Category Archives: Publication

2023 Annual Report on Humans Rights in Iran

The Annual Report, issued by the Human Rights Activists in Iran network (HRAI), counts in the field of cultural rights violations a 114% increase in citizen arrests compared to the previous year.  17 reports have been recorded. They included the arrest of 15 individuals and 10 cases of employment prohibition. 4 individuals were sentenced to 24 months of suspended imprisonment, with 12 months of these sentences issued by appellate courts. The highest number of violations in this category occurred in August and September.

In the category of freedom of thought and expression, reports of citizen arrests increased by 86%, and the issuance of prison sentences by the judiciary increased by 68% compared to the previous year.

The report has grown to 20 chapters on different fields of human rights, such as ethnic and religious rights, education, work and trade unions, children, women, gender, and sexual minorities. Additionally, the cases are arranged by months and regions.

Source: HRANA

Supporting Artists on the Frontline

In March 2023, at the Salzburg Global Seminar session “On the Front Lines: Artists at Risk, Artists who Risk”, a global assembly of fifty artists, activists, and representatives from supporting organizations spanning forty countries united to create the Salzburg Statement on Supporting Artists on the Front Line. The session explored the intersection of contemporary art, activism, politics, law, research, technology, ethics and organizing.  The final statement urges institutions shaping social and cultural policies to create an enabling, human rights-based environment that supports artists at risk.
By the end of 2025, policymakers, funders, and international organizations are called upon to:

  1. Conduct a comprehensive study of factors inhibiting creative workers’ artistic freedom and cultural rights.
  2. Produce a detailed report on best practices for identifying, evaluating, and addressing the needs of creative workers at risk.
  3. Establish legal frameworks for Emergency Artistic Freedom visas, ensuring entry and work authorizations for creative workers at risk.
  4. Allocate resources to support the relocation and professional development of at-risk creative workers.
  5. Integrate artistic and cultural rights into international policy work, prioritizing them in state and human rights NGO agendas.
  6. Recognize artists as essential partners in addressing sustainable development, democracy, and innovation, prioritizing their collective expression and activities in the human rights field.

Sources:  Meeting report (PDF), The Salzburg Statement (PDF)

What Do Cultural Rights Have to Do With Sports?

The Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights,  Alexandra Xanthaki, has published a series of 14 Questions & Answers, following an interaction with the International Olympic Committee after the recommendation of the IOC Executive Board, on 28 February 2022, to exclude all Russian and Belarusian athletes from sports events.

The concern of the Special Rapporteur on the exclusion of Russian and Belarusian athletes includes a “wider concern of on-going unnecessary exclusions of Russian and Belarusian people from participating in cultural life. Artists too have been excluded from cultural events, festivals and other platforms based on their nationality and their artistic freedom tightened.”

The Q&As can be downloaded here and are published on the website of the mandate.

 

UN HCR Special Report on Cultural Rights and Migration

In her thematic report the Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, Alexandra Xanthaki, underlines the rights of migrants to have access to and effectively participate in all aspects of cultural lives, both of the host State and their own cultures: “Migration  enables individuals, both migrants and the host population, to reevaluate their cultural frameworks and be positively influenced by other ideas, values and practices. In that process, States must be aware of the vulnerabilities of migrants and take measures to enable them to enjoy their cultural rights, irrespective of their status.”

The report has been introduced in February 2023 and is now available in all 5 UN languages.

2022 Annual Report on Human Rights in Iran

Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI), founded 2005 in Iran, is a NGO which aims to promote, safeguard and sustain human rights in Iran. Since 2010 HRAI is registered as non-profit organization in the U.S. 

The 62 pages report, published December 26, is based on 1.3342 cases, gathered from 267 news sources during 2022 [January 1st to December 20th]. 55% of reports analysed came from sources gathered and reported by Human Rights Activists News Agency (HRANA), HRAI’s press association.  13% came from official Iranian government sources or sources close to the government. 32% of reports came from other human rights news agencies. The report has 13 chapters on different fields of Human Rights, as ethnic and religious rights, education, work and trade unions, children, women, gender and sexual minorities. The cases are also sorted by months and regions.

The chapter on violation of cultural rights reports 17 cases. This included reports of 7 arrests, 27 individuals summoned to judicial and security organizations, 4 trials held, 1 house search, 4 cases of obstruction and interference with publications, 1 case of stopping an event and speech, 2 cases of confiscation of property and belongings. In this category, arrests have increased by 16% compared to the previous year. 

6.311 reports of violations against freedom of thought and expression have been registered. These violations included 2.2655 individuals arrested. 

Source: Human Rights Activists in Iran (HRAI)

Human Rights Watch World Report 2023

The HRW World report looks at the state of human rights and covers nearly 100 countries. Besides the crises arise and authoritarian governments deepen their assault on human rights, HRW’s Acting Executive Director Tirana Hassan writes that 2022 revealed a “fundamental shift in power in the world that opens the way for all concerned governments to push back against…abuses by protecting and strengthening the global human rights system.”

The 712-page world report can be downloaded in total or browsed by country at the HRW website.