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USCIRF Briefing-Iran-5/3/05: Conditions for Religious Freedom Deteriorating
WASHINGTON – Please join us for an on-the-record briefing about the work of

the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center (IHRDC), a non-partisan

organization based in New Haven , Connecticut that seeks to remedy a deficit

in the systematic, objective, and analytical documentation of human rights

violations committed in Iran since the 1979 revolution. The presentation

will focus on the deteriorating situation of religious freedom in Iran ,

especially the plight of religious minorities and Muslim dissidents.

In 2004, the U.S. Department of State provided $1 million in funding for

the IHRDC through its Human Rights and Democracy Fund to “promote respect

for human rights and democracy in Iran .” Last month, the State Department

announced it would provide grants in 2005 totaling $3 million for

educational institutions, humanitarian groups, non-governmental

organizations, and individuals inside Iran to support the advancement of

democracy and human rights.

The IHRDC was co-founded by Roya Hakakian, Ramin Ahmadi, and Payam Akhavan.

Hakakian, a former television producer, is a documentary filmmaker and the

author of Journey from the Land of No : A Girlhood Caught in Revolutionary

Iran . Ahmadi is professor of medicine at the Yale School of Medicine and

founder of the Griffin Center for Health and Human Rights. Akhavan, a

former Legal Advisor to the Prosecutor’s Office of the International

Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and Rwanda at the Hague , is an

international human rights lawyer and Senior Fellow at Yale Law School and

the Yale University Genocide Studies Program.

WHO: Roya Hakakian, Ramin Ahmadi, and Payam Akhavan, Co-Founders of

the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center

WHEN: 2:00 – 3:30 pm, Tuesday, May 3, 2005

WHERE: The Offices of the U.S. Commission on International Religious

Freedom, 800 North Capitol Street, NW, Suite 790, Washington , DC 20002

** Seating is limited, so please RSVP by calling Caroline Gobble at (202)

523-3240, ext. 24 or email [email protected] no later than Monday, May 2nd


The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom was created by the

International Religious Freedom Act of 1998 to monitor the status of

freedom of thought, conscience, and religion or belief abroad, as defined

in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and related international

instruments, and to give independent policy recommendations to the

President, Secretary of State, and Congress.

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