David Keyes and Ahmad Batebi in The Daily Beast: How America’s Nuclear Deal Sold Out Iran’s Liberals
The original article can be found here.
Human rights are the biggest victim of the Iranian nuclear deal announced last week. In the name of nuclear cooperation, the West has abandoned the issue of human rights inside Iran. It is no wonder so many democracy activists have a hard time trusting America. Just as occurred with the Libyan nuclear deal, Iran’s cooperation on its nuclear program means that the free world will loosen pressure on a brutal regime. While the nuclear issue is important, it cannot be allowed to trump human rights. Ultimately it is the regime which is the most dangerous, not the particular weapons they choose to...
Over the past few months, several hackers have targeted Advancing Human Rights’ websites. Days ago one of our divisions, CyberDissidents.org, was attacked and briefly taken down. Though we quickly restored the site, it is clear that not everyone is a fan of our work. Despite these repeated attempts to silence our organization, Advancing Human Rights remains committed to amplifying the voices of dissidents in closed societies.
The threats we face are negligible compared to the the daily repression faced by activists in China, Syria, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and other closed societies around the world. Advancing Human Rights will...
As with Andrei Sakharov Plaza outside the Soviet Embassy, honoring dissidents sends a message to despots
This piece was originally published in The Wall Street Journal.
Before 1984, the address of the Soviet Embassy in Washington, D.C., was 1125 16th St. But that year Congress, in a move led by then Sen. Al D’Amato, took the unusual step of renaming the street after the heroic Soviet human-rights activist Andrei Sakharov. The new address of the Soviet Embassy: No. 1 Andrei Sakharov Plaza. Every time the Soviets entered or left their embassy, they were reminded of the human cost of their tyranny.
This simple but inspired congressional measure helped put human rights at the center of the U.S.-Soviet relationship. Following the symbolic...
Writing for the Daily Beast, David Keyes says:
After releasing Majid Tavakoli due to an outcry at home—and an article on The Daily Beast—Iran’s regime has quietly reimprisoned the famous dissident.
Last month, Iran’s foreign minister took to Facebook not once, but twice, to denounce me as a warmongering liar. Think of the absurdity. Iran is a nation of nearly 80 million people. Its economy is plummeting. Hundreds of political prisoners remain behind bars. Its nuclear program has led to crushing international sanctions and isolation. Yet somehow, the foreign minister found time to post two online rants in a single week...
Irwin Cotler writes for The Times of Israel:
Finally, negotiations must not overlook domestic human rights abuses in Iran. When the U.S. negotiated an arms control agreement with the Soviet Union in 1975, it linked security, economics, and human rights; negotiations with Iran must do the same. President Rouhani has made token gestures, such as releasing certain political prisoners, but he has taken no meaningful steps to reform an Iranian regime that criminalizes innocence. Indeed, the rate of executions has actually increased since Rouhani took office, torture remains widespread, hundreds of political prisoners remain incarcerated,...
Advancing Human Rights is launching a new initiative called Dissident Squared, a form of symbolic protest that hopes to make sure dictators are constantly confronted with the names of prisoners of conscience. Today, James Kirchick writes in The Daily Beast, that “In the ’80s, the Senate renamed the street outside the Soviet Embassy Sakharov Plaza to protest the dissident’s treatment. It’s time to give similar reminders to today’s dictatorships.”
Renaming the streets, squares, and plazas outside Russian embassies and consulates after Magnitsky is the brainchild of David Keyes, executive director of the...
Days ago, The New York Times reported that hackers took down the website of the Saudi women’s driving campaign and posted a video “in which a man identified as a Zionist calls for women to drive—implying that Saudi’s enemies see this as a way to weaken the kingdom.”
I am the man in that video. My plea in Arabic to support a woman’s right drive runs a little over a minute and now has over half a million views...
After a year and eight months, Saudi poet and former columnist, Hamza Kashgari was released from prison. In 2011, Kashgari was the subject of great controversy after he was accused of insulting the prophet Mohammed in three short messages he posted to his Twitter account. Kashgari posted an imaginary dialogue with the Prophet, a portion of which said: “On your birthday, I shall not bow to you. I shall not kiss your hand. Rather, I shall shake it as equals do, and smile at you as you smile at me. I shall speak to you as a friend, no more.”
King Abdullah ordered Kashgari be arrested “for crossing red lines and denigrating religious...
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