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IHRDC Releases Report: Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Releases “Violent Aftermath:

The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran”

With presentations by Shadi Sadr and Payam Akhavan NEW YORK, NY

(February 12, 2010) – The Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC) today released “Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran” at a press conference and panel discussion at Hughes, Hubbard & Reed LLP. The report is the most comprehensive record to date of human rights abuses committed in Iran since last summer’s disputed presidential election.

The report documents in detail dozens of human rights abuses of Iranians and foreigners -- including beatings, kidnappings, rapes and murders -- and analyzes the perpetrators’ liability under Iranian and international law.

“Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran” draws upon dozens of interviews IHRDC conducted with activists, experts and victims of government suppression, most of whom have chosen to remain anonymous for security reasons. Personal accounts of the protests after the June election and the mass show trials that followed identified unambiguous cases of use of excessive force, failure to protect right to life, and murder by members of the Iranian government named in the report. Given the Iranian government’s concerted efforts to hide and distort the record, this report also analyzes and compares witness testimony with reports in the official Iranian press and the international press.

The clear evidence of human rights abuses contained in “Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran” demands serious consideration. To examine the report’s implications, IHRDC turned to a pair of uniquely qualified minds, Shadi Sadr and Payam Akhavan. Ms. Sadr and Mr. Akhavan discussed the legal options available in Iran and internationally, as well as the costs and benefits of attempting to hold the perpetrators accountable for their crimes.

Ms. Sadr is an Iranian attorney who defended activists and journalists facing execution before she herself was abducted and jailed on July 17, 2009. Now in exile, she joined the release of “Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran” via live video conference.

Mr. Akhavan served as the first legal advisor to the Prosecutor’s Office in The Hague, where he played a key role in the development of the international tribunals for both Rwanda and the former Yugoslavia. He co-founded the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center in 2004. “Violent Aftermath: The 2009 Election and Suppression of Dissent in Iran” is available online at http://iranhrdc.org/httpdocs/English/pdfs/reports/Violent%20Aftermath.pdf. Video of Ms. Sadr and Mr. Akhavan’s comments (in English) will be posted shortly on IHRDC’s website, www.iranhrdc.org. A Farsi translation of the report will be released in the coming months.

IHRDC is a nonprofit organization based in New Haven, Connecticut that was founded in 2004 by a group of human rights scholars, activists, and historians. Its staff of human rights lawyers and researchers produce comprehensive and detailed reports on the human rights situation in Iran since the 1979 revolution. IHRDC’s goal is to encourage an informed dialogue among scholars and the general public in both Iran and abroad. The human rights reports and a database of documents relating to human rights in Iran are available to the public for research and educational purposes on IHRDC’s website.

For further information, please contact: Renee C. Redman Executive Director Iran Human Rights Documentation Center Tel: (203) 772-2218 Ext. 215, Email: rredman@iranhrdc.org

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