Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Obama Pulls Plug on Funding Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre

Whilst the Iran Human Rights Documentation Centre (IHRDC) has been compiling a list of the human rights violations that occur daily in Iran, and the protestors imprisoned and abused during the last few months of unrest as a result of the 'elections', Obama has severed State funding to the IHRDC. This means that the IHRDC will have to shut up shop in May 2010. The abuses of human rights and international human rights law in Iran during the last three months has resulted in the IHRDC working overtime for several weeks just to catch up on the past eleven weeks of activity.

At least three other groups that received funding under Bush’s democracy program for Iran have been told they would not receive funding this year. One can see that the IHRDC receives funding from other sponsors, and not solely from the U.S. State Department Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs and Human Rights and Democracy Fund. However, the concern at present is not purely the financial survival of the IHRDC, but rather the type of message that the White House has chosen to broadcast.

The article further informs that "[t]he Obama administration has emphasized other forms of assistance, such as aid for software programs that help activists communicate on the Internet anonymously. It also has continued funding for exchange programs. In the coming months, for instance, the administration hopes to bring Iranian lawyers to major cities in the United States, including Boston, to talk with American lawyers about their concept of law". However, how much more can effectively be achieved by severing the sponsorship of the IHRDC's work? Documenting the abuses of human rights
is crucial in order to promote democracy and human rights in Iran.

Can this be correctly interpreted as an act of appeasement to the Mullahs, now that the U.S.A. and Iran are about to commence dialogue? Or is this a fair act of cutting costs and spending it on the people of the U.S.A.? Either way, does it not appear that Mr Obama has left the sides of the many hopeful Iranians in Iran feeling somewhat cold?


  1. Great find Mehrtash, I do sadly fear the Obama is the latest in a long line of Islamic Republic appeasers who believe that the brutal regime somehow has a pragmatic side which can be reasoned with. This is a blow for human rights and justice all over the world.


  2. Wait, so just because you are a war monger Arash, and just because you wish death and destruction on iran doesn't mean that the president of the US has to as well.

    You claim everyone is an appeaser if they decide to go the diplomatic route...if they choose war, they become your heart throb.

    Seriously, get some real talking points, not the ones you are fed by the Monarchists in the UK.

  3. SZ's argument is an example of a tactic frequently employed by apologists for the Mullah regime: presenting critics of coddling the regime as war mongers. It is outrageous that Obama first limited his comments about the murderous repression in iran to a half dozen of the mildest criticisms in the last two weeks in June (e.g., he never once used the word 'murder,' and other than saying he was "heartbroken" over Neda, never made specific reference to *any* death; he only mentioned Khomenei to praise him), and being entirely silent after that. And it is outrageous that he has now attempted to silence these fact-finding groups. As for why he has acted this way, I think, contrary to all the scare stories about war, the West has a pro-mullah strategy.

  4. Thank you Jared Israel.

    The introduction of mullahs in power in Iran has served to discredit the Iranian culture, as well as eradicate the legacy of the Great Persian Empire, the history of Iran. All this in honour of making profit from the Middle-East. Once upon a time, Iranians/Persians were great allies with Israel. Now look what has become of that alliance.

    With regards t SZ'z arguments, I too would agree with diplomacy; however, even in diplomacy does one highlight bad practice, and Obama has not done so with regards to the government of Iran. Well, he has highlighted nuclear issues, but none whatsoever on human rights. Can you imaging, Iran has the second worst human rights violation - first place was awarded to China. China's population far outnumbers Iran's, and yet Iran has come second.