Although the marginalization of civil rights activists through governmental pressure was a constant battle faced by the activists in Iran, after the unrest following the 2009 Presidential election, the repression of the civil rights activists entered a new phase. Thousands ordinary people who participated in the post election demonstrations had unpredictably created a new generation of civil rights activists who mostly lacked any activism background and didn’t belong to a political or civil society group. As a result, while seriously lacking knowledge about their basic human and civil rights, as well as lacking the support of an organized group, these ordinary citizens were forced to deal with security problems that arose from their activism. Although in some cases the human rights lawyers, both inside and outside Iran, have being approached and consulted on individual basis, in most other cases, these new activists have not been able to reach any experts for even basic legal aid or support. Not only are they the new generation of activist, who need as much support as possible to become familiarized with how to behave in a high security situation, but also due to the complexity of the Iranian political landscape, changing and transforming by day, many experienced activist also need help and supports.
Relatives and families of the civil rights activists are another targeted group. After the arrest of their loved ones, families who have never been involved in any form of political activity find themselves in the middle of a battle they were not prepared for. They need to be advised on what their rights and those of their loved ones are. They need to be told how they can claim these rights and how they can deal with the security forces and the judicial authorities.
This project is very much in line with Justice For Iran’s vision and mission as well as our other project. This is so because the project deals with ways in which human rights violations can be stopped. Furthermore, with getting the first hand reports and information and preparing more reliable documents, JFI can pursue its main goal of making the perpetrators accountable for their crimes. On the other hand, JFI can use the information and reports collected to build a more helpful network for providing services and aides to the activists and their relatives.
Therefore, JFI would like to initiate the Web-based Hotline for the Activists project. This project intends to establish an interactive web-based consultation centre to provide both legal and security related advice through publishing and distributing basic resources, as well as online and telephonic counselling sessions.
Program Objective 1.1: Strengthening human rights- and civil society organizations capacity in Iran to find effective strategies and instruments to realize their goals.
· 1.1.1: Relevant trainings: for professionalization and human rights related issues, which lead to more sustainability and quality work with the target groups of civil society in Iran.
· 1.1.2: Safer communication channels: will lead to more free space to work and lesser chances of monitoring and arrests by the Iranian government.
· 1.1.3: New e-broadcasting platforms will reach new target groups and provide easier and more accessible formats for larger groups in Iran.
· 1.1.4: Strategy meetings for human rights and women’s right defenders will lead to more professionalization and more effective programs through lessons learnt and best practices and better security guidelines.
· 1.1.5: Networking will lead to new cooperation and knowledge exchange.
Program Objective 1.2: Supporting individual human rights activists to protect and morally support them.
· 1.2.1: Urgent actions to provide HRDs with urgent help, support with publicity actions and legal defense locally or otherwise.
· 1.2.2: Web-based hotlines where HRDs, their families and supporters can get quality legal advice and counseling to use in their defense in the local courts.
· 1.2.3: ‘Tracking websites’ will follow and support specific HRDs at risk in a public manner by publishing reports online.
· 1.2.4: International Human Rights Awards. Nominations for and receiving those awards will morally support these activists and contribute to their safety.