Recently, Arseh Sevom’s Sohrab Razzaghi met with EU officials in Brussels and spoke about the position on human rights in Iran. His piece was published on InsideIran.org. His key points included:
• Creating social networks in order to support the political and civil liberties movement in Iran and starting talks with Iran’s civil rights and political activists to enhance human rights and democracy in Iran. European countries and the EU must take clearer positions about the Iranian government and its violation of human rights. The EU must place human rights as its top priority on its agenda.
• The only way to stop this ruling political elite is to build a dynamic, democratic, and developing nation. One of the most important priorities is to build civil societies, and therefore, the international community must help civil society activists in capacity-building and related efforts.
• The lack of recognition of human rights is a group problem that plagues Iranian society. In order to instill such values, we need a program of promoting human rights in Iran in various levels and for various segments of society. This is most needed on the local level. Human rights are violated in Iran on three grounds: theoretical, governmental, and lack of respect for human rights among individual citizens.
• Currently, a large number of political activists and human rights defenders are incarcerated. We need to educate a new generation of such activists and a new wave of such organizations, which is why capacity building in Iran is our top priority.
• In order to break the information blockade created by the government, we must enhance the free flow of information among Iranian citizens. We must avoid spending all our efforts on the Internet only, because more than 35 percent of the Iranian population is in rural areas, and many cities, towns, and villages do not have access to the Internet. Therefore, I suggest we think about expanding efforts concerning the Internet to include television.