has sentenced an American graduate student to 10 years on charges he was spying for the United States. This announcement came months after the graduate student disappeared in Iran, where he was doing research for a doctoral thesis at Princeton University. There are at least four other American citizens currently unjustly detained in Iran on unverified charges.
This is only one example of Iran’s long list of human rights abuses. The Islamic Republic of Iran places severe restrictions on civil liberties, including the freedoms of assembly, association, speech, religion, academic freedom and press; abuses due process and has the second highest rate of executions, only behind China; has undemocratic elections; and discriminates against women, ethnic and religious minorities and homosexuals.
Despite initial optimism that the Rouhani administration may improve Iran’s track record of human rights abuses, there has been no notable change. The 2016 State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices notes: “the government took few steps to investigate, prosecute, punish, or otherwise hold accountable officials, in the security services or elsewhere in government, who committed these abuses. Impunity remained pervasive throughout all levels of the government and security forces.”
On April 13, the Trump Administration imposed sanctions on two key Iranian human right abusers, the first new human rights-related designations enacted by Washington since 2014. Will new sanctions pressure Iran into changing their abusive behavior?
Please join us as we hear from Manda Zand Ervin as she will discuss human rights in Iran.
If you have any questions, please contact Deanne at email@example.com
Manda Zand Ervin came to United States as a political refugee on June 17th, 1980, became a citizen two years later, and began her fight for human rights in Iran. She is the founder and president of the Alliance of Iranian Women, a group which has deep connections within the Iranian diaspora and within Iran. As the head of the Alliance of Iranian Women, Mrs. Ervin works to bring the West’s attention to the plight of Iranian women under Islamic Sharia laws. On September of 2009 she was invited to the G-8 International Conference on Violence Against Women, at the Italian Foreign Ministry headquarters in Rome, Italy, where she was the featured speaker on Iran. She almost single-handedly gathered the support to pass a 2003 U.S. Senate Resolution on the human rights of the women of Iran. Mrs. Ervin is frequently consulted by Members of Congress considering resolutions and legislation on Iran policy and human rights. She has testified at Congressional hearings and briefings, the Helsinki Commission, and spoke at the United Nations. In February of 2008, Mrs. Ervin was appointed by the President of the United States as the United States’ Delegate to the United Nations’ Commission on the Status of Women. On December 10th, 2013 she was invited to speak at the UN conference on Violence Against Women, where Mrs. Banki Moon also spoke. Mrs. Ervin writes and is published in online political magazines, speaks on TV and radio programs, nationally and internationally, and at universities and conferences on American-Iranian relations, among other topics.