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Human Rights Day Event to Focus on Situation in Iran

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Iran’s dismal human rights record against women, labor and minority religions including the Baha’i Faith will be spotlighted at a Human Rights Day conference at Wilmette’s Baha’i Temple, 1 to 4 p. m., Saturday, Dec. 10th. Sponsored by Amnesty International USA and Chicagoland Baha’i assemblies, national experts will outline the denial of basic freedoms in Iran and worldwide efforts for change. It’s free and open to the public.

According to Amnesty International, Iran has a terrible record of human rights violations including extrajudicial executions, arbitrary arrests and detentions, torture, unfair trials, stoning, abuses against women and limits on movement, belief, expression, assembly and association. Iran persecutes certain ethnic and religious minorities and has sentenced seven Baha’i national leaders to 20 years in prison on false charges of espionage for Israel and “spreading corruption on earth” following secret trials and minimal access to lawyers.

A new film, “Education Under Fire,” will recount the historic roots of Iran’s official persecution of the Baha’i religion and recent stepped-up efforts to exclude Baha’is and other minority groups from higher education.

Presenters will include:

Nazila Fathi was a journalist for the New York Times and Time Magazine and current Neiman Fellow at Harvard University on technology and the Internet shaping human rights and civil rights. She was formerly Fellow at Sweden’s Raoul Wallenberg Institute on women’s rights. Fathi holds a master’s degree from Harvard and bachelor’s from Tehran Azad University.

Anthony Vance is director of external affairs for the Baha’is of the United States in Washington and was deputy secretary-general of the Baha’i World Center in Israel. Earlier, he was program manager for the U.S. Agency for International Development in the Ivory Coast, Kenya, Botswana and Egypt, and spent many prior years with a law firm. He holds JD, MBA and bachelor’s degrees from Harvard University.

Danny Postel is expert on international labor rights including Iran. Based in Chicago, he’s an international editor, writer for prominent publications, and college journalism and language teacher. His articles have appeared in openDemocracy, Chronicle of Higher Education, American Prospect, Chicago Tribune, Guardian, Nation, New Humanist, Progressive and Washington Post.

Elise Auerbach is Iran country specialist for Amnesty International USA. She received a PhD from the University of Chicago’s Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.

The Human Rights Day Conference takes place at Baha’i Temple, located at Sheridan Road and Linden Avenue in Wilmette, in the lower-level Foundation Hall. Because of construction, the site is not handicapped accessible. Free parking is available on neighboring streets and the Baha’i parking lot across Sheridan Road. There’s paid parking at the CTA lot at 4th and Linden, Wilmette, about three blocks away — the last stop on the CTA Purple Line.

Seating is limited, so please plan to arrive early.

One Response

  1. My husband and I are in the process of putting together a “YARAN” in state of Michigan. We have several Persian Bahai’s that are looking toward this happening. My niece fled Iran just this past year to get away from them. She is happier in Canada and going to school. Doing very well, too.